By Kris Bickell
Are you thinking of buying a home that needs a little work?
For many people, this is a good way to get a bigger house, get
a cheaper house, or make money by fixing up the house and
If you’ve never owned a house that needed lots of work, then
you owe it to yourself to think about this decision carefully
before signing any paperwork!
What are the benefits of owning a home that needs a little
There are many benefits to buying a home that needs some work.
If it’s an older home, then many older homes often have a lot
of “charm”. Materials and workmanship are often very good in
older home. Floor plans are often “creative”.
And you can certainly get a home that needs some work for a
But what are the issues to consider before buying a “handyman
(or woman) special”?
First, is the house up to code?
While owning a home that is not up to current construction
standards is not a problem in itself (most towns recognize the
codes used at the time the work was actually done), if you do
any renovations or remodeling and need a permit, you may run
into trouble – and have to do extra work to get the house up
the standards of the current codes.
And this work can sometimes be costly. So before you buy any
house – especially one needing some work to get it into shape
have the house inspected. This is a small investment that
save you many times to price of the inspection!
Finding problems is not a bad thing, it just helps you avoid
unpleasant surprises and gives you more information to help
make the right buying decision for your situation.
Second, do you have the time to do the work?
If you have enough money to hire someone else to do the work,
congratulations! If not, take some time to think this one
through very carefully.
If you’ve never done the type of work needed, expect that you
will make some mistakes while learning – and that these
mistakes will cost you both time and money!
And if you have fixed up a house before, you already know that
what you see on the surface does not always tell the whole
story. Once you remove a wall, a floor, an appliance, etc, you
may find a whole new set of problems you never considered.
Not that you shouldn’t even consider fixing up a house on your
own. Just be prepared for the reality that if the section of
the house you can see has not been well maintained, that the
structure underneath may not be in great shape either!
Third, do you have the money to do all the work?
And if you don’t, can you live in the house while you wait?
As mentioned above, sometimes a project involves much more
meets the eye. And construction costs can easily go up…and
If you have enough cash saved up, good for you. But do you
more than enough saved up, in case there are surprises?
Tough question, but one to consider carefully!
Should you avoid buying a “fixer upper” unless you are a
handyman (or woman)?
Trust me, there is no greater feeling than finishing a project
that makes your home look better (and more valuable).
So if you like getting dirty, if you like learning new skills,
and if you like doing your own work, buying a house that needs
work can be a tremendous experience.
But getting to the end of a project can be challenging.
And it’s a challenge you definitely need to be ready to take
About The Author: Kris Bickell is the owner of
HouseBuying-Tips.com. For more tips on buying a home, getting
mortgage, & finding a realtor, sign up for the free email
“How To Avoid These 10 Costly Mistakes When Buying Your First
Home” at www.HouseBuying-Tips.com