Buying a Fixer-Upper? How You Know When You're Ready

Buying a new home involves some risk; you truly never know what you’re getting yourself into until you live in it. Homes can both be in good shape and be a wonderful home, or they can have multiple problems and cost you big bucks down the road.

If you know you are going to buy a fixer-upper, then you better be able to do the work. These homes generally come around 10% below market value, which is a tempting offer for a lot of DIY’ers.

If you are planning for a fixer-upper to be your next home, make sure your scenarios have at least one of these common aspects.

Simple Upgrades

Your know-how skills are plenty so you won’t be hiring anyone to fix your jobs, but they’re not on the expert level. Hopefully the home you’re interested in doesn’t have any electrical, plumbing, or foundation issues, leaving most of the work to the cosmetic department.

Homes that need cosmetics usually need a bit of drywall, all new paint, possibly trim, replacing the cabinets, countertops, and light fixtures. It starts to get pretty involved if vanities and floor replacements. If you have the skills to do so, go right ahead.

The numbers work

A fixer-upper is only a good idea when the numbers add up. These are 100% investments and nothing short. One needs to ask themselves if the money they are willing to spend will be returned and then some in the future when they sell.

Real estate is priced around what someone will pay for it. Different houses with different insides sell for quite a difference, and the difference is the money spent on the inside.

Right place, right time

There can be difficulties getting from the get-go. You may have trouble getting permits for the upgrades you want to perform, which will leave you sitting in a house for quite a while. The upgrades might be more expensive than you thought leaving your money pinched.

Going into this project, a new homeowner needs to have a clear vision. This is a project that goes quite in-depth and can turn into a disaster rather quick if you let it. If you decide to go for it, just know you will be spending most of your time, energy, and money on this project. 

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