Purchasing a fixer-upper property can be an exciting and rewarding

experience. HGTV is filled with programs of amateurs knocking down walls

and tiling bathroom floors. The fact is that this is much harder than it looks

and before diving headfirst into this kind of project, it’s critical to consider

whether you are prepared for the venture.

1. Financial Planning – The first step in buying a fixer-upper home is to

establish a realistic budget. Include the purchase price, repair costs, and

any expected expenses for renovation or restoration. Once you have

created a “known” list, then add extra for unexpected issues that will arise. Something unexpected always happens!

2. Time and Effort – Renovating a fixer-upper takes time and effort,

even if you hire a general contractor to oversee the project. Consider the

overall scope of the project and evaluate your skills and level of time


3. Structural Condition – Before making an offer, thoroughly inspect

the property’s structure and foundation. Recognize the impact of any issues

uncovered and make sure to budget for the proper corrections.

4. Real Estate Market and Location – Even a beautiful home in a

terrible area is a bad investment. Consider such factors as property values,

market trends, and the potential for future appreciation. Work with a

financial planner to make sure the investment fits your long-term goals.

5. Legal Considerations – Before writing the offer, familiarize yourself

with local building codes, permit requirements, and zoning regulations.

Ensure the changes you anticipate align with local requirements.


Purchasing a fixer-upper home can be a wonderful investment and

worthwhile project. By evaluating your budget, time commitment, property

condition, and potential appreciation, you can be sure to choose the right

situation for your goals and experience.