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Fixer Uppers — Is it a Good Deal or a Money Pit?

If you have been browsing through houses online and you found an under priced house that is a fixer-upper, you might have found a bargain! The other reality is that it could be a money pit.

Here are some questions to figure out before making an offer:

  1. Is it just ugly? or does it have bigger problems?  Old carpet, cat urine smell, ripping wallpaper, chipping paint, no problem! Not to say that it will be cheap to replace carpet and paint but it is a cost that you can easily calculate and decide if it is worth it. You can get a really good deal on a nice house if you are willing to use some elbow grease.
    Leaking roof, missing siding, broken furnace, missing plumbing? Now this is a problem. This is not a property to jump on. Take your time. You will need to get estimates to fix each of the issues. And plan for it being twice as expensive. If you believe its still worth it, then go for it. But don’t expect to be able to move in quickly!
  2. Always stay in your comfort zone. This isn’t usual advice but when it involves this much risk you need to know what you can handle. If you aren’t comfortable with a deal it is likely that you aren’t understanding everything that it will involve. And a miscalculation can be very very spendy!
  3. Have the money to spend. Make sure that you have your finances in order. If you can barely make the down payment, how will you afford the repairs? If you can’t move in until the repairs are done, you will be paying insurance, utilities, and interest on a property that you aren’t living in. If you are going to be taking a risk, make sure you can handle your worst case scenarios.
  4. Have a backup plan. In the worst of cases what will you do? Your Plan-B doesn’t have to be spectacular, make you money, or be convenient; but you should have one! Can you easily resell the property as-is for what you paid? Can you live in the house before repairs are made? Just as long as your plan isn’t to skip town and let the home be foreclosed on!

    If you need my assistance please don’t hesitate to call, Angie Uttecht 605-350-2553

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