Is Fixer Upper Remodeling Right for You?

By: Allison Millar, Contributing Writer
In: In the news, Necessary home improvements
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If you’re considering buying fixer upper property, congratulations. Many people run from these types of properties because of all the remodeling costs involved. If you’re good at seeing beyond the immediate, however, you can create some value fairly quickly. Pick the wrong fixer upper property and you can sink your life savings into a remodeling money pit. Here’s how to tell if a fixer upper property is right for you:

What’s to remodel?

Look for cosmetic fixes, as these are the easiest and least expensive to do. Painting, cleaning, and replacing countertops are a breeze compared with leaking roofs, wet basements and leaning foundation walls. When buying a fixer upper property, look for:

  • Good structural elements–foundation, basement, major building systems
  • A good location in a good school district
  • Some remodeling projects you can do yourself to reduce your costs
  • Repairs that can be spread out over time

Housing and Remodeling Costs

When buying a fixer upper property, get solid estimates on the repairs and then reduce your offer accordingly. While you can’t always reduce the price to pay for every paint can, you should get reimbursed for repairs to major structural and mechanical issues, such basement seepage and a faulty furnace.

Any price savings will help over the long haul, as it can be tough to break even when buying fixer upper property, according to Boston.com. While some people can get ahead financially–and perhaps get a bigger or better house by buying fixer upper property–it takes research and knowledge, says Realtor.com. Ask yourself:

  • Do you have the skills to do some of the remodeling yourself?
  • Can you manage contractors and understand what they should be doing?
  • Do you have cash or financing to cover the remodeling costs?
  • Can you live with the mess and disruption?
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  1. One Response to “Is Fixer Upper Remodeling Right for You?”

  2. jamie
    Dec 6, 2010

    In this housing market, I really think that there is more opportunity to make money by purchasing a distressed property, rather than a fixer upper. A distressed property is one that is in foreclosure, or short sale status. A fixer upper takes money, time, and DIY skills and once all the work is done, you’re still facing a lousy housing market.

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