Starting With a Fixer-Upper: Pros & Cons

by Rita Alonso 05/02/2021

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

Rita Alonso

 As a native Sonoma County resident, Rita has witnessed many changes over the years. Sonoma County has invested considerable time and energy into revitalizing our downtown areas, developing mid to high end homes and constructing affordable housing, yet the warmth and small town feel of decades past still remains. We have fine restaurants and big-city entertainment, as well as great schools, including a top-notch junior college and state university, all located in the heart of Sonoma County’s wine country. This warm and friendly county is an ideal location for you and your family.

Rita is passionate about what she does and people are her first priority. By working with a full time Real Estate Professional, who really understands the market and has a pulse on Sonoma County, you can be confident that Rita’s professionalism and community connections will lead you home.

Buying or selling a house is a big step. Rita is committed to helping you throughout the process. You can trust that she will work with you to understand your vision and do all she can to insure that your desires are met. She is committed to meeting your needs with integrity and top-level customer service. Rita is a great negotiator and she is on your side to get the price you need to sell or the price and credits you need to buy. Please call today so that Rita Alonso can go to work for you!

About Rita Alonso

She is a graduate of Montgomery High, Santa Rosa Junior College and the University of San Francisco. She had worked in the mortgage industry for 10 years before getting her Real Estate license in 2004, specializing in buying and selling residential, commercial, investment properties, along with experience in short sales and bank owned properties. She is a member of the National Association of Realtors, the NorthBay Chapter of Realtors, the Women’s Council of Realtors, and the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce. Rita has been a Top Producer for over seven years and she has just joined a dynamic team of Top Realtors in Sonoma County called Marketing Masters. With her team, Rita can make a difference in top customer service and getting the job done.

Rita is also the mother of two grown sons and two grandchildren and continues to enjoy being actively involved in the Sonoma County community.

Rita’s goal is to exceed your expectations as your Realtor for life.
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Please call today so that Rita can go to work for you!

Rita Alonso
Professional Real Estate Agent
“Helping You See Your way Home!”
By the way: If you know anyone buying or selling Real Estate anywhere in the USA, pass their names along. I can help!

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