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Amber’s Biz Tip: Big Ticket Items Not to Miss on Your Walk Through

Aside from the items I look for that let me know if a house has renovation potential, I am also paying close attention to some areas where your budget can take a hit if you’re not prepared.   These items can be viewed as “high ticket” or “red flag”.  They are definitely going to add some dollars to your budget, but if you are looking for a smaller renovation then some of these may be a deal breaker for you altogether, especially if you are just getting started. 

Make sure to check these items:

  1. Roof
  2. Windows
  3. Mechanicals
  4. Electrical
  5. Water Intrusion


When you are looking at a roof you are looking for curled or stained shingles.  When possible you want to check either with the seller or the city to see when the last permit for a re-roof was taken out. 
Price range $5000-8000 depending upon the size of the house

If the garage is detached do not forget to check that roof as well.  Sometimes people will replace these roofs at different times so they may have a different age.


More and more often home buyers are energy conscious.  Especially in harsh climates there can be a significant savings on heating expenses if the windows are newer.  In some houses the windows are original 70+ years old and are non-functioning.  To repair and replace some of those original parts, because it is so labor intense, can cost almost the same as replacing the window with a new vinyl replacement window…and it is more efficient.

Windows are a significant expense. You are going to want to make note as you walk through the house whether or not they need to be replaced as well as the number of windows. 

Price $5000-10000


This includes your furnace and you’re A/C.  If you have ever seen any of my before property walk throughs you will know that I purchase a lot of homes that do not have A/C.  I ALWAYS add A/C to my projects.  Many times there may also be radiator heat so in those instances I am also removing the boiler and the radiators and adding the forced air duct work to all the levels of the house.  It is a significant selling point to be able to share with buyers that the entire mechanical system is new. 

Price range $8500-15000


Of all the budget items this is my least favorite….sorry electricians.  Much of the work we do is necessary but with the electrical code there are some things that we are required to do even if it is inconvenient for the home owner.  While we are working in a house there is often old and hazardous electrical and by code we are required to update everything.  When we are finishing a basement or an attic many times those spaces have never been finished before so all the wiring is entirely new.  In many of the houses I work on they are so old that they may not have any ceiling lights in the living room or bedrooms.  All of that “new” can add up quickly.

Price range $10000-12000

Water Intrusion

Take the time to check the basements, especially the perimeter and corners.  If a home has been vacant, there may be water that has entered the basement and you need to figure out how it got there.  Often when a home has been neglected or is vacant it may be a matter of cleaning out the gutters and adding extensions to move the water from the roof away from the foundation.  In more serious cases you may need to install drain tile systems to keep the water from entering the basement. 

Price Range $4000-6000

These are just some rough numbers to help you as you look at houses.   The first time you walk through there is going to be a lot to see. Missing one or two of these big items could break your budget.  

So you’ve purchased a house to flip. Now what?

Check out my tips on how to get started when flipping a house.

Want to buy a property and renovate it?

House flipping, home renovation, selling a house for profit, real estate, House Flipping Tips

For more inspiration for home renovations, follow me on Pinterest @thresholdhomesmn

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