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Should I buy a fixer upper?

5 Reasons you should not buy a home for sale that needs to be "fixed" ! Renovation Obsession.....

What is our renovation obsession with homes that need work? Just imagine starting a simple bathroom update. The home you purchase has some notably broken tiles in the main bathroom. You pull up the existing tile. You notice there are some week spots, allowing for bounce in the boards. The sub floor is completely rotten, and the crawlspace depth is not enough height to allow for a crawling baby to pass underneath, yet alone a grown contractor. Below the sub floor is termite infested joists. 2x12 solid wood floor joists that were once glorious now flake apart with a minimal touch. Your simple bathroom update has just tripled in cost.

You should not buy a fixer upper if you can't talk your spouse into getting naked, and helping you work.

Bob, my father in law was a tradesman for the last 50 years. He did say the getting naked quote , but partially joking. This was his first reason that you should not purchase a home in disrepair. He followed it up by saying "it depends". Depends on the year the home was built. Homes from the sixties are well built. Sound, strong homes featuring good bones. However, older homes can conceal asbestos in vinyl flooring. Insulation from the 70's can also contain asbestos. Lead based paint is a concern for homes built prior to 1978. Better hope the home doesn't still have knob & tube wiring which can be a likely discovery in historical homes built from the 1880s-1930.

How much time and money do you have?

Simple question right? If you have money, you can hire out someone reputable to complete the renovation for you. Keep in mind that the really good contractors are booked far in advance, and more costly. If you don't have enough money in reserves, you better have time. Time to demo the project. Time to do the research. Time to make errors that could end up costing you more time. If you decide to sell in the future, you might experience a lengthy amount of time on the market. Especially if the work is not permitted!

Do you want to get divorced?

Want to test your relationship for shits, and giggles? I have watched close friends come to a crossroads in their relationship because they thought it would be fun to fix up a home together. The answer is no. No your spouse does not care about the tile pattern. The tile pattern you picked out, and you want said spouse to have input in your fantastic eye for design. We are personally on fixer upper number four in 13 years. I do have moments of pure rage where I imagine pushing my husband into a vat of wet cement. He lets me pick the finishes, and he is an active participant when a decision is detrimental to our wallet or family safety.

The answer is NO

No, you need to know that your spouse does not care about the tile pattern. The tile pattern you picked out, and want said spouse to have input. No, to the paint color. Whether it's seafoam green, or seafoam mint. Feel confident that your spouse probably doesn't care, and wants you to be happy. Your spouse might even be colorblind. I'm pretty sure mine is. Knowing that piece of advice will hopefully save you from petty arguments. Save your argument for something worthwhile and not whether or not the the green paint is too green.

Am I a Hater?

Don't get me wrong, I am passionate about older homes. I love bringing forgotten homes into the 21st century. It's not for everybody. The television shows are a gross misrepresentation of the fixer upper lifestyle. Que the scenes......Throwing money around, none of the owners have a job, the contractors show up on time.....

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Do you still want to buy that deal of a home?

Endless amounts of time, money, energy (or all three) is needed in the fixer upper world. If you are contemplating buying a home that needs renovation, you need to find a Realtor that has lived through a home renovation. Connect with a local expert. Experience in home renovation is key. Hire an architect. Hire a licensed electrician. Hire a licensed plumber.

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