What To Consider When Buying A Fixer-Upper in Northern Virginia

By
Real Estate Agent with The Kathy O'Neal Team - RE/MAX Premier

In your imagination it seems like a great idea – you purchase an older run-down property in Northern Virginia and you have the chance to fix it up and turn it into the home of your dreams.

To Renovate, Or Not To Renovate

However, the renovation project that is simply a quick montage in your imagination will actually take several months or years and thousands of dollars in real life.

The concept of renovating a "fixer-upper" property is exciting, but the reality is a lot of work and investment.  How can you make sure that you are making the right choice for you?

One of the main advantages of buying a fixer-upper property is that you will usually be able to get the property for a much cheaper price.  But is it worth it for the amount of time and money you will need to invest in the property?

Here Are Some Questions You Should Be Asking Yourself When Making Your Decision:

  • Do you (or your friends and family members) have the skills to be able to perform most of the renovations yourself?  If you do the labor yourself, you will be able to save thousands of dollars that you would have spent hiring contractors, which will make the renovation a much more profitable project.
  • Are you comfortable with the idea of living in a construction zone, perhaps for several months or more?  There will be dust and noise everywhere and you might have to cope without a kitchen or a shower for a while.
  • Make sure that you have a thorough inspection of the home performed so that you can see whether the home has a sturdy foundation, good wiring and plumbing, etc.  If your inspection reveals any structural issues or water damage, you might be in for more than you bargained for.  You need to start with a house that has "good bones".
  • If the home has serious structural, plumbing or wiring problems you should stay away – these repairs are very expensive but "invisible", so you are unlikely to recoup your costs when you sell the home.
  • Add up the estimated costs for renovating the property along with the cost of the home – does it still work out to be a better deal or would you be better off buying a new property.
  • What is your strategy for financing the renovations?  If your only option is putting it on the credit card, you might want to think twice because this is a very high interest option.

Buying a fixer-upper property can be a great investment and can give you the opportunity to transform a run-down old house into the property of your dreams.  However, make sure you that you consider the choice carefully before making your decision.

If you are considering buying a home in the Northern Virginia area consider contacting The Kathy O'Neal Team today.  We are here to help you with your real estate needs!

 [The Kathy O'Neal Team serves home buyers and sellers in Northern Virginia, with special focus on Chantilly, Centreville, and the communities of Western Fairfax region.]

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Virginia Fairfax County Chantilly
Tags:
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Rainer
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Andrew Payne Realtor® Richmond VA Homes For Sale~804-938-5257~
Coach House Realty - Richmond, VA
Richmond, VA, Real Estate, SRES®, NAR Green

Kathy,

As someone who previously has lived in a construction zone myself, I usually wouldn't recommend it to others.  However, if somehow the dust can be sufficiently blocked from the living space area, then I would consider it again.  Almost all the demolition and gutting I did myself and experienced a lot of plaster dust.  Anyone doing demolition definitely needs to wear lung protection.  Last month I celebrated my 20th anniversary in the same home

Feb 21, 2014 10:41 PM #1
Rainmaker
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Kathy O'Neal
The Kathy O'Neal Team - RE/MAX Premier - Chantilly, VA
A great experience & a happy end result.

Andrew,

Excellent advice....thanks for the comment.Best to you,

Kathy & team

Feb 23, 2014 02:19 AM #2
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Rainmaker
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Kathy O'Neal

A great experience & a happy end result.
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