Inspired by our friendly neighbors, Magnolia Market, to take on a Fixer Upper? Me too! But there are definitely pros and cons we should weigh before becoming too attached to the idea of taking on a diamond in the rough— The Gaines’ make it look easy, but then again they are the pros, so let’s take a step back and evaluate what the process could mean for us beginners.
Pro: You get to imagine what “could be”.
There is nothing I love more than walking into a room and imagining all that it could be—Taking on a fixer upper is this feeling on steroids for us creatives. All the “could be” and “what ifs” will be sure to get the creative juices running, and the process of dreaming up a new home for your family will be a high in the process of fixing up a hidden gem.
Con: You are stuck with the “bones” ya got.
Your big dreams for your little home could get put on hold once you get in and really see what you’re working with. Sometimes the bones of an old house just can’t take all that we want to do to them, or they come with a big price tag— so just prepare your inner artist for an occasional reality check. You might even want to meet with a contractor before you sign on the dotted line to make sure you can turn your vision into reality. If not, building a new home might be a good option for you.
Pro: It’s a Steal! You have the potential to add BIG value to your home.
Truth be told, I never pass up a good deal—and that is why fixer uppers appeal to so many of us! Fixer Uppers can be a smart investment, if you go in with a plan. As you do renovations you will actually be building equity into your home which could definitely pay off in the long run.
Con: It Could Turn Into a Money Pit if You Aren’t Careful.
We’ve all heard the horror stories and seen the HGTV shows—sometimes what seems to be a straightforward renovation can turn into a giant money pit. All I can say is DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Have multiple inspectors come out, really evaluate how much your work will add to the value of the home, don’t rush into anything, and get all the facts up front—ask the scary questions! It will be better to know and plan for the expenses than to not budget for them and be surprised.
Pro: A Cheap Route into an Amazing Neighborhood.
Like Chip and Jo say: Pick the worst house in the best neighborhood. It may be the best way to get into your dream neighborhood, and add your own pizazz to the block, just make sure that the property is being evaluated fairly and isn’t too inflated simply because of where it’s located.
Con: It Could Stress Your Relationships.
Let’s not ignore the fact that no matter what, a fixer upper will become stressful at some point or another and can threaten to takeover your lives, temporarily, if it’s not kept in its place. So when you’re planning for your renovations, also make a game plan on how it will all get done—Put limits on how much time you’ll devote to working and planning on it each night and make sure you and your spouse are on the same page for how extensive the renovations will be. Communication will be key, but also lean on others! You don’t have to do every single project on your own, bring in an expert from time to time to take the stress off of you.