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Fixer Uppers

Hazys House Buying Tips #6 (Fixer Uppers)

So, you’ve just found the greatest home you could have imagined. This home is in your ideal part of town. It’s the perfect size house, and the price is well below what you had budgeted. There’s only one problem, it’s a fixer upper.

That being said, there are many, many, many, (did I mention many!) things to consider when buying a piece of real estate that needs work.

Keep reading on to discover some of the basic things to consider before signing off on a home that is likely to require a great deal of your time and resources.

Fixer-Upper Reality Checks:

#1 Not every fixer upper is created equal:

There are fixer uppers that will need new flooring, paint, and a few drywall patches. Then there are the homes that will require everything from plumbing, to electrical, and possibly even structural work. Each property is unique, and it is wisest to gain a full understanding of the scope of work needed before volunteering yourself for such work.

There have been plenty of projects that folks have overtaken that seem to be relatively narrow in scope. Later they sometimes find out they opened a can of worms.

Keep in mind that moving a wall in your current house may have been much easier and simpler than moving a wall in this new house. Get as much information as you can about the specific property and work closely with your home inspector.

#2 It’s gonna cost significant amounts of money:

Be prepared for many trips to your local hardware store. These trips which at first may be exciting as you cross projects off your to-do-list, will likely get tiring as your projects continue. Financially speaking you will notice the costs adding up rather quickly.

This isn’t to say that the investment won’t or can’t be a positive one for you. Be aware though that it won’t be cheap. The more heavily a property is discounted, the more you will likely need to invest to revitalize that same property.

Counting your costs as best you can, will help you from becoming discouraged and overly stressed as you undertake a fixer upper.

#3 It’s gonna take time:

As with money, it will also take a great deal of your time. This may be of little concern to those who enjoy spending their free time working on their homes. For those who find this work overly tedious and burdensome, you may want to reconsider.

Some may be in a season of life where little kids and their career are the focal point. If this is you, consider the cost of time before buying a fixer upper property.

Don’t be afraid to pass on a property if the time commitment needed is simply too great for you currently. Your time is valuable, so spend it wisely.

#4 Be honest with yourself:

If you are a seasoned DIYer who has rehabbed several homes in your life, the idea of a new one may not scare you much. You have lived the ups and downs that can come from a fixer upper and you're prepared for the next one.

Much differently, maybe you’re the person who is not so gifted in working with your hands. Maybe you struggle with basic home repair. Your limited skill set could really limit your success in bringing a fixer upper back to life.

No matter what your skill level, be honest with yourself. Fixing a home is no small deal. If you plan to do the work, be honest in the assessment of your skills. Don’t be ashamed to say you don’t have the knowledge and/or ability. You may find it wise to move on to a less challenging property.

#5: It could be a lot of fun!

Truth be told, there is a great deal of satisfaction many of us get from hard work. Fixing up a home can be a very rewarding experience. It can be an opportunity for you to push yourself and accomplish something tangible that will be enjoyed by you, your family, and possibly future generations as well.

Many have been able to revive homes and have lived to tell the tale. Don’t let the counting of costs get in your way, just make sure you do count them before saying yes to any property.

Take-Home Message:

Fixer Upper properties can be a great deal for many folks. For other folks it may be one of the worst investments they ever make. Just like each property is unique, so is each homeowner.

So, when looking at properties that need some work, consider the items discussed here before buying that diamond in the rough.

Until next time.

Happy House Hunting!

-The Hazys

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