In 2021, we bought our fixer-upper farmhouse. Our previous home was newly renovated, so we jumped head first into a world of home renovations that we knew nothing about! Home renovating is equally exciting and intimidating! There’s something special about being able to update your home, make it your own, and restore a home to it’s former glory. But, there are a lot of details that need to be assessed and organized prior to renovating a home. Here are ten things to consider before buying a fixer upper!
Overall Budget For Buying a Fixer Upper
Assess your financial situation and determine how much you can afford to spend on both the purchase price and renovations. Consider not only the cost of buying the property but also the estimated expenses for repairs, upgrades, and any unexpected issues that may arise during the renovation process.
From experience, renovations add up and even the most frugal buyers should plan not only for the home purchase and estimated renovation costs but also a safety net beyond that.
Time Required for Renovations
Renovating a fixer-upper takes time and effort. Consider how much time you’re willing to dedicate to the project. Assess your available resources and whether you have the patience and energy to handle the renovation process.
Do you work full time? Do you work from home? Whether you plan to do the work yourself or hire someone, there will be times where you will need to be available during the day.
DIY vs. Hiring Help for Home Renovations
When we renovated our home, we hired a contractor, plumber, and floor installer to do most of the main projects that we did not have the time or experience for. Hiring a contractor that you trust for multiple jobs is the best way to go in my opinion! We highly recommend S.B. Home Improvement and Scooter’s Plumbing if you live in South Central Kansas!
We did a lot of the smaller projects like painting, replacing doors, and building gates on our own.
Tools Needed When Buying a Fixer Upper
If you plan to do some of the work yourself, you’ll need to get the necessary tools. My husband invested in several different hand tools and saws when we moved. You can also shop secondhand or borrow or rent tools to get access to them at a cheaper price! We rented a wood chipper a few months after we moved in. Carson, a friend, and I mulched thousands of sticks and logs from our property!
Hiring a Contractor after Buying a Fixer Upper
As I mentioned above, I highly recommend looking for a contractor or handyman to oversee multiple projects. Contractors can help with project management, estimating, bidding, and hiring subcontractors, and workers. They often have connections with other professionals like plumbers or electricians.
Entire-home renovations require a lot of planning and coordinating. It is easier and often more affordable to hire one person that you trust to oversee most of the renovations.
Long-Term Goals for your Fixer Upper
Before purchasing a fixer-upper, consider your long-term goals. Will this be a home you want to live in for years? Are you fixing it up as an investment rental property? We knew that our home would be a place we’d want to stay for years, so we spent more on certain details like our clawfoot tub. If you are fixing up a home as an investment property, it may make more sense to purchase more affordable details.
On another note, Carson designed and built this fire pit! Get the FREE plans for it HERE.
ROI of Buying a Fixer Upper
Research how much other homes in your area have sold for. Consider the surrounding areas and other details like the value of your land and outbuildings. Before pouring money into a renovation, think about if you will be able to get a return on your investment. We are not planning on moving any time soon if ever; however, we did consider this before pouring money into our home renovations.
We have lived in our home for over two years, and we still have a long list of projects! Yes, our home is more than livable and we have renovated the majority of our home, but there are details like adding quarter-round, finishing a closet, and painting our kitchen that we haven’t gotten around to yet! If you plan on renovating an entire home, it probably won’t be 100% done for a while.
Before closing on a fixer-upper, I highly recommend hiring a well-respected and trusted inspection company. That way, you will know what you are getting in to.
After submitting our offer and having a thorough inspection, we got permission from the owners to have contractors come out and give us estimates on the projects prior to closing. This gave us an idea of how much needed to be done and about how much it would cost.
Live-in or Not
When we bought our home, it did not have a working bathroom. We had the luxury of living with family until the bathroom was installed which was such a blessing to our family. Then, we lived in our house during the rest of the major renovations. We got used to moving furniture from room to room, living with pipes and exposed beams, and having workers in our home on a regular basis.
We were able to navigate it because my husband worked from home at the time and I was staying at home with my children.
It was often chaotic living in our home during renovations, but it was the most affordable way to do it!
Home Renovation Budget + Planner
After renovating our own home, my husband and I designed this Home Renovation Planner and Google Sheets Budget Template. This bundle is geared toward fixer-uppers and whole house renovations!
Use the planner to organize everything from design plans, contractor estimates, install dates, and more! The budget has pages for each room and category of a home renovation so that you can track both individual room budgets and the whole house budget!
Buy yours HERE to save time and money on your home renovation.