There are a lot of reasons why people take on fixer-uppers. Some people want to save money on their home by choosing one that needs a lot of work, while others relish the prospect of a big house transformation. 

While TikTok and Instagram make these transformations look simple, the reality is that they’re a lot of work. It can take a long time to complete a house renovation, and a lot of money too. If you’re entertaining the idea of taking on a fixer-upper, there is a lot to think about before you sign on the dotted line.

Are you ready for a fixer-upper? Consider the following to help you make up your mind.

How much work can you handle?

There are several degrees of fixer-upper. From homes that haven’t been redecorated since the 50s to abandoned buildings in need of some severe fixes, the term ‘fixer-upper’ is a catch-all for many types of home renovations. It’s good to have an idea of what you’re willing and able to take on, so you can look for appropriate properties. Taking on something that’s out of your depth can mean a poor end result, and one that will cost you a lot of money.

Check out some fixer-upper house-flip examples to give you some inspiration.

Are there people with the right skills and tools who could help you out?

When it comes to home renovations, you’ll want to make things as affordable as possible by doing a lot of the work yourself. Which sounds great, until you get to the areas where only a skilled or experienced person will do. If you have friends and family with various trade skills who are willing to do you favors or reduce their rates, it could make things much easier for you. 

Suss out the kind of help that’s available to you before you make any commitments.

How will you manage your budget?

While a fixer-upper may be cheaper to buy, you can be sure of needing to spend a lot of money to turn it into your dream property. You’ll need to plan a budget carefully to make sure you can cover all of the work, with some money spare for emergencies. 

Some elements of the work will be done to make the property how you want it, while others may be simply to make the property a safer place to live. Replacing the windows is one thing, but dealing with asbestos removal is another. These additional works can eat into your budget and be frustrating to deal with compared to the more cosmetic elements of your renovation.

Will it be worth it?

Finally, you need to establish whether a fixer-upper is really worth it. A homebuyer’s survey will be useful before you buy the property to establish how much work is needed, and to assess the true value of the home. You should think about how much you’ll need to spend, versus the potential resale value of the property once you’re finished. Talk to others who’ve done fixer-upper challenges to give you some insight into the cost and work involved.

Taking on a big home renovation can be a way to get your dream home on a much smaller budget. A fixer-upper is a lot to take on, so it’s important to consider all the different elements, including the impact on your relationships and stress levels, to make sure it’s the right move for you.

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