What to Know About Buying a Fixer Upper

Some homebuyers are looking for a place that’s move-in-ready; for a home that needs very little in the way of maintenance, updates, or remodeling.

For other buyers, though, the thought of a fixer upper has ample appeal. Maybe you’re the kind of buyer who likes having a project. Maybe you want an older place that you can renovate to your exact specifications. Or maybe you just want to save money by buying a place with good bones, but needs some real TLC.

If you’re considering the purchase of a fixer upper, we invite you to spend just a few minutes considering the following guidelines and tips, which will ensure you’re making a truly informed purchase.

Also remember: If you’re on the other side of the table and want to sell your home, fixer upper or otherwise, we welcome you to claim your SOLD.com report today. Find out the best way to sell a house!

Now, back to fixer uppers.

Your Guide to Buying a Fixer Upper

  1. There are going to be some tradeoffs. First, just make sure you remember that fixer uppers always come with their share of pros and cons. Often, these older homes, in less than stellar repair, give you a way to buy into an established neighborhood for much less than what it would normally cost you. However, the repair needs of the home may be significant.
  2. You’ll want to have an inspection. You can see for yourself if the paint is peeling or the carpets need to be replaced. What you may not have an eye for is whether or not the bones of the house are solid. A professional home inspector can tell you whether the issues with the house are purely cosmetic, or more systemic and serious.
  3. It’s critical to know what you can and can’t do yourself. As you seek to restore the property to its full glory, you’ll want to be as cost-effective as you can be; if you spend too much money on repairs, it counteracts all the savings you got when you purchased the place. Certain tasks, like painting or ripping up old carpet, you can do by yourself and save money. But when it comes to advanced plumbing or electrical projects, it may be wise to hire a contractor… not just for reasons of personal safety, but to make sure the repairs are made properly and expediently.
  4. You should always vet your vendors properly. Chances are, you’ll need to hire some professionals to help with some of your fixer upper projects. This is true even for those who are extremely DIY-minded. And when you do hire someone, it’s important to do your due diligence. Ask for recommendations from friends or even from your real estate agent. Get quotes from multiple vendors. Check insurance, certifications, and references. And make sure the scope of the work is clearly outlined in a written contract.
  5. Shop around for materials. Again, in the interest of maintaining those profit margins, you’ll want to be careful about the materials you buy, whether that’s paint, flooring materials, or whatever else. Always shop around for good prices. And, be sure you’re making apples to apples comparisons, checking prices on items that are of a similar quality and come with similar warranties (where applicable).
  6. Remember, it may take some time. You’ll need to have patience throughout the fixer upper process, remembering that your home isn’t going to become a palace overnight. Hang in there and remember that you can do certain things in stages. Your home doesn’t have to be completely faultless and put-together for you to move in!

With these tips, you can make a more informed decision about buying a fixer upper… and, about turning it into the home of your dreams!

What About Getting Your House Sold?

Meanwhile, what about those looking for the best way to sell a house… fixer upper or otherwise?

As you try to get your place sold, seek guidance from the SOLD.com seller’s report. In it, you’ll get custom tips for selling your own property and achieving your real estate goals. Request your FREE seller’s report from SOLD.com today!