All you need to do is simply find a house with “good bones”, and do the work yourself, or hire friends and family. Or, better yet hire a contractor. It really is that easy. Or, is it?
There are a number of things to consider before investing your time and money in a fixer upper.
Can you afford it?
Do the math! Consult with an experienced building inspector to assess the home, a contractor for a time and money quote on the work to be done. Make sure the quote is very detailed and you have a full understanding of everything on the document. If not, ask questions and get them to make the necessary changes in writing so there are no misunderstandings and disagreements once the work has been completed. Once you have general price tag, you can then decide if you can afford it or do you need to take out a renovation loan. It may even be possible to roll the renovations into your mortgage.
Have you ever done a renovation project that ended up costing you far more than you expected? Add an extra 10 to 15 percent to your budget for any renovation “surprises” that may arise.
Do you have the time?
Even if you decide on hiring contractors to do most of the work, coordinating everything with them is time consuming. What are your work and family obligations? Just started a job? Expecting a baby? You need to ensure that you have the time to commit to this project or the stress may not be worth it at this time.
Do it yourself?
Yes, this can save you money if you have the necessary skills. If not hire a contractor. It’s not worth going to the Emergency Room with a power tool injury. If you don’t have the tools make sure to add them into your budget. They can either be purchased or some can even be rented.
Feel like living in a construction zone?
Can you live in the property during renovations? Workers coming in and out of the house, the noise of hammers and power tools, the dust and dirt. If possible, find somewhere else to live. Especially if you have small children or pets. And remember, even with a timeline to get the work completed they seldom are done on time.
Is this home in a good location?
It’s a good idea to speak with a Realtor who can help you identify emerging neighborhoods so you can get the most bang for your building bucks.
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