Finding Your Perfect Home in a Fixer Upper

If you’re trying to buy a home and are having a hard time finding one you can afford, it may be time to consider a fixer-upper. That’s a house that needs a little elbow grease or some updates, but has good bones. Fixer-uppers can be a really great option if you’re looking to break into the housing market or want to stretch your budget further. According to NerdWallet:

“Buying a fixer-upper can provide a path to homeownership for first-time home buyers or a way for repeat buyers to afford a larger home or a better neighbourhood. With the relatively low inventory of homes for sale these days, a move-in ready home can be hard to find, especially if you’re on a budget.”

Basically, since the number of homes for sale is still so low, if you’re only willing to tour homes that have all your dream features, you may be cutting down your options too much and making it harder on yourself than necessary. It may be time to cast a wider net.

Sometimes the perfect home is the one you perfect after buying it.

Here’s some information that can help you pinpoint what you truly need so you can be strategic in your home search. First, make a list of all the features you want in a home. From there, work to break those features into categories like this:

  • Must-Haves - If a house doesn’t have these features, it won’t work for you and your lifestyle.
  • Nice-To-Haves - These are features you’d love to have but can live without. Nice-to-haves aren’t dealbreakers, but if you find a home that hits all the must-haves and some of these, it’s a contender.
  • Dream State - This is where you can really think big. Again, these aren’t features you’ll need, but if you find a home in your budget that has all the must-haves, most of the nice-to-haves, and any of these, it’s a clear winner.

Once you’ve sorted your list in a way that works for you, share it with your real estate agent. They’ll help you find homes that deliver on your top needs right now and have the potential to be your dream home with a little bit of sweat equity. Lean on their expertise as you think through what’s possible, what features are easy to change or add, and how to make it happen. According to Progressive:

“Many real estate agents specialize in finding fixer-uppers and have a network of inspectors, contractors, electricians, and the like.”

Your agent can also offer advice on which upgrades and renovations will set you up to get the greatest return on your investment if you ever decide to sell down the line.

Bottom Line

If you haven’t found a home you love that’s in your budget, it may be worth thinking through all your options, including fixer-uppers. Sometimes the perfect home for you is the one you perfect after buying it. To see what’s available in our area, let’s connect.

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