Remember These 3 Things When Buying a Fixer-Upper

by Johana Wolf 06/13/2022

Buying a fixer-upper can be a DIY-lover's dream. A house with plenty of potential for improvements at a great price might seem tempting. However, there are some specific things to search for to make sure you find the right fixer-upper. Here are some tips for what to prioritize to have the best fixer-upper experience:

Be Realistic

A common pitfall of many DIY projects is an unrealistic assessment of the project's difficulty. Before taking on an enormous project like renovations for an entire fixer-upper, take some time to really think about what skills and knowledge are required for smaller home projects.

There's no rule that says you have to fix everything yourself—in fact, things like electrical and plumbing improvements should be done by a licensed professional. However, even small tasks can require skills you might not have thought of beforehand.

Prepare Your Financing

The sooner you have your financing lined up for a fixer-upper project, the sooner you'll know what renovation plans are possible. Research your loan options and make a budget that includes every part of the process. Expenses include a down payment, closing costs and materials for renovations. Many traditional mortgages will let you finance renovations in addition to the regular purchase. Otherwise, you can apply for a renovation-specific mortgage.

Get an Estimate

Even if you plan to DIY your fixer-upper renovations, hiring a professional contractor can help you spot issues you might otherwise miss. Make your own budget and estimate concerning the cost of materials and tools, but leverage the knowledge of a contractor to help you identify major expenses.

If they happen to find significant structural damage, for example, you won't be stuck with an unpleasant surprise halfway through your project. You can get an estimate for what you might need to hire out a professional while also budgeting for yourself. 

About the Author
Author

Johana Wolf

I am a professional Realtor licensed since 1997 who enjoys the challenge of putting transactions together and building relationships along the way!  I'll be Keeping You In the Loop... You can use my website to search properties and much more. Welcome home!