10 Things to Consider Before Buying a Fixer Upper

10 Things to Consider Before Buying a Fixer Upper

Almost anyone can find a fixer upper, but what does it takes to cut a good deal on the right fixer upper?

If you’re planning to invest in a fixer upper, you’ll have to look beyond the surface of the structure to make sure you’re not buying a property that is sitting on a time bomb, just waiting to explode. But if you invest in the right fixer upper, you can make a huge return on investment and smile all the way to the bank.

But how would you know if you’re investing on the right fixer upper or not? Here are 10 things you really need to consider before buying any fixer upper:


House Plumbing System

Kitchens and Bathrooms

Electrical System

Foundation Issues

The Roof

Doors and Windows



Things you should consider before buying a fixer upper

1. Location

Location is probably the most important thing to consider when investing in real estate. If the house you’re planning to buy is in a stale part of town, it may be extremely difficult for you to get a good deal on it when it’s time to sell. Don’t buy a fixer upper that will do your finances more harm than good.

Before you buy any fixer upper, do some research about the location of the house. Find out if people are moving in or out, if startups are springing up around town or if businesses are closing down, is the house in a historic city or a tourist city? All these are tell-tale of what you should expect and how the fixer-upper would be valued in the future.

2. House Plumbing System

plumbing system
Let a professional plumber take a look at the plumbing system before you buy.

How good is the plumbing system of the fixer upper you’re planning to buy? Is the house plumbing system made of galvanized piping and cast iron? If so, they must be replaced after 50 years to prevent leaking and ensure good water quality.

Think about how much you’ll have to spend on replacing the entire plumbing system of the home. If possible, invite a professional plumber to assess the plumbing system before you make up your mind.

3. Kitchens and Bathrooms

old bathroom
Don’t fret over the remodeling costs of kitchen and bathrooms, they often increase the value of a fixer upper.

Chances are the kitchen and bathrooms will take a huge chunk off your remodeling costs. So just before you sign a fixer upper deal, see the kitchen and bathrooms.

Do a simple math, count how many kitchens and bathrooms are in the entire house and consider how much it will cost to give each of them a face-lift. A beautiful productive kitchen and a nice bathroom will increase the value of your home, so don’t fret over the remodeling costs.

4. Electrical System

electrical system
Make sure electricity is at the top of your remodeling list when the face lifting work starts.

Poor or damaged electrical system can cause fire easily and chances are a fixer upper will burn down quicker than a standard home.

Before you write that check, consider the costs of fixing or upgrading the electrical system. If the cost of fixing the electrical system is fairly good, make sure electricity is at the top of your remodeling list when the face lifting work starts.

5. Foundation Issues

A fixer upper may look fairly good on the interior and exterior, but what about its foundation? I bet you wouldn’t want to buy a home that can cave in within the next one year. During inspection, carefully check the foundation of the fixer upper.

Do you have to fix the existing foundation or build a new one? Check if it has a crawl space and find out if water is seeping into the basement or crawl space. Also, carefully check the floor for visible cracks or if it is slanted. Consider the cost of fixing the foundation or building a new one. Do the math and see if it’s worth your cash.

6. The Roof!

Don’t miss out on the roof…check it before buying!

Too many people make the mistake of buying a fixer upper without checking the roof. The roof of a home is almost as important as its foundation.

Many roof require replacement every 20-30 years. If you’re planning to build a new roof, consider reinforcing the structure so it can hold the weight of the new roof. Don’t pour a new wine into an old bottle!

7. Doors and windows

doors and windows
How much will it cost to fix or replace the doors and windows?

When you’re buying a fixer upper, check every part of the structure. Do not overlook the conditions of the doors and windows.

There are probably more doors and windows in the structure than you can imagine. Consider how much it’ll cost to fix all the doors and windows or perhaps the costs of replacing some and fixing the rest.

8. Landscape

Look around the structure, beautiful landscapes don’t hide. If the property has trees and other plants that makes it more beautiful, consider it an extra value for the fixer-upper. But if the landscape is covered with disease ridden trees and plants that you’ll have to cut down, it will be an extra cost on your renovation bill.

9. Budget

The cost of buying the fixer upper is not the problem. How much will it cost to fix the building?

How much are you willing to pay for your ideal fixer-upper when you finally find one? How big is your renovation budget?

Think deeply, do your math carefully, consider all your options and conclude smartly. You can have a huge return-on investment for buying just one good fixer-upper if you look carefully.

10. Be realistic!

Investing in a fixer-upper can be a good business if you do it right. But you have to be very realistic before you can buy the right fixer-upper.

Some fixer-upper prices are just too good to be true, but you’ll have to look beyond the prices and consider renovation costs and what the value of the property can be when you’re ready to sell. Before investing on any fixer upper, assess the property carefully before putting your John Hancock on the deal.

While you’re considering what fixer upper is worth your cash or perhaps while your fixer upper is being renovated, you may consider moving to a new home temporarily. MoverJunction.com provides all types of moving solutions under one roof. We can connect you to licensed and BBB rated moving companies near you and give you free moving quotes so you can compare prices before picking the best option.