Before you find yourself knee deep in unforeseen costs and labor, take a pause and consider the work ahead of you. Does the property need a quick touch-up or a full refurbishment? The latter requires a commitment much larger than the mortgage paperwork and a coat of paint. Anyone can lather a nice earth tone over a lavender bathroom, but it takes a certain kind of person to navigate the path toward a successfully renovated Fixer Upper. Are you that person?
I CAN DO IT AFTER WORK AND ON WEEKENDS.....
First of all, how busy are you? Time is a huge factor to consider when taking on the beloved Fixer Upper. If you don’t truly have the time or energy to see it through to the finished product, save yourself the heartache (and potential therapy) and walk away now.
Many of us spend our available cash on the down payment, leaving little for improvement costs. Have you obtained actual estimates to determine what kind of costs you are looking at? For you handy folks, you can definitely save on labor costs with your DIY expertise. Building materials and equipment add up quickly, though, so price out all supplies to ensure you can cover the full remodel. The bank is typically not interested in your creative vision, and many lenders will not release more money than the property is currently worth but there are options, such as a 203K loan to investigate.
HOW HANDY ARE YOU? REALLY.....
Most homeowners can paint a wall like nobody’s business, but hang drywall? Rewire lighting? Lay tile? Maybe not. YouTube has come a long way and you can search how to do just about anything, but if unsafe or you may end up spending more to correct a mistake made, trust in a local handyman or professional.
If you have little knowledge about renovating a home, find a local real estate agent with construction knowledge (hint hint), contractor and/or a designer like myself to assist before you make the purchase.
The Fixer Upper can be a wholly rewarding experience as it allows the buyer space for creativity as well as a strong sense of ownership. It can also bring large financial benefits for those willing to put in the work.