Considering Buying a Fixer Upper Home? Read This Strategy Guide FirstBuying a fixer upper home can be both a challenging and exciting endeavor. While some buyers come across that oceanfront gem that only requires minor and superficial repairs, those lacking the right fixer upper strategies concerning buying can find themselves unexpectedly dealing with a money pit. Here's how to spot a fixer upper that boasts all the benefits such as a low sales price with potential for resale profit or that can become a dream home that owners can happily occupy themselves.

Things to Look For in a Solid Fixer Upper Investment

Whether selling or occupying the home is the end goal, these fixer upper strategies can help buyers make wise and informed decisions to avoid buyer's remorse.

Layout and Configuration—Those planning to flip the house will want to appeal to the area's largest buyer pool, which are typically three bedroom units with multiple baths. However, two bedrooms often appeal to small families, couples and first-time buyers. Many older homes tend to be segmented and closed off, so look for open and airy layouts with multiple existing entryways into living spaces for aesthetic appeal and comfort.

Location, Location—This is essential for both resale considerations and especially important for buyers who plan to live in the home. Avoid areas nearby noisy streets and highly trafficked shopping centers to avoid noise concerns. One might also want to stay away from properties nearby power plants, waste facilities and other areas that may be hazardous. Beyond that, make sure that the investment is worthwhile by checking out local average home sales via public records.

Condition—This aspect is so essential, that it warrants its own section below.

Evaluating Condition and Repair Costs: Is That Fixer Upper a Good Buy?

What some individuals may find to be easy DIY projects others may find daunting. This makes determining the overall condition and the cost of such repairs the most vital aspect of buying a fixer upper Island Heights home. There's a significant difference in the cost and time that must be invested in major rehabilitation projects versus simple repairs.

Easy and Cost-Efficient Fixer Upper Repairs

Some examples of quick and simple home repairs include:

  • Interior and exterior painting
  • Repairing damaged walls, floors, tile and carpet
  • Updating lighting, fans, switches and sockets
  • Fixing cracked or broken windows
  • Adding molding or baseboards
  • Updating kitchen countertops and cabinets
  • Repairing minor plumbing leaks

Challenging and Costly Repairs

However, most fixer uppers call for at least one type of major renovation that will require serious time and investment to repair, and may have even been done without the proper permits. Two of the most serious things to look for are any type of foundation flaws and whether there are any issues with the heating and cooling system, as these are costly fixes. The need for full replacement windows or a new roof will also set fixer upper buyers back a bit of cash, as will severe plumbing and sewer issues.

Even a keen eye can miss certain essential details when viewing a home, which is why getting certain home inspections and reports is the best way to spot a fixer upper that's a worthwhile investment. Some common home inspections recommended for fixer upper homes include:

Essential Inspections for Fixer Upper Homes

An inspection by a licensed professional of the home's internal and external integrity is vital before investing in a fixer upper. Most states allow pre-contract inspections while others have clauses in contracts that allow buyers to back out or negotiate with sellers to foot the bill if an inspection finds major flaws. When it comes to homes that have been neglected and need TLC, potential buyers can also request: Roofing certifications, pest inspections, engineering reports, sewer line inspections and geological disclosures.

Looking for a perfect fixer upper to call home or flip on the fly? Contact a local real estate agent to explore options today.

Posted by Shawn Clayton on
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