Today, many home buyers view taking on a fixer-upper as an exciting challenge and a way to save money on a new home. While turning a worn-down home into the home of your dreams is a project that some buyers are willing to take on, it is also a decision that should be carefully considered.  Make sure you aren’t biting off more than you can chew and consider the following tips for the best fixer-upper experience. 

Consider the location

Buying a fixer-upper is an investment, and if it is in a bad location, you may have trouble making the most from your investment. If you are planning on flipping and selling the home, a bad location makes it difficult for you to sell the home at the price you want.

Evaluate what it needs

Look for homes that have good structural integrity or “good bones,” where you will be primarily making cosmetic upgrades.  Cosmetic upgrades are typically much easier and less expensive. These include updating the flooring and paint, adding molding, or replacing doors and windows.  On the other hand, problems with the building’s structure are expensive and risky to take on. More difficult problems include issues regarding the roofing, foundation, plumbing, or electric.

Think carefully about what you are really and willing to take on in a fixer-upper. If there are serious structural problems, consider whether that is a risk you are willing to commit to or if there are better options on the market.

Estimate the expenses

Just like with buying any home, before you start shopping make sure to establish a clear and strict budget. Once you find the house you think is right, develop a plan of the upgrades it needs and calculate the estimated costs. If it requires major upgrades, don’t be afraid to negotiate the price with the homeowner to ensure that you aren’t buying it for more than it is worth. If it still beyond your budget, then it is a smart choice to consider a different house.

Get an inspection

One of the most important parts to buying a home, especially a fixer-upper, is a getting a home inspection. Having one or more inspectors complete an inspection ensures that you won’t be surprised by any additional and costly problems. If the inspection results show more problems than you are willing to take on, you will be able to walk away before you close.

Prepare for a challenge

Renovating a fixer-upper is an emotionally and physically tiring process. From planning, permitting, gutting and renovating, the process can last for years. If you plan on living in your home while you renovate, be prepared for the frustrations that come with living in a space that is a construction zone.  While television shows make fixer uppers look easy, that is not always the case. Make sure that you can commit to putting in the difficult and stressful work of renovating before you sign for a fixer-upper.

While there are some careful considerations to take into account, renovating a fixer-upper is also incredibly rewarding. If you are ready to take on the challenge of a fixer-upper, follow these tips, along with your other research, and chances are you’ll end up with the home of your dreams.