Purchasing a fixer-upper can be the coolest thing you’ve ever done or the worst decision you’ve ever made.  The goal is to make the finished product a comfortable place for you and your family, but controlling the cost on the way is equally as vital.  

Before purchasing a fixer-upper property, it’s important to know what you’re looking for in a buy.  Start building the knowledge reserves you need for success, and read through a brief overview of some crucial tips to consider before you purchase a fixer-upper.

What you’re really looking to find

You first need to know how to spot a fixer-upper that’s worth your dime.  Most home buyers are looking for a move-in ready home and are turned off by relatively simple renovations or fixes.  You are looking to avoid some much more serious problems.

A scratched wall or stained up carpet is nothing.  You need to take a close look at the condition of the roof, the foundation, and electrical components if possible.  These are things that can skyrocket the cost of renovating the house.

Consider the true cost of the job

There are many different costs involved in purchasing and renovating a fixer-upper.  You have to consider far more than just the cost of the property. Hacking and demolishing what’s already there costs money.  Materials cost money.  Manpower costs money.

The worst mistake you can make is under-budgeting for a project.  You don’t want your fixer-upper to be half finished when the funds run dry.  Thoroughly research what the job will cost, and have a good idea of what you’ll need before taking on a fixer-upper.  

Be prepared to invest your time

You’ll never take on a fixer-upper that doesn’t take your time.  Be prepared to devote nearly all of your free time to working on the house.  Be prepared to sweat, and put your own expertise to work whenever possible.  

Build solid connections to trusted services

You’ll need many different skilled hands to create a quality end product that you and your family can safely enjoy.  Electricians, plumbers, builders, roofers, landscaping, and many other specialties are needed to get your fixer-upper in tip-top shape.  

It’s also not a bad idea to bring coffee and donuts to the inspector’s office.  Your local inspectors have the power to make or break your renovations, so make sure to groom a positive relationship.  

Always include a contingency plan

There’s no way for even a trained eye to see every hidden issue with a property before digging into the renovations.  Always include a contingency plan in your budget, so you’re not caught off-guard by hidden troubles.

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