A fixer-upper home can be an excellent investment if you have some DIY skills and understand the challenges of a fixer-upper. Besides having the necessary fixer-upper skills, you will also need to know who to contact for supplies, whatever they may be.
Many things may need fixing, like peeling paint, a shoddy lawn, or an outdated kitchen that can be undertaken by most of us to restore to its former glory.
However, a property in need of renovation may require more serious repair work, like fixing the foundation or rewiring the house’s electrical system.
In these scenarios, it is best to leave these restorations to professional contractors. If the foundation is cracked or weak, it is best to leave the ready mix concrete delivery to professional contractors.
These are some important considerations to think about when considering working on a fixer-upper home and where to get supplies. Make sure you have a well-thought-out plan before beginning any fixer-upper work.
What Is Your Motivation for Working On a Fixer-Upper?
There are many good reasons to work on a fixer-upper home, including:
Profitability – Make the fixer-up an investment, either selling or renting quickly after fixing it up
Livability – Create the ideal home you plan to live in for several years
Affordability – Purchasing a fixer-upper is a serious investment, but putting in the work provides a way to purchase a home at below-market value
Ownership – Fixer-upper homes also provide a way for first-time home buyers to be able to have homeownership
Upward mobility – By buying a fixer-upper, it may be possible to buy a much larger home or acquire a home in a better neighborhood
There are many other reasons to purchase a property in need of renovation, but if you are willing to put in the work, it can be a great decision.
What Are The Investment Considerations?
There are several factors to consider when investing in a fixer-upper home. Some of the most important investment factors to consider are:
Fixer-upper location – Make sure to consider the home’s neighborhood as to the quality of the school district and location to such amenities as shopping, dining, and any parks.
Investigate the neighborhood’s crime statistics and the condition of neighboring homes. Also, is the fixer-upper close to an intersection or next to a railway or construction site?
Condition of a fixer-upper – You want a property needing renovation, not a reclamation project. Ensure and thoroughly check out the home for any expensive repairs like mold, dry rot, water damage, insect or pest infestations, or any existing asbestos.
Also, does the fixer-upper have a huge, rough lawn that requires an additional expense of mower financing to keep it mowed?
Fixer-upper renovation costs – Spend adequate time evaluating your potential fixer-upper estimated total renovation costs. You don’t want to end up with a huge money sink because of incorrectly estimating renovation costs, which begin to drag out.
Make sure your to-do list is complete and accounts for all the anticipated costs for the renovation. For example, did you factor in the load of cedar mulch bulk required for landscaping?
Arrange financing – After selecting your fixer-upper, secure a renovation loan. A renovation loan is a mortgage with financing for both the home and renovation improvements.
Renovation loans often provide longer financing with possibly a lower interest rate than many types of financing.
What To Look For In A Fixer Upper Home
When looking at candidates for a fixer-upper home, there are some questions you should answer or satisfy before investing in the property.
By considering a few questions at the start of the process, they may pay big dividends in your fixer-upper restoration project.
Always thoroughly inspect a potential fixer-upper. When you identify a potential home as a fixer-upper, make sure to inspect it by following these suggestions:
Inspection – Inspect the fixer-upper for typical cosmetic issues like a neglected lawn, peeling or faded paint, and outdated kitchen or bathrooms. However, these are rather easy fixes, with most labor required with some inexpensive supplies like paint or fertilizer.
However, the bathroom and kitchen updates are a little more expensive and challenging. For example, the kitchen may require you to check with home improvement companies like Home Depot, Lowes, Menards, or other sink replacement businesses for appliances, which can become expensive, so be prepared for the ensuing expenses.
Also, thoroughly check the home’s foundation and wiring for being within code and structurally safe. If any issues are discovered, it may require the service of an electrical contractor by checking on Yelp, Home Advisor, or even conducting a Google search. There are rare times when the home may require a crane rental service for certain house foundation problems. Search online for ‘crane rentals service near me’ or refer to local Yellow Pages or Yelp.
Location – When a house is a candidate for a property needing renovation, it makes sense to verify it is located in a good neighborhood. Renovating a home will pay bigger dividends when it is located in a good area or a more desirable neighborhood.
Contract reputable contractors – It is advisable to contact reputable contractors to go through a walk-thru and get estimates for the renovation jobs you will not be able to do yourself. It is important to figure all expenses and costs into your fixer-upper home for budgeting and any resultant profits if that is your goal. Decide first what type of contractors you need for each renovation job, then search online or refer to Yelp, Home Advisor, Angi, or Thumbtack. Also, a good idea is to ask relatives or friends for any references.
Fixer-upper discovery – One effective method of discovering candidate homes for your fixer-upper project is searching online. Using your favorite search platform, conduct searches based on keywords like ‘restoration,’ ‘fixer_upper,’ ‘needs work,’ or ‘TLC.’
The resultant search should give you a prospective list of possible homes for your fixer-upper project. Also, while on the internet, check with services like Zillow, Trulia, or MLS (Multiple Listing Services).
Develop relationships with real estate agencies or buyers to discover hidden gems for fixer-upper homes, particularly in your chosen neighborhood.
Establish Accounts With Supply Companies
If you have decided to invest in a fixer-upper house to either live in or sell for a profit, it will be important and beneficial to establish accounts and relationships with supply companies. Some supply companies to establish accounts with include Home Depot, Lowes, ACE Hardware, and Fergusons (especially for plumbing supplies).
Establish accounts with supply companies such as a ceramic tile store. This will ensure that the necessary items will be available when needed when working on the renovation property. For a nice variety of tiles, check with Lowe’s, Home Depot, or Floor & Decor stores.
A nice side benefit is the supply house will be able to give you estimates for anticipated supplies. This will, in turn, help you plan the fixer-upper restoration budget.
Prepare and Manage a Budget
Make a detailed budget of all anticipated costs for working on the property needing renovation. Have you figured out expenses for necessary dumpster rentals for trash and cleanup?
Additional costs easily overlooked are any structural changes to the home, bringing the home up to acceptable code, or changing your mind mid-way through the project for the direction of the renovation.
Establish Good Working Relationships With Vendors
Make the effort to establish working relationships with your suppliers. Developing relationships can lead to getting preferred discounts on those custom plantation shutters you wanted.
In addition, having a strong relationship with a supply vendor may lead to receiving discounts on services. Also, when you need supplies on short notice, they will be available, and maybe at a nice discount.
Special Home Treatments for a Fixer-Upper
Many treatments are inexpensive and may be applied to fixer-uppers. These are some suggested home treatments to consider.
Epoxy coating – This is a tough coating or sealant that consists of an epoxy resin and a hardener that cures a very durable and lasting finish. Epoxy coatings are often used in garage floors, kitchens, bathrooms, and saunas due to their excellent resistance to heat and moisture.
Painting – One of the easiest, cost-effective ways to give a face-lift to a home is a fresh paint job. This may include stripping wallpaper, patching walls, and then painting. Candidates for painting beside walls and floors are window shutters, doors, lighting fixtures, and exterior walls or siding.
Kitchen and bathroom updates – These are typically profitable improvements involving replacing old fixtures countertops, and contracting for new cabinetry.
Floor refinishing – One way to dramatically improve hardwood floors is to sand the floor down and apply a new finish, like epoxy paint. It improves the look of a hardwood flow and increases the home’s value.
Tile and Light Fixture Replacement – Installing new ceramic, natural stone, or porcelain tile in bathrooms or kitchens for backslashes, walls, or floors provides an immediate visual impact in renovating a home.
Also, adding new lighting fixtures will immediately improve lighting accents and modernize the home’s appeal. Whenever adding new lighting fixtures, make sure the home’s wiring is up to code and in compliance by contacting an electrical contractor for a survey of the existing wiring.
Great Ways to Finish Your Home Look
Now that your fixer-upper is nearing completion, it is time to finish the project and polish your home’s look. These are some suggestions to take advantage of your handwork and add finishing touches that will continue to add value.
Painting – Once the hard, dirty renovation work is finished, it is time to begin cleaning up and adding your look. And one easy and inexpensive method to give your fixer-upper a new coat of paint on the inside and outside as required.
Plants – Adding plants to your home injects texture and color into your newly renovated home. Plants can be placed in the kitchen, living room, bathroom, or another room that needs a fresh look. Some suggested plants perfect for inside the home are peace lilies, air plants, spider plants, ficus, aloe Vera, and African violets.
Plants and shrubs also have a huge street appeal when strategically located around the home and yard. Some popular choices are azaleas, lilacs, rhododendrons, boxwoods, and hydrangeas.
Also adding mulching around the lawn in strategic areas can add a lot to the lawn’s appearance. Another lawn enhancement is the addition of inexpensive LED lighting fixtures in advantageous locations to add luster to the yard and home.
Furniture updates – Contact your local furniture supplier for any last-second deals on demo or showroom furniture pieces. Introduce character to your home’s decor by adding throw pillows to existing or new furniture.
Another way to add character to your new home is by adding rugs, throw blankets, or curtains. Artwork and pieces can be found at a discount by searching Amazon, Society 6, Artfinder, and Overstock.
Add character – Adding your character injects your personality into the fixer-upper home. Affordable ways to add character is visiting antique stores and malls for vintage and eclectic furniture that reflects your personality.
If you decide to look for a property needing renovation and invest in it as a fixer-upper, it can be a profitable decision. Or you are ready for your first home or want to move up to a larger residence in the neighborhood you always wanted to live in but was just out of your financial reach.
Regardless of the reason for buying a fixer-upper, it can be a great decision if you are properly prepared for all the eventualities you will encounter.
Renovating a home takes a lot of work, planning, and skill to maximize the effort. However, when properly prepared, the anticipated excitement of having a newly renovated home is worth all the effort.
In the end, if all goes well and according to your plans, you will have a home to be proud of or some serious equity for launching other endeavors.
Now, where is that property in need of renovation, anyone?