Fixer upper: Diamond in the rough or a money pit?
So you’re thinking of a fixer upper? Lots of people do. You want to be able to put your own spin on the decorating, choose your own flooring and decor just like they do on HGTV. The question is, how do you tell if it is truly a diamond in the rough or a soul-sucking money pit?
Not so long ago, many of the fixer uppers on the market were distressed properties such as foreclosures. Often you’d find that they were stripped of anything valuable: often times the furnace, a/c unit, copper wiring, let alone the appliances and light fixtures were missing or stolen. Fortunately, the market has improved now and this is a less common sight.
How about the home’s basic features? Does it have that really cool architectural or design feel? Maybe gorgeous hardwood floors and an awesome fireplace or mantel? Some features never really go out of style.
One of the most important features to consider is the overall structural soundness of the property. Are the walls bowing in or out in the basement? Are there waterproofing issues that need to be resolved? Once I sold a house to someone who renovated the entire house before realizing that he should have leveled the floors before installing the sheetrock. You could put a pair of roller skates on at one end of the house and with a little start be at the back of the house. The contractor lost his shirt on this one. (Hindsight)
What about location? Location is king when it comes to a renovated house. Will the renovation make it the nicest house on the block? Or will others still be nicer than this one?
Of course, dealing with ANY renovation can be stressful. There’s always more than first meets the eye. Been there. Done that. Always need a contingency plan. Many have told me the only way to make money on a renovation is to be the one to do the contracting work. That’s usually the person who makes money on the deal.
Some people like the challenge of the task before them. Others prefer to buy a home already done. It’s individual preference, I’d say. We at Advantage Real Estate are here to help you decide, just let us know what direction you prefer!