Is Buying a Fixer Upper a Good Idea?

Armed with a heavy dose of fixer upper shows on TV, homeowners sometimes dream of starting over from scratch on their next home – choosing every detail and doing it themselves. Both the appeal of the decision-making power and the potential cost-savings make this an attractive idea. But is it a good one for you? 

Often fixer-uppers will be available for a significant savings over the cost of a finished ready-to-move-in home, but this savings will vary by location. Some areas may even offer a tax abatement which is a credit for homeowners who improve their property’s value. Check with your local guidelines to find out more.

If you haven’t saved up money for all the remodeling work a house like this will require, there are special 203K mortgages for homeowners from the FHA that are specifically for buying and then renovating a property. Limits for these also vary by location, so investigate this option with your mortgage lender to determine if this is an option for your area.

When you don’t need to move-in immediately, and you don’t mind living in a home under construction or having to deal with the stress of remodeling a home, then this might be a good choice for you. If you have the know-how and the resources – and the enthusiasm – to take on a project of this magnitude, the reward of making your new home truly your own in every way may be worth it.