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Thinking of Buying a Fixer-Upper? Here Are 3 Things to Think About

by Renee Waymire 11/22/2021

If you have a tight budget and love DIY, buying a fixer-upper might seem like a straightforward decision. Fixer-uppers are homes that need repairs and updates rather than being “move-in ready,” and can be affordable options in any kind of market. However, fixer-uppers require significant money, effort and careful planning. If you’re trying to determine whether a fixer-upper is right for you, here are the biggest things to think about:

Time Investment

Even the smallest home renovation can take weeks or months of time to complete. If you’re planning on renovating an entire house, expect to dedicate months of hard work to the task. Even if you hire professionals to do the hard work, you’ll be investing a lot of your time in the project. Hardcore DIY enthusiasts might be tempted to tackle all the work themselves but will need all the right skills, equipment, safety measures and more. Consider the time you’re willing to commit to before you get a fixer-upper.

Total Budget (Including Renovations & Repairs)

When building a budget for a fixer-upper, many small projects combine into one. This can make it really difficult to get an accurate idea of how much money you’ll need or want to spend. It’s also tricky to factor the cost of the home purchase into the equation, as well. If you stretch your budget too thin on buying the property, you’ll have less available for the repairs and upgrades.

Luckily, mortgage lenders and real estate professionals can help advise you on the best choice of funding for your situation. There are special types of loans meant for major home renovations that can help with your fixer-upper project and traditional mortgages.

Temporary Living Situation

Because fixer-uppers can take a long time to complete, it’s important to have a stable living situation in the meantime. If you’re selling your current home and planning to move into the fixer-upper when it’s done, this can make the timing awkward and also allow expenses to pile up. You and your fellow household members will need somewhere safe to live until the property is move-in ready. If you’ve sold your current home already, that means paying for temporary lodging.

A fixer-upper might be your dream scenario, but don’t forget to assess the reality of the situation. Before taking the plunge, consider these three key things to help you make the best decision.

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