Rare is the real estate shopper who is not looking to get the best deal possible, which is why the allure of the fixer-upper has captivated many. After all, if you can pay less money for bigger or better real estate in Orange County, what’s a little work in the long run?
Unfortunately, this mindset has caused quite a few homeowners to find themselves underwater – both figuratively and literally. Before you commit to a fixer-upper, ask yourself these questions to decide if it’s the right move for you.
What Is The Total Cost (Plus Renovations, Repairs, Etc.)?
When purchasing a home, you’ll consider costs like purchase price and down payment. When you buy a fixer-upper, you have to include renovation costs as well. Get an inspection of the house and then compare costs with contractors, and factor in any work you can do yourself. Keep things local when you ask for estimates; if you’re shopping for a home in Corona, your focus should be on contractors in Riverside County who know the area. You should absolutely have an inspection clause in your offer for a fixer-upper as they can be full of expensive surprises.
Are You Looking For A Bigger Return?
As with any house, if you’re looking to sell a property immediately or down the road for more money, you’ll have to make a wise investment. Properties with structural damage can take much longer to repair – at a more considerable expense – than those that require cosmetic upgrades. When you’re mostly doing surface improvements, you’re building equity and will have a better vision of what your home will command in the market moving forward.
How Much Can You Take On?
If you want to be completely hands-off, you’ll need to pay contractors for every step of your renovation, thus increasing your costs and decreasing your return. Carefully consider what you can take on in addition to your work and life and whether you’re willing to live in a construction zone for some time.
Have You Talked To An Agent?
So you found an affordable fixer-upper in Los Angeles County, but you know little to nothing about the area it is in. Without the trusted advice of a local Southern California real estate agent, you’re walking into a tricky situation without any help. Your first step in the buying process should be connecting with an agent that can help you estimate costs and potential value to better understand what you’re getting into.