Who doesn’t love a deal? Maybe you are like a lot of people who, when walking into a store, blow past all the salespeople, beautifully folded sweaters and shirts and head for the rounders in the back of the store loaded with clearance priced goods. Last season? Who cares it was discounted by 90%! If this is you, you probably would also house shop for a fixer upper…but at the same time, who wants a money pit?
Northwest Home Team Realty is a top authority in the area and can help you find the PERFECT fixer upper for you ranging from a little elbow grease and fresh paint to a total gut and rebuild and every degree between. So whether you are looking to save some cash and do some work for yourself, an investor, or a contractor who is looking to flip a house we can help you.
If you are ready to start your adventure, we have set up a quick search link for you directly from our Facebook page. Simply click on “FIXER UPPERS” in the left hand column menu.
Here are some thoughts we put together with the REALTOR’S association that may help you on your journey:
- Know that some fixer upper house flaws can be fixed
Fixer upper houses generally fall into two categories: total wreck & ugly house. An ugly house just needs some cosmetic help, and generally, they’re easy to fix. Painting is the easiest task that you can do yourself. Just don’t cut corners—buy all the right equipment (use the tape!) and paint correctly, with the right number of coats. It’s extra work, but it pays off in the end. Even if you hire a painter, it won’t cost as much as redoing the bathroom. You could also refinish the floors yourself, although it involves renting a machine.
- Then again, some flaws cost a bundle
Problems with the foundation, structure, roofing, and siding can be expensive to fix. Major replacements with sewage, septic, and heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems can deplete a budget quickly. Replacing decks and driveways can also be costly. Sometimes environmental problems such as a wet basement or mold can be mitigated, but treatments are not always successful. In some houses, it can just be impossible to solve a bad mold problem.
- Ballpark your renovation costs
Hire a structural engineer to evaluate the home before you buy—but before you even get there, do your research. There are a lot of repair estimators out there, so ask your friends and co-workers if they’ve done repairs lately and could tell you how much they cost. That way, you can quickly ascertain whether the fixer upper house repairs would fall within your budget. Draw up a reference sheet for renovation costs such as roof, foundation, HVAC, and windows. This will help you to determine a viable offer price.
- Ask for a discount—gently
Now on to the real upside of buying fixer upper houses: major savings! These homes can go for as little as 60% to 80% of the original asking price. This is especially true if the home has been sitting on the market for a while, or if you’re able to offer cash upfront.
This where having an experience REALTOR, like the specialists at NWHT in Tumwater, WA comes in handy because we deal with situations like this regularly. For instance did you know that in your offer you can detail an extra fee for “the hassle factor,” which can be estimated by the amount of time and money you’d spend living elsewhere while the renovations happen.
The bottom line: The more you break down your expenses, the more sense your offer will make to the sellers, who will hopefully play ball.
- Get the right kind of loan
A home requiring major renovations can qualify for a special type of financing called a renovation loan. Be sure to explore all your options with your Realtor or other qualified experts.
So, if you’re thinking about tackling a fixer upper house, it helps to know what you’re in for first.