Do you know who Chip and Joanna are? If you answered yes then it is possible you have thought how fun it might be to buy a fixer upper! It is amazing the amount of work they can get done in 60 minutes. That is of course with a crew of 20+ and someone else’s checkbook.
They make it look so easy and beautiful. Before you fall for the smoke and mirrors of “realty TV” there are some things to consider.
Do you have to occupy the house during renovation? It is a dirty job. It will take double the time you expect it to. How long can you really cook on a camp stove?
Have you done this type of work before or do you have family/friends in the trades? A lot of decent houses get ruined through HGTV wannabes. You can build a lot of equity in a house with updates/repairs, if you know what you are doing. However, if you don’t know what you are doing you can also decrease the overall value with shoddy workmanship.
Do you know about permits, inspections, codes and approvals?
How much is it going to cost? You can’t mortgage 2×4’s and drywall (there is one way under a specific loan type-,click here for more information).
Is this the right time in your life for an all-consuming project?
Can your relationships survive it?
My husband and I recently did purchase and completely gut a home. We are much older and wiser than when we purchased our first home (See: The First Time is Special). My husband is good at repairs, we do know a lot of tradesmen, we do know about all the permits, we had enough cash, we are empty nesters…so we decided this is the time. We thought it would only take us a few months and we had somewhere else to live during the renovation. It turned out better than we imagined. However it took us 8 months versus the 3 ½ we expected; required many, many, many more hours than we ever imagined and cost about 1/3 more than we estimated.
Some day the world is going to need another Chip and Joanna, it just might be you… Or you can plan on watching them Fix up another home while you sit on the couch in your move in ready home!