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Should You Consider a Fixer-Upper When Buying a Home?

Should You Consider a Fixer-Upper When Buying a Home?. 0

If you are daunted by property listing descriptions that say “Needs TLC” or “Handyman’s Special” or “Bring your tools and imagination!” you’re not alone. Most home buyers prefer a pristine home that shows like new, and the real estate industry spends (and makes) a fortune reinforcing this belief.

Seller agents frequently convince homeowners to spend thousands of dollars on repairs and upgrades, which attract more buyers, push up the home price, and thereby increase their sales commission. Ultimately, the home buyer pays for most of it.

With home prices rising and home inventories remaining lean, considering a home that needs work could be a smart strategy. Of course, there are cautions to keep in mind, and you don’t want to get in over your head! Here are tips to follow when considering fixer-upper!

1. Look for homes in the best locations that need repairs or updating. Consider the neighborhood and quality of the school district.

2. When doing the math on your purchase price and repair costs, also consider the length of time you plan to live in the home.

3. Avoid homes that have structural defects. Unless you are an experienced contractor, tackling a bad foundation can be more expensive than it’s worth.

4. Homes that have “good bones” but require updating can be great investments. Learn to spot the difference between cosmetic issues versus more serious problems, like a bad roof. If possible, have an experienced home inspector accompany you on your first walk-through.

5. Know how much work you can realistically handle. Make a list of what you are willing and able to do on your own. Search for homes that meet this criteria.

6. Obtain a realistic idea of your repair costs. If there’s an issue with the furnace, have a professional provide you with repair estimates. Don’t be shy about getting professional advice from contractors.

7. Fixer-uppers, or homes that need updating, can be found in just about every price range! Don’t assume you have to scrape the bottom of the barrel.

8. Look beyond the Multiple Listing Service. For-Sale-by-Owner homes can be excellent sources of diamonds in the rough, and your Exclusive Buyer Agent can locate and show these properties to you!

Your Exclusive Buyer Agent can refer you to trustworthy home inspectors, lenders, contractors and service professionals to help you with every aspect of your home buying process. Your EBA will also provide you with expert insights and unbiased market advice to help you make informed decisions! Find an EBA in your area today!