Remodel, New Construction or Fixer-Upper? Finding the Right Home
If you’re just beginning the home search process, you’re probably starting to realize that it can be overwhelming. There are many decisions to be made and it’s easy to get sidetracked or discouraged.
One simple way to set yourself up for success from the beginning is to be very clear about your home search criteria and end goals.
Identifying your needs versus your wants is a good place to start. For example, once you’ve identified that you need a three-bedroom home with a small yard and a traditional floor plan, you can stop wasting time browsing through photos of that ultra-cold, modern loft that will never meet your lifestyle needs.
In addition to the price range, number of bedrooms, size of the closets, school district and proximity to shop and amenities, one of the most important decisions is whether you’re looking for a new construction, a remodel or a fixer-upper. Each type of home has its pros and cons that either make sense, or don’t, depending on your situation.
Many buyers in today’s market are drawn to new construction. And that’s because, well, it’s new. New construction homes have all new systems, new plumbing, new electrical, new appliances and more. When you’re making what is likely one of the most expensive purchases you will ever make, there is peace of mind knowing that everything is shiny, new, and not in need of any immediate repairs or costly fixes.
As in any home purchase, it’s important to do your research, ask questions and perform the recommended inspections. Not all builders are created equal and just because a home is new, doesn’t guarantee that there won’t be future issues.
In owner remodels, cosmetic and aesthetic decisions may not be done to your specific taste, so you may still want to make changes.
If systems were updated years ago they may need upgrades or repairs in the immediate or near future.
A remodel that has been well cared for and maintained allows you to move right in and also gives you the option to make changes over time. Knowing that you don’t necessarily need to invest in modifications right away also gives you more financial flexibility in your purchase.
On the other end of the spectrum is a fixer-upper.
This type of property can encompass a range of homes from a complete gut to a cosmetic fixer. If you’re considering purchasing a fixer-upper, the most important considerations are:
– How much work are you willing to do and how much work will it take to get a property to where you want it?
– Are you willing to add on or tear down walls or are you really only looking to update surfaces and materials?
Then the challenge becomes identifying properties that fall within that range.
If you’re in the market for a fixer-upper, it takes a certain amount of vision to look at a property in its current state and see what kind of potential it has. You may want to consider working with an experienced real estate agent who can help you to identify suitable properties.