May 17, 2021

Buying a Fixer Upper

 After watching HGTV and seeing how various homes are taken from being really horrible to great, many people think, why not buy a fixer upper.  Let me give you a few reasons to be cautious.  First, if you are considering buying a fixer upper especially if the property is more than 20 years old,  You need to get every home inspection known to man or woman to see what you are getting yourself into.  That means electrical, plumbing, roof, foundation, termite etc.  And, even if you get every conceivable inspection, you will not know what is in the walls until they are opened up.  

Odds are pretty good that an older home could have many issues that will need repair before you even think about that gourmet kitchen you want to include in your renovations.  So, whatever your budget is, assume you will spend 25% on remedial work that must be done in many cases to meet current code.  Next, assume that it will take twice as long as the contractor tells you it will take.  I find it laughable when we hear "this job will be done in 8 weeks on HGTV".   Assume at least 3 - 6 months and sometimes longer depending on how extensive the job.

Older homes can be a money pit so be careful.  Yes, you can make any home wonderful; but it will take money and time.  If you have plenty of both, then consider buying a fixer upper.  If you don't have the money to deal with unexpected expenses, then maybe it is better to buy a newer home that needs less work.  The rule for any fixer upper is, it will cost more than anticipated to do the renovations and it will take longer than predicted.