The idea of buying a Houston fixer-upper home at a greatly reduced price appeals to many people, including first-time buyers. Television remodeling shows offer great ideas and make fixing up an older home appear exciting. For the right couple, a fixer upper can be turned into a beautiful home and a wise investment. For the wrong couple, a fixer upper can drain finances and time resulting in a loss. Are you the type that can deal with all the issues a fixer-upper can present?
What Are Your Combined Skills?
Be very truthful with yourself when considering the skills you already have and those you believe you can easily master. Make a list for each category and include everything that applies to a home remodeling project. In addition to carpentry skills, painting and pounding nails, list other helpful talents that will reduce your overall costs. If you are an artist, can sew or create other artistic crafts, you can save a lot of money in decorating costs. Even if you can do your own electrical or plumbing work, it will have to be approved by a licensed professional to be sure it meets the city or state code.
What Are Your Time Constraints?
Can you work on the home weekends, evenings, holidays and vacations? Remodeling an old fixer upper takes time and commitment. If you only have a couple of days a month for your home remodeling project, you will become discouraged with the slow progress. You may have to hire help to get enough projects completed to live comfortably and spend considerably more money than you intended.
Know What Your Costs Will Be
Before you make an offer on a home, do a walk-through with a contractor. It’s worth paying the price of an inspection to get a professional estimate before you buy, and it can prevent discovering thousands of dollars in unexpected repairs later. Plan on spending up to 15 percent more than the estimate. If your estimate includes structural repairs, you might want to cross the house off your possible purchase list.
Check On Permit Costs
Before you make the final decision, check to see what permits are required for the work you propose to do. Permits can be frustrating, as inspectors may require additional work you were not planning to do. People who skip getting permits to save money discover it often causes problems when they go to resell their home. Skipping steps in remodeling your home never saves money in the long run.
Include inspection contingencies in the offer you make. Important inspections include radon, mold, lead-based paint, under-ground plumbing, well and septic systems (when applicable), insect infestation, rodents and general home repairs. Your home-inspection contingency allows you to return to the seller after inspections and ask them to perform specific repairs or at the time of closing to provide you with a cash allowance towards the cost of needed repairs. You and the seller both have the option to back out of the agreed contract if the necessary repairs and cost are more than either party wants to pay.
Buying a fixer upper might turn out to be a good deal for you as long as you have the time, the money and the skills to make the needed repairs. If you are unsure you are up to the task, it’s better to spend more money up front and purchase a home that is already in good condition and move-in ready.
If you are considering purchasing Houston fixer-upper home or an investment home to flip, contact us and a Team Sadler Realtor will be happy to help find a Houston fixer-upper that fits your needs and your budget.