With DIY shows hitting our screens in steady waves, renovations seem like a fun and effective way to turn an average property into an incredible home. However, while you may be able to picture the perfect home when visiting a fixer upper, do you really have what it takes to make it work?
Here is some helpful information to help you determine whether a fixer upper is the best way to be spending your time and money.
How experienced are you in renovations?
Renovations can be a tricky business and they can become quite a guessing game when it comes to time and money. If you’ve never done a renovation before, and you don’t have any close relatives or friends that have either, it doesn’t mean you should avoid a fixer upper, but it does mean you should be very selective of the one you choose.
For your very first reno, getting a complete gut job may not be the wisest idea; you’ll be fresh to the process and how to go about budgeting and timelines. Stick to properties where only a couple of areas need work.
Are you completing the work yourself?
If you plan on fixing up the place on your own, make sure you’re taking on a project that is within your means. While things like repainting or changing cupboards might be something you can easily tackle on your own, there may be some jobs that are best left to the experts to ensure the renovation actually adds value to the home.
Make a list of the jobs that you’ll need to bring in a team to do and have a think about how this will affect your budget. Remember, always add extra funds to account for those emergencies that arise.
If you plan to do the work yourself, make sure and get the opinion of a professional such as an inspector before you begin to make sure you aren’t doing damage to the property or yourself with things like asbestos for example.
Are you focusing on the things that can actually be changed?
It can be so easy to let our imaginations run away with us and concoct whole new house designs that turn that average home into your private mansion. However, it’s really important to be realistic on what the results will be and how much you’ll be able to take on. An eyesore of a bathroom or kitchen can definitely be improved, but if the problems are structural or the layout is completely wrong, it may be time to cut ties and let this property go.
It’s not just about the house
You may get the perfect fixer upper at the right price and have the means and experience to do something with it. But if it’s in a terrible location it will be for nothing. Look at the neighboring properties, have a walk around the neighborhood; if things are looking worse for wear and properties are run down and boarded up, it’s unlikely to attract a high price no matter what you do with it.