If you’re looking to make the move to northern Colorado, Loveland is a quaint community that offers a little bit of everything people love about Colorado living. While the average home in Loveland is priced around $576,000, there are still lots of lower-priced homes available for those looking for a deal. Buying a fixer-upper can be a nightmare, but not if you know what you’re doing. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to fixers.
Opportunity or Money Pit?
The obvious big advantage of fixers is that they are cheaper. What many buyers fail to appreciate, however, is that they are cheaper for a reason: their poor condition. After you buy one, you have to fix it up. I can hear many readers saying, ”That’s okay with me. I love to fix things. I’d be a natural at fixing up a home.” Maybe. But when you buy a true fixer upper, a house with a price substantially reduced because of severe problems, you’re going to have to be willing to make a commitment of time and money.
How Much Will it Cost?
Not only will you need the money to buy your the home, but you’ll also need the cash to fix it up. How are you going to get it if you’re strapped for funds? There are several options. Perhaps you can put less cash down and get a bigger mortgage, leaving you with the wherewithal to fix up the property. Or maybe you can get a home equity loan from a lender almost as soon as you purchase your home.
How Much Time Will it Take?
Fixing up a house can take months of hard, tedious work on your part. Do you have the time? Are you willing to spend it? Remember, with a fixer-upper you could be losing those long weekends to play with your children, to meet with your friends, take trips, or simply lounge around watching television. Now you’ll spend almost every waking moment fixing up your home.
It’s probably a mistake to think that you’ll do the work gradually over many years, or even months. Few people can stand to live in a home that’s constantly under construction. The dirt, noise, and mess usually force them to get the job done as soon as possible. This doesn’t mean that you can’t do it. It can be done, if you’re willing to make the sacrifices. The mistake is to believe that no sacrifices are necessary.
How do I Evaluate a Property?
Perhaps the most important thing when evaluating a fixer is to determine whether you can do the work yourself, or whether it’s beyond you. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to call in experts—contractors, engineers, agents—people who specialize in fixing the particular problem. In many cases they’ll simply give you a bid. In others you may have to pay them a fee. Either way, very often only they can tell you how the problem can be fixed correctly and how much that will realistically cost.
Once you accept the fact that to get a fixer-upper at a reasonable price you’re going to have to find a home with more than just cosmetic problems, the next task is to identify the problem and then determine whether you’re capable of fixing it. Remember, when a house is priced sufficiently below market to allow you to add in all your costs and still get it for less than a fixed-up property, there is usually something severely wrong with it.
Is Buying a Fixer Right for Me?
Many first time buyers see purchasing a fixer -upper as a real opportunity. The lower price may get them into a neighborhood they might not otherwise be able to afford. However, not all fixer-uppers are opportunities; some are money pits. Although there are many properties in Loveland that only need some cosmetic work, make sure you understand what you are taking on before buying a home that needs a lot of TLC.