Things To Know Before You Move Into a Fixer-Upper

Things To Know Before You Move Into a Fixer-Upper
  • Opening Intro -

    The real estate market has been so competitive during the pandemic years that many first-time buyers feel shut out.

    Sometimes, the only affordable, available options are homes that have been significantly “overloved” or that are just plain run down.


While a good plan could make buying a house that needs work a viable first step on the homeownership ladder, keep these things to know before you move into a fixer-upper in mind before you take the plunge.

You’ll Need More Money Than You Think

Develop a budget for your renovation project. Then, add another 10 to 30 percent to cover surprises you uncover in the process of knocking out walls, repairing the roof, or pulling up carpeting.

Major structural issues are expensive. Don’t skimp on foundation repairs, replacing failing joists, or bracing bowed walls. Budget to pay a structural engineer for a plan and consultation to make the home safe and habitable.

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      some improvement additions to consider      

It Will Take Longer Than You Imagined

Delay was inevitable even in the “before times.” Now, with supply chain issues, labor shortages, and high demand, finding materials, fixtures, and available contractors is even more of a challenge.

Accept that your home will be a work in progress for longer than you hoped and that months could stretch into years. You will be doing a lot of research in the beginning – for example, looking for the top furnace brands or the best kitchen tile.

Another thing to know before you move into a fixer-upper is that moving in is just the beginning of an ongoing maintenance relationship with your home. Like any other house, new or old, the work is never truly over.

Enjoying Camping Helps

Decide which rooms you’ll tackle first, and keep them clear. That means if you are working on the primary bedroom, you’ll be sleeping somewhere else until the room is ready. Pitch a tent and have fun camping out on the living room floor at night while you work on the bedroom during the day.

But if your renovation involves removing hazardous materials, like asbestos or lead, find another place to live until the work is finished.

Prepare for Lots of Garbage

Don’t underestimate how much garbage your project will produce. It’s not just the scrap lumber and leftover chunks of drywall. There will also be old cabinets, flooring, tile, and roofing to consider, not to mention carpeting and fixtures like old sinks, toilets, and lights.

Renting a dumpster that’s large enough to contain the debris will make the cleanup easier. Your dumpster rental company will be responsible for hauling that waste away responsibly, and you won’t have to worry about risking tickets and fines for improper disposal of construction debris.

other related articles of interest:

Renovating an older home can be a creative, exciting, and even fun project. Just be ready to accept that things won’t be perfect, unexpected hiccups will occur, and flexibility, including the willingness to adapt your plan, is necessary for success.

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