You need to wait a year before engaging in any major capitol project on the house in a gentrifying area. Why? Crackheads, it all comes down to crackheads.
Cheap contractors getting houses ready for selling, hire cheap crackhead or questionably legal immigrant help who sometimes do poor work hidden behind the walls where the inspector can’t see it. Also a year allows you to see seasonal screw ups.
Spring- Spring rains show you the gutters were improperly installed and that the yard is poorly graded and sending water towards your foundation.
Summer- Guess what? Air Conditioning doesn’t work, or works so poorly it is not even worth using. Maybe it does work but condensation builds up in the walls and there is this wet spot forming in your ceiling. Or, notice you have no air conditioning?
Fall- Leaves. And the raccoon that moves into your crawl space waking you up at 4 am.
Winter- Furnace works poorly or dies. Windows don’t shut all the way and house gets drafty. House has no insulation and costs more to heat.
Then there is other stuff you don’t notice till you have been in the house a while. About 2 years into living in my house I got neighbors in a previously empty house. They are very nice people but I can hear them clearly through the wall. Lucky for me they are not speaking in English so I have no idea of what they are saying. I hear them come in, go up the stairs…. I can smell when they have burnt the toast, and they are always burning toast. I knew there was only 1 layer of brick between us** and with real live people next door, I now know what 1 layer means as far as noise and smell goes.
When you first see a house, you don’t see its faults. When I saw my house I was so happy it wasn’t a)condemned or b)in the middle of construction and c)it had a basement. I didn’t notice the little things like the toilet being encased in tile or the windows being a little off, or the poor paint job that got paint on stuff I still can’t get off. It’s several months after buying and living in the house you begin to notice these quirks. Like plumbing pipes not being properly installed. They looked ok, but when you go to touch it, it falls apart. Not good.
Some of these houses in the neighborhoods housed the poor and were maintained by landlords who possibly didn’t give a rat’s rear about the house, as long as the section 8 check came in. So then they decide to cash in, get some horrid contractor who is accountable to no one and knows you’re not going to find the faults until long after he and the seller have run off with your money. So beware.
**Yes, I know there is supposed to be two layers of brick, but there isn’t. When I was trying to fix a crack in the wall I discovered the 1 brick situation, so please don’t say anything about there ‘should be 2 bricks’, ’cause there ain’t and you’re not making it any better. Yes, it is a touchy subject with me.