All home buyers are looking for value, and to most this means getting the largest home for the lowest price. For many buyers this translates into purchasing the renowned ‘fixer-upper’.
So what exactly qualifies a home as a ‘fixer-upper?’
There’s a wide range of subjective credentials, as some homes may only need new paint and carpet, while others may need more extensive repairs to their foundation, roof, plumbing, or electrical systems, etc.
While on your search for the right home, remember to be realistic on accomplishing the repairs – who will do it? Will it be you, or will you be hiring a contractor? Estimate how much the repairs will cost with, and without, professional help. Does it make your purchase worth it? If you have to hire an expensive outside contractor you may not see the potential value of buying the home in the first place.
If you choose to buy a home requiring repair it is especially important to work with a licensed REALTOR, due to so many potentially expensive issues you may be confronted with. Your agent will walk you through the details of the property and termite inspections, and help guide your decision-making process based on your own ability to repair the home.
Your REALTOR should also be able to recommend the best vendors in your area, based on their past experience and company recommendations, in case you need further help on your project, or even just some quality advice. Choosing the wrong people to help repair your home can be very costly in both time and money.
Once escrow has closed, and keys are in your hand the fun begins! With the economy as it stands today many home owners with fixer-uppers are turning to “sweat equity”, or do-it-yourself repairs, to enhance their home value.
You will find savvy home owners doing most of the work themselves with friends and family lending a hand. A method of making the project more pleasurable and less of a chore for your invited helpers is to make a party out of it! Offer pizza, drinks, music, etc. to motivate your crew. Offer out-of-town friends and relatives the chance to be your first few guests in your new home. Or, make this a great excuse to call old friends you haven’t seen in awhile. Make your home improvement projects a community effort.
You will be amazed when you are finished. Not only have you repaired and remodeled your new home, you will probably find that you have also built stronger relationships with family and friends.