It’s been a little over a year since I bought my first house, and what a whirlwind it has been! I’ve learned more about electrical wiring, grout removal, and interior paint than I ever dreamed possible. Although I haven’t fully finished my list of home improvement projects, I have made quite a dent – new countertops, fresh baseboards, and a retiled bathroom, among other things. It’s been an exhausting, expensive, and very rewarding ride, but I can honestly say fixer uppers are not for everyone.
For those of you seeking a new adventure, here are a few pros and cons to buying a fixer upper from a first-time home owner.
1. Lower Monthly Mortgage Payments
Unlike buying a starter home, fixer uppers obviously have a lower list price – which means lower monthly payments for you. This is more money you can put in your pocket or save towards your renovation list!
2. Complete Customization
In a way, fixer uppers are like building a house from scratch. You have the rare and beautiful opportunity to hand-craft your home from the ground up, and there is a lot to be said for ultimate creative freedom.
3. Work at Your Own Pace
Unlike buying a new home, you can work and pay for a fixer upper at your own pace. You determined when each improvement is done and how much it will cost, which means you can tailor your home to fit your current lifestyle.
1. Choices Can Be Overwhelming
Do you want brushed nickel, bronze, silver, or black drawer pulls? Ogee, bevel, or demi bullnose on your countertops? You really don’t realize how many detailed decisions go into creating a cohesive home until you start calling the shots!
2. Require Lots (And Lots) of Time
Fixers uppers are extremely time-consuming. Even if you opt not to DIY the majority of your renovations, you’re looking at hours spent researching options and meeting with vendors. You’ll also be required to take PTO from work during any installations, which can last up to 4+ hours per project.
3. Older Homes = More Repairs
Buying a fixer upper means buying an older home, which comes with a fair share of challenges. Don’t be caught off guard if you encounter faulty plumbing, outdated electrical wiring, or random holes in the wall (don’t ask).
Have more questions about buying an older home? I’d love to offer any guidance I can, so feel free to ask away in the comments section below.
I just purchased such a home and we are finally reaching culmination. The learning curb definitely goes through the roof. Dealing with contractors, design, plumbing, electric, material, tons to learn. Is it worth it. I think it is. You get a better price and you learn quite a bit on the process!
I agree with that! It is a great learning experience, and for me, the work is worth it.