Monday, October 5, 2020

Bad Wallpaper or Structural Damage? Tips for Finding a Right Fixer Upper Home for the DIYer




Many people want a move-in ready house, but there are plenty of others who are happy to do their own updates and remodeling. However, there comes a point where a fun fixer upper home just isn’t worth the trouble. 

To make it worthwhile, you have to find the right property for your budget and your time. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when hunting for a promising DIY property.

Financial Planning


Explore your financing options for buying a house in your price range. You may want to apply for a mortgage, which will require an appraisal as well as a twenty percent down payment. 

You will also need property insurance and the financial standing to afford monthly payments. In addition you should develop a budget for the cost of repairs, utilities, and taxes while the house is renovated.

All together, you will need to finance a fair amount of money up front. Another option is to use savings or a home equity credit line to buy the house up front, which will eliminate the need for a mortgage. Talk to a financial adviser, like David Laut, about the most feasible way to handle this investment based on your current circumstances.


Comprehensive Inspection


If you are experienced and qualified, you can perform a detailed evaluation of the property you want to buy. Otherwise, you can hire a professional inspector to do a comprehensive inspection of the premises. It is usually recommended to use a professional inspector to better protect yourself legally and financially.




The inspector will check the house from roof to basement, and they’ll also check the lawn as well as any outbuildings on the property. The inspection can find hidden problems like structural issues or a septic tank defect that can be very expensive to repair. 

Knowing in advance about these issues will enable you to make an informed decision about whether to buy the property anyway or find one with fewer problems.

Time and Cost Budget


After being pre-approved for a mortgage or arranging finances in advance and then finding a property you want to buy, create a time and cost budget. Knowing up front how much time will be needed to do the repair work as well as the accompanying costs will give you an idea of whether a certain property fits your DIY capabilities.

Family Helpers


For minor work like lawn care and light demolition or hauling, you may be able to hire family members who would like the work instead of professionals for a cheaper rate. Renovations are a great learning experience for teens and siblings who want to learn some home care and remodeling skills.

Avoid snap judgments and quick purchase offers even when you’re looking for a fixer upper property. Otherwise, you could find yourself in over your head. Prepare in advance and carefully assess whether a certain property will be a good DIY opportunity.




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