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  • Writer's pictureMike Hidlebaugh

Should You Buy The Fixer Upper?

When you are purchasing a new home there are many decisions you need to make. One of those decisions is whether you buy that brand new, shiny home that needs no work or do you buy the home in an established neighbourhood that might require a little bit of work. It is essential that you consider a few items if you are leaning towards the home that you can make your own with some renovations.

Budgeting for a fixer upper

Always crunch the numbers of the renovations that will be required before you start! Get estimates from a reputable contractor. The kitchen and bathrooms are typically the most costly renovations in a home, but others will add up as well, depending on the condition of the home. What will it cost in supplies, labour, and time in comparison to the brand new home?

Expect the unexpected

You can be caught by surprise when renovating old homes as it can be difficult to determine the type of material used, if the work was done well, and if the walls are hiding a potentially costly update. It is important that you budget for a buffer, typically 15% when planning a renovation. If something unexpected like old wiring or a leak pops up you will be prepared.

Can you roll up your sleeves and get dirty?

It can be very beneficial if you have the ability to complete some or all of the work yourself. You will save a significant amount of money by completing the work yourself as opposed to hiring a contractor. If you can paint or remove flooring make sure you do it! It is important however to not attempt tasks you cannot complete. Do what’s in your comfort zone and skill set, and hire a professional where needed.

Living in a construction zone

Be prepared to have your home flipped upside down! It could take weeks or months to complete the renovation, depending on how significant it is. You might have to live without a kitchen for a week, or have one functioning bathroom as opposed to two. It can cause stress to be living in a home that is under construction and less relaxing. It can also be exciting as you can watch your renos progress first hand.. Whether you are going to buy the brand-new home or the fixer upper or something in between, always remember to expect the unexpected. A fixed upper is definitely not for everyone, but if you can handle the stress, the cost, and living through a temporary construction zone, it may be the right option for you!

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