5 Important Things to Consider Before Buying a Fixer-Upper Home

Purchasing a fixer-upper property can be an exciting and rewarding experience. HGTV is filled with programs of amateurs knocking down walls and tiling bathroom floors. The fact is that this is much harder than it looks and before diving headfirst into this kind of project, it’s critical to consider whether you are prepared for the venture. The following are five important things to consider before buying a fixer-upper home.

1. Financial Planning – The first step in buying a fixer-upper home is to establish a realistic budget. Include the purchase price, repair costs, and any expected expenses for renovation or restoration. Once you have created a “known” list, then add extra for unexpected issues that will arise. Always expect the unexpected!

2. Time and Effort – Renovating a fixer-upper takes time and effort, even if you hire a general contractor to oversee the project. Consider the overall scope of the project and evaluate your skills and level of time commitment. Are you willing to live in the home through renovations or is this something that needs to be completed prior to move-in? This could drastically impact the timeline and whether or not it is the right purchase. 

3. Structural Condition – Before making an offer, thoroughly inspect the property’s structure and foundation. Recognize the impact of any issues that may be surprises and make sure to budget for the proper corrections. So much can be done in a home with good bones and a strong structure. 

4. Real Estate Market and Location – Even a beautiful home in an undesirable location is a bad investment. Consider such factors as property values, market trends and the potential for future appreciation. Buying a fixer upper in a great location can be a huge opportunity and overall win. Work with knowledgeable advisors to make sure the investment fits your long-term goals.   

5. Legal Considerations – Before writing the offer, familiarize yourself with local building codes, permit requirements, and zoning regulations. Ensure the changes you anticipate align with local requirements. Some areas have very strict covenants while in other areas there are no covenants and you have complete freedom! A knowledgeable real estate professional can help you get the covenants to assist you in making your decision.

Purchasing a fixer-upper home can be a wonderful investment and worthwhile project. By evaluating your budget, time commitment, property condition, and potential appreciation, you can be sure to choose the right situation for your goals and experience.  Within our Team at Hart we have quite a bit of experience with home renovations (and even living in the home through the project!). We have found that not only can it be deeply rewarding when it is done, it can really pay off long term on resale. We look forward to sharing more in depth renovations in future blogs! If you need are assistance, please reach out HERE!  

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