Planning to buy a fixer-upper property? If you’re trying to save money, that would be a wise decision – irrespective of whether you’re a first-time buyer, want to reside in a better neighbourhood or simply have an appetite for refurbishing and redecorating homes. However, saving money should not be your only reason for choosing to buy a fixer-upper – there are other things you may want to consider.
The real estate industry may be a lucrative option for an investment, but it is also a huge gamble. There are risks involved and it can get messy if you’re not careful. At a time when technology has levelled the field and introduced concepts like virtual real estate viewings to the world, sellers have found a cheaper means of showcasing properties to a global audience, which actively demonstrates an increase in profitability of the real estate market.
This is the reason why many homebuyers, especially first-timers, go for fixer-uppers, because unlike other residential properties, the prices of fixer-uppers don’t depend upon the condition of the local real estate market. For those unaware, fixer-upper properties are those that may require repair – redecoration, reconstruction or redesign – though it usually can be lived in or used as it is. If you think this kind of property would be the perfect fit for you, make sure you keep the following things in mind.
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1. Always Have a Plan
If you’ve decided to go in for a fixer-upper, it is crucial for you to have a plan, because if you’re not careful, there are chances of your budget going haywire due to the amount of money that goes into renovating a home and also causing a delay. If you plan to do most of the repairing and renovating yourself, you might require professional help at some point. Make sure you incorporate things like electrical fixes and plumbing to your budget as well.
2. Pick Profitable Projects
While you’re going through the process of selecting a fixer-upper, make sure you’re aware of what an ideal one should be like. The ones that need mostly cosmetic improvements, like drywall repairs, paint touch-ups and floor refinishing, cost lesser than what they return in market value. Other lucrative enhancements include windows, doors, siding, light fixtures, as well as renewed washrooms and kitchens.
3. Don’t Overdo It
Keep in mind the finishing of adjacent houses. Avoid spending your money on things like granite countertops, expensive bathroom fixtures and marble floorings if most of those houses have lower-end furnishings. Make sure the fixer-upper you choose falls in line with the standard of homes in your neighbourhood.
4. Location is Key
Location plays a big role when choosing any kind of property, even if it’s a fixer-upper. Why? It may be possible to fix and repair a home, but you won’t be able to change its location – that’s the one thing that’s a permanent fixture. Pick a fixer-upper in a location that is in a neighbourhood you love – one that is not near a busy intersection, across the street from an entrance to a landfill, or next to a school. For inspiration, check out houses that surround the fixer you are eyeing and you will know whether you’re choosing right or not.
5. Get a Home Inspection Done
Once you’ve picked the perfect fixer-upper for yourself, the next step is inspection. Make sure you get a trusted home inspector along so that they can point out potential flaws or critical issues if any to avoid problems at a later stage. Taking a look at things like the overall structure of the house, crawlspaces, insulation, and the foundation is crucial.
So, there you have it! Keep these points in mind when you’re checking out fixers for yourself. If you’re coming up empty-handed, there is always the option of virtual property visits. A lot of sellers and brokers are using this platform to reach out to a wider audience and since it costs less, there are many options to choose from on the virtual front. From virtual site tours to virtual open houses, there’s everything you need. You just might get what you want!