7 Clues A Fixer-Upper Home Isn’t Worth It
Many people love watching the TV shows that show a full home renovation being completed in just 30 minutes. The shows’ hosts make it look so easy, it’s tempting to think you could do the same for any cheap home you find on the market. The reality, though, is quite different.
The people behind these shows are professionals who know what to look for in a home. For every success story you see, there are a number of homes that didn’t make the cut.
If you have the knowledge, skills, and money to fix up a home, it might make sense for you. However, the following clues might show the fixer-upper you’re looking at isn’t worth your time and money.
1. Awkward Floor Plan
It’s easy to change carpeting or wallpaper, but knocking down walls to create new spaces is much more difficult than it looks on TV. Sometimes, changing the layout isn’t even possible because those walls are holding up other parts of the home. You want a home that has the right energy flow, and if a fixer-upper home doesn’t have this flow naturally, you may never be able to get it right.
2. High Price
When you buy a home you plan to renovate, you have to factor the cost of renovations into your decision. If the asking price on the home is high, you won’t have the money in your budget to make the changes you want. A true fixer-upper home should have a price that reflects the work needing to be done.
3. Renovations Won’t Add Value
Even if you’re planning to live in the home rather than flip it, you need to think about renovations that will add to the value of the home. Things like repairing the roof, finishing the floors, and even upgrading the kitchen, will likely be costs you could recoup if you ever sell the home. Other types of renovations might not make sense. For instance, if you were to add a modern kitchen to an older, character home, you might actually decrease the value.
4. Bad Location
You can change a lot of things about a home, but you can’t change its location. A home that’s in a bad neighbourhood will be hard to sell even if you dramatically improve it. Bad neighbourhoods aren’t the only thing you should worry about. For instance, homes in the countryside are less attractive to many people because they aren’t close to the necessary amenities. A beautiful family home becomes less appealing when it’s placed on a busy street. Before you sink a lot of money into renovating, think about how its location affects the value.
5. High Cost of Repairs
Be sure to get accurate estimates when it comes to making repairs or renovations. Average costs are only averages. The actual cost for the home you’re buying may be significantly higher than the average cost. You won’t know this until you get a real quote from a professional. Fortunately, most fixer-upper homes take a long time to sell, so the seller is usually able to offer you access to the home for these estimates.
6. The Inspection Turns Up Additional Problems
You might put an offer on a home thinking it has a few problems you don’t mind fixing. Once you get an inspector into the home, though, they might find several additional problems you weren’t planning on. They might be major issues like damage to the foundation or minor like a pipe that needs to be replaced, but you may not want to take on the extra costs. Remember, once you start renovations, you may find even more.
7. It’s Far From Being Move-In Ready
Most people need to sell their current home before buying a new one. Once the old home is sold, you’ll have new buyers pressuring you to get out. You might not mind living with a bit of dust for a few months, but major renovations can make it impossible to live in the home until the work is finished. This isn’t a big concern for those who plan to take their time renovating while living in their old home, but if you need to move quickly, it can cause a lot of stress.
Buying a fixer-upper home can be exciting, but they’re also a lot of work. If the changes you want to make to a resale home are mostly cosmetic, you may be able to get a good deal. However, if you’re looking at major changes, it’s usually better to consider buying a brand new home instead of a resale.