Should You Buy a Fixer-Upper? 3 Major Considerations

by Julie Gross 03/27/2023

A fixer-upper requires significant time and effort to renovate. While the DIY route might seem like the best way to save money, it isn't always the most affordable option. There are other issues like time and logistics to consider. If you're thinking about buying a fixer-upper, here are the biggest things to consider:

Hard Work

The major drawback to fixer-uppers is the time and effort they require. Even for DIY masters, an entire list of home improvements adds up to a significant undertaking. Some tasks might be simple and inexpensive, like painting or installing tile. Others, like plumbing overhauls or installing new HVAC systems will require more time and labor.

Unexpectedly High Costs

Unfortunately, fixer-uppers often come with unexpected costs beyond what you budget for. Even with the unpleasant surprises, you may end up spending more than you budgeted for on renovations. Every construction project inevitably runs into delays or issues with materials—these issues can add up quickly and add monetary stress to the situation. If you hire professionals to help you with the bigger projects, their labor will factor in as well.

Changing Timeline

As with all renovation projects, there are bound to be timeline issues. Delays in getting materials, poor weather and any other myriad obstacles can stretch out a quick project into a month-long process. If you're doing the work yourself, you'll also need to consider your own energy levels and life balance. After all, you need to make time to eat and sleep! Balancing DIY renovations with jobs, social or household obligations and your own peace of mind may factor in to your timeline. Unfortunately, these issues are some of the hardest to plan for.

Fixer-uppers can be a ton of work, but they can be very rewarding. Whether you plan to live in the improved home or flip it for profit, you can get even more out of it than the work you put in.

About the Author

Julie Gross

Hi, I'm Julie Gross and I'd love to assist you. Whether you're in the research phase at the beginning of your real estate search or you know exactly what you're looking for, you'll benefit from having a real estate professional by your side. I'd be honored to put my real estate experience to work for you.