Buying a fixer-upper home has become very popular in the last decade. This is because the price of these kinds of homes is a lot cheaper, especially when compared to new-build homes. However, you guessed it – there is a catch! The reason why a fixer-upper home is cheaper is the fact that it needs a lot of love. And, when we say love, we mean a lot of constructional and aesthetical changes, as well as a lot of patience, time, energy, nerves, and money. So, as you can see, buying a fixer-upper home comes with many pros and cons. Thus, you are probably wondering whether buying a home of this kind, either a house or an apartment, is actually worth it. Do not worry, we are here to help you answer that question. We will share with you all the pros and cons of buying a fixer-upper as well as what to pay attention to if you do decide to buy it.
The Pros of Buying a Fixer-Upper
If you already have your eyes set on a certain fixer-upper home, then, let us begin with some good news. There are a lot of ‘pros’ of buying fixer-upper homes. After all, all those people are buying them for a reason. Namely, besides being a lot cheaper than ‘regular, move-in-ready homes’, these houses or apartments also come with the freedom to make them truly yours. This means that you will get the chance to reconstruct, renovate, and redecorate them until they suit all of your needs and preferences.
This will be your chance to create the dream home you always dreamt about. You can make the home environmentally friendly from top to bottom, you can create in-home cinemas, hidden rooms, or whatever tickles your fancy. Moreover, as you will buy the home for a relatively cheap price, and as you will decide where your money will go (when renovating), you probably make this home worth a lot more than you initially paid for it. Thus, if you are on a budget, or if you want a home that is utterly unique and you-oriented, then buying a fixer-upper home is definitely a good idea.
The Cons of Buying a Fixer-Upper
You probably know that everything that has pros must have cons as well. So, yes, this also applies to buying fixer-upper homes. One of the biggest disadvantages of buying this kind of a home is that it really does require a lot of work. You will need to renovate everything inside. Every nook and every corner of the fixer-upper home will have to be tended to. In some cases, you will even have to give the garden a new look as it will probably be ruined by all the construction going around.
Moreover, it is also worth mentioning that fixer-upper homes are never move-in ready! So, if you planned to walk inside with your suitcases and moving boxes, you will have to change your plans. Evaluate the situation yourself! But, keep in mind that reconstructing and renovating fixer-uppers is something that usually lasts for several months.
First Things First – Inspection!
If you do decide to buy a fixer-upper home, be sure to have it thoroughly inspected. Do this before you even sign any contract. Why? Because these kinds of homes come with many hidden costs. You may think that the home you want to buy just needs a fresh coat of paint and new furniture, but with fixer-uppers, that is usually not the case! You may need to change the roof, plumbing, electricity, air conditioning, and who knows what else. Do you really have enough money to do all of this? Or, do you have the energy to do all of this? If you do not, then you know what to do. Hire an architect, a contractor, or even better – hire a certified and experienced home inspector. Only a professional of this kind will be able to tell you whether the house is safe and what kind of work you will have to do.
Estimate Renovation Costs
Do not forget to estimate the renovation costs before buying a fixer-upper home. And, do not forget that renovation also includes reconstruction and decoration of both the interior and the exterior. The previously mentioned professional home inspector can help you with this task. He or she will carefully examine the home you want to buy and tell you everything that needs to be fixed, as previously mentioned. Moreover, he or she will tell you how much all of that is going to cost too. So, once you hear the cost, you will know exactly if you have money in your budget for buying and fixing a fixer-upper or not. If you do, great! Just do not forget to leave aside some money (usually 5% or 10% of the home’s value) for any problems that may occur during the renovation, for moving, and for storage. Yes, you will need to have your home clutter-free, if you want you and the workers to work quickly and in a safe environment.
Check Whether You Need a Building Permit
Last but certainly not the least thing to check before buying a fixer upper home is whether or not you need a building permit. Most homes do. This means that you need to follow certain protocols when reconstructing the home. You may think that this is not a big deal, but if you bought a fixer-upper for the sole reason of making it your dream home, you will be disappointed. Let us clarify. For instance, if your dream home is a home with yellow walls, huge windows, a deck, and a pool – if you do not have a building permit for each and every of those, all you can do is say goodbye to them. Inspectors will come and make you completely reconstruct the home. So, save yourself from these annoying and costly problems by checking whether you need a building permit for the fixer-upper you bought or not.