Should you buy a fixer-upper? Yes. It’s a fantastic idea

On Oct 1, 2019
Listed in Buying, Trends

This is the first in the series, “Should you buy a fixer-upper?” Read the opposing view for why you should not buy one on Thursday!

If you’re ready to take that major step in life toward becoming a homeowner, or if you’ve been feeling an itch to move out of your current home and into something new, then you no doubt had the thought cross your mind: What about buying a fixer-upper?

How could you not think this? After all, who hasn’t been absolutely smitten by one of the many adorable TV couples flipping a nightmare of a house into an absolute charmer? This seems like something you could do, right?


Though fixing up a run-down house is not without its challenges, if you feel compelled to undertake a challenge and try your hands at transforming an eyesore into your dream home, you should go for it.

  1. It’s a bargain. By some estimates, people who remodel a fixer-upper can expect to spend 20 to 25 percent less than people who buy similar move-in-ready homes. Many times, the bigger the catastrophe, the bigger the savings!
  2. You’re probably going to do some sort of work. According to research in 2017, 80 percent of homebuyers do some sort of home improvement projects and end up spending a median of $4,000. Since you’ll likely do some rehab to the house, why not save money and buy a property where the price reflects the need for renovations? You’ll save money in the long run!
  3. Get into the neighborhood you want. It’s often the case that you find the neighborhood of your dreams but not the home of your dreams. After all, the best neighborhoods aren’t always the most affordable! In such situations, buying a home that isn’t “move-in ready” might be the best way to go. This strategy allows you to establish yourself and over time, do the necessary repairs that will make the house your dream home.
  4. Renovations can be gradual. There are many ways to take care of a fixer-upper. Many people choose to go about it one project at a time. This way, there’s less stress around trying to coordinate and keep everything on schedule and you can still live in the house while you gradually transform it, piece by piece.
  5. Package renovations with your mortgage. When buying a fixer-upper, you don’t need to use cash to pay. Buyers looking to renovate can take out a 203(k) rehabilitation mortgage loan from the federal government. This allows home owners and buyers to borrow up to $35,000 in their mortgage and put it toward renovations and upgrades.

If you are in the market for a fixer-upper, talk to a Coldwell Banker Hedges Realtor® today. They know the industry and can tell you everything you need to know about the Cedar Rapids housing market.