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Should you buy a fixer-upper?

By Rikki Cook

Fixer-uppers are homes that require renovations or repairs. The extent of necessary work varies by property, but it can generally be expected that a fixer-upper will need at the very least some cosmetic work. In more serious cases, structural repairs may be necessary.

Why do people buy fixer-uppers?

The lower price tag is certainly a reason people choose fixer-uppers as their first homes, especially considering additional move-in costs. Buying a fixer-upper is also a way for people to customise homes in a market they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford, according to Rate Comparison.

Pros of fixer-uppers

There are several reasons one may choose a fixer-upper as their first home. Aside from the lower purchase price, these properties also have potential for a dramatic increase in property value. If you take the time and effort to make the necessary renovations and really take care of the home, you could make a significant profit on resale. Additionally, the renovations you make will provide a sense of accomplishment. You can also customise aspects of the home that are important to you, such as a big, modern kitchen, a fancy fireplace or a master suite.

Cons of fixer-uppers

While that all sounds great, fixer-uppers also come with some cons. If the primary reason you opted for the fixer-upper was price, keep in mind that renovation costs can add up. It may actually be more budget-friendly to choose a home that doesn’t require too much additional investment.

You also need to think about how long you want to live in the house. Customisation is a factor not many are able to have in their homes, but if you don’t plan on sticking around for too long, over-customisation can actually be detrimental to resale. It’s impossible to anticipate if the future buyer of your home will share your taste. Lendi also reminds home buyers that it may be necessary to outsource repairs. Consider the scale of renovations to be made, and be realistic about the amount of time you may have tradies in the house.

Other considerations

Some other factors you’ll want to consider before closing a deal on a fixer-upper are a timeline for renovations and council approval for the changes you intend to make. Rate Comparison also suggests having the property inspected for pests and building integrity.

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