How to Find the Perfect Fixer Upper

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How to Find the Perfect Fixer Upper

HGTV has become one of the most popular channels on television. Why, you may wonder? It’s because of the amount of shows that feature professionals fixing up old houses into magnificent builds.

Right now you could be asking yourself, should I rent or buy a house? The answer very well could be buy, buy in the form of a fixer upper.

The trick to turning an old home into something worth living in is finding the right one. You can’t take just any old home. Sure, you can rip the guts out of anything, but not all of them will turn out like the ones on TV.

There are some things to consider before pulling the trigger on a cheap home as a fixer upper.

Does it Have Character & Potential?

This could be the hardest part of finding the right fixer upper. Determining if the house has character and potential is hard, especially walking through it and in its current state and layout.

If you or your family plan to attack this solo, then you have to have some creative vision, or bring someone along who does. Interior design skills would be preferred, even if you have to hire someone. 

Once you create that vision and layout in your head and on paper, the fixer upper could really start to take shape and give you confidence that you can turn an old home into a practically brand new one. 

Is the Structure Stable?

This could require a contractor or inspector to get involved, but it’s important to determine that the bones of the house are solid. Making sure the wood isn’t rotted, there are no termite issues, and the foundation is intact is important. 

You also want to ensure the house and any additions that may be present are up to code. 

If any issues exist, the cost of renovation could drastically increase. You also don’t want to buy and later it is determined that the house needs to be leveled and started from scratch. That could be bad!

Is the Price Right?

Setting a budget upfront is necessary. An all-in budget, that is. 

This will allow you to find the right home, at the right price point. With having a budget set, you’ll be able to factor in the cost of the house as well as the cost it will take to renovate the place into your new home.

By hiring a professional contractor, they will be able to quote the project out for you to determine if you will come in under budget, over budget, or be right on the money.

Evaluate the Neighborhood

Lastly, you can’t forget to evaluate the neighborhood you will be moving into. A lot of old rundown houses that would be great fixer uppers are sitting there rundown because it may be in an area that no one wants to live in. It could be unsafe or just not developed anymore.

Conduct your own research on the town and make sure your fixer upper is in a decent area.