Buying a Fixer-Upper? Here’s What You Need to Know


Let’s face it: buying the house of your dreams might be a little over-budget (okay, maybe way over-budget). It’s understandable to settle for a home that needs a little “TLC.” After all, it could be a lot of fun.

Not to mention, the return on the house could be well worth the work if you decide to sell it down the line (a little paint and minor renovations goes a long way).

However, while the location of your home might be perfect and the price tag highly appealing, buying a fixer-upper can come with special considerations.

With that said, you’ll want to make sure you ask all the right questions before purchasing what will soon be one of your biggest DIY projects.

4 Things to Consider After Buying a Fixer-Upper

We all know remodeling has its headaches. Even if you think you’re prepared, keep in mind these four things when taking the leap with your new fixer-upper.

1. Your Budget May Take an Unexpected Hit

Since you’ll be saving on your home-buying budget, it makes sense that you’ll have more money to put into the renovations, right? The answer is both yes and no.

Yes, it’s true you’ll have some extra cash for minor projects here and there, especially if you’ve made the commitment to put in the extra elbow grease around the house.

However, the money you saved when you first bought your home might circle back each month in unexpected home repairs and major structural issues.

Try building in a 10 to 20 percent buffer when you’re first creating your budget.

2. Research Your Contractors

With a tight timeline and even tighter budget, it may be tempting to hire the first contractor you come across. Before you do, be sure to check if they have an online presence.

If so, are their reviews positive? If not, it’s wise to move on to another contractor with a better reputation. Otherwise, you may end up with an unfinished job and a difficult time finding someone else to finish the work.

3. Expect Some Delays

It’s easy to become anxious while working on your fixer-upper. After all, the sooner you finish the work, the sooner you can start enjoying it. However, be prepared for minor setbacks in your timeline.

In addition to the time it takes to make any cosmetic changes, be sure to allot extra time for licenses and permits in case you want to change anything structurally (another possible item to add in your budget).

4. Pay for Two Inspections

A fixer-upper usually comes with a hefty list of issues from the home inspector. After you negotiate these issues with the seller, it may be a good idea to hire the inspector to come back and ensure these repair requests were completed. This is also a great time to show them any additional items that no one caught during the first inspection.

Buying a fixer-upper can be a truly rewarding experience. As long as you make informed decisions, do your research, and hire trusted professionals, you’ll be enjoying your hard-earned home in no time.