Buying a Fixer Upper: What You Need to Know First

Mar 05 2019
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Of course when asked the question, “Should I buy a Fixer Upper?” I’m just a tad bit biased lol. Was my Grandma’s house a ridiculous amount of work? Absolutely. Did I give up bucket loads of blood sweat and tears for this place? Absolutely. Do I have any regrets doing this myself? Not a single one. DIYing a fixer upper can literally give you the home of your dreams but it will be about twice the work and time then you ever initially thought!

Because I was willing to do all of the work at 30 years old I moved into my dream home. And the fact that this home was my Grandparents’ house just made it that much more meaningful. If you’re willing (and capable) a fixer upper can literally make your dreams come true!

There are two main choices when you’re buying a rental property to rent, you can choose a house that's finished or a fixer upper and save even more money
(This is a contributed post, for more information about my compensation please read my disclosure policy)

There are plenty of benefits of buying a fixer upper home, such as a lower cost, the ability to create the space that suits your style, and a feeling of accomplishment for doing it yourself.

However, a fixer upper is a big responsibility that some homeowners don’t truly think about beforehand. If you are interested in buying a fixer upper, these are the things you need to know first.

Know your timeline.

Your timeline will depend on the condition of the home and your current living situation. For instance, if you’re buying a fixer upper that needs to be totally gutted and put back together, your timeline will be a lot longer. If you don’t have this type of time, then a fixer upper in this condition is not the best move.

However, if you don’t have to be out of your current place for a while and have the time to work on it then it could be a good idea.

In addition, if you can live in the fixer upper while you’re working on it, this will change your timeline too. Just be sure to know your timeline and have a plan in place. After all, the last thing you want to do is have a home you can’t live in without somewhere else to live.

Know your budget.

Budgeting for a fixer upper can be tricky, especially if you don’t entirely know what you’re getting into.

You don’t want to spend all your money before the house is finished, as this could put you in a very bad predicament. Instead, you need to truly know your budget and ensure you are staying on track when you are buying all your materials. Your budget should also include anything associated with the move, such as moving into the house.

Oftentimes moving companies can provide a cost-effective solution. (For more information on a Los Angeles moving company click here.)

There are two main choices when you’re buying a rental property to rent, you can choose a house that's finished or a fixer upper and save even more money

Know what you’re getting into.

Many homeowners think they can tackle a fixer upper on their own because they watched HGTV or YouTube videos. And while these are educational and you may learn a thing or two, they don’t prepare you to take on a huge project.

Before you invest in a fixer upper, be sure to have it inspected to know exactly what you’re getting into. For instance, if you buy a home that you think just needs some new drywall and paint and you realize there’s an issue with the foundation, you will blow your budget out of the water.

This is why having an inspection with a professional can help you know exactly what you’re getting into. And if you do come across a problem after you’ve purchased the home, don’t try to be the hero and tackle it yourself if you really don’t know what you’re doing.

Know the neighborhood.

One of the benefits of buying a fixer upper is knowing that there will be plenty of equity in your home once you’re done with the renovations.

However, before you start finishing the home, you need to fully understand the neighborhood. For instance, if you put all high-end finishes in a neighborhood that is pretty basic, your house will certainly stand out, but you won’t get a good return on your investment.

There are two main choices when you’re buying a rental property to rent, you can choose a house that's finished or a fixer upper and save even more money

Instead, you want to make sure the finishes you do are comparable to those in the neighborhood.

After all, if your home is way overpriced for the neighborhood, you will not get this price if you decide to sell, and all that money you put in will have been for nothing. Do your research ahead of time and know if you will be making the appropriate decisions for the house in your neighborhood.

Know your purpose.

When it comes to tackling a fixer upper, you need to know your purpose. For instance, are you fixing this up so you can live in it, or are you fixing it up so you can sell it for a profit?

These purposes will make a difference in your budget, timeline, and overall design style of the home, so you need to truly understand why you’re fixing this home. Once you know your purpose, you can figure out all the other details to match.

Fixer upper homes are a great way to save money on a house and bring new life to something old. If you’re interested in renovating a fixer upper, be sure you understand all of these things first.

(This is a contributed post, for more information about my compensation please read my disclosure policy)
There are plenty of benefits of buying a fixer upper home, such as a lower cost, the ability to create the space that suits your style and accomplishment

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