Buying a Fixer-Upper in B.C.: Good Bones are a Good Buy


Whether you are just beginning your house hunting journey or have been searching the market for a while, it is very likely that your perfect home is not on the market. Waiting for the ideal space to come up can take years or mean prices far beyond accessible budgets. With a rise of interest in DIY projects, it is becoming more and more common to buy a fixer-upper with the hopes of building a dream home.
Real estate investing comes in two distinct styles, those properties that you live in and those properties that you sell. Regardless of what your intention for a property is, the initial purchase is the key to success and that requires an experienced realtor. A bit of insight can go a long way when deciphering whether or not a home has good bones or is a “money pit”.

Finding the Ideal Fixer-Upper

Over the past few years, HGTV has seen a rise in programs focused around house flippers buying a property, performing renovations and repairs then selling for a profit. This may seem great on a screen, but every day buyers are being met with unexpected costs, larger-scale projects and a whole lot of headache. Save yourself the trouble by discussing the opportunity for simple fixes that add value, as well as which features make a home worth investing in.
See Passed the Surface: Blemishes and dated finishes can make any house seem unappealing, but sometimes these are the small details that will impact a purchase price. With a bit of creativity and expert insight from a realtor, these simple home improvements can make a house palatable to live in or to sell at a later date.
Location: An up-and-coming neighbourhood is the perfect place for a project. When you choose to buy a house near a busy intersection, it may come with a more attractive purchase price but this does not mean it is the ideal space. Buying and selling properties near busy highways, nightclubs and even school zones can be a deterrent for potential buyers later on. Taking the time to flip a house in an undesirable area can mean not getting the expected return and ending up in debt.
Layout: When searching for a home, floor plan is everything. It is costly and impractical to move walls, but it is possible. Look for opportunities to add bathrooms or bedrooms without sacrificing too much square footage. Bedrooms on opposite ends of the house can be a deterrent for those with younger children, while a ground floor primary bedroom can also be a turn off.

Identifying the Affordable vs. the Expensive

One of the most important lessons that real estate investors can get is which features are simple and inexpensive to fix and which are costly, time consuming and sometimes not worth it. If you are hoping to flip properties to create the ideal living space for yourself or hope to sell the house, a real estate agent can help to decipher which changes are cosmetic and which mean heavy construction.
Simple DIY Renovation: Flipped houses have a clean and polished look as a finished project. This can mean everything from light fixtures to the hardware on drawers contributes to the overall look of a space. Ugly wallpaper can be a deterrent to an initial buy but a simple steaming process can help to remove these additions. Patching walls and a coat of paint goes a long way in regard to a return. Not all structural issues are a major undertaking. Repairing a broken window is simple enough while a spongey subfloor can be removed and relaid. These are just some of the issues that can make a big difference within the real estate market.
Costly Renovations: When determining whether or not a listing is worth the investment, it is important to have a thorough inspection for those higher ticket elements. Roofing, for example is a major undertaking, as are plumbing and electrical issues. Gutting kitchens and bathrooms or building garages are particularly expensive projects.
Working with a realtor can help you find a space that suits your unique vision, whether it is a home for yourself or an investment property for future generations. Any purchase should be put through rigorous inspections and an experienced realtor can help to connect you with specialists in your area.