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Des Moines Homeowners — Is a Fixer-Upper Right for You?

Oct 5, 2021 | Industry News

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There are many reasons buyers think of a fixer-upper as an attractive option — it could be the price, the charm, or the excitement of tackling a big project. For someone with remodeling skills, it can be a terrific opportunity to put in the work and create their dream home. For everyone else though, it can be a more difficult challenge. So, what’s the best way to determine if a Des Moines fixer-upper is right for you? Here are some questions that can help you reach a decision:

Do You Have the Time?

Many of us think we have the time for a fixer-upper, but how much time do you really have to spare? Take a very close look at your current schedule — if your weekends are generally free or you have a flexible work schedule, then taking on the extra work may be doable. If you’re pressed for time in your daily life, you definitely don’t want to underestimate the time commitment of a fixer-upper. You’ll also need to consider how much of the work you can do on your own and how much you’ll need to outsource to professionals.

Do You Have the Budget?

One of the perks of a fixer-upper is the price. Even if you find a house that’s incredibly inexpensive, you want to be sure that you have enough left in your budget to get it into the shape you want, while allowing for some unexpected expenses along the way. Set a maximum budget up front, then work backwards from there. If it’s not in livable condition at first, where will you live in the meantime? Will you need to carry two mortgages? Making these financial calculations in advance will help you immensely later on.

Do You Have the Experience?

Fixer-uppers are often a combination of DIY and professional contractors. It’s all dependent on the condition of the home you purchase and your level of experience. Taking on minor tasks to save money is usually fine, it’s when homeowners start tackling larger projects — like structural work, electrical work, or plumbing — that they can find themselves in over their heads if they don’t have adequate professional experience.

What Are Your Priorities?

One of the best ways to decide if a fixer-upper is right for you is making sure you’re clear on your priorities. Ask yourself: What’s more important, customization or convenience? If the idea of getting to restore a home to your exact specifications sounds more appealing than a stress-free move into a home that doesn’t need any work, then a fixer-upper might be the kind of project you want to take on.


Fixer-uppers often offer charm and aesthetic qualities that newer homes lack, along with a reduced price. If you do your homework in advance, it can be a rewarding project that provides you with many years of comfort.


If you need a recommendation for a local contractor, a local Realtor, or if you need to get preapproved for a mortgage, please reach out. I’m always happy to be of assistance.

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