How First-Time Homeowners Can Find Success With A Fixer-Upper

Photo via Pixabay by  Paulbr75

Photo via Pixabay by Paulbr75

Buying a new home is a rite of passage for most people; it signifies the beginning of a new chapter of your life, whether that means living with a partner for the first time, having a child, or striking out on your own and getting away from apartment living. It’s a joyous time, but it can also be one of the most stressful things you’ll undertake as well, especially if you aren’t prepared for all the pitfalls owning a home can bring.

Buying a fixer-upper comes with its own unique set of problems and successes, so it’s imperative that you prepare as much as possible for every contingency in order to reduce stress and anxiety. This will allow you to focus on the job at hand and enjoy the process, which can be fun if you have a good plan.


Keep reading for some great tips on how to find success with a fixer-upper...


Look for easy fixes

You’ll become overwhelmed very quickly if you buy a home that needs structural work or has a lot of damage to the interior, especially if you intend to do much of the work yourself. Structural repairs require a contractor--at least one--and that can get pricey fast. Look for homes that need updates and cosmetic work but are structurally sound. These do exist, and with the right inspector, you can make sure your investment is a good one.

Figure out how much you can do

Before you even begin looking at homes, you should know how much you’ll be able to do when it comes to repairs and updates, and how much a contractor or other professional will need to do. This is essential when setting a budget--which is obviously a very important part of buying a home--and will allow you to set a timeline as well. You’ll need to know which tools to have ready, and doing some homework on the best ones to use is important. Tool Review Lab offers great suggestions on the tools you’ll need for every job and recommends the best in each category, like in this drills guide, so it’s a great resource to consult in the planning stages.

Things like electrical work, plumbing, and flooring should generally be left to the pros; click here for a great guide to pricing and what to expect.

Look for the worst home in the best neighborhood

When it comes to fixer-uppers, you want a home that’s in a desirable area. Not only will this increase the chances of a sale, it will allow you to get the most return on your investment. Do some research into the neighborhood when you find a home you like, including what the schools are rated and how close it is to grocery stores, restaurants, and bars. Many home-buyers don’t want something too close to a bar or school because of the potential for noise and traffic issues, but they want them within the neighborhood because they won’t have to go too far.

Know your buyer

It’s important to know what your potential buyer wants before you begin making changes to the home. Look online to get an idea of what buyers are looking for in your desired area, especially when it comes to the floorplan. Open areas with a connected living room and kitchen are very popular right now, and any home with more than two bedrooms and one bath will get you a great return on your investment.

There are lots of things to consider when it comes to buying your first home, and a fixer-upper can be a big job that requires months of work and planning. Set your budget, talk to some pros, and do your research before striking out on your own. Remember to take care of yourself during this time to reduce stress so you can enjoy the process and learn from it at the same time.

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