Buying a fixer-upper is an incredible way to quickly locate a new home with everything you wanted. But unless you have a lot of experience with improving houses, you have to be extremely careful. It is easy to get in over your head. While you absolutely save money on the sale price when you buy a fixer-upper, you need to have a thorough understanding of what you are getting yourself into.
There is a very good rule of thumb that will help save you time, money, and heartache when working with a fixer-upper: Everything will cost twice as much and take twice as long as you think it will. Unless you are using a Realtor who understands how to fix and flip properties, if you are, you should heed their advice.
If you have spent any time at all watching the many HGTV shows about fixing up worn down homes, you’ll know problems usually happen during a renovation. There are always two or three calamities that happen to provide drama that keeps us engaged until after the next commercial break.
The market for fixer-uppers is a bit separate from the general real estate market. The rules are a bit different when you’re dealing with homes that aren’t quite ready for the buyers to move on in. In many cases, you have more buying power than you would with a turn-key property. Sometimes you have a lot more buying power based on the condition of the property. This is why you need to ensure you have the help of a qualified real estate professional who can guide you through the process.
You have to make sure that you go into the buying process with as much information as possible. That means inspections. Possibly multiple inspections. And even a walkthrough with licensed contractors who can give you a ballpark figure of what it costs to purchase and install those Shaker cabinets you want in the kitchen. If you go it alone, you might make a mistake. Your Realtor will have all the connections you need to ensure you can fit everything within your budget.
Of course, there is no guarantee with anything in real estate, and the same goes for when you buy a fixer-upper. You need to have a bold vision for what the home can become, but also a prudent financial plan. Start working with your real estate agent to narrow down your options in terms of location and properties, and you are sure to find the fixer-upper of your dreams.