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Buying a fixer upper

uying a house that needs work can seem like a great way to save money as homeowners typically ask for less
for a house that needs a lot of repairs. for some buyers, this is a good option; it allows them to get many of
the benefits of designing a home without building from scratch and means a smaller loan amount and smaller
monthly payments.

However, don’t be blinded
by a smaller loan. Home renovation is expensive, and
you’ll either be paying a contractor a fair amount for
updates or doing a lot of the
work yourself. LearnVest
spoke with a real estate agent
about what you should consider when you’re thinking
about a house that needs
some TLC.
Do You WanT
a Dream Home?
a fixer-upper allows you
lots of opportunities to make
the house your own.
Since it already needs the
work, you can rip up the
floors, knock down a wall or
two, change the lighting fixtures or baseboards, put a
deck in the back, add a window — make it what you
want. This is typically less
expensive than building a
new house.
Can You Do THe
Work YourSeLf?
Consider your knowledge
and ability to do the needed
contracting work. How
much time the work will
take and do you have that
time? What tools will you
need and will you buy or
rent tools?
Do you know what you

want the house to look like,
work, check the local zoning
and are you able to do the
laws and get the necessary
design work?
If you’re going to do any of
Do You HaVe
the work yourself, including
enougH moneY?
building anything new, makYou might need to budget
ing structural changes or
for some professional work,
doing electrical or plumbing
such as having an architect

do the design work or
paying an electrician or
plumber. You also should
look at the type of
renovations needed; rooting
out black mold, redoing the
foundation or replacing the
roof are very expensive.

a conventional mortgage
will not pay for remodeling
work, but homebuyers can
get a 203k loan, which is
insured by the federal
Housing administration,
that allows for renovating.


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