Fixer Upper Home

People are always looking for a good deal, and fixer-uppers are no exception. A fixer-upper needs some work before it can be sold on the market. Whether you’re thinking about buying a home or just curious, here’s what to look for when considering this type of property. 

You may be in the market for a new house but don’t want to break the bank – or you might be curious about how much work goes into fixing up an old house and whether it’s worth it. Whatever your situation, there are things you’ll need to consider when purchasing any property, including homes with potential problems like mold or structural issues that will require expensive repairs down the line. 

Things to consider before buying a fixer-upper

  • Time: How much time and money can you commit to doing repairs? If you’re not the handy type, buying a fixer-upper might be something you want to skip as many of these homes need extensive work. On the other hand, if you know your way around tools and don’t mind getting dirty, it could prove worthwhile to purchase a less expensive home and then repair it over time.
  • Location: Check out the neighborhood where the home is located to see whether it suits your needs. A fixer-upper isn’t necessarily a bad area, but if you’re not comfortable with any of the homes around it, you might want to look elsewhere or wait until that particular house becomes available.
  • Condition: If a home looks like it could be a fixer-upper, you’re going to need to look closer and do some research into what needs to be done before you can set up an appointment to see the inside of the house. While no surprises may be hiding behind those shingles, take a look at the exterior of the house to see what you’re getting into.
  • Inspections: What have previous buyers looked at? If a home is being sold as a fixer-upper, that means it didn’t pass inspection, and prospective buyers were able to identify problems. Ask for extensive records from inspections done by other parties before making an offer.
  • Expert advice: If you don’t know much about fixer-uppers, consider consulting an expert guide before you jump into the market. A little research can go a long way to helping you find that perfect home without spending too much on repairs.

See also: How to Find the Best Real Estate Agent Near You

What should you look for in a Fixer-Upper?

Potential buyers

Potential buyers are always looking for deals – and fixer-uppers are no exception. Fixer-uppers are homes that need some work done to them before they’re ready for the open market. 

There are many different types of fixer-uppers. One type is a house that seems comfortable to live in but has problems, ranging from an issue with the foundation to a severe infestation.

Another type is a home that has major structural issues and needs complete renovation on all levels. It might just need cosmetic changes like fresh paint or new appliances, but it might also require the foundation, wiring, or plumbing changes.

See also: Buyer’s Market vs. Seller’s Market


You don’t necessarily need to stick close to home when looking for a fixer-upper. However, it does pay off to check out the neighborhood before you buy. If you’re willing and able to move into a less than desirable location, then buying a fixer-upper will save you money that could go toward renovating your new home.

Fixer-uppers can sometimes be found in rural areas, where land is desirable, and there aren’t as many building codes to worry about. They might also be available in older neighborhoods that are less likely to have updated amenities like pools or gyms.

Condition of the home

You’ll need to get a little dirty if you’re looking for a fixer-upper. Although you might go in expecting to find problems, you won’t know how severe they are until you undertake a more comprehensive inspection of the exterior and interior of the home.

If there’s a property that seems like it could be a fixer-upper near you, take a look at the exterior and see what needs to be done. As a buyer, you’ll want to look for problems that range from weather-related damage, such as broken windows and missing shingles, to major structural issues like cracks in the foundation or evidence of water damage on the ceiling.

Inspections performed by previous buyers

If a home is being sold as a fixer-upper, it means that previous buyers were able to identify problems when making their offers. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be able to spot the same issues quickly, but if previous buyers couldn’t secure financing due to a lack of evidence that they could get a return on their investment, then it might be worth investigating further.

Once you’ve looked at the home’s exterior, it’s time to get a closer look inside. You’ll want to pay close attention to any visible signs of problems, like water damage on the ceiling or cracks in the foundation. Also, check for evidence that previous buyers couldn’t afford to fix these problems, like an unfinished renovation.

Also Read: Home Inspection Contingency: How to Negotiate Repairs?


Damages that may be difficult to spot include water damage, pest infestations, and merely cosmetic changes like drywall or carpet that need to be replaced.

Repairs that need to be made

Some homes need only minor repairs like paint touchups or new appliances. Others will require extensive renovations on multiple levels of the home. If you don’t know much about fixer-uppers, consider consulting an expert guide before you jump into the market.

Evaluate the property

You might want to consider consulting a professional guide before you jump into buying a fixer-upper, but there are some things you can look for yourself.

Inspect the foundation

Look to see if there are cracks in the foundation, which could be a sign of water damage or a shifting foundation. You can perform a simple test by placing a level on top of the foundation and checking whether it’s straight from one end of the structure to another.

Reasonable pricing

A home that’s priced below market value may be a good buy, but it might also be the result of problems that you’ll need to pay for in the future. If there are major issues like foundation damage or structural cracks, talk to professionals about how much it will cost to fix them before you buy. 

If you see potential in a fixer-upper, you might be able to save yourself some money with the right renovation work. However, don’t compromise on safety or convenience to buy a good deal.

Possibility for DIY

If you’re a handy person with construction experience, you might want to consider buying a fixer-upper and taking on the renovations yourself. Just be sure that you have the time and resources necessary to do the job and that you’re not biting off more than you can chew just because you want to save some money.

Please stay away from fixer-uppers that are not safe for living in, no matter how much they’re marked down. As a homeowner, it’s your job to ensure that you can provide safety and comfort for yourself and others who live with you.


Buying a fixer-upper can be a great way to save money on a new home, but it’s important to do your research before buying. Ensure to inspect the property for damage and consult with professionals about how much it will cost to fix any major problems. If you’re handy and have the time, buying a fixer-upper and doing the work yourself might be the best option for you. Just make sure that you’re not taking on more than you can handle!


What is a fixer-upper? 

A fixer-upper is a home that needs some repair. It has potential, but it will take work to make it close to perfect.

How can you tell if a house is a fixer-upper? 

A good way to tell if a house is a fixer-upper is to hire a home inspector (or an electrician, plumber, etc.) and pay them to check the house out.

What are some signs that you’re looking at a fixer-upper? 

Issues like cracks in foundations, water damage on ceilings, or any major issues with the general structure of the home would make a house a fixer-upper.

What should you do when buying a fixer-upper? 

When looking at houses that need some work, you should always ask for inspections by previous buyers and keep your eyes open for signs of damage and structural issues.

How can DIY help with fixing up a house? 

DIY can be a great way to save money on buying a new home. You’ll have to spend time and energy fixing up the house, but it will save you some dough.

What should you look for when buying a fixer-upper? 

Look out for signs of damage and mold, and ask for extensive records from previous owners. Make sure you have a budget for renovation work before committing to buy.

What are some red flags when buying a fixer-upper? 

If the price of the house is too good to be true, then it probably is. Also, watch out for signs of water damage and don’t trust any estimates on what needs to be fixed.

Do fixer-uppers need to be cheaper than other homes? 

Not necessarily. You can find a good deal on a fixer-upper, but the house will probably need some more work than one that’s move-in ready.

What are some signs of water damage? 

Water damage usually looks like something has happened to the ceilings of rooms, so watch out for any dark stains or discolorations. Also, water damage usually causes a mold problem, so watch out for any signs of bad smells or black spots on surfaces.

What is the buyer’s responsibility for renovations? 

When you purchase a home that needs renovation work, it’s your responsibility to ensure that you receive all necessary permits and get any inspections needed before reworking the house. 

What is the seller’s responsibility for renovations?

After selling a house, it’s the sellers’ responsibility to give buyers all necessary information about any damage and repairs that have been made on the house.

What are good resources for finding good fixer-uppers? 

The Internet is a great resource for finding fixer-uppers, but you should also ask around and get your hands on some local listings to ensure that you’re not missing anything.

Where can you go online for more information about fixing up? 

There are many great websites and forums with information about buying fixer-uppers. Try Googling “buying a fixer-upper” or some similar search terms! 

What can you do to sell your house? 

If you want to get the most out of your home, you need to ensure no major problems. Make any repairs needed before putting your house on the market to get the most money for your home!

See also: What Does it Mean to Buy a Home “As Is”?