Buying a move-in-ready home can offer a great deal of convenience and peace of mind, but there are also some benefits to buying a fixer-upper. Of course, a fixer-upper home isn't right for everyone, but for some, buying a home that needs a little work can be rewarding in multiple ways. However, there are some things you should keep in mind before you decide to buy a home that you plan to renovate and update.
Repairs Cost Money Too. At first, buying a fixer-upper can seem like a steal. You can get a home for a great price! But don't forget that renovations and repairs cost money too. Before you make an offer on a fixer-upper, you should get an estimate of how much all of the repairs and remodeling will cost. Don't forget to plan for the unexpected and add an extra 10-20% onto the estimate to give yourself some wiggle room. Even if you are doing the work yourself, don't forget about the cost of supplies. Remember: Price of house plus cost of repairs equals the average home price for the area.
DIY. Some repairs and remodeling projects can easily and safely be done by yourself — but not everything! Repairs can take a long time and you could end up with messy or unsafe results if you aren't careful. You can probably easily strip wallpaper and repaint a room but likely shouldn't mess with electrical work. Carpet, wallpaper, paint and old appliances are cosmetic, easy fixes you can usually do yourself.
Other Important Factors. Just like with any home purchase, you should consider the location (including school district) of the home before you make a purchase. A good fixer-upper will have a sturdy construction (skeleton) to work with. This means it is constructed from high-quality materials and has a sturdy foundation.
Just Business. Buying a home can become a very emotional experience, and it can be easy to get caught up in the romance and charm of fixing up a house and making it your own — giving life back to a crumbling home. But that romantic notion can easily become a money sink if you aren't careful. Remember to take a step back and think about how much of an investment you are making when you purchase a home.
The most important thing is to just be honest with yourself about what your budget is, what your DIY abilities are and how much time you are willing to dedicate to remodeling and repairs. Some find renovating a headache while others find it rewarding and invigorating. If you have any questions about the pros and cons of buying a fixer-upper, feel free to contact me.