Buying a Fixer Upper Property is Not for Everyone

Written by Posted On Monday, 24 April 2017 16:26

If you're on a budget but still want to purchase a home, chances are high you will want to go for a "fixer upper” and generate sweat equity. After all, these types of homes can have a lot of potentials if you're willing to put in some elbow grease. And while the renovation process can be fun and teach you a lot, it's certainly not for the faint of heart. There are a lot of things you might discover during the process, and that can be quite overwhelming for the novice property owner. For instance, after purchasing a property to fix up, some unfortunate home buyers had found garbage and scrap metal buried out in their yard.

Of course, you probably wouldn't anticipate finding hidden debris or even latent damage in your newly purchased property but those are very real possibilities when buying something for a bargain. This is why it's important to go into any fixer-upper purchase with as much knowledge as you can gather. Below you'll find some of the most important information you should know before ever signing on the dotted line for your home.

Look at the Neighbourhoods

If you're looking for a home to fix up, you should start by looking at the neighbourhoods that you like and are attractive to others as well. After all, you can fix a home, but you can't do anything to fix a neighbourhood. The majority of fixer upper homes are going to be in older, more established communities in throughout your city. Homes in quiet communities such as Silverado in the suburbs of Calgary typically consists of newly built homes with modern architecture. These types of properties rarely require major renovations that you may be able to capitalize on. 

Budget for Repairs

If you're considering a fixer-upper, you need to budget for the repairs to get the most out of your real estate investment. For example, you might need to replace some parts of the plumbing system just to take a shower or you may need to upgrade the electrical panel for safety reasons. 

The extent of the repairs and issues is really going to depend on the condition of the home. Be realistic about the cost of what's ahead for you and make sure you always have MORE than what you budgeted for (trust me it will come in handy). Also, make sure you have a thorough home inspection done so you can avoid homes that wouldn't be worth the effort of fixing up. For first time home buyers, typically these types of projects are not recommended as are many steps along the way that a home buyer needs to prepare themselves for.

Contractors vs. DIY

Another part of budgeting for repairs is figuring out how much work you will do yourself and whether or not you hire a contractor. Of course, a contractor is going to cost you more, but their service is crucial to getting work done the right way. For example, a contractor will be the only person who can fix a cracked foundation or do electrical re-wiring.

Stress and Time

You may not be able to comfortably live in your home until you fix it up, and that can be stressful for you and your family. Make sure everyone is fully aware they aren't moving into a turn-key home and that a lot of effort is going to be required for everyone.

With all of that being said, it's easy to see why you should avoid fixer-uppers if you're not ready to put up with the hard work and stress! However, if you can deal with constant projects, a lot of noise and less than appealing living conditions, it can be just what you're looking for. In the end, it can pay off to end up with a beautiful home that looks just how you wanted.

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Joe Samson

I have lived in Calgary, AB since 1991 and have started working in real estate in 2005. Up to date, I have helped hundreds of satisfied buyers and sellers to successfully complete their real estate transactions. 

Initially, I have fallen in love with real estate even before I’d ever thought about becoming a real estate agent. My early years were fulfilled with buying and selling revenue producing properties. As the years passed, I have become more attached to dealing with real estate and as people got to know me and a little more of what I have done, I have naturally transitioned into helping others to build a path to their financial success by investing in real estate. And the rest has become the story of my life…

This may shock you, but my main focus isn’t on selling real estate. I mostly put my attention toward online marketing which ultimately helps my sellers to find a buyer for their property and to get the maximum possible sale price. 

In the 21st century, marketing is immensely different then what it used to be 10 years ago. I find it imperative to stay ahead of the competition and figuring out what works and doesn’t is the backbone of my business and it allows me to generate the best results for my clients. 

I also love providing help to my buyer clients by offering them a state of the art website and access to all homes for sale in Calgary, AB. 

I also believe that by answering my client's question in advance helps me to provide the best experience and I intend to achieve that by keeping my Calgary real estate blog up to date on a regular basis.

I service the greater Calgary area and its surrounding suburb communities. Some of the most popular communities in South Calgary that I service are Evergreen, Silverado, Chaparral, and Cranston. West Calgary and City Centre Calgary also contributes a great deal to my business area. Other parts of the city such as Southeast Calgary where many new homes are being built have also become a great joy to work in while helping clients finding their new homes. 

One of the principal foundations of my business model is that I’ll always tell you what you need to hear versus what you want to hear. Your interest is guaranteed to be more important to me than anything else. Integrity is the lifeline of my daily interactions with others and our mission is to “honour our clients with our world and do what we say we are going to do... when we say we are going to do it.”

If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home in the Calgary area, please reach out to me anytime and I’d love to help you to navigate you through your home buying journey.

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