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Fixer Uppers vs Move In Ready Homes

Maybe you love tinkering on home maintenance projects or finding creative ways to organize nooks and crannies in your home. You may be thinking about looking at fixer upper properties. After all, it could be a great opportunity for you to create from scratch your dream home!

Fixer uppers are indeed good options for a lot of people. But they're also a lot of work and, depending on the property, they can also be a lot of money. Use the questions below to help assess if purchasing a property in need of renovation is the right choice for you.

1. Do you have a fixed budget?

Fixer uppers are generally cheaper initially, because the seller recognizes the home needs a lot of work to be made comfortable. But it's hard to accurately estimate how much money you'll need to put into the home. There are repairs to consider as well as any aesthetic changes you wish to make. Often times renovations go over the initial estimated cost. It's important to keep this in mind, especially if you have a strict budget.

2. Do you have an inflexible timeframe for moving in?

Remodeling a property often takes a significant amount of time -- and often more than initially expected. If you need to move in by a certain date, or if it bothers you to live in a house under construction, a fixer upper may not be the best choice for you at this particular time.

3. Do you have the long-term energy and interest in designing a home?

What may start out as a fun creative project for just a few spaces could snowball into a very time-consuming remodel. Consider whether or not you have the time and interest to devote to choosing paint samples, working with architects and contractors, deciding on bathroom fixtures, etc., not just over a weekend, but over a period of months. If you're set on remodeling but don't have the time or interest in handling it all yourself, you can look into hiring an interior designer. Keep in mind this will be an extra cost on top of the costs of renovation.

4. Have you heard of rehab loans?

When you talk to your lender about your mortgage loan find out if you qualify for a rehab loan to cover the cost of renovations and repairs.

Source: Apartment Therapy

But wait, you may be thinking! You've only listed drawbacks! Aren't there advantages, too? Of course!

You'll be able to design your dream home, be assured your house has quality and not just spec materials, and be able to choose more energy-efficient appliances, which will save you money on your bills. Keep in mind many new, ready-to-move-in homes have these advantages, too, so that's always another option to consider, although you'll pay more up front than you would for a house in need of renovation.

I'm here to help as you take all the things into consideration.