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Understanding the Dangers of Investing in an Old Property

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Even as a property developer or investor, we tend to look for bargain deals. Some of the cheapest properties you can find nowadays are old and abandoned buildings that have been seemingly forgotten. Whether it’s a factory that went out of business or a house that hasn’t been kept properly, there are great deals to be found if you know where to look.

While it can be a steal to purchase a property for a low price to fix up yourself, you could be investing in a trap. After all, there’s probably a reason why that property is going for such a low price—there has to be a catch.

Houses Beyond Repair

If the insides of a house look abandoned and broken, then it’s probably been left that way because it’s too much of a hassle to fix. There could be structural problems, cracks in the walls, uneven flooring, or even misaligned pipes and electrical cables. While some issues can easily be fixed, if a house was badly made then it’s probably cheaper to completely demolish it and start over.

Unfortunately, the costs for demolishing a house aren’t cheap. In addition to demolishing the house, you also need to worry about cleaning up the garbage afterwards and building a house from scratch. This includes laying the foundation and checking for any deep structural problems that may have caused the house to be unstable and broken in the first place.

Asbestos

Many old buildings that were built around the year 2000 or earlier commonly used asbestos as a construction material. It was used to insulate buildings, to lay flooring, roofing, and it was even sprayed around ceilings and walls. It’s now been banned because it can increase the risk of certain diseases such as lung cancer.

No one wants to buy a building that’s been constructed with asbestos. It’s a dangerous health hazard and getting it removed professionally can add a huge investment on top of what seemed like a bargain property. If you’re unsure if the building you want to purchase has been constructed with asbestos as a material, then seek professional help from certified asbestos testing companies so that you don’t make a bad decision.

Plumbing

Old houses and properties used to use galvanised pipes to carry water. These pipes are prone to corroding over time which can reduce the quality of drinking water around the property. These pipes are cheap to replace with newer materials and updated plumbing technology, but if a house or building needs to have all the pipes replaced then it could cost much more than you anticipated to renovate the property.

One of the biggest issues with replacing plumbing pipes is that you need to dig up the ground and take down walls to reach the pipes. If a house is well constructed but has the unfortunate problem of galvanised pipes, then you’re essentially breaking the house down and rebuilding it again. If that’s the case, then make sure you take those construction costs into consideration when scouting for a bargain.

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