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The Correct Way To Purchase a Fixer-Upper – 8 Best Tips

  • January 19, 2023
  • James Beeson
  • Category: Property Management

Do you enjoy the challenge and sense of accomplishment of improving something that is broken or outdated and making it look better? Do you know the correct way to purchase a fixer-upper? If so, buying a fixer-upper might be the perfect project for you!

Fixer-uppers are one of the best ways of getting the most value for your money when looking at the real estate market. Here is the best way to purchase a fixer-upper, from the initial research and planning through the closing process.

What is a Fixer-Upper and the Benefits of Buying One

First, let’s clarify what a fixer-upper is and the benefits of buying one. A fixer-upper can be any property that needs some level of repair, renovation, or updating.

The benefits are the potential to buy the property at a discounted rate and the opportunity to customize it and sell it for a profit.

The Correct Way To Purchase a Fixer-Upper - 8 Best Tips

Another benefit of buying a fixer-upper is the ability to customize the property according to your tastes and preferences. You can choose the materials, colors, fixtures, and other elements that make the house perfect.

How to purchase a Fixer-Upper that is Right for You

When buying a fixer-upper, the key is to identify the right one for you—one that’s worth the investment. The first step is to research the home and the area where it’s located. Talk to the neighbors and the local real estate agents, as they will both have valuable insight into the property you’re looking at.

Next, look into the condition of the home itself—are there any major structural issues? Is the home in the process of foreclosure? How much work does the home need, and how long will the project take?

The Process of Renovating a Fixer-Upper

Hiring a contractor

Hiring a reputable and experienced contractor is crucial to the success of any renovation project. Do your research and choose a contractor with a proven track record, positive reviews, and relevant experience. Ask for references and check them, get multiple quotes, and ask for a detailed contract. Ensure the contractor is licensed, insured, and bonded to protect your property and yourself in case of accidents or damage during renovation.

Obtaining permits and inspections:

Many municipalities require permits for certain renovations, and inspections may be necessary to ensure that the work meets building codes and safety standards. Understanding the permitting process and obtaining the required permits on time is essential. Failure to do so can lead to fines and delays in the renovation process.

Managing the renovation budget

Renovations can be expensive, and it’s essential to have a solid budget in place to ensure that the project stays on track financially. Before starting the renovation, research the cost of materials, labor, and permits, and have a contingency plan in case of unexpected expenses. It’s also important to keep track of expenses throughout the renovation process to ensure you stay within budget.

Staying on schedule

Renovations can take longer than expected and can cause delays that can be costly and frustrating. It’s important to have a detailed schedule and work closely with the contractor to ensure the project stays on track. Communicate any delays or changes in the schedule with the contractor, and have a plan to address any issues that may arise.

8 Amazing Tips for Finding the Best Deals on a Fixer-Upper

  1. Look for properties in areas that are up-and-coming but still relatively affordable. These areas have a higher potential for appreciation and offer more affordable fixer-upper properties.
  2. Look for properties that have been on the market for a while. These properties may be more likely to have motivated sellers willing to negotiate on price.
  3. Get to know the local real estate market and be aware of any trends or changes that may affect property values.
  4. Network with local real estate agents and contractors who can provide you with valuable information and connections.
  5. Consider properties that need only cosmetic upgrades, such as a new coat of paint or updated flooring, as these can often be completed relatively inexpensively.
  6. Look for properties that have the potential for adding square footage or bedrooms, which can increase the value of the property.
  7. Research and budget for renovation costs and ensure that you have enough budget to cover these costs before making an offer on a property.
  8. Be prepared to act quickly when you find a property that meets your criteria, as fixer-upper properties can be highly sought after and may only be available for a short time.

In addition to these tips, talk to several lenders to compare interest rates, loan types, and other fees associated with the loan. Also, feel free to negotiate the price of the home with the seller, and make sure you are aware of any incentives the seller may offer.

Financing Options for Purchasing a Fixer-Upper

When financing your fixer-upper, the following considerations and programs can help you.

FHA 203(k) loan

The FHA 203(k) loan is a government-backed loan that allows homebuyers to purchase and renovate a property with just one loan. These loans have more easy credit requirements and can be a good option for buying a fixer-upper.

HomeStyle Renovation loan

A HomeStyle Renovation loan is a conventional loan offered by Fannie Mae that allows homebuyers to purchase and renovate a property with just one loan.

VA Renovation loan

A VA Renovation loan is a government-backed loan available to veterans and active-duty military members. It allows them to purchase and renovate a property with just one loan.

Conventional mortgage

A conventional mortgage is a standard home loan not insured or guaranteed by the government. These loans generally require a higher credit score and a larger down payment than government-backed loans.

Construction loans

A construction loan is usually for a limited period of time used to finance the expanses of building or remodeling a property. These loans typically have higher interest rates and require a larger down payment than a traditional mortgage.

Home Inspections When Buying a Fixer-Upper

Also, you must get a home inspection before you buy any fixer-upper. This will not only identify the potential problems you’ll need to repair but also provide an estimate of the cost of the renovations. It’s important to factor in the estimated costs so you have a realistic idea of how much the entire project will cost.

Understanding the Costs of Renovations with a Fixer-Upper

Purchase a fixer-upper home can be an exciting yet financially draining endeavor. It’s essential to take the time to research and plan out the cost of each renovation you intend to do.

Estimate the materials, tools, labor costs, and other miscellaneous expenses that may creep up on you throughout the project. Doing your research beforehand will prevent any surprises along the way, allowing for a smoother remodeling process.

Bottom Line

Buying a fixer-upper can be daunting, but with the right research and preparation, it can also be a gratifying experience. Follow the steps above, and you’ll be well on your way to transforming your fixer-upper into the dream home you’ve always wanted.

Moreover, buying a fixer-upper can be a great way to save money on your dream home – as long as you’re prepared for the costs of renovations. If you’re not sure where to start or how to find the best deals, our team of experts can help. Schedule a consultation with us today, and we’ll help you determine if buying a fixer-upper is the right choice.