How to Buy Fixer Uppers for Sale

It takes a lot to create a beautiful house out of a nothing house. And you have to be willing to get your hands dirty.

If you’re looking to start buying fixer uppers for sale, you’ll have to be willing to invest a lot of time and money into the property.

But transforming a fixer upper is definitely worth it.

So take a look at this complete guide to make sure you’re buying the right fixer uppers.

Think About the Kind of House You Want

You might think any cheap house is a good fixer upper candidate, but there are a lot of houses you’ll actually want to avoid. If you invest in the wrong house, you’ll end up losing a lot of money and get stuck with a house no one will ever buy.

But before you back out of the business, it’s not hard to recognize those kinds of houses.

Let’s take a closer look at what makes a bad fixer upper and what makes a good fixer upper.

Houses You Want to Avoid

These are any houses that have major problems that no amount of money can fix. Houses like these are better torn down than remodeled.

You may not be able to see these problems right as you enter the house, so be careful and make sure you really know what’s wrong with a house before you buy it.

Some of the problems to look out for include:

No matter how cheap the house is, do not buy a house that has any of these problems. You won’t be able to fix them, and you’ll end up wasting a lot of money trying.

Even if you make the house look nice, no one will want to buy a house with foundation and structural problems. If by some miracle it did sell, you would not make back nearly as much as you spent on it.

But don’t worry. There are a lot of other fixer uppers for sale out there.

Houses That Are Safe to Buy

These houses are ugly, but they’re in good shape. No one wants them because they look awful, but with a bit of work, you can turn them into beautiful houses people will be lining up to get their hands on.

It’s definitely safe to buy these kinds of houses. They may need several renovations, but once you fix them up, you can either live in them comfortably or sell them for a profit (we’ll talk more about this later).

You won’t lose money on these houses, but you may make some money off them in the end.

These houses will have repairs that include:

  • Bad curb appeal
  • Ugly decor
  • Small, dark rooms
  • Outdated kitchens and bathrooms
  • Bad smells
  • Leaking roofs
  • Peeling Paint (outside or inside)
  • Damaged drywall

This may sound like a lot, but most of these problems can be fixed easily. Curb appeal is fixed with a new lawn, trimmed plants, and a fresh coat of paint outside. Dark rooms are given new curtains or lights and made to look bigger with new paint as well.

You can even find places to take out non-load-bearing walls to open up tight spaces, like the kitchen and dining room. The rest comes down to patching damaged drywall and ceilings and sprucing the overall look a bit.

It will take a lot of time and effort, but these kinds of houses are ones you can make beautiful again.

The Houses You Really Want

These houses only require a few small changes, and you can fix them up and move in or sell them quickly. They’re called cosmetic fixer uppers.

They just need a few new things to give them that new, clean look. Houses like these need fixes that include:

  • New hardwood floors or carpet
  • New paint
  • New lights
  • A bit of landscaping
  • A few new appliances

In reality, the house may not even need all that. Cosmetic fixer uppers are the houses that need the least amount of work and take the least amount of time to renovate.

Why Are You Looking for Fixer Uppers for Sale?

Your why plays a huge part in finding the right kind of fixer uppers for sale. While all fixer uppers need work and money put into them, they need different amounts depending on what you want to use them for.

Fixer Upper as a Home?

If your fixer upper is going to be your new family home, then you can take your time with the renovations. You don’t have to make it look particularly nice either. It just has to be comfortable and safe for the family.

Fix and Flip?

If you’re planning to flip your fixer upper for profit, you’ll need to finish the renovations as quickly as possible and make it look as nice as possible. The house will be shown off to a lot of potential buyers, and you’ll want to make as much profit as you can.

Fix and Rent?

Again, you’ll want to make sure the renovations are a little nicer than what they would be in a family home. Turning a house into a rental won’t give you a large chunk of profit right away, but it will turn into a passive income.

How to Buy Fixer Uppers for Sale

You can find this kind of house on MLS or even by driving down the street. There’s a lot of them out there, and they aren’t hard to get your hands on (click for more).

Once you find one you like, calculate the cost of the repairs before you make an offer. You should also compare the house you’re interested in with other houses like it that have sold in the area recently.

If a similar house sold for $210,000, and your repairs will cost $30,000, you offer should be no more than $170,000.

Fixer Uppers for Sale Can Save You Money

Whether you want to fix a house to live in or fix a house to sell, picking a fixer upper can save you a lot of money in the long run. It may take some time to fix, but the end result will be as nice as any other house.

Looking for a contractor to help with the renovation process? We can help you find one!

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