Several generations ago, buying a home was a goal that was in reach for most Americans. Now, however, purchasing a house is a more daunting process, especially in higher-end areas. One way to get into the neighborhood you desire and still stay within budget is to buy a fixer-upper. Then you can take time to invest in the work and bring your home up to par.
If you find that your home search leaves you wailing, “I can’t find a house I like,” then a fixer-upper might be the way to go. The team at Design Elements NW can turn your diamond-in-the-rough into the house of your dreams. Reach out and let’s connect.
What Is a Fixer-Upper?
Many people have different ideas of what constitutes a fixer-upper. But in general, the term applies to real estate that needs significant refurbishing or remodeling. Usually, these properties are not at the same level of quality as surrounding homes.
A fixer-upper will need large-scale work such as a new roof or foundation repairs. Or it may be for sale as-is. Typically, minor cosmetic repairs, such as needing fresh paint or carpet, do not fall under the fixer-upper category.
Depending on the extent of work to do, you may be able to live in the home while renovations take place. In other cases, the remodel is so extensive that you may have to live somewhere else until your new home is habitable.
What Are the Benefits of Buying a Fixer-Upper?
The home buying process looks different for every buyer. Some have a seemingly unlimited budget and can purchase a house in pristine condition. Most, on the other hand, have some financial constraints to work with during their search.
One of the big draws for people who buy a fixer-upper is the ability to get into a high-end neighborhood at a lower price point. Here are three reasons you might want to consider this option.
1. Establish Yourself In a Good School District
Families with young children often want to move into areas with strong schools. And they often choose to do this before their kids are school age. Typically, homes in excellent school districts come with high price tags that young couples may not be ready to afford.
But working with an experienced realtor and an excellent designer, you may be able to find a hidden gem in your ideal part of town. Fixer-uppers generally sell for prices under the market value, so you may be able to secure a spot in your dream neighborhood well within your budget.
2. Get More House for Your Money
Are you ready to upsize but don’t have the budget for a bigger house in the right neighborhood? Choosing to buy a fixer-upper may be the ticket. When you are willing to purchase a home that needs a lot of work, you can get a lot more space than if you shop for something move-in ready.
As-is houses sell for less per square foot than do properties with all the bells and whistles. This means you can buy a lot of house if you’re willing to live with the renovation experience. You will be able to consider homes with more room or bigger lots or both. And you can still be in the neighborhood you love.
3. Make Your House Just the Way You Want It
Sometimes you just can’t find a house you love enough to buy. You might be looking for a home that has everything you want and need but can’t find it in your ideal spot. In that case, you may have to create it yourself.
When you buy a fixer-upper, you are in charge of the renovations from the beginning. Working with an interior designer, you will be able to create the home you’re dreaming of in the neighborhood you love. And the finished project will bring you joy for years to come.
How Do You Buy a Fixer-Upper?
Many steps of the home buying process are the same for fixer-uppers as they are for any other house. You will need to secure lending unless you are paying cash.
You will place an offer, and the seller will accept it or not. There may be counter offers and negotiations before you enter into a contract. Your designer can give you an estimate of the remodel costs so that you can factor that into your offer.
Depending on the level of work a home needs, there may be extra hoops to jump through for lending. Often, buyers can secure a loan that includes both the purchase price and money for the remodel. This type of renovation loan makes it easier to pay for all the work since repayment is included with the monthly mortgage.
A renovation home loan will require you to agree to extra inspections and reports. The lender wants to be sure the work is happening as planned, so they can protect their investment and yours.
How Long Will It Take To Remodel a Fixer-Upper?
There is no simple answer to this question since each project is unique. The most critical piece is hiring a designer who fits the following criteria:
- Experienced in working with total renovations, not just cosmetic updates
- Connected to a reliable network of contractors and subcontractors
- Available to handle the scope of your project on time
- Ready to listen to what you want
A designer with the right experience and connections will be able to make this as seamless a process as any remodel can be. They will set the timeline so that work moves along swiftly.
Have an Expert By Your Side
If you feel overwhelmed by the thought of tackling renovations on your own, reach out to Kym at Design Elements NW. You can walk in the door saying, “Remodel my house!” and she will take care of it.
Choosing to buy a fixer-upper is the perfect way to get into your dream house. You just have to be a little patient waiting for the dream to come true. But with Design Elements NW on your team, you’ll be enjoying your new home before you know it! Reach out today to get started.