Buying a fixer upper can be both exciting and a lot of work, but there are certainly great fixer upper options in College Station if you are willing to put in a little elbow grease. Your dream home may just need a little updating and renovating to truly shine. Before you decide to purchase a fixer upper, you need to examine both the home along with the repairs and “love” the home may need to bring it up to par for your wants and needs. Let’s explore 10 for buying a fixer upper in College Station.
Establish a Timeline
Renovating a fixer upper means lots of time, so you need to ensure that the repairs needed will fit with the timeline you have to move into the home. If you are planning to do a lot of the renovations yourself, be prepared to spend time painting, sanding and putting in long hours on the weekends. Keep in mind that if you need the repairs done by a certain time, like if your current apartment has a lease that expires or if you sold your home and the new owners are moving in on a certain date, you will need to ensure that you stick to timeline so you don’t encounter situations that are hard to get out of.
Determine What Needs to Be Fixed
Make a detailed list of every single thing you’d like to change or update in the home. Determine what needs to be fixed right away and what can be done at a later date if you don’t have the budget to do all at once. It’s one case if the home needs cosmetic updates like replacing cabinets and floors, but it’s another if there are structural issues. Cosmetic changes can usually be done on your own.
Really Think About Structural Issues
Structural problems like foundation, the roof or drainage systems can cost a fortune to fix. A wise tip is to have an inspector come out and inspect the home’s structure and major fixes. The last thing you want to do is purchase a home, only to find out that the foundation has severe cracks. If the home is in need of a lot of structural repairs and the cost of the home will not offset the amount you’ll spend fixing these issues, you may want to reconsider buying that particular home.
Determine Where You Will Live During Renovations
If you have another place to stay during the renovation period, a fixer upper can be a great opportunity. If you need to immediately move into the house, renovating can pose issues – especially if the home is in need of major updating. If the home isn’t livable right off the bat, keep in mind that you may need to stay in a hotel or at a friend’s for an extended time period while you make repairs and upgrades.
Know When to Hire a Contractor
You need to know when you need a contractor for the work and you need to hire the right contractor for the job. A contractor should do big renovation projects, especially if you are not knowledgeable on construction. Ask friends and family who they have used, do a quick Google search and read reviews. Interview at least three contractors before choosing which will work on your home. Ask them for references and examples and photos of their previous jobs. Never take a contractor at their word without having any examples. Get estimates, plans and timelines in writing before hiring them. Also, read through the entire contract before signing.
Be Honest About Your Budget
Is renovating a home truly in your budget? Can you do the renovations the right way without having to cut corners? The fixer uppers in College Station can turn out to be some of the most beautiful and impeccable homes, but it takes time, money and effort to get them to that point. If you are struggling to locate money for the down payment, you may not be making the wisest decision in purchasing a fixer upper home. Even if you do have money set aside for the down payment and repairs, remember, there are always surprises that pop up inevitably so you’ll also want to budget for unexpected issues. Luckily, there are financing options available that can help alleviate this financial burden of renovating a fixer upper.
Consider Applying for an FHA 203(k) Loan
If you are purchasing a fixer upper, you should highly consider applying for an FHA 203(k) loan, which covers the cost of the home along with any repairs the home needs. You will need to make a down payment of 3.5 percent of the home’s estimated value after the renovations are complete. There are two types of FHA 203(k) loans: the standard loan, which is for homes that require structural repairs, and the streamline, which is for houses that need non-structural repairs.
Consider Your Support Team
One of the many tips we want to give our potential fixer upper buyers is to make sure that you have a solid support system to help you along the process. Having an experienced realtor alongside you when purchasing the fixer upper can be a game changer. The realtors at Myke Leatham can help you every step of the way when purchasing a fixer upper in College Station. Along with an experienced realtor, you also want to make sure your friends and family will be there to support this project. If the project gets stressful, you’ll be thankful you have a strong support system to help you de-stress.
Have Reasonable Expectations
Plenty of people love to binge watch HGTV, which can be fun, but also very misleading when it comes to home renovations – both with the cost and timeline aspects. Be reasonable when it comes to the end result. Don’t expect a major renovation to be done in a couple of months. Also, don’t expect to perform a major renovation without a few bumps along the way affecting your wallet and your projected completion date. You have to be realistic about things going wrong and be prepared when they do. Don’t get in the state of mind that your renovation project will be an HGTV show success with few barriers – you may encounter a couple of issues, but with the right contractor and support system you will be so pleased with your fixer upper after it’s renovated.
Have Several Inspectors Look at the House
Home inspectors are knowledgeable and have ample experience in evaluating the health of a home. Having a few inspectors look at the home can help you ensure that no major issues are missed. You will feel more at ease knowing that you are purchasing a fixer upper that does not need in-depth renovations to serious parts of the home such as the foundation and roof. If the home does have foundation or roof issues, you should consult with a contractor to determine just how severe the damage will be and how long the repairs will take along with the cost. If the cost and time it will take to repair these issues are major, you may want to keep looking.
To really get the most bang for your buck, if you are looking to buy a fixer upper, you want to purchase the worst home on the block. The worst home on the block will have a good price tag and once it has been renovated and fixed up, you can earn a serious return on the investment. The high price of comps in the neighborhood will have a positive effect on the home’s resale value.
The expert’s rule of thumb is that you should spend 20-25% less than what the property in good condition would be in the neighborhood or area. Do some research and look at the price per square foot and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Depending on what needs renovating and how much the renovations cost, this percentage can change.
Let Us Help You Find the Perfect Fixer Upper in College Station
Our team of realtors at Myke Leatham can help you locate the ideal fixer upper in the Bryan/College Station area. We can help guide you through every step of the home buying process and help you find a home that will be sure to offer a great return on the investment if you choose to sell the home down the road. We know how exciting and difficult purchasing a renovating a fixer upper can be and we want to help you make the process as easy and fun as possible.
We love College Station and all the fun dining, shops and entertainment spots in the area, including the exciting Texas A&M University main campus. Contact us today to schedule a showing of one of the many fixer upper homes available in the area.