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Buying a fixer-upper is sometimes the best way to get into a super neighborhood when you’re on a budget. Other people simply have a passion for bringing a home to its full potential. No matter the reason, there’s plenty to consider before you commit to a fixer-upper for your next home.
We asked Dave’s Facebook followers about their experiences dealing with fixer-upper homes and invited them to give their advice to homeowners planning to do the same.
Laura L. kicked things off with a simple, but valuable insight: “Make sure that your marriage is strong. Buying a fixer-upper will likely be one of the more trying times for your union.”
Kymberly S. agreed and painted a picture of life in a fixer-upper. “It will resemble nothing ‘As Seen on TV,’” Kymberly said. “It won’t be done in 30 minutes. You won't be laughing uproariously in cute coveralls while swinging a sledgehammer or slinging paint.
“You will get ready for work with sawdust on your clothes and paint in your hair,” she continued. “If you have children, their baby photos will generally have tools, unfinished drywall and saw horses in the background. It is worth every minute if you enjoy it and love the house.”
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The most common advice we saw was to over-budget in both time and money. “Make a reasonable estimate of the time and money you think it will take and then multiply it by five,” Audrey P. told us. “If you can deal with that, go for it.”
Audrey may be exaggerating, but it is smart to plan for the unexpected. You’ll never truly know what you’re getting into until you start ripping down walls, and it’s easy to blow your budget repairing faulty wiring or wonky framing.
It’s also important to know the limits of your own do-it-yourself skills. “Understand that some elements of the fix-up require a professional,” Bob H. advised. “Major electrical and plumbing are areas where a pro should be brought in for safety.”
A truly successful fixer-upper depends as much on the choice of home as it does on the remodel itself.
“There is a huge difference in a fixer-upper that needs wall repair or a roof and one that has a foundation problem,” Pamela W. said. A home inspection will identify a home’s problems before you buy.
“A good real estate agent who knows your skill level will help make sure you don’t get in over your head,” Derek V. told us. “Our agent steered us away from a few ‘dream’ homes because she had a non-emotional view of the house.”
Work With a Pro to Find Your Fixer Upper
If you’re looking for a fixer-upper in a great neighborhood, you can trust one of Dave’s Endorsed Local Providers (ELPs) to find the home that’s right for you. Your ELP will help you spot great deals with tons of potential while helping you avoid the proverbial “money pit.” Find your ELP today!