6 Things To Know Before Buying A Fixer Upper

Investing in a fixer-upper is an attractive but daunting prospect. You might shy away from the thought of stripping back years of tasteless wallpaper or gutting the threadbare flooring. 

Renovating an old home is hard work. Depending on the state of the fixer-upper, you have a considerable endeavour on your hands. Before sinking your home into a tired, decrepit property, you want to make sure you can see the project through to completion. 

Follow these tips on the pros and cons of embarking on renovating an old property.



The main attraction of buying a house that is a little worse for wear is the affordability of the property. Renovation costs aside, the price of a rundown building is typically lower than a new build or well-decorated home.


Particularly in today’s housing market, when larger homes are more difficult to come by, you can get a reasonably sized house for a much more affordable price. 


It is a good guide to spend between 5% to 10% of the property price on home renovations — for a fixer-upper, you need to budget for the higher end. 


Resale Value

Of course, the money you invest into renovating a fixer-upper property should make for a good return on the house.


The more money you spend making your house beautiful, the higher the resale value. If you plan to live in it, then you need to factor in depreciation. However, the return should still be more than what you paid for the original rundown property. 


Easy and Cheap

As daunting as the prospect of renovating a tired, old home might be, it can be relatively easy and cheap. Not all fixer-uppers require extensive work. If the property is structurally fine, you might need to focus only on surface improvements to polish the aesthetic value.


You can primarily DIY, saving on costs. You can learn budget tricks for redecorating that will make your new home look as good as new. Take your time. Focus on the most crucial parts of the house first, like the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. Making your home liveable is a priority, so you don’t have to pay for two places simultaneously. Enlist friends and family to help you with the more significant tasks.


Creative Freedom

Investing in a fixer-upper gives you the chance to breathe life into a stale home. Starting with a blank canvas, you have the opportunity to get creative and style your house to your taste. From deciding which room requires the most fuss to adding features you might not find in other houses, you have the freedom to design your dream home. Of course, this is limited by your finances.


There is also the possibility of finding hidden gems during your renovation. An old house might have excellent vintage stoves behind the blocked up electric fire. Or historic flooring beneath the shabby carpet.



Relaxing on your sofa in the evening will feel so much more rewarding knowing that you put the blood, sweat and tears into the walls around you. The satisfaction of renovating a house yourself will make you more proud of your home than any other.


Unexpected Costs

Now for the disadvantages.


You need to prepare for the fact you might go over budget. While extortionate renovation costs can largely be avoided, it is still best to budget carefully for any unexpected payments you might need to make. You cannot guarantee that your property will only require superficial work. 


You also need to consider what type of fixer-upper you are investing in. For example, a house will come with garden maintenance costs, while an apartment within a body corporate might require extra fees for the building’s overall upkeep.


There is also the risk that your DIY skills are not up to scratch. You don’t want to do a botched job or be unable to complete the project. To avoid stress, make sure you know what is required of you. You also want the house to be relatively livable. If you cannot stay in it whilst you are renovating, you may need to budget for paying rent elsewhere alongside your mortgage.


However, if you are undaunted by the potential risks, it is the perfect opportunity to make your home unique.

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