19 Jul Looking for a fixer-upper? Here’s what to consider.
If you’re looking to buy a home but you’re unsure if you can afford to break into your dream area, one great alternative is to consider buying a fixer-upper – that is, a cheaper home that needs a little bit of work. This can be a great way to crack into the market, but it’s important to make sure you do your research.
The first thing to keep in mind is location. Remember that word. Say it over to yourself. Location! It’s good to think of the decision as a compromise – renovating a house may be a daunting prospect and a lot of work, but you’re doing it to get into a better area.
Once you have your location, its vital that you start to look closely on the budget. It is my highest recommendation to use a qualified person for any jobs that you cannot do yourself especially when it comes to plumbing and gas. Renovating is a real responsibility, and one that should be tackled realistically. Botching the renovation will not only impact your quality of life, but also the long-term value of the property.
It’s also important to consider how much work is actually achievable. Be honest with yourself: how much effort do you want to put in to bring the property up to muster? There are some properties that will take too much work to make them liveable. Ideally, a fixer-upper should only need cosmetic work, and isn’t in need of structural alterations. A home that has good bones and structural integrity is the sort of home that you want to invest in with the knowledge that it can realistically be transformed into something beautiful.
You can’t make a masterpiece on shaky foundations, and mistakes can be very costly. Things to look out for include wall cracking, signs of movement, unlevel floors and wonky door frames. It’s also important to keep an eye out for the less obvious things including electrical wiring, plumbing, asbestos removal and termites.
Whilst renovating a home is hard work and will always present some challenges along the way, have fun with the process. At the end of the day, it is a journey to creating a home that is unique and showcases bits and pieces of who you are. Whether you take this journey as an individual, as a couple or as a family, these are my take away tips for you to never lose sight of – location, budget & practicality of the project.
If you’ve recently bought a fixer upper or thinking about one – I’d love to help!
Let’s do coffee and we can discuss your options.