Tricks to Buying a Fixer Upper

Posted in Buyer Blog | 05/09/2012

Windsor Properties

Windsor Properties

There are a multitude of available fixer-upper popertieson the market today.  Today, many sellers don’t have the financial resources to make home improvements when putting their home on the market.   This can mean one of two things to a prospective buyer:  You can purchase a home full of potential at a low price, or you are walking into a money pit.  Before you make an offer, figure out if a fixer upper home is right for you.

1.  Can you make the repairs yourself?  Many buyers think they can easily handle a remodeling job or make appropriate repairs.  But if the problem turns out to be bigger than you think, could you afford to hire a professional?   Will time be a factor in making these repairs?  If you work long hours, can you plan on doing the painting and ripping of wallpaper or carpet?  How would you like to live for several months in a home that is in the middle of renovations?

2.  Before you make an offer, hire a contractor to walk through the house with you and give an estimate on repairs.  If you know you will be doing the work yourself, go and price supplies.  A good rule of thumb whenever hiring out on a project or doing it yourself is to add 10% to 20% to the overall budget for any unforeseen problems.

3.  Locally, when remodeling any Windsor properties, most projects require a permit.  If so, find out the cost.

4.  If your home needs structural work, do not make an offer until you hire a structural engineer to inspect the home. Homes requiring this amount of work are often risky. Only if you are convinced the project can be fixed within your budget should you even consider going forward. Most importantly, make sure you get a binding estimate in writing.

5.  It is very wise to have a clear understanding of your financial situation prior to making an offer on any property let alone a fixer-upper.  When you calculate down payments, closing costs and insurance, do you have enough left over to make the necessary repairs?

By asking these simple questions and following the advice of experts, you will know if a fixer-upper home is right for you.

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