Should You Buy That Fixer Upper?

There are many popular DIY renovation and professional home renovation television shows.  The reason they are popular is that we love to see someone take something outdated or not particularly functional and give it new life.

There are many popular DIY renovation and professional home renovation television shows.  The reason they are popular is that we love to see someone take something outdated or not particularly functional and give it new life.  We love to see transformation.  If you are shopping for a new home you might be considering investing in a “fixer upper.”  The appeal of a fixer upper to many buyers is that you can typically get a good deal on a home that needs repair.  Some homes only need minimal cosmetic repair, some need total cosmetic makeovers, and others have to be completely gutted.  Cosmetic repairs carry a cost but it is often when homes have to be gutted or need major structural upgrades that the big remodeling costs roll in.

If you are considering purchasing a fixer upper and remodeling it to your taste there are some important things to consider before you sign the mortgage documents.  The first, and most important, is budget.  Consider the cost of the home, how many upgrades you would anticipate making, and how much you are willing to spend.  There are certain places where you can save money – you can purchase the less expensive tile or buy prefabricated cabinets rather than custom – but there are other places where you should absolutely not cut corners.  It may be tempting to save money and cut corners on pricey investments like the roof, plumbing, or electrical but you can never skimp on those things because doing so could end up costing you a lot of money in the long run.  One of the best ways to determine if you can afford the necessary and desired renovations is to have an inspection.  An inspector will be able to tell you if you need to worry about any hidden concerns that could arise during renovations.  With older homes (and even some newer ones) you never know what could be lurking behind the walls.  Get an honest assessment of estimated renovation costs and never forget to build in a buffer because, as anyone who has ever renovated a home before will tell you, there are always hidden costs that will come up during renovation and it will be far less stressful if you plan ahead and have money on reserve just in case.

Another thing to weigh when considering whether or not to invest in a fixer upper is what the estimated market value will be after renovation.  To best determine whether or not the investment is a wise one you want to ensure that the renovations you intend to make for the type of home and neighborhood does not exceed market value.  By calculating this, you will be able to have peace of mind that your renovations will have a good return on investment.  Investing in a fixer upper can pay off big time and allow you to move into your dream home and neighborhood for less money.  But, you must do your homework and work with an experienced and knowledgeable contractor who will be able to guide you through the process and help you bring your renovations to life.

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