A Home Repair Guide for Veterans

As a military veteran, moving to an unfamiliar city, getting a trusted real estate agent, sifting through countless homes on the market, and negotiating with sellers–you have enough to worry about in the home-buying process even before the home inspection happens. You deserve a home where you can feel both relaxed and focused.

So, when the inspection comes back, and your dream house still needs work, what do you do? Here’s some advice to help you determine which home problems are serious enough to turn you off from buying a home, which ones can be fixed easily, and whether a repair should be done by a professional or DIY’d.

Red Flag Problems Here are a few common problems that should give you pause before signing the dotted line.

● Cracks, shifting, or other issues with the foundation can cause a host of other problems and can be expensive to repair.

Any problems with the roof that are more serious than a minor leak can be dangerous and can also cost a pretty penny to fix.

● Mold is dangerous. If an inspector sees a hefty amount of mold or suspects it in underlying places, proceed with your home purchase with caution.

● Most major issues should be uncovered by a licensed inspector, however some issues, such as the roof or sewage system, may require a specialist.

Simple Fixes Here are some issues that can be remedied quite easily:

● Installing a water softener can help with unclean water, and it can be DIY’d.

● Indoor air pollution can be just as harmful as outdoor pollution, and it’s actually more common. Make sure you are changing air filters regularly, limit the toxins you bring into the home, and add some indoor plants that can clean the air.

● Cosmetic issues like bad paint jobs, popcorn ceilings, outdated light fixtures, and even worn-out hardwood floors can be fixed with some sweat equity.

● And outdated appliances can easily be replaced with more modern ones.

Hiring a Pro vs. Doing It Yourself Some repairs should only be handled by the pros, while others can be done with a little DIY knowledge and skills.

Any structural issues (e.g., roof, foundation, walls, ceilings, etc.) should be handled by a professional.

DIY plumbing repairs can be challenging, so find reliable contractors in your area.

● Any minor plumbing and electrical issues (e.g., replacing a faucet, fixing a running toilet, installing a light fixture, replacing a thermostat) can be done with limited knowledge and skills.

The home inspection is one of the most important stages of the home buying process. However, knowing what to do with what your inspector gives you is essential. Learn to distinguish between the serious problems and the ones that can be fixed easily, and determine which projects call for a professional and which ones you can take care of yourself. This will help you make the right decisions as you’re looking for your dream home.

If you’re a veteran, visit VeteransPlus for coaching and financial literacy programs that will help you secure your financial future.

By: Jenna Sherman

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