Saturday, September 24, 2005

Is Your Fixer-Upper Worth Fixing Up?

Nowadays more home buyers than ever are in the market for a 'fixer-upper', a damaged home that needs repairs. Whether they want it for themselves or to renovate and sell at a profit, people are looking for the diamond in the rough.

The question is, will you be able to do the work required to make the home marketable? The secret lies in purchasing a home with problems that aren't out of the realm of possible repair. So what should you look for when you go to search for your fixer-upper? What should you avoid?

Unless you're a certified carpenter with plenty of time and money on your hands, avoid a house with serious structural damages. Structural repair, including unsafe wall support and caving-in roofs, can be a serious and costly process, out of reach for the typical home buyer. How do you know if a house is too broken to fix? It pays to ask a professional. Although most of the time serious structural damage is obvious (and in fact, you'd probably have to go looking to find a house on the market that had this kind of problem), it's worth your money to get an inspector on your side and have them check over any damaged property you're considering. If you do the research and get the right inspector, they'll be able to tell you what lies ahead.

On the other hand, there are certain home defects that, while they might sound daunting, are simple enough for the right person with a little time and money to spend. A home that has seriously damaged floors, for example, may require the removal of the old floors and installation of new ones. Similarly, a missing porch, broken windows, and damaged walls can all be repairable defects if your budget and time allow.

Of course, it's possible to remedy any problem that might exist in a home, even if it involves serious structural work. The trick is deciding on what type of budget and timeline you have, and how much work you're willing to devote to bringing your diamond to life. If you're considering a fairly large repair project and a fairly large investment, get an appraiser to look at the property and help you calculate what kind of market value the house will have when all is said and done. Even if you're not planning to sell it, you'll need to know if the work is worth the investment.

Finally, know when to walk away. If it's a great house but has a lousy yard, or is in a bad location, do you really want to pour time and money into renovations? Renovating a fixer-upper is a big commitment. Make sure it'll be worth it in the end.


Dobler Consulting Inc
2339 Warwick Dr
FL 34677
United States

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