How to Buy a Fixer-Upper Home

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  • New home prices have increased over the past year.
  • Set a budget before looking for a house.
  • Hire professionals to work on the issues in the house.
  • Have the fixer-upper inspected before buying it.

Prices of new housing units have been increasing over the past few months. As of November 2022, average new home prices reached $543,600. The figure is over $10,000 higher than the previous month. It’s also nearly $50,000 higher than in November 2021. Due to this, some homebuyers opt to buy fixer-uppers than new single-family homes.

Buying a fixer-upper can be an excellent way to get the home of your dreams at a fraction of the cost. However, it requires careful planning and consideration. Fixer-uppers can be a great investment if done correctly. But they also come with many potential pitfalls that need to be avoided. Here are some tips for buying a fixer-upper home to ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

The text budget on a calculator with a balance sheet under it.

Know Your Budget

Before looking for homes, you must know your budget and how much you have available to spend on renovations. You may think you can buy a cheap house and pour money into it until it’s perfect, but if you don’t have the funds available, this will not work out in your favor.

Research Prices

Make sure you research prices in your area to know exactly how much money needs to go into each project before making an offer on a property. Also, make sure you have an emergency fund available if something unexpected arises. This will save you from being stuck with a house that needs more money than you can afford to spend on it.

Work with a Reputable Lender

Work with your lender to determine what type of loan is best for your situation. This will help ensure you stay within budget and avoid a difficult financial situation. The lender should also provide options for you to choose from and help guide you in the right direction.

Hire Professionals When Necessary

The most common mistake people make when renovating their fixer-upper is trying to do too much themselves. While plenty of DIY renovation projects are possible and even encouraged, certain jobs should be left to professionals with the experience and expertise needed for the job.

Licensed Professional

Electrical work should only ever be done by licensed professionals. This is necessary since these systems are integral to the structure of your home, and any mistakes could lead to serious problems down the line.

It would help if you worked with an experienced and reputable electrician to check and repair the electrical fixtures of a fixer-upper. The professional should have insurance and accreditation from a regulatory agency. This way, you’ll have peace of mind that the work meets the required standards.

Hire a Contractor

Additionally, it’s worth considering hiring a contractor for more complex renovations. A contractor can provide valuable advice and guidance on which projects should be prioritized, which materials to use, and how much each task will cost. They also know local building codes and can help ensure that your renovations are done safely and legally.

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help from family and friends when working on a fixer-upper. Delegating tasks to others can make the process much smoother, and you might even get some great ideas in return! Working with people who understand what you’re going through can make the process much more enjoyable.

Home inspector and homebuyer checking a property for sale.

Get Inspections

thorough home inspection is essential before investing in any fixer-upper home. While homes need an inspection before purchase, it is imperative when dealing with older properties or those requiring significant renovations.

Insights on Existing Problems

An inspection will provide insight into any existing problems or issues in the house that may need additional attention or repairs before purchase. This can save time and money as it will give you an idea of what needs fixing immediately instead of waiting until after closing when surprises may arise.

Hire a Specialist

Hiring an inspector specializing in older properties and renovations is a good idea. This type of professional will have experience with the unique challenges that come with such projects and be able to provide more thorough and accurate results. Be sure to ask for references or reviews before hiring an inspector so you can be confident that they are up to the task.

Additionally, always ask to be present during the inspection so you can better understand the findings and ask any questions that may come up. Having an inspector take you through the home will also help to further your understanding of what needs to be done for it to become a livable space.

Lastly, make sure you get a comprehensive list of any repairs or updates that need to be made from the inspector. This can help guide your plan for renovations and ensure you are prepared for whatever may come up during the process.

Fixer-uppers can provide tremendous value for homeowners who are willing to put in some work upfront to reap greater rewards down the line. That being said, there are certain considerations one must take into account when looking at potential properties. Following the steps in the article will help make sure that your fixer-upper dream home becomes a reality!

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