What to Consider with a Fixer Upper

Laurie WallRemodeling

remodel a fixer upper house

After seeing all those home renovation shows on television where people buy a fixer upper, you probably start thinking about trying it for yourself. After all, the shows make it look easy enough for almost anyone to remodel a fixer upper.

When shopping for a home, you may be able to get a great deal if you are willing to remodel a fixer upper and use the money you saved on the purchase to do your remodeling. However, there are some points you should consider before deciding to remodel a fixer upper.

Choosing a Fixer Upper

Before you begin looking at fixer uppers with a realtor, you need to find a reputable home inspector in your area. Yes, this will be an additional expense, but skipping this step could bite you later on if there are major things wrong with the house that are left undiscovered.

When considering buying a fixer upper to renovate, you will want to look at the following components:

  • Roof. Are the shingles disintegrating or areas sagging?
  • Foundation. Does the basement leak or are there cracks in the foundation?
  • Structure. Is there termite or other damage to the home’s infrastructure?
  • Windows and doors. Do they need to be replaced?
  • Electrical system. Is the home properly wired and capable of handling a normal load without tripping circuits?
  • Plumbing. Are there leaky or noisy pipes and a lack of water pressure?
  • HVAC. Know the age, type and condition of the heating and cooling system

All of the above can be expensive repairs if they need replacing. However, if you plan to stay in your home long enough, eventually things like windows, doors, roofs and plumbing do need to be replaced or repaired over time. Making these upgrades or repairs at the onset can also help you make the home more energy efficient and comfortable throughout the year. Damage to the home’s foundation or structure through are signs that you should avoid getting involved with a possible money pit.

RELATED: Mistakes People Make When Buying a House

Who Will Do the Work When You Remodel a Fixer Upper?

An experienced and licensed contractor should perform major repairs like HVAC work, roof replacement, and plumbing or electrical work.

Before you purchase a fixer upper with any big issues, get an estimate from various contractors. Estimates are usually free and help you plan a budget for repairs or possibly use them as a bargaining chip to negotiate a lower purchase price.

When you remodel a fixer upper, you can always expect small cosmetic issues, including painting, yard cleanup, and refinishing floors. To save money, plan to tackle many of these jobs on your own. If you are handy, you may also be able to handle some smaller plumbing or electrical repairs, such as replacing sink drains or electrical outlets.

Choosing to purchase a fixer upper is a good way to save money when purchasing a home, especially if you are just starting out. It is not for everyone, but if you are willing to do the work and spend a little money to remodel a fixer upper, it can be very rewarding.

Get Moving

Are you interested in buying a fixer upper? Get the process started by seeing what your current home is worth with our In-Home Assessment.