Hybrid Real Estate
Hybrid Real Estate
Robin Troy, Hybrid Real EstatePhone: (541) 914-0214
Email: [email protected]

Starting With a Fixer-Upper: Pros & Cons

by Robin Troy 11/07/2021

Photo by Anete Lusina from Pexels

The concept of buying a fixer-upper can tempt brand new homebuyers. For those on a budget who enjoy DIY projects, it might make perfect sense to spend less up front on a home you can fix up yourself. However, there are some disadvantages to consider before making this important choice. Here we will go over the pros and cons of buying a fixer-upper as a first-time homebuyer.

The Pros of Buying a Fixer-Upper

Lower Down Payment - The lower upfront cost is the first thing that might attract you to the idea of a fixer-upper. Homes sold “as is” that require a lot of maintenance will have a lower price than anything nearby. This is because of the desire to sell quickly and the fact that it’s expected you’ll spend more in construction costs after purchase. For many, this low price means an easy entry into a wide range of possibilities. Also, the relatively low popularity of fixer-uppers means you probably won’t have to negotiate and buy at a much higher price. Depending on the area, you might purchase with hardly any competition.

Creative Freedom & Control - With a fixer-upper, you’re in charge. You can choose your own contractors, materials, vendors and choose to do as much of the work yourself as you wish. You also have full control over larger-scale decisions like building additions to the home or other major structural changes. Want to emulate a specific architectural style, or open up the layout? These are your choices to make. A fixer-upper is like a blank canvas for many homeowners who want to customize a home completely without starting completely from scratch.

The Cons of Buying a Fixer-Upper

Unexpected Future Expenses - Even knowing that you’ll need to spend money on maintenance and remodeling, additional expenses can pile up quickly. As with all construction, it’s impossible to predict every potential delay or problem—however, with a fixer-upper, you will probably need to cover all of those costs. A fixer-upper can also be difficult to budget for even without planning for potential issues. Even the most carefully calculated budget for material costs, renovations and other fees won’t be completely accurate. For new homeowners on a tighter budget this can pose an enormous risk.

Slow Construction - A fixer upper is typically not a home you can live in right away. Many homes sold as fixer-uppers may not even be safe for habitation per local ordinance because of construction and maintenance needs. If you want to buy a home that you can move into immediately, a fixer-upper will not be your best choice. Regardless of whether you live in the home during the process, the fixing up can take a long time. There will be inevitable delays outside of your control and you will also have to rely on your own energy and time for anything you plan to DIY. Fixer-uppers require patience, and sometimes willingness to live in the middle of a construction zone for months or years.

When trying to decide whether to buy a fixer-upper there are many things to consider. New homeowners especially should weigh the pros and cons of the decision and consult real estate and construction professionals for additional insight. This will help you get a better sense of what is and isn’t worth the risk to your budget and your lifestyle.

About the Author

Robin Troy

No two homes are identical, which is why choosing a sales price or offer price for a home can be challenging. That’s where the comparable market analysis, or CMA, can be useful. What is a CMA? The CMA is a side-by-side comparison of homes for sale and homes that have recently sold in the same neighborhood and price range. This information is further sorted by data fields such as single-family or condo, number of bedrooms, number of baths, zip codes, and many other factors. Its purpose is to show fair market value, based on what other buyers and sellers have determined through past sales, pending sales and homes recently put on the market. How is the CMA created? CMAs are generated by a computer program supplied by your real estate agent’s multiple listing services (MLS). The MLS is available to licensed members only, including brokers, salespeople, and appraisers, who pay dues to gain access to the service’s public and proprietary data, including tax roll information, sold transactions, and listings input by all cooperating MLS members. Listing agents generate CMAs for their sellers, and buyer’s agents create them for their buyers so both sides know what current market conditions are for the homes they’re interested in comparing. How accurate are CMAs? The CMA is a here-and-now snapshot of the market, based on the most recent data available, but it can instantly be rendered obsolete by a new listing, or a change of status in a home with the same criteria. Why? The market is constantly changing – new listings, pending sales, closed sales, price reductions, and expired listings. CMAs can vary widely, depending on the knowledge and skill of the person inputting the search parameters to the software as well as the number and type of data fields that are chosen. That means some features may not be included. As informative as the CMA is, it should only be used as a tool and should not substitute for your real estate professional’s knowledge and advice.
In order to inform you about the current happenings in today's market, I have prepared this comparative market analysis (CMA) especially for you. There are many properties on the market today, and each has different amenities, sizes, and values. By reviewing this CMA, you will have the information needed to price your home in the appropriate range in today's market.

My company is dedicated to maintaining a professional, trustworthy relationship with our clients. One way this can be seen is through this Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) which you hold in your hand. This CMA compiles the most current and accurate information relevant to the sale of your home. Seeing that this is perhaps your most valuable asset, it is imperative that you be equipped with the most complete information possible related to the pricing and marketing of your home.
The real estate market is always changing and as a result, I regularly attend training sessions and events to further my knowledge and be sure that I am focusing on current conditions that affect today's buyers and sellers. This type of training is imperative if I  am to be successful in obtaining top dollar on home sales. My goal is to make sure that I satisfy the special needs of all of my clients and at the same time make the process and transactions go as smoothly as possible
A little info on me:

Licensed since June 1997.

Completed the SRES, & GRI courses as well as the ABR course.

Adept in contract drafting, negotiation, market research.

Small Business owner since 1982

Alumni of SBM (3-year course at LCC Small Business)