Home renovation and DIY shows have increased the appeal of fixer-uppers for a ton of buyers. But before you commit to buying a fixer-upper—and investing the time, money, and resources in fixing it up—there are a few things you need to know.
The price. The entire point of a fixer upper is to buy it, then invest in fixing up the property, and transform it into your dream home (or flip it and sell it for a profit). But in order for that to happen, you need to purchase the home at a fixer-upper price point—and have plenty of budget left for renovations. If the price is too high, you’re going to get stuck with a house that needs a lot of work—and without the means to pay for that work.
The improvements needed. Not all fixer-uppers are created equal. Some will require relatively minor cosmetic changes, some will require a few major projects, and others will require a complete gut job. Before you commit to buying a fixer-upper, it’s important to get a thorough home inspection and uncover as many potential issues as you can. But, also know that some things may not even be able to be found until you are in the midst of a renovation. So, expect the unexpected, even if you do a thorough job considering the improvements needed before diving in.
How willing you are to deal with the “fixing up” process. Renovating a fixer-upper doesn’t happen overnight. Depending on your budget, the amount of work needed, and your contractor’s availability, the construction process could take months (or, in some cases, years). If you’re living in the property, that can be extremely disruptive—so before you buy a fixer-upper, make sure you consider how willing you are to deal with the actual “fixing up” process.
Buying a fixer-upper can be extremely rewarding. It can help you build more equity in a home you live in more quickly, or it can be a great investment you turn into a quick profit. But, do make sure you go into it eyes wide open, and do your research and planning, before buying one!