Realistic Advice for First-Time Home Buyers Considering a Fixer-Upper

House Rehab
Indoor Rehab







Buying a fixer-upper home requires extensive consideration, commitment, and hard work. Without careful planning, you can quickly exhaust your budget and get stuck with half-finished repairs. But when done right, you can save money and live in the home of your dreams.


Decide if a Fixer-Upper Is Worth It


Depending on your area, a fixer-upper may not be the financial investment you’re hoping for. Check out the real estate history in your neighborhood to determine what your home’s resale value could be. Talk to a real estate agent about environmental projects and property development in your area that could have a positive impact on your home’s value.


You also need to request an extensive inspection by a professional house inspector. An inspector will let you know if the house has major structural issues that can threaten your budget. Hidden upgrades, such as replacing the heating system, can cost a lot without increasing your home’s resale value.


Don’t go overboard with the renovations. You want to keep your home’s value within your area’s housing market. Daily Monitor warns that if wood and stone finishing are not in line with other houses in your neighborhood, you may not be reimbursed for the extra spending when you sell. Put your money into prime features like countertops, floors, and appliances, and choose cheaper options for your cupboards and storage.


How to Find a Fixer-Upper Home to Buy


If you’re up to the task of renovating a home, start searching for fixer-uppers in your area. You’ll get the best deal on an ugly fixer-upper that needs a lot of work instead of a house that only needs a few cosmetic touch-ups. Just make sure the home is structurally in good shape. Fixer-uppers that require more work may have no curb appeal, poor interior décor, old kitchens and bathrooms, an awkward room layout, and dark interiors.


Remember that bargain fixer-uppers are often found in bad neighborhoods. You won’t get high offers for your home if the houses around it need extensive repair work. Look for nearby schools, safe streets, and an attractive neighborhood. You may be able to find affordable fixer-uppers in marginal areas bordering upscale neighborhoods. MoneySense repeats the classic advice: “Buy the worst house on a good street.”


Making an Offer


Fixer-uppers range in price depending on location and the magnitude of repairs required. Just to give you an idea of cost, the average listing price for a fixer-upper home in Houston, Texas, is $310,000. Before making an offer to the seller, price all the repairs you’ll need to do and get a cost estimate from a contractor. Add at least another 10% for unexpected repairs. Then, calculate a fair offer by taking what your home would be worth if it was in good shape and subtracting the repair and upgrade costs you’ve come up with.


DIY Projects in Your New Home


First, hire a professional for any priority repairs to your heating, electrical, and plumbing systems. After this, you’re free to attempt many repairs yourself! For example, renovating your bathroom can be done with simple DIY skills. You can upgrade your shower, sink, and toilet with energy-efficient appliances for a possible government rebate. You can replace the floors in your home, paint the walls, and even update your lighting fixtures. Make sure you have the right power tools for vanities, kitchen cabinets, drywall, and wood trimmings. For example, a drill, sander, jigsaw, nail gun, and an oscillating multi-tool will make quick work of your DIY projects.


Once you’re done fixing up your home, all that’s left to do is decide whether to stay or sell. If you’re looking to sell, you could get a great return on your initial investment thanks to all your hard work. If you decide to stay, you can live in a beautiful house that you’ve helped design. So stretch your DIY muscles and create the home of your dream


Feature by:

Bret Engle |

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