Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying a Fixer-Upper

By Adrianna | September 14, 2017

Home renovation planning

If you are thinking of buying a fixer-upper, there are many factors that you should consider before purchasing. While you can save money and craft your dream home by rescuing a neglected beauty, unexpected costs can pile up quickly. With careful planning, budgeting, and inspecting, you can avoid falling into a money pit. Here are some tips to guide your renovation process. 

Consult a home inspector before buying

Discovering one disaster can both blindside you and blow your budget. Instead of hoping you won’t find any unpleasant surprises, consider consulting a home inspector vetted through a trusted review website like Yelp. A home inspector will reveal hidden problems such as water leaks, septic and structural problems, pests, and mold. Having an inspection done prior to beginning your remodeling will allow you to know exactly what you are investing in.  Consulting a real estate agent can also give you a good idea of the value of the home you are buying and tips on the neighborhood. 

Plan ahead

Having a thorough plan before starting your remodel can help you achieve exactly what you want without deterring from your budget. Decide what rooms are most important to you first. Do you love cooking? Have you always dreamed of having a fully-functional laundry room? If you want to design your dream kitchen, plan to spend less on the living room and bedrooms. Plan to spend the most on the rooms that are most important to you and your lifestyle. Decide early on what materials and design you want to use for each room. It’s okay to change your mind, but last-minute design ideas can break your budget.

Know your limits

While you can YouTube basic home improvements such as replacing carpet and removing wallpaper, the ability to complete proper plumbing and electrical work that is up to code will depend on your personal skill level. It is important to understand your limits and know when to hire a professional.

Vet your contractor

If you make the decision to hire a professional contractor, be sure to vet them thoroughly before hiring them. Look for reviews, references, and examples of work they have completed in the past. Make sure the contractor you choose provides estimates and plans for work on paper. Communicating with your contractor is essential to ensure you will meet your construction deadline.

Choose quality materials

The home renovation gurus at HGTV know best: never skimp on materials. While you may save money now by buying plastic laminate countertops instead of granite or stainless steel, cheap materials often get easily worn out, forcing you to replace them later. If you can’t afford to renovate a fixer-upper with high-quality materials, consider waiting until you can do the project the right way.

This is a guest post contributed to by Coldwell Banker Valley Brokers, a real estate company serving the Willamette Valley area.

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