Three Essential Considerations Before You Buy a Fixer Upper
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With housing prices through the roof these days, it’s not easy to get a foothold on the property ladder. Many enterprising young buyers are grabbing what they can afford and putting the work in themselves.
Whether your goal is to create your dream home or flip your property for a profit, renovating a fixer-upper isn’t as easy as you might hope. Before you put in an offer on a house that needs some love, be sure to consider these important factors that could determine the success of your renovation project.
Are You a Happy Camper?
When you first lay eyes on your fixer-upper, you may be blown away by its potential. Before you buy, it’s worth asking yourself how long you’d be prepared to live in this house without the planned renovations taking place. If you’re buying a property that needs help, you may not have the ready cash to mend and upgrade everything right away. If you’re planning to do the work in your spare time, you’re unlikely to rival a builder for speed, no matter how excellent your DIY skills are. Some projects will be more urgent than others. While you may be able to live with those outdated bathroom tiles, you might want to call the roofing company right away to deal with that leak above your bed. If you’re not prepared to rough-it indefinitely, it makes sense to have a clear work plan and budget laid out before you sign that dotted line.
When you imagine saving loads of cash by picking up a fixer-upper on the cheap, remember that the labour required to do the work is going to cost you one way or another. If you have enviable DIY skills and experience, you may be able to get the bulk of the work done on your own, but remember: time is money. Is affixing skirting boards the best use of your time, or are you losing income by devoting hours to this project? Likewise, the cost of hiring professionals should be incorporated into your overall budget. If you buy a fixer-upper without factoring in labour costs, you may end up shelling out more than you would have to buy a house that has already been renovated to a high standard.
Location (Location, Location)
That old adage still holds true: while you stand to make a good profit on a fixer-upper in an up-and-coming neighbourhood, sinking money into a renovation project in the wrong location could be throwing good money after bad. You can renovate until you’re blue in the face—install crystal chandeliers and a basketball hoop—but you can’t move your house any closer to the school you’d like your child to attend, or any further from the noisy train station. It’s really easy to get swept up in enthusiasm when a house ticks most of your boxes except for the area it’s in. If you’re infatuated with a fixer-upper of your dreams in the wrong sort of place, go home and take a cold shower and tell yourself: no. Another gem in a perfect location will come along.
Whether this is your first home or you’re buying to let, give some thought to these important considerations before you invest your money, time and DIY magic in a fixer-upper.
Tia, and TipsfromTia.com is trying to keep you looking good and
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