Tuesday, June 5, 2018 / by Grant Williams
Photo via Unsplash
A fixer-upper can be a rewarding way to put your creative juices to work and even make a profit. As long as you pick a house that won't swallow up your budget with expensive hidden repairs, a fixer-upper can be a cheaper way to obtain your dream home. Plus, you don't even need to be a master designer or professional contractor to get the job done. Read on to find out how to best prepare for this exciting endeavor.
Fixer-uppers are cheaper to buy than homes that are ready to live in, but they can still be pricey. Consider that the average listing price for a fixer-upper in Austin, Texas, is $429,000. Purchasing a fixer-upper is still an investment. So, consider your long-term plans for the home before making a purchase.
Deciding if you will sell the home or live in it when you're finished will help you determine whether to stick to repairs that will increase the house’s resale value or if you can indulge in luxury finishings for your own enjoyment. If you sell after your hard work is finished, you'll hopefully make a large profit. Financial advisors recommend having two exit strategies for your fixer-upper home if you don't plan on living in it when you're finished. If you can't find a buyer right away, make sure it will still be profitable to rent out your home until it sells.
According to House Logic, the best fixer-uppers are those that require fixes that will immediately increase the home's resale value. For example, a new coat of paint and some decent landscaping work are high-value fixes that require little effort. Adding new hardwood floors to your house may be expensive, but you can recoup almost all the money spent on them when you sell.
Do an online search for fixer-upper properties in your area. The perfect fixer-upper is in a good neighborhood and already has a desirable room layout. Taking down walls can be expensive and can even weaken the overall structure of the house. If this is your first fixer-upper, you may want to look for a home that only requires cosmetic repairs. For example, you might just have to replace the flooring, interior doors, glass panes and repaint walls.
You should prioritize the projects that will get you the best return on your investment. Remodeling your kitchen can make your entire home seem updated and enticing to buyers. Focus on fixes that will improve the visual impact of the kitchen. For example, update kitchen cabinets and countertops, replace old appliances with shiny new ones, take down drab wallpaper and add decorative lighting and hardware.
When it comes to the bathroom, updating tiles, light fixtures and countertops will do a lot for the overall feel of the space. If you have the money, add features to your bathroom that give it a “spa” feel, such as a steam shower or jetted tub. Refer to these budget bathroom ideas from The Spruce if you're looking for low-cost updates.
Create an inviting outdoor living space by installing a patio, and increase your home's cube appeal with simple landscaping. Importantly, make sure you have the right tools for your DIY work. Most people who tackle DIY repairs recommend a basic tool kit, a drill, a level, a stud finder, a sander and a jigsaw. The proper tools will not only make your job easier, but safer as well.
Though you will be able to tackle much of the remodeling by yourself, there are some repairs that require a professional. For example, never attempt major electrical repairs as these can be extremely dangerous when not done properly. Plumbing jobs, HVAC system installations and roof repairs should also be left to the professional. If you’re ever unsure about anything or feel unsafe while making repairs, seek out an expert’s opinion.
Designing and remodeling your own home will help you save a lot of money. But, don't be afraid to hire a professional when you need it. Just getting an opinion from an interior designer can be helpful if you don't know where to start. Remodeling a fixer-upper can be a fun way to work with your hands and learn valuable skills in the process.