- Where are fixer-uppers found?
- You can find distressed properties (foreclosures, short sales, etc.) or fixer-uppers in most communities, even wealthier neighborhoods. A distressed property is one that has been poorly maintained or must be sold quickly to relieve a debt and therefore, will often have a lower market value than other houses in the immediate area.
Ascertaining whether the property you're interested in is a wise investment takes some work. You need to figure what the average house in a given area sells for, as well as what the most desirable houses in that area are like and what they cost.
Some experts suggest that buyers who take this route try to find a "cosmetic fixer" that can be completely refurbished with paint, wallpaper, new floor and window coverings, landscaping and new appliances. You should avoid run-down houses that need major structural repairs. A house price that looks too good to be true probably is. A smart buyer will find out why before buying it.
The basic strategy for a fixer is to find the least desirable house in the most desirable neighborhood, and then decide if the expenses needed to bring the value of that property up to its full potential market value.
- Are fixers a good idea in bad areas?
- It depends. Distressed properties or fixer-uppers can be found anywhere, even in wealthier neighborhoods. Such properties are poorly maintained and have a lower market value than other houses in the neighborhood.
Many experts recommend that before you make such an investment, first find the least desirable house in the best neighborhood. Then do the math to see if what it would cost to bring up the value of that property to its full potential market value is within your budget.
If you are a novice buyer, it may be wiser to look for properties that only need cosmetic fixes rather than run-down houses that need major structural repairs.
- Are there government programs for fixer-uppers?
- See >> Real Estate Guide: Your Mortgage (Fixer-upper Loans) - Loans For Re-hab.
- What kind of return is there on remodeling jobs?
- Remodeling magazine produces an annual that answers just that question. The most important point to remember is that remodeling a home not only improves its livability for you but its curb appeal with a potential buyer down the road.
Most recently, the highest remodeling paybacks have come from updating kitchens and baths, home-office additions and extra amenities in older homes. While home offices are a relatively new remodeling trend, for example, you could expect to recoup 58 percent of the cost of adding a home office, according to the survey.
- What are some resources for info on home improvements?
- If you're getting ready to embark on a home improvement project involving contracting help, "Ready, Set, Build: A Consumer's Guide to Home Improvement Planning Contracts" lays out a road map for selecting the right contractor, obtaining competitive bids up to what to include in a contract. There also is information on consumer rights, liens and financing. The book is available for $9.95 through Consumer Press and Women's Publications, Inc., Dept. SR01, 13326 Southwest 28th St., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33330-1102; (954) 370-9153.
- Remodeling magazine's annual , available for a nominal fee from the magazine; call (202) 736-3447 to order a copy.
- , E-zine covering information, ideas, and instructions on how to remodel homes, including a product guide and kitchen and bathroom design.
- Are there any special tax breaks for historic rehab?
- See >> Buying Your Home: Historic Opportunities in Real Estate
- How do building codes work?
See>> Real Estate Guide: Homeownership (Building Permits and Zoning) - Building Permits
- What do you think of get-rich-quick real estate schemes?
- See >> Investing In Real Estate: Foreclosures - What do you think of get-rich-quick real estate schemes?