Do’s And Don’ts Of Purchasing A Fixer Upper

Whether you're a first time homebuyer or have lived in different houses all over the country, buying a new home is a huge decision. In an attempt to save some money or add a little personal flair to the property, many are choosing to take a chance and buy a fixer upper. If you're considering purchasing a home that needs a little work, here are a few do's and don'ts to help you make a more informed decision:

Do Learn About the Zoning Laws

One of the best aspects of purchasing a fixer upper is the ability to personalize, upgrade and add on to the property. However, before you draw up plans to alter the residence, it is important to learn about the municipality's zoning laws.

The local zoning laws will dictate the changes you can make to the property. For example, if you're planning to upgrade a home that is designated a historic landmark, you will need to following the zoning laws for every aspect of the redesign.

Additionally, if you are planning on having a homebased business, you will need to purchase a home that is zoned as a residence and a commercial space. Don't risk purchasing a home that isn't zoned to meet your needs and instead, check with the municipality's local planning department first.

Do Choose Problems You Can Handle

From a few minor cosmetic fixes to a massive overhaul, the issues with any fixer uppers will vary greatly. However, before you purchase a home that has a great price and several problems, it is important to be realistic about your experience and abilities.

For example, consider purchasing a home that just requires some paint, new appliances and some new light fixtures. Otherwise, you may need to secure a renovation loan if you choose a property that requires more work than you can handle.

If you are planning on purchasing a home that needs a lot of work, Help Finding My Agent urges potential homeowners to secure several estimates. Keep these estimates in mind while you consider purchasing the home. If the estimates are too high, the bargain fixer upper might not seem like such a great deal.

Don't Buy a Fixer Upper and Assume You Will Make a Huge Profit

There are several popular television shows devoted to flipping houses, or the process of purchasing an inexpensive home and upgrading quickly to make a profit. However, before you enter the world of flipping, it is important to realize that the individuals who purchase houses on television have years of experience and, in many cases, several investors to support them financially.

Instead, if you don't have extensive home renovation experience, only consider purchasing a fixer upper you are planning on living in. Otherwise, you might wind up purchasing a home that looks great, but won't sell.

Don't Skip the Home Inspection

Finally, many experienced and inexperienced home buyers assume that they can inspect a home just as well as a professional. Unfortunately, while they may be able to pinpoint some of the more obvious problems, home buyers will often overlook hidden problems that can wind up costing them a small fortune. If you're considering purchasing a fixer upper, it is critical to have the home inspected by a professional before you make an offer. From a cracked foundation to hidden water damage, a home inspector will be able to pinpoint some problems that home buyers simply won't know to look for.

Purchasing a fixer upper can save you a lot of money, but it can also create a lot of headaches. Before you make an offer on a home that needs some work, make sure you know what you're getting into, don't overestimate your abilities, and get the house inspected by a professional. 

If you're looking to purchase a home, contact a real estate agent for assistance.