What You Need to Know Before Buying a Fixer-Upper


Triston Martin

Mar 14, 2022

Buying a fixer-upper may be a means for first-time homebuyers to get into the housing market or a way for repeat purchasers to go into a better area or a larger property.

Finding a move-in-ready property might be difficult due to the low supply of homes for sale currently on the market if you're on a tight budget.

According to a poll by Realtor.com, roughly 60 percent of homebuyers said they were open to buying a house that needed upgrades in 2019.

According to Dan Bawden, president, and CEO of Legal Eagle Contractors in Houston, Texas, existing single-family houses that require modifications or repairs often sell for less per square foot than well-maintained homes.

It's important to know what to expect before going bargain hunting – renovations aren't as simple as they appear on television.

Buying a Fixer-Upper? Here's What to Look for

Before putting your life savings into the run-down property down the street, you need to make a few judgments about your end aim, how you plan to undertake improvements, and what you'll do if issues develop, as they frequently do.

Consider these four factors before making a decision:

· Motivation

It's important to know if you want to use the property as a long-term investment or a place to live for at least a few years if you're purchasing a home that requires some maintenance before you buy it.

"It's common for people to buy a property as an investment, but to treat it as if they're going to live there. Before making a purchase, make sure you understand the final aim or action plan.

"A real estate investment firm headquartered mainly in Tennessee known as New Again Houses, Matt Lavinder, the company's president, states.

If you're buying a fixer-upper to resell, Lavinder recommends going with laminate countertops instead of granite because they're more affordable for the usual fixer-upper buyer and tenant.

Fixer-uppers are ideal for those who want to make their new home their home for at least a few years before selling it. It's safe to assume that real estate will gain in value over time even if you have over-improved relative to the rest of the community.

· Scope

This might range from a minor, aesthetic modification to a property on the edge of collapse and needs quick treatment to qualify as a fixer-upper. Determine how far you're willing and able to go for the proper location and pricing before you begin looking for a fixer-upper.

The systems you don't see when walking through a house, such as electrical, plumbing, HVAC, the foundation, and the roof, are typically the source of problems in a house that needs repair.

You may be able to take on difficulties of this magnitude if you have the financial resources to do so. If money is an issue, focusing on cosmetic concerns like new flooring, a reworked kitchen, and fresh paint is the best action.

· Resources

Understanding your budget for both the acquisition and rehab of a fixer-upper is essential before making an offer. It is essential that know-how improvements be accomplished, whether it means spending all of your free time working on the property or hiring a contractor.

To put it another way, Lavinder believes that people must be honest about their financial situation. "There are several issues that they will not be able to address, for example, if they plan to work on the weekends. They can't increase square feet as long as they're using an unlicensed handyman."

· Additive Capacity

There is no point in having a well-thought-out design for the house if it turns out that the house itself has difficulties that go way beyond your expectations. According to Lavinder, "some of those flaws are virtually hard to remedy."

Have a comprehensive examination performed before making an offer on the property so that any problems that may arise may be identified.

Keep an eye out for inspection notes on problems with plumbing, electricity, HVAC, and the general structure, knowing your scope and resources. If you're unable to fix structural flaws, your capacity to increase the home's value is significantly reduced.

What to Expect When Remodeling a Fixer-Upper

Do not expect to discover a property and remodel it for considerably less than a similar move-in-ready home at market rate in today's market of low housing supply, construction labor shortages, and escalating building material costs.

According to the National Association of Realtors, the median price of an existing house sold in the United States in March was $329,100. Of course, existing houses for sale include those recently remodeled and those needing a little TLC.

A fixer-upper should cost less than a nearby move-in ready property of comparable size if the work needed is proportionate to the price difference.

Another thing to consider is the cost and accessibility of building personnel and supplies in your area. For example, timber and raw electrical supplies, according to Lavinder, may be challenging to come by in 2021 due to supply chain concerns.


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