Buying A Fixer Upper Home
Buying a shattered, broken down house can be a few renovations away from the dream home you’ve always wanted … as long as you know what you’re getting into. The lure for those who love old houses and love to get their hands dirty can be pretty strong when they see an easy opportunity to create something amazing. You might even be thinking it’ll be worth twice what you paid for when you get done. But there are a few things to keep in mind when buying a fixer upper … and if this is your first buy, pay close attention.
Do the Math
The first and most obvious step you should consider before buying a fixer upper is the cost. Add up the price of the house, materials to renovate, and most importantly, labor. Then, subtract it from overall neighborhood listing prices and determine if it’s worth your effort. Be sure to add in unforeseen problems and expenses that you might experience along the way.
Find the Right House
Buying any fixer upper is a rookie’s mistake. Take careful time to find a decent home in the best neighborhood you can afford. Get a certified inspection and rough estimation of fixing costs before you decide anything. The best type of home you can buy is one that only needs some cosmetic improvements – paint touchups, drywall repairs, and floor refinishing. If the home has structural problems, it’s advised to stay away from it all together, because the cost of repairing roofing or the frame doesn’t add to the potential value of the home. (Essentially, it’s more costly doing those repairs than doing simple repairs like kitchen upgrades.)
Get Your Hands Dirty and Roll Up Your Sleeves
The more you pitch in on the renovation, the more you save. It’s simple math. Having someone else do all the work is going to cost money, and it’s easier to make investment earnings when you don’t spend as much. So be prepared to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty. Make the most out of your buck.
If you’re not the hands-on-type, be prepared to supervise contractors for an extended amount of time. You need to make sure they do the job you want and make sure there aren’t any delays.
Reap the Rewards
If you properly plan and calculate the costs to fixing a good home, you can be sure you’ll gain a lot on your investment. It’s often risky, stressful, and time-consuming, but when you finish renovating the home, there will be no greater feeling than having accomplished something. All that’s left to say is: “Congratulations on your dream home!”