10 Things That Smell Like Money In A Fixer Upper!

To most people, the thought of a messy house is too much! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a persons house where they apologize for the way it looks. However, I always remind them.. you are standing in a pile of money! Why apologize!

In today’s post, I would like to share with you 10 things that “smell like money” in your Tucson Fixer Upper! As a Real Estate Investor, and Broker with over 23 years experience, I have seen all sorts of properties in the Tucson area.

In today’s post, I will share with you the 10 things that “Smell like money!” in your Tucson Fixer Upper!

10 Things That Smell Like Money In A Fixer Upper

How Does It “Smell Like Money?”

First, let me clue you in on a secret of the “Fix and flip” game…

In the “fix and flip” game, the money is made on the rehabilitation portion of the resale. Therefore, the worse your property is, the more it is worth to a rehabber!

It’s key to remember, it doesn’t mean that your home is worth more.. it just means that because of it’s current condition, you have a home that is very valuable to a particular investor. An investor like me at Karl Buys Houses!

So, with that being said, let’s talk about the 10 things that “smell like money” in your Tucson Fixer Upper!

Pet Smells/Damage

Believe you me. I love animals. I’ve had dogs, cats, and pets of all kinds all my life. However, sometimes, having a dog or cat loose in the house means that there are unintended consequences.

Even the most well trained dog gets sick, and has accidents on the carpet. Cats, get older, and blind. Mistakes.. well.. they get made.

While we as owners try our best to get rid of the scents, or damage done by our pets, sometimes our best efforts are still thwarted.

While a home might be in perfectly good condition “repair-wise”, an old blind cat with a urinary tract infection can quickly cause a property to become virtually unsaleable.

I recognize that it seems far fetched, but after selling homes in this town for 23 years, I can assure you it is true!

Outdated Plumbing

One of the more curious aspects of property here in Tucson is the prominence of Septic Tanks. Believe it or not, I’ve bought properties here in town that had Septic tanks.. right in the middle of town! That can cost up to $10,000 to connect a home to the sewer!

Another main thing I look for is Polybutylene Piping. It’s a type of piping that was used primarily between 1978-1996. Not all homes have polybutylene piping, but if you have it in your home, it can be upwards of a $5000 bill to re-pipe the house.

Polybutylene piping isn’t the end of your home problems, but when you have it, it might as well be re-piped along with everything else being done! For a rehabber like KarlBuysHouses, it’s perfect!

Outdated Electric

Another common thing I see when buying homes in the Tucson area is an outdated electrical system. While you and I might think that it would be a problem, for someone intending to rehabilitate the property anyway, it is a bonus!

Trust me when I tell you, everything you think is a detriment to your property for a regular retail buyer; is a bonus to a person who intends to rehabilitate the property for a new family and resell it like I do at Karl Buys Houses.

Older and outdated electric systems simply aren’t designed to handle the electrical loads that are required by more modern heating and cooling systems. It’s important to upgrade the electrical systems when rehabilitating a house. So if your house hasn’t had that done yet, so much the better!

Termite Damage

There is a saying here in Tucson…

You Either Have Termites… Had Termites, or WILL have termites…

Tucson Saying

So needless to say, I’ve dealt with Termites! I’ve even seen their tunnels hanging 3 feet down from the kitchen ceiling! The good news is, it takes years for subterranean termites to do significant damage. If caught in time, they can be treated, and removed!

Functionally Obsolete Floorplan

Literally, this is the hardest thing for a Tucson homeowner to handle. Because unlike a regular fixer upper, a “Functionally obsolete floorplan” usually requires a lot of work in order to repair to working order.

So what would be an example of a functionally obsolete floor plan? A good example is where someone would remove a middle wall between two bedrooms to make one room. Another example is enclosing a carport to make a fourth bedroom, and removing any covered parking.

Leaky Roof

Leaky roofs can be tricky because it isn’t always clear where the leak is coming from. There have been properties that I have bought that have had roof leaks that weren’t easily repaired.

A roof that leaks can quickly lead to other problems. Dampness, moisture and wicking all lead to problems that can lead to even more expensive issues.


Whenever there is water, there is a potential for mold to grow. This is particularly problematic when there is mold in the house itself.

Once mold gains a foothold inside the home itself, it is exponentially more expensive to repair and re-mediate. The unknown “X factor” is the effect that a Mold Remediation claim will have on your homeowners insurance.


Aside from the mental issues associated with hoarding, selling a home that a hoarder has occupied isn’t always easy. There are mental health issues, as well as health concerns that you have about your loved one.

Dealing with a loved one who is a hoarder requires a special level of concern, and care. When you are trying to get them the help they need, you also need a helping hand in dealing with the destruction left behind in their illness.

A retail buyer doesn’t have the time, nor the patience to deal with it. They want to move in right away. A Real Estate company is going to have a hard time listing it… and you just can’t trust it to some “fly by night” real estate investor who advertises on a yellow “We Buy Houses” sign.

Your problem property is actually not a problem at all for me! I specialize in buying problem properties! Let’s finish up the list with the last, and potentially the most damaging two!

Tenant Damage

Another common call I get is when a tenant has damaged a home in Tucson. The homeowner’s once beautiful home is now a wrecked “fixer upper” requiring thousands of dollars of repair.

Amongst the beaten walls, the broken doors, the oil stained carpets and ruined kitchen floors; there is a spark of hope! Homeowners who have found themselves in this situation have found relief in the fact that they could make one simple call and get a fair fast offer on their home.

See Related: Dangerous Virus Infects California Multifamily Housing.. and no it’s not CoronaVirus!

Sometimes, being a landlord just isn’t what it’s cracked up to be! It isn’t for everyone! When a tenant tears up your property, you sometimes can’t see the sense in putting in the work to only run the risk of having it get damaged again.

Fire Damage

And finally, the coup de grace! A fire damaged home! Perhaps there is no greater Tucson Fixer Upper with greater potential than a fire damaged home. While it is true, you may have lost a lot of personal items in the fire; thankfully you made it!

Insurance can replace everything else, and you’ve made it out. Now it is time to repair what was missing, and get started again on your life. No matter if it was a garage fire that got out of control and only damaged the garage; or an electrical fire that destroyed the entire home… I’ve got experience in dealing with this situation and can help answer any questions you have!

Not only do you get paid with your insurance settlement, but you can sell your fire damaged house exactly the way it is! No need to do anything else!

Cash Home Buyers In Tucson

The reality is, it’s all a question of perspective. While it is true, many of these situations aren’t always pleasant, they can, and do happen to Tucson homeowners every single day.

If you, or someone you know is concerned about their Tucson Fixer Upper, then share with them the good news that Karl Buys Houses is looking for them!

Call me directly or text me at (520) 403-6227 or use the form below!

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