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Is Buying a Fixer-Upper For You?

If you are like most Americans, you have become addicted to Joanna & Chip Gaines’ “Fixer-Upper” show. While the show does make renovating a fixer-upper look like fun, there are a lot of things to consider before jumping in with both feet.

One of the most important decisions is are you buying a fixer-upper to live in yourself or do you plan on turning it around to sell… hopefully for a profit! Your end result will greatly influence decisions you make as to style and design. Are you renovating to appeal to the general home buying public or are you renovating for your own personal taste?

Another consideration if you are purchasing a fixer-upper for yourself is can you live in the home during the renovations or will you need another place to live. A whole lot of stress comes with living in a renovation and if you don’t have family you can stay with during the renovation, there will be additional costs involved with a rental to take into consideration.

Renovating a fixer-upper may sound romantic but do you have the skills necessary to do the repairs needed yourself or will you have to contract out most of the work. Hiring plumbers, electricians, and skilled workmen comes at a substantial cost if you are not able to complete this work yourself. Think about whether you are up to the challenge of construction work or if you really only want to do the decorating… the pretty stuff!

Once, you consider the above factors, there are many additional pros and cons to consider when making your decision to buy a fixer-upper:

The Pros

  1. Lower Purchase Price

    Generally speaking, a fixer-upper can be bought at a lower price than a move-in ready home. National figures show fixer-uppers sell for approximately 8% less than a move-in ready home. A lower sales price will also result in a lower mortgage down payment, lower closing costs, and lower taxes.

  2. Less Competition

    Renovating a fixer-upper home is not for the faint of heart and therefore, not for everyone. This reduces the number of home buyers interested in this type of property. Less competition means you have more negotiating power to get a great deal.

  1. Make It Yours

    No home is perfect. When buying a move-in ready home, you always have to consider your priorities and make some compromises. Renovating a fixer-upper gives you the freedom to customize a home to your liking. Don’t like the kitchen… change it. Want another bathroom… add it. Don’t like the exterior paint color… change it. You are completely in charge of the design.

  1. Quality Control

    Not only are you in charge of the design, you are in charge of which contractors and what design elements suit your needs. You can pick your own flooring. Decide between laminate, granite, and other counter top options. Choose your paint colors. And install that 5 burner stove you have always wanted.

The Cons

  1. Expensive Renovation Costs

You may save money of the initial price of the house, but the savings may be eaten up with expensive renovation costs. Saving $50,000 on the price of a fixer-upper may look like a great savings. However, that same $50,000 can be eaten up by expensive repair costs.

  1. Budgeting Concerns

Renovation budgets are always a challenge. Issues always arise when renovating a fixer-upper, especially an older home, and issues always come with a dollar sign attached. The cost of materials can often change as can the cost of hiring contractors.

  1. Renovation Delays 

As with budgeting, the time needed to compete a renovation is also difficult to anticipate. You are often at the mercy of a contractor’s schedule and the availability of the materials used in the renovation. With delays, there may also be a cost of housing while the renovation is being completed. Renovation delays also come with a dollar sign attached.

  1. Stress Factor

While renovating a fixer-upper is fun and exciting, it comes with additional stress compared to a move-in ready home.

Whatever decision you make, whether it’s buying a move-in ready home, or buying a fixer-upper, are here to help you through every step of the home buying process. Give them a call today, 641-424-HOME.

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