Tips for Picking the Perfect Fixer-Upper

Before you jump right in, here are some tips and things to consider that can help you spot and plan for construction issues or underlying problems—and avoid the really costly undertakings.

1. Work with an Inspector

One of the most important things you can do when buying a fixer-upper is to work with a knowledgeable inspector or contractor who will be able to tell you exactly what parts of your fixer-upper will need repairs and how much these repairs will cost.

2. Consider the Neighborhood

Homes in a historic district can be especially difficult to work with, as permits may be more difficult to obtain, and there may be some restrictions. You’ll also want to consider the other homes in the neighborhood, and what features and styles buyers in this area will be looking for. This can help you determine what features and upgrades you’ll need to spend on, and which you can forego.

3. Salvage Everything You Can

If charming-old-home is the look of the neighborhood, don’t go all out replacing all the fixtures or appliances! Buyers might be looking for an old-home feel. Save the charm, fix the problems.

4. Look for Landscaping

Homes with large or pleasantly-landscaped backyards have a charm all their own that you don’t have to spend money on.

5. Know the Easy Fixes

Sometimes the biggest turnoffs—ugly carpeting, wallpaper, or paint—are the easiest and least expensive fixes. Know how to look beneath the details, like old appliances or funky colors, to the true potential of a home.

6. Find Up-and-Coming Neighborhoods

You might be able to get a good deal for a home in a neighborhood that’s about to blossom! Look for things like proximity to downtown, local amenities, and new business developments. Areas like Downtown Clayton are known to be attracting new businesses and buyers.

7. Always Work with Professionals

The most important thing you can do is work with professionals you trust! Have a Realtor who knows the market and the neighborhood trends. Have a contractor who can estimate costs. And have an inspector who will know what repairs will be absolutely necessary for the safety and functionality of your home.

Questions? Just Ask!