A Guide to Buying a Fixer-Upper Home

We all dream of a brand new house with a white picket fence and a big yard, but that’s sometimes way out of our reach. Settling down on a fixer-upper is a more realistic option for those who can’t afford to spend too much money. This can be a great investment if you know what you’re looking for and have an idea what you can do with a house as soon as you see it. Looking for a house you’re going to renovate requires looking at the bigger picture and trying to think about the final result instead of its current state.

Work with professionals

You can do the search on your own, but working with an experienced realtor can help you to get your hands on a truly great home. All the best ones are usually listed within some agencies and if you want to save some time and money, working with someone who can offer you what you want is the best option. Besides that, you need to organize a detailed inspection and examine the entire house in order to decide if it’s worth the investment or not.

Make a list of the things that are important to you and find a professional who can help you to inspect the house thoroughly. Check the plumbing, roofing, asbestos, electrical and heating structure, and make the assessment of all the repairs you’ll need to do. This can seriously break your budget, but it can also be a plus if you find a good house for a fair price.

What to consider when looking

Obviously, start from the location because it’s the only thing you can’t change and sometimes it’s the reason why people buy a certain house. A good property is out of most buyers’ price range, yet most buyers opt for a fixer-upper with an adequate home design in a good neighborhood and then fix it before moving in. On the other hand, the price of a house is negotiable because it revolves around its conditions and investments that are required. You need to decide whether you want to buy a cheaper house and then invest more money, or purchase one that requires only a few renovation projects afterwards.

Cheap projects you can do

If you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and show off how good you are with your hands, you’re about to save a lot of money. Small projects like patching and painting the walls, laying the tiles and carpets, fixing broken doors and windows, and repainting kitchen cabinets are the minor renovations you could do on your own and thus increase the value of your home.

Ask your friends for assistance and see what they can do to help you and be sure to check all the work they’ve done. It’s always more cost-effective when homeowners pitch in and do as much as they can. Buying a fixer-upper is for people who are willing to get their hand on the project and leave only a few major things for professionals.

Determine a budget

You need to be aware that your renovation budget is going to change day after day and you won’t be able to do anything about it. Sure, you can set a certain budget first and try to stick to it, but as soon as you include contractors and permissions, it will only start to rise on its own. Being able to make compromises is crucial unless you want to lose nerves about every new expense.

Try talking to your agent, lowering the price of the house, negotiating with the contractors and thinking about the projects that aren’t as urgent, so that they can be postponed for now. Don’t break the bank with all the unnecessary improvements right away, but make a plan to do them in the future. Doing things in stages will help you to save money for the next project, which is much better than getting yourself tangled in a loop of constant renovations.

Purchasing a house is the biggest decision you’ll ever make and you need to be sure that you’ve made the right choice. Don’t let the setbacks surprise you and be prepared to face all the challenges this adventure will throw at you.

Written by Emma Joyce

Emma B. Joyce is blogger based in Australia. She is a true home decor and DIY fanatic. Emma is interested in music and also is a big reading enthusiast. Finding new designs and patterns is her daily task. She got hooked on home accessories and decorations during her traveling and now cannot stop searching for new inspiration.

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