Over the last few years, weekend warriors have been delighted to find an abundance of television shows devoted to fixing up homes. More specifically, they show viewers how to take a fixer-upper and turn it from an ugly duckling to a special property that they can call home. It sounds so easy but before you grab a sledgehammer and head out to buy that cheap bank-owned building on the corner, there are things to consider.
First and foremost, how handy are you really? Fixer-uppers can vary from cosmetic paint and carpet, maybe changing a countertop or fixtures; then there are fixers which have electrical problems and slab leaks. It’s important to understand what you are capable of handling – either yourself or the supervisory level.
Tips for a Buyer of a Fixer-Upper
- Do Your Research – Don’t assume anything. Check for local ordinances and zones to make sure the plans you have for the property are truly available to you.
- Hire a Professional – Regardless of your level of “handiness” you need professional help. Start with a professional home inspection and understand the true condition of the home.
- Know Your Limits – A great deal is only a deal if you can take on the project. Be honest with yourself. If you need to, hire a General Contractor to handle the renovation.
Fixer-uppers can be great investments. These properties can be converted to beautiful homes or flipped for quick profit, but either way, handled well these ugly ducklings will live up to the best episode of HGTV.