Buying a House That Needs Repairs: What You Need to Know

So, you have found it. The home of your dreams. However, it needs some hefty repairs. 

The sellers are not on board with fronting the money for these fixes, so you are on your own. 

No matter how much we would like to do it all ourselves, there are just some things in life that warrant a skilled professional to intervene. You have a fixer-upper on your hands. 

Is it worth it? Read further to see what advice the experts at S&D Real Estate have for you on this topic.

Return on investment 

To determine if it will be worth the hassle, you need to figure out your ROI (return on investment). Will the money you spend in repairs add enough value back into the home?

This means that when and if it comes time to sell the home, you will receive a large portion of what you spent back. 

Using a Cost vs. Value tool will help you to determine this. Once you have decided that your pockets may benefit from putting in the time and money for these fixes, you now have to select a great contractor.

When to hire a contractor

This is a decision that ultimately is up to you to decide. Depending on how comfortable you are with the task at hand and your skill level, you will need to determine if the repair is something you can handle or if it will need professional assistance.

Some projects may even require a permit, so always check first before deciding to embark on a task alone. As a safety precaution, never try to attempt to repair electrical, plumbing, and heating and cooling systems alone if you do not possess the skill set or proper licensing. 

If in any way, shape, or form, you are a little apprehensive about a repair, you should probably hire a subcontractor or licensed handyman.

Managing the project

When letting a stranger into your home, it is important to oversee the project to ensure that everything goes smoothly from start to finish.

You will need to: 

  • Define your expectations 
  • Initiate a signed contract or agreement
  • Lay out the payment terms
  • State your expectations for clean-up work
  • Discuss when they will be coming and going
  • Do not get in their way while they are working

Choosing the right contractor

When selecting a professional contractor or handyman who is right for the job, here are a few tips: 

  • Ask around – get recommendations from friends and family.
  • Reach out – reach out to at least three of the suggestions. 
  • Read reviews – check out their pages for examples of their work and reviews. 
  • Compare – receive at least three quotes and compare them.

Ultimately, it is up to you to decide if a fixer-upper is right for you. If the home needs several costly repairs, it may not be. However, if the home has good bones and the housing market has been difficult to navigate, this could be your diamond in the rough.


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