When I hear the term “fixer-upper” I think about The Money Pit, the 1986 comedy starring Tom Hanks and Shelley Long as a yuppie couple who buy a beautiful-but-seriously-dilapidated old house that nearly ruins their relationship. It makes for a funny plot, but in real life there’s nothing funny about buying a home and discovering that the roof leaks, or the wiring hasn’t been upgraded in decades.

Buying a home is an exciting time. The more informed you are before you buy, the better things will be in the long run. It is important that you see past the design and decor and learn to look at the “bones” of the home. Understanding how well a home was built and maintained, can really reduce expensive repairs in the future.