Whenever I have a conversation with someone about whether or not it’s a good idea to purchase a fixer-upper home to serve as their primary residence, about 50% of the people I speak to have at least entertained the idea. Ultimately, once we’ve talked through the process and looked at some properties, around less than 1% of those people end up following through with the idea.
Why is that? It often comes down to the logistics and time involved with making that decision. I have nothing against those who choose to go ahead and purchase the fixer-upper to turn it into their home, but I do want to discuss a few things to think about if you’re wondering whether this is an option for you.
Typically, the biggest concern that people have is working with a contractor, and in my opinion, this is a major concern. I’m currently working with a seller who has been having difficulties with her contractor since long before we initially spoke with her. Before selecting your contractor, you absolutely need to do your due diligence. Make sure that they have a proven track record and that they’re financially stable so that they can conclude the project.
“You need to think about the outcome you want, and the process that it will take to achieve that outcome.”
You’ll also need to consider how long the overall project(s) will take, and how that time frame will affect your lifestyle. Are you going to be able to live in the home while the repairs are being done? We’ve noticed that people’s perceptions of how this works tend to be different from reality.
How much time will you have to dedicate to the process? Many people who have undergone the process have said that it eventually became a full-time job. If you, your spouse, or both have full-time jobs, is this something that you really want to undertake?
Ultimately, you need to think about the outcome you want, and the process that it will take to achieve that outcome. Will it be cheaper to do it yourself? Could you find a home that you want that doesn’t require renovation? Sometimes, people love the challenge of creating and designing a new home out of a run-down property, and others are understandably wary of the pitfalls associated with the process.
Regardless of what your decision will be, think it through and make the choice that’s right for you. Consider the issues that could come up; it’s better to know about them ahead of time so you can prepare for them than it is to find out about them along the way.
If you have any questions or would like to talk through the process in more detail, feel free to give me a call or to send me an email. I’d be happy to speak with you and tell you about the good, the bad, and the ugly.