Buying a Fixer-upper? Here’s What You Need to Know

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Buying a fixer-upper excites many buyers, especially when it is their first purchase. The reasons are pretty obvious. Such a property allows one to enter the world of homeownership at a cost lesser than that of a move-in-ready home. The ability to get a house with personal touches without needing a new construction project is the icing on this cake. However, there is some serious work involved in buying a fixer-upper and fixing it up. Therefore, there are things you need to consider first before jumping into a hunt for fixer-upper houses.

Finding a fixer-upper

Before you look for a house, especially a fixer-upper, make sure to jot down what you and your family need in the house; the must-haves. This includes what you are willing and not willing to renovate in a house. Furthermore, you will need to consider the following:

  • Location: Prioritize what is non-negotiable for you in terms of location; this could a nearby grocery shop or educational institution. The neighborhood and its fit with your lifestyle is also something worth considering, as well.
  • Value: Look for properties and neighborhoods that will grow in value in time. This will give you an idea about how much your property will sell for in the future. Therefore, research current house values and their trend in the recent past in a particular neighborhood.
  • Inspections: Getting a home inspector in Philadelphia to look at a house before a purchase is a must, especially if the property is a fixer-upper. This will give you an estimate of damages and required renovations and help you decide if it is too much for your budget.

Handling the renovations

When it comes to handling the renovations in a fixer-upper, having a plan and a set budget is important. Decide what repairs you will do first, create a budget accordingly, and stick to it. Furthermore, choose the right medium of renovation: DIY or getting a pro. Remember, it is best to pace your renovation work based on the cash flow.

Paying for a fixer-upper purchase

It is common to take a mortgage or loans to buy a house, and a fixer-upper is no different. However, make sure not to get mortgages for your renovation. Furthermore, refrain from opening a credit line on the house or the equity you have on it. Doing either will put you in heavy debt. Instead, try to use cash for all your renovation work.


Buying a fixer-upper can help you save money in many ways while ensuring personalization in the property. However, a lot of work goes into fixing such a house to its glory or the ideal version in your head. Therefore, you need to be smart about the renovation you do and how.

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