Diamond Or Rough: How To Tell If A Fixer Upper Is Worth It

Posted on: 20 July 2017

Sometimes, in order to get a house that is in your budget, you have to sacrifice on finding a move-in ready home. Instead, you look for homes that need some work. Some buyers can be scared away by fixer-upper houses, thinking that the work will be too costly and the hassle will be too great. However, some houses truly are worth the work and the investment -- the house will be worth more fixed up and you'll have a space you can customize to your tastes. However, some fixer-uppers are actually a money pit. 

Here are some features to help you discern if you are looking at a deal or a dud.

1. The Neighborhood.

Even if a house is in pretty bad shape, if it's in a great neighborhood, it could be worth the extra work. Not only will you have a nice place to live after the house is finished, but if the neighborhood continues to trend upward, you will build plenty of equity for a future sale. You could end up recouping all the costs of the renovations, depending on the type of work that needs to be done.

2. Bathrooms and Kitchens

If the bathrooms and kitchen need renovated, don't be afraid. These areas provide the highest return on investment. However, if you're hoping for a budget-friendly renovation, you can look for salvageable features. For example, if the cabinets are in good shape but simply look dated, you can paint them and replace other items like flooring, countertops and appliances.  

Bathrooms are another scary area for homeowners. However, instead of looking at bad tile and wallpaper, look instead at the floor space, the location of the plumbing and whether or not you can expand with a larger tub or shower.

3. Structure

Structural issues are the most expensive to fix. Things like plumbing and electrical, while they may seem like big fixes, have strong returns. However, repairing a bad foundation, shoring up support joists, digging out sewer lines, or fixing roofs with damaged trusses can be both time consuming and require extensive financial commitment. These issues also extend beyond themselves. For example, a bad foundation can cause broken windows, poorly fitted doors, and walls that are out of square. 

For more information on finding the right fixer upper in your neighborhood, contact a company that specializes in real estate services. You can find the right house the needs the right work.