4 Tips When Buying a Fixer-Upper House as a First-Time Home Buyer

So, you’re thinking about buying your first home. Congratulations, this is a big milestone in your life! Buying a home can be very expensive, which is why it’s common to buy a fixer-upper house that you can renovate as you see fit. If you’re considering going this route, we’ve come up with four tips to consider before you dot your I’s and cross your T’s.

Research Zoning Restrictions

Do you know what area of your city you want to live? Start there, and see if there are any fixer-upper homes for sale in the neighborhoods and determine what you can afford. When estimating home affordability, be sure to consider your monthly expenses, type of loan, property taxes, and how much you’ll need to put down. If you have your sights set on a home already, make sure you know the zoning rights for that property. The zoning restrictions will let you know what you can and can’t do to that property. For example, if it’s located in a historic district, you may not be able to perform certain construction projects on the property. To see what kind of zoning requirements your dream fixer-upper home is set on, visit its municipality’s website or arrange an in-person meeting with a staff member.

Get a Professional’s Opinion

Before you decide to buy a fixer-upper, hire an architect or contractor to walk through the home you’re interested in to see what kind of projects you’d have to complete. They may be able to tell you if this home is worth it in the long run, depending on how much it’s worth and the money you’ve set aside for home renovations. They will also be able to let you know if the projects you want to complete are actually doable, such as creating an additional bedroom or wrap-around porch. You’ll also want to get an inspection before you make the sale to ensure you’re not getting more than you bargained for when it comes to repairs.

Prioritize Renovation Projects

Once you buy your new home, the next step is to decide which renovation project you want to tackle first. What needs to get fixed right away and what can wait? Look at your budget and determine what you can afford. Some easy and affordable DIY repairs include refinishing floors, repainting walls, and replacing doors. These projects are made easier when you have power tools such as drillssanders, and jigsaws. Other, more expensive home repairs include pouring concrete for driveways, building garages, and replacing plumbing or electrical wiring.

Decide If You Want to Stay or Leave

You’ve finally finished all of your home renovations and your fixer-upper house looks like it could be worth double what you paid for it. Now is the time to decide if you want to stay in your newly renovated home or sell it for a profit. This all depends on how much you spent on renovations and the current state of the housing market. If it’s a buyer’s market, it’s recommended to stay in your house until the market turns around. If you’re in a seller’s market by the time you’re done with your designs to your home, get an opinion from an appraiser. Have someone walk through your home and let you know how much your newly renovated home could go for. If you’re able to make enough of a profit, you can consider selling it.

Buying a fixer-upper home can be nerve-wracking but also exciting. It’s a new project to complete and it can give you a sense of accomplishment, especially if you want to live in this home after you’re done with the renovations. 

Photo: Unsplash

Article provided by: 

Bret Engle | DiyGuys.net


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