Are Fixer-Upper Homes Worth the Investment?

Is Buying a Fixer-Upper Home to Move Into a Good Idea?

If you’re looking for a fixer-upper to live in, you might be wondering if the benefits are worth the tradeoffs. Today we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of these homes to aid in your decision of whether or not fixer-uppers are worth the investment.

Pros of Fixer-Uppers

One of the major benefits of a fixer-upper is the price, as these homes are usually deeply discounted to entice buyers with lower prices, and property taxes will reflect the going rate. You’ll also gain a higher level of customization since chances are walls will need to be torn down and kitchens/bathrooms gutted.

Cons of Fixer-Uppers

The big drawback is fixer-uppers tend to be a lot of work and this can complicate your move-in timeline. There’s also the risk of coming across unforeseen issues or costly fixes as renovations get underway.

Tips for Buying Fixer-Uppers

The definition of a fixer-upper is broad since repairs could be minor or major. It’s important to take a few extra steps before signing on the dotted line so you know what you’re getting.

  • Get a home inspection. Inspections by a professional are worth the cost because they’ll tell you about any serious structural or other costly defects. Alternately, they can confirm if problems are strictly cosmetic.
  • Estimate renovation costs. Buying a fixer-upper may come at a great price, but if you’re going to sink tens of thousands (or more) to bring it up to living standards, you might be better off buying a move-in-ready home.
  • Determine DIY work. Depending on how handy you are and if you have a place you can live, you may be able to bring down high renovation costs by taking the DIY route.
  • Learn about permits. Many counties and municipalities are fairly specific when it comes to what needs permitting when work is done on homes. Once you know what repairs and renovations are needed, check to see what’s involved where permitting is concerned.

Lastly, explore the different fixer-upper loan options and make a good offer – be sure you’re not overpaying for a home that, once renovation costs are factored in, you’re paying more than the going market rate.

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