Home buyers in Kansas City are often faced with this choice.
Shall we buy a home that's already updated and remodeled or look for a home that needs some updating?
The first consideration is how much money the buyers can afford to put into a home on top of the purchase price. New HVAC systems may run from $2,500 up to 20,000+ depending upon the size of the home and the age of the air conditioner and furnace and whether the house has existing duct work. Windows may be another $10,000 or more depending on what type of windows and how many you need. Kitchens and bathrooms are the rooms most often remodeled. It is a good idea to price out various finishes and appliances as you plan the remodel. Removing walls to open up the space between the kitchen and dining, living, or hearth room(s) will require a consultation with a structural engineer. In most cases, the funds for remodeling will need to come out of the buyer's pocket; they cannot be rolled into most mortgages.
Next, they need to think about how much time they have to either do the work themselves or hire part of it done. Even if they hire contractors to do the work, someone will need to check on the work being done at least daily. Someone will need to pick out colors and materials and coordinate deliveries and installations.
The final consideration is can you live in the house while the work is being done? If it's just painting and new kitchen appliances, it won't be too inconvenient for too long. If walls are being moved, the electricity needs to be turned off for hours at a time, or plumbing is being rerouted, there may be days that are noisy, dusty, and a need to use the bathroom at the corner gas station.
The convenience of having the work all done before they move in is nice for those who don't have the time or experience to deal with remodeling and updating. The price of the home will be more than that of a home needing some work. If you are experienced with remodeling and tolerant of the messy inconvenience, there are some great deals out there.