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Serving South Florida

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For over 35 years

Should You Buy A Fixer-Upper Home?

Buying a fixer upper  home comes with some unique advantages. For one, the price point for a fixer upper home  will be lower than a comparable home that is in excellent shape. By paying less for a fixer upper home, you can have more of an opportunity to customize and tailor it to fit your unique taste and personality. Indeed, many fixer upper homes are great investments for people willing to put in the time and effort to transform a house into a home. On the flip side, some fixer upper homes might turn out to be more of a cash pit than a profitable purchase. Before you start your search for a fixer upper property, here are a few questions to ask to ensure that you will get the right fixer upper home for your budget, abilities, and future goals.

Has a professional home inspector done a report on the house? 

It is essential that you use an Exclusive Buyer Agent that is working for you and not for themselves or the Sellers. They will be able to identify issues with the area and have resources for buyer oriented inspectors who will give a hard look at the property.

You should be prepared to pay for several inspections and secure cost estimates before you make a final decision on purchasing a fixer upper home.

Some problems in a fixer upper homes are obvious, while others might be hidden beneath the floorboards, walls, or surfaces. Having a professional home inspector check out the house before you buy will give you a realistic idea of what kind of condition the home is in and what repairs it needs.

How many repairs can you do on your own?

Minor aesthetic repairs, such as removing popcorn ceilings, painting the walls, or adding a backsplash to the kitchen can often be done on your own. Expensive repair bills come when there is damage to the structural integrity of the home. These types of repairs will likely require outside help to fix. For example, if the foundation of the home is warped or severely cracked, or if there is extensive termite damage, or the roof of the house needs to be replaced, you must hire an outside contractor. Without pricing these major repairs before buying the home, you could have a higher repair bill than you anticipate.

How much will each repair cost? 

Once you have your list of repairs, it’s time to dig in and start researching the price of each item to fix. For aesthetic repairs, visit your local home improvement store and speak with a sales associate about how much the supplies will cost. For any repair that requires an outside contractor, request bids from local shops. You want to get a realistic idea of what your home repairs will cost to make sure that you will not go over your budget.

Add 20% to your budget for all the unexpected costs that will come with any renovation project.

What expenses am I not considering?

You should take into consideration whether you will be planning to live on or off premises. It’s more economical to live on premises, but for those homes undergoing extensive remodels, this may be unpleasant or not even an option. But, if you do choose to live on the premises you will have to be prepared to live with dust – a lot of dust. Your home will be a construction zone for well up to a year or beyond.

If you plan on doing extensive renovations, then living in the home is not an option. You need to consider the costs of storing your belonging, cost of alternative housing, carrying the property while under renovation, etc.

How much value can you add to the home?

Ultimately, the goal of buying a fixer upper is to create a cozy place to live and to ensure that you will make a financially sound investment. If you find a fixer upper that you are interested in, talk to a reliable real estate agent or home appraiser about each major repair you’re planning to make so you can get a reasonable estimate of how much value you can actually add to the home. You can also take a look at other homes in the area that do not need repair to see what they’re selling for.

Fixer upper homes require you to do your due diligence before signing on the dotted line, and revamping a home can be an exciting experience under the right circumstances. With these tips, you can start your search for a home