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  • Writer's pictureJenny

Got Your Sights Fixed On A Fixer-Upper For The First Time?

When moving house, most of us accept that there will likely be some need to make improvements. After all, this is a space tailored to someone else’s needs, and decoration at the very least will inevitably be on the cards when you move in.

However, while most of us prepare for some work, we don’t often prep ourselves for a total fixer-upper. Unfortunately (or not, as the case may be,) it’s not unusual for properties like these to crop up during a house search. And, if you happen to fall in love with one such listing, then you may face a lot more work than initially anticipated.

Even if you think this will never be you, you’d be surprised how often it can happen. After all, fixer-uppers have a few pressing benefits. Still, if you’ve never even toyed with the idea of a project property before, it certainly wouldn’t be best to jump in without thought. Instead, it’s time to make sure that the property is as good as it looks by asking the following question before you make an offer.

Do you understand the work required?

The size of the project that you’re willing to embark on is, obviously, down to you, but you would be in for a nasty shock if you thought all the work necessary was superficial, only to find out that, actually, there are some structural issues at play. The good news is that underpinning houses can fix even these issues, but this is something you’re going to want to prepare for in advance. After all, foundation work is a little different to a new lick of paint, and the price tag involved is sure to vary a little, too. So, get your detective hat on during a viewing, and make sure that you know precisely what you’re getting yourself into.

Is price representative or is there room for maneuver?

While fixer-uppers can be notably cheaper, this fact alone doesn’t guarantee that you’re getting a bargain. In fact, if work isn’t accounted for in the cost, you could end up paying significantly more than you would with a ready-to-go option. To avoid this, gather a rough idea of any potential expenses. Then, be sure either that house price represents those expenses, or that there’s room for compromise in light of the work you’ll need to do.

Are you prepared to wait?

It’s also vital to consider how you would feel about a potentially lengthy fix-up timeframe. Small jobs don’t take long, but structural work or complete renovations can drag on. This means that it could be months or more before you’re able to move in. If you have alternative accommodation and think you’re willing to wait, then by all means go ahead. But, if you prefer to move straight in, you might want to think again.

There’s really nothing wrong with unexpectedly fixing your sights on a fixer-upper. Who knows; if even these questions didn’t faze you, doing up properties could just be the start of a fantastic new hobby.


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