Homebuyer's guide: How to get a fixer upper

by Bill Mamak 01/13/2023

If you're a DIY-enthusiast in the market for a new home, it may be beneficial to learn how to get a fixer upper. Fixer-uppers have low purchase prices because they require major repairs, whether structural, aesthetic or both. 

Fixer-uppers are also a popular choice for those wanting to flip properties for profit in the marketplace. So, how do you go about finding and buying a fixer upper house? 

Do your research & plan for renovation costs

The first thing to do when thinking of buying a fixer upper house is determine whether you can actually afford to make the necessary improvements to the home. Create a detailed list of projects, and include estimates for materials and labor. If you need a contractor, get multiple quotes to compare rates.

Check the Federal Housing Administration (FHA)

Regardless of the home's condition, you'll likely need a mortgage. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) offers different types of rehabilitation or remodeling loans to consider. 

With this type of financing, you can both purchase the home and save money in an escrow account for future repairs.

Talk to real estate agents

A real estate agent can help you not only find the right fixer upper home, but offer valuable advice on improvements to prioritize. We may also be able to recommend professionals in our network, such as contractors and home inspectors.

Monitor the market

If you plan to fix-and-flip your project home, it's crucial to keep a close watch on the local market. Consider the amount of money you plan to put into the home compared to the purchase price of similar homes in the area. 

This can help you avoid overspending and ensure you place your home for sale at the best possible time.

Is a fixer upper right for you? Keep these tips in mind when beginning your home search, whether you plan to customize your dream home or make a big profit.

About the Author

Bill Mamak

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