Top 5 Things to Know Before Buying a Fixer-upper

Top 5 Things to Know Before Buying a Fixer-upper

If you’re purchasing your first home or looking to upsize on a tighter budget, you may find yourself viewing homes that need a bit of work. Maybe it’s a new kitchen, all new bathroom fixtures, or brand new flooring throughout.


Whatever your reasons for looking at a fixer-upper, there are a few important things to consider before you accept all that work.


Be honest with yourself about your handiness


While you’re walking through a home, envisioning what it could look like after a “bit” of work, stop and consider your own abilities.


You may be someone who’s quite sure of their carpentry skills or plumbing prowess, but if you’ve never put in the kind of work required to turn a fixer-upper into a dream home, then you may want to reconsider.


Don’t underestimate the time commitment


When people say “fixer-upper” or “handyman’s special,” that usually means the home needs a major overhaul. That involves demolition to certain parts of the home, ordering materials (countertops, flooring, fixtures, etc.), hiring contractors if required and then working around their schedules.


Since you may only be able to update one aspect of your home per year, you may be looking at four or five years of work. Are you prepared to put in the time?


Are the potential costs worth it?


Really analyze the costs involved with getting the home to where you want it to be. It may be priced at $20,000 below assessed value, but is it going to cost $70,000 to bring it to dream home status?


Also, how much are you willing or able to spend on renovations each year? Will you try and knock it all out in one shot or are you going to have to live with certain things for a year or five?


Can you live with the house as is?


In the event that you’re unable to make any renovations due to job loss, financial hardships, or any other number of circumstances, will you be able to live with the home as is?


Even before doing any of the work, can you move in and live there while work is being done, or will you have to wait until certain things are finished before living conditions are up to snuff?


Will you see a return on your investment?


If you’re upgrading a home because you plan on living there for the foreseeable future, then you may not need to worry about this as much. But if you’re looking at selling in a few years, will you make back any of the money you spent on renovations?


Consider the neighbourhood and what other comparable homes are selling for. If you spend $60,000 on upgrades, will you be able to sell the home for that much more when it comes time to move? There is always the risk of upgrading a home beyond the surrounding area.


Get a home inspection!


You already know the home will need some work, but get a professional eye in there to help determine any structural, electrical, or code violation-related issues that you might not see upon first glance.


A home inspector will help you spot problem areas that need immediate attention so that you can better assess your tolerance for the amount of work that needs to be done.


Don’t forget about permits


For some renovations, you’ll need to make sure you have the proper permits in place. You’ll also need to ensure everything you do is up to code to ensure your and your family’s safety and the safety and structural integrity of the home.


You may even have to consult engineers or other building professionals if you’re not an expert. The most important part of any renovation is to make sure your house is still standing afterward!


Questions? Want to go see some fixer-uppers?


If you have any questions about homes that may require some work or you’d like to go and view some for yourself, call or text Gino Cipriano today at 204-955-5853.