HOW TO ASSESS THE TRUE COST OF BUYING A FIXER UPPER
BUYING A FIXER UPPER: GOOD DEAL OR MONEY PIT?
If you’re like us, you love HGTV. Fixer Upper is part of your heavy show rotation, and you just can’t get enough of the amazing reveals. With fixer upper culture truly ingrained in our group consciousness and 64% of millennials saying “they could complete an entire room remodel project without any help from a professional,” many savvy homebuyers are going DIY.
But, how do you know if buying a fixer upper is a good idea? Will it save or squander your time and money? Here are a few essentials to consider…
1| FIGURE OUT IF YOU’RE WILLING TO WAIT
Renovations take time. Taking on big DIY projects may mean that it takes longer for your home to be comfortable or even livable. Make sure you have a backup living option (and take into account the costs associated with it) or are willing to live in less-than-desirable conditions while you work on your home.
2| BE HONEST ABOUT YOUR ABILITIES AND RESOURCES
How much will you be able to do yourself and how much will you be relying in other people? Are those people available to give you the help you need? Do you have the time to realistically renovate the home within what you consider a good time frame? The worst thing that can happen is for you to end up with a home that’s only half finished and no time to complete the project.
3| WILL YOU COME AHEAD ONCE YOU’RE DONE WITH THE RENOVATIONS?
Part of the beauty of a fixer upper is getting an accepted offer under asking price. Look for a good deal and make sure you do your research. Our agents will help you review selling prices of similar homes in the area to ensure that your offer is as low as it makes sense, without causing you to miss your shot or offend the seller. Once you have that information, keep in mind how much work needs to be done and get estimates for project costs from someone knowledgeable. Buying a fixer upper only makes sense as an investment if you are able to add significant value to the property and still make a good profit if you were to sell it.
4| CONSIDER THE OBSTACLES TO RESELLING
Even if you’re a talented DIY-er, that fixer upper with lots of neighborhood noise or close proximity to a dump will still be hard to sell after you work your magic. Make sure you’re protecting your investment in every sense of the word by choosing a fixer upper with minimal external issues like noise pollution, location problems, etc., even if you’re planning for it to be your forever home.
5| KNOW WHEN TO CALL IN THE EXPERTS AND HOW MUCH THAT WILL COST
Unless you’ve got accreditation, experience, or licenses to back you up, some things are best left to the experts, such as electric and plumbing work. These are things that, should they go wrong, could cause you huge problems in the future. Know your limits and keep in mind contractor costs when you’re deciding whether a fixer upper is a good investment or not.
6| CHECK LOCAL ORDINANCES AND ZONING LAWS
ValuePenguin suggests heading to your local town inspectors office to see if there are any legal roadblocks between you and your fixer upper. Make sure you’re allowed to make the upgrades you want to make. While you’re at it, don’t forget to check if there are any permits you will have to file to complete the work you need done, and keep track of any costs associated.
While there certainly are important things to consider, fixer uppers can be great and fun investments. If done right, you can end up with a property that is closer to the home of your dreams that you could have found “off the rack.”
Looking for a fixer upper in Madison? Our realty experts will match you with that perfect mid-century modern gem or Victorian masterpiece that’s waiting for your personal touch. Want something move-in ready? We can do that, too.