TV shows have glamorized the home remodel process. In reality, they're expensive, dirty, and don't wrap up in an hour. But that doesn't deter many first-time buyers.
Finding a low-priced home that's in need of repair might be the right solution for first-time home buyers who are anxious to get into the housing market. But it's easy to take on more than you can handle. Getting help from experts can help ensure your budget and your timeline are ready for the long haul.
"Start with a Realtor and an experienced home inspector to help you determine if that fixer upper you're looking at is a money pit or a diamond in the rough," said Angie Hicks, Co-Founder of Angie's List.
Once you've found your diamond, securing the financing to cover the cost of a big project may require more attention than a first-time buyer realizes.
"Fixer uppers sometimes have restrictions as far as what type of loans they qualify for, so it would be very important to understand that up front." said Reinhard Pollach, Realtor with Carpenter Realtors. "Having a plan in place. Both in terms of how much it will cost to do the rehab work, as much as the overall scope, the resources that are required, the timing, and lastly, you've got to keep in mind what the end value is of the product."
As you evaluate the potential scope and decide just how much you want to take on, prioritizing the work is critical to creating a successful plan.
Once those big-ticket, unglamorous projects are out of the way, go for projects that will be rewarding to complete.
"Focus on the low hanging fruit. For instance, if you want to do a bathroom remodel but you are facing limited funds, change the color, the light fixture, the vanity, the faucet. These kinds of things actually achieve a high impact." said Reinhard Pollach, Realtor with Carpenter Realtor's.
Regardless of the size of the project, tackling a remodel can be daunting to anyone. But with the help from the right experts, even a beginner can achieve a beautiful end result.