Five things to think about before buying a fixer upper

Buying a fixer-upper can be a great decision for some homeowners, but for others, not so much. If you’re looking at buying a fixer-upper, there are a few important things you need to consider first. In this guide, we’re going to give you 5 things that you must think about:

Getting an unbiased inspector

Once you’ve found a home that you’re considering, you need to make sure you get an unbiased inspector and take them through with you. Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions. You must know how much money you’re going to be spending on your fixer-upper, so make sure your inspector is experienced so they look for structural, exterior, and interior problems that could trip you up later on down the line.

Getting an idea of costs before buying

Finding a contractor, or even multiple contractors to go through the house with you can help to give you an idea of the costs associated before you buy. You can then know for sure whether this house is going to work with your budget or not. Make sure you’re open, giving them details on what you want to do to the house, and including any other relevant information that should help you out.

Understanding your local market

If you’re located in an area where housing costs are going up, then don’t buy the fixer-upper. It can end up being much pricier than you initially thought if the market is approaching a peak. You can get an idea of your local market by speaking with a real estate agent, but more and more people are just using sites like and going it alone. Take the time to understand your local market so you know whether you’re making the right decision or not in the long run.

Structural work

If the house needs a lot of structural work, then you’re better off hiring a structural engineer to take a look at the home before you put a lot of money down. This is a good idea even if you’ve already had a home inspection. If you still want to buy the house, make sure you get a great discount, that you know how bad the problems really are, and that you have some money put aside just in case.

Remember, some structural problems may not reveal themselves until you start renovating. It’s also a good idea to bear in mind that you shouldn’t make renovations to the home that don’t fit in with the neighbourhood. Your home may be beautiful when all is said and done, but if you come to sell later on down the line, you won’t make any ROI if the neighbourhood isn’t right.

City rules and permits

You’ll need to find out if the work you’re planning on doing requires a permit or not. Make sure you factor in things like money and time – you can get permits yourself, or a contractor can do it for you. If the home you’re buying is old, you may need to do things like buying historically accurate materials. This can up your costs substantially. Know about all special requirements before you put your money down.

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