Buying a home is an exciting time in anyone’s life, and you might be thinking about whether to buy a fixer-upper. If you enjoy getting your hands dirty and finishing projects around the house, you might enjoy finding a house that needs a little work.
However, it’s important to understand the difference between a house that needs some major TLC and a home that just needs a few updates that you can complete over a few weekends. Here are a few factors to consider before you sign on the dotted line to purchase a house that could need a ton of work.
Buy a Fixer-Upper and Score a Great Location
One of the reasons some home buyers choose a fixer-upper is to live in a house in the “perfect” location. Perhaps the house is in a highly desirable school district, or perhaps it’s so close to work that you can use a bike to commute. If you’re prepared to put in the work to make the home livable, deciding to buy a fixer-upper can lead to a bright future in a great neighborhood.
However, it’s also important to analyze your lifestyle and figure out whether the amount of money and time you may need to put into the house is worth the price to live in a particular neighborhood. One of the first steps you need to take before deciding to buy a fixer-upper is speaking with a contractor and getting the house inspected.
“Before you dive in, look carefully at the inspection report, talk with your contractor and study the history of the home and the neighborhood.”
Is the neighborhood an “up and coming” locale where the property values are likely to increase over time? Is the neighborhood experiencing a downturn and likely to prove to be a poor investment over the long term for your family? Is the house in need of a lot more work than what you can afford to put into it over the next year?
It’s essential to make sure your future home comes with as few surprises as possible, and that means doing your homework before you put in an offer or decide that a fixer-upper is your one and only “dream home.”
The Fixer-Upper as Your First Home
Many couples and families purchase what real estate agents refer to as a “starter home” when they buy their first house. The home might not be large on square footage, or it might not be in the perfect location. Perhaps it’s on a busy street, or it’s a little dated.
Buying a fixer-upper as a first-time homeowner requires a leap of faith that you have the time and energy to fix what needs to be fixed and that you will be able to handle any surprises that come your way. If you’ve never bought a house before and you’re looking at a fixer-upper as a way to get into the market without a huge investment, Bob Vila has some advice for you:
“…if the problem is structural, you might want to pass, especially if you’re new to home repair. Fixing it will it be expensive and possibly time-consuming but the issue at hand could be a sign that the house is not in good shape… If any structural issues are found on that inspection, think seriously about whether or not the home is going to be worth the extra cost.”
You might get lucky with your fixer-upper and find that the repairs needed come with very few surprises. Your budget-friendly investment could turn into the best purchase of your life. However, structural problems that you didn’t take the time to inspect could mean an eventual cost equaling the cost of a house in much better condition.
Want to Buy a Fixer-Upper? Let Gettum Associates Help
Whether you need assistance with some minor cosmetic issues or your house needs a completely new roof, we can help. We offer an on-site consultation, and we can help you figure out how much extra work your fixer-upper will need.
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