bloglovinBloglovin iconCombined ShapeCreated with Sketch. Fill 1Created with Sketch. Fill 1Created with Sketch. Fill 1Created with Sketch. Fill 1Created with Sketch. Fill 1Created with Sketch. rssRSS iconsoundcloudSoundCloud iconFill 1Created with Sketch. Fill 1Created with Sketch. Fill 1Created with Sketch. Fill 1Created with Sketch. SearchCreated with Lunacy Search iconCreated with Sketch.

The Ultimate Fixer-Upper Checklist

old house with blue walls to renovate

Investing in a fixer-upper is an exciting challenge. You can shape your future home into whatever you want on a property that makes your heart skip a beat. No matter where you want to move, use this fixer-upper checklist to guide your projects and add value to the property.

1. Establish a General Budget

Home prices will change depending on where you live or want to move. Fixer-uppers cost an average of $225,000, but that price tag will decrease in rural communities. If you create a general budget to afford that mortgage, you can see how much is leftover for a monthly loan payment that covers your desired renovations.

Given that people pay around $15-150 per square foot for renovations, you can estimate your renovation loan with that number. Heavy-duty structural work will cost more, but cosmetic fixes could cost less. Establish a general renovation budget and start looking at properties to refine it.

2. Research Potential Properties

The location of a house may determine some of your fixer-upper choices. Consider whether you want to live in the new home or flip it for an immediate sale to determine where you should look for your next big renovation challenge.

A fixer-upper in an area with seasonal hurricanes might benefit from new storm-resistant roofing materials like rubber slate or concrete tiles because they’d last longer. A home in the sunny midwest would have a higher property value with renovations that better contain air conditioning or protect it with shade.

3. Visit Homes With a Contractor

Not a professional yourself? After you have a list of a few potential properties, visit them with a hired contractor. Depending on the home’s quality, they can point out future projects or concerns. They can also take care of paperwork you may be unfamiliar with, like managing building permits for new additions or upgrades.

An experienced contractor will also work with your top priorities, like suggesting options for greater sustainability or determining which improvements are most essential to safety. It helps to get a professional opinion, especially if the contractor lives near your potential home. They’ll know other businesses that can work with your budget or have worked on the property before.

4. Predict the Property’s Future Value

No one should ever buy a house without research proving that the initial purchase will be a profitable investment. When you’re down to your final two or three choices, look up their fair market value. 

The fair market value of a home determines its past and future value based on numerous factors like:

  • The local real estate market
  • The national real estate market
  • Past sales

The house should sell for a profit after you buy it, even without the renovations. You’ll guarantee at least some return on your investment and feel more confident about the work you’ll put into the property.

5. Schedule a Complete Home Inspection

Many lenders require a complete home inspection before closing. It demonstrates that the property is worth the loan, but it’s also a last-minute guarantee that the buyers aren’t getting ripped off.

Your home inspector will look closely at the property’s electrical and plumbing systems, plus its structural integrity. It may not pass the inspection with flying colors, but you can use the findings to potentially negotiate a more affordable asking price.

6. Know When to Call a Professional

Some renovation work is easy for homeowners to handle. Other projects require the help of a professional team. You may be able to replace the flooring in your future kitchen with a few friends or find a power washer to clean off the porch and old siding. If you’re passionate about home repairs and handiwork, then your fixer-upper can be an exciting side project.

However, dangerous work like upgrading your electrical system should always wait for an expert’s attention. Injuring yourself or others to save a few dollars on your renovation costs is never worth it. You might also unknowingly repair something incorrectly and cause future emergencies like house fires or indoor flooding.

Create Your Fixer Upper Checklist

Now that you know the basics of a fixer-upper checklist, personalize it for your future renovation work. You’ll feel confident about every step along the way because you’ve thought through each detail and weighed your options.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Get More!Join the Craftsman Insiders

Get a FREE ebook, bonus content, and special deals not available on the blog right in your inbox!