6 Projects To Prioritize When You Buy A Fixer Upper, Experts Say in Olathe-Kansas

Published Mar 18, 23
4 min read

Buying A Fixer-upper House: What To Know - Mercury Insurance in Santa-Rosa-California

She notes that one way to save costs on improvements in this room is by simply painting or refinishing your cabinets if they're in good shape. Taking this approach could cost anywhere from $2,500 to $3,500, Maynard estimates. If the doors aren't in good shape and won't be much improved with paint, refacing (replacing the doors) can be another budget-friendly cabinet upgrade option.

Bottom line: kitchen renovations don't have to cost more than $15,000 or $20,000. "Everyone thinks a kitchen remodel is super expensive, but it doesn't have to be. The Home Depot cabinets can look great. There are discount granite shops that will cut and install your countertop for much less than the high-end showroom places.

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Chillag's tricks of the trade include sourcing granite at warehouses, not showrooms, where you can purchase more affordable materials for a countertop upgrade. She also suggests searching for kitchen fixtures and other items at Lowe's or similar big-box, high-volume stores instead of high-end showrooms. Peter Molick Installing new windows might not be the cheapest project to tackle initially, depending on who you buy them from (and you should definitely shop around.) But this improvement can pay for itself over the long run by saving you money on utility bills.

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"Plus, it also makes living in the home comfier when you don't have to worry about the cold breeze or warm summer heat entering through the windows seasonally." John Granen Yet another fixer-upper tip is to do significant drywall or ceiling repairs for logistical reasons, including moving walls. Like flooring, this type of work is best tackled before moving in.

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He's been fixing and flipping homes for more than 15 years. Most homeowners can remove the popcorn ceiling on their own. Still, you'll need someone to come through to retape and texture the ceiling, says Taylor, owner of The Real Estate Solutions Guy. Expect removal of acoustic ceiling texture and retexturing to cost around $2 to $3 per square foot, says Taylor.

This will also help you develop a more complete picture of the expenses involved. "Get at least three qualified quotes from contractors to do the work," says John Bodrozic, co-founder of Home, Zada, a platform that helps homeowners manage renovations. "This is where you start to see what the total cost of the project is beyond material costs because the contractor quotes will include their labor costs, their tools costs, insurance costs, and their goals for profit on the project." Another point about selecting a contractor: the lowest bid is not always the best, even when you're on a tight budget.

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"It will cost you more money in the long run. Get recommendations for contractors, interview them, and talk to their prior clients. A good contractor will look at your remodel wish list and give you advice on how to save money and what order to do things in so that you're not undoing work later on in the remodel process." Buying a fixer-upper can be a wise way to get into homeownership on a budget.

No matter which camp you're in, make sure you thoroughly understand the work that needs to be done and why before diving into any projects. Mistakes can be costly, and if your budget is already tight, it's best to spend your money judiciously as a new homeowner. Doing this requires being educated about your choices.

A common mistake is people thinking, for instance, that if floors aren't leveled correctly, they need to replace the flooring. That's a costly mistake since most of the time it's not a flooring issue, but instead a problem with the home foundation," says Wilson, the home improvement contractor. "It's essential to be sure that what's actually causing the issue is what's being fixed." Television stars Dave and Jenny Marrs share more about renovation on our new podcast, The Better Buy.

Buying A Fixer-upper Home: What To Know - Ramsey Solutions in Vancouver-Washington

If you're struggling to find the perfect property, an old house that's a little worse for wear could offer an ideal blank canvas to put your own stamp on. While taking on a fixer-upper is no small task, breathing new life into a rundown residence can be an especially rewarding experience that offers plenty in return, whether you're yearning for a unique family home or a healthy return on your investment.

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When it comes to your pocket, older properties that are in need of a facelift can often come with smaller price tags. Prospective buyers can be put off by old fixtures and time-worn interiors, so if you're not afraid of a little elbow grease, you could bag yourself a bargain.