5 Ways to Protect Yourself When Buying a Fixer-Upper

Screen Shot 2014-06-10 at 3.44.09 PMHidden hazards can derail your dream of scoring a great deal. Before you plunk down any cash, sit down with this

fixer-upper can often seem like a first-time homebuyer’s dream: an older home with great bones that simply needs an update or perhaps a few tweaks to its layout.

Unfortunately, even seemingly straightforward projects can be fraught with hidden problems discovered once work begins. While disclosure laws seek to protect homebuyers, sellers can always claim ignorance to problems like lead paint, and disclosures on distressed and bank-owned properties are nowhere near as complete as they are for traditional sales.

But that doesn’t mean you have to risk getting stuck with a money pit. Here are five ways to project yourself when buying a fixer-upper.

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