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Whether it’s the charming details or low price tag, there are many reasons buyers are attracted to fixer-uppers. For some, these are a great opportunity to unleash their creativity and create their dream home. For others though, they can be a more difficult challenge. So, how can buyers determine if a fixer-upper is right for them? Here are a few key questions that can help buyers get a bit of clarity:
How Much Time Do You Have?
It’s easy to think you have time for a fixer-upper. But it’s important to take a close look at your current schedule. How much time do you really have to spare? If you have wide-open weekends or a more flexible work schedule, perhaps adding in the work needed to turn a fixer-upper into a home would be an easy transition. If you’re already feeling like it’s challenging to fit it all in though, you don’t want to underestimate the time commitment of a fixer-up. Of course, buyers will also need to take into account how much of the work they plan to do themselves versus sourcing out to professions.
What is Your Budget?
While the list price will likely come in under budget, it’s still important for buyers to know how much they can spend and invest in a home. It’s important to set that max budget first and work backward from there. Even if a house is incredibly inexpensive, you want to ensure you have enough to get it into the shape you want and to allow for some unexpected expenses along the way. If the fixer-upper isn’t yet livable, buyers also need to factor in where they’ll be living in the meantime. Will they need to carry two mortgages? This is another important financial calculation to make in advance.
How Much Experience Do You Have?
As I mentioned above, fixer-uppers are often a blend of DIY and professional contractors. It depends on the state of the home you purchase and your level of experience. Maybe you’re a great painter or are fine with a slightly less-than-perfect paint job. Taking on a task like that and saving some money is often fine. But when homeowners make the leap to tackling larger projects on their own, like things relating to the structural integrity of their home, electric system, or plumbing, for example, they can often get in over their heads if they don’t have professional experience.
What Are Your Priorities?
I think one of the most important considerations when it comes to deciding if a fixer-upper is right for you is your priorities. A key question here: What is more important to you - customization or convenience? If the prospect of getting to restore a home and set it up exactly the way you’d like sounds more appealing than a stress-free move into a home that’s ready to go, then a fixer-upper might be an adventure you want to take on.
What are your thoughts on fixer-uppers? Have you ever considered purchasing one yourself? Do you have any experience restoring a home? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!