Fixer-uppers are all the rage right now thanks to home improvement shows and blogs making them seem like a great way to make money. While it’s true a “fixer-upper” can be a great investment, it also takes a lot of work. Whether you plan to live in your fixer-upper yourself or put it back on the market to make a profit, you’ll need to think critically about whether this is the best choice for you.


Fixer-uppers sound great on the surface. They’re always brimming with potential, right? And you can customize them however you want. In reality, it might not be that easy, and some properties might not be worth saving. In this guide, we’ll help you answer the question once and for all. If you’re asking whether you should buy a fixer-upper home, let’s find out.



Fixer-upper home tools



When to Buy a Fixer-Upper Home

So when should you consider a fixer-upper home? There are a few perks to putting in the work yourself after purchasing the home. While it will be more work upfront, and you’ll miss out on the excitement of a move-in ready home, you do have the freedom to customize however you want.


Simply put, you can turn the house into your dream home, whatever that looks like to you. Here are some of the other perks of buying a fixer-upper home:


  • Cheaper – The biggest perk is that it’s less expensive. Buying a home that’s in need of some repairs and updating will mean a lower price tag. However, remember you’ll need to pay for any necessary repairs or changes yourself. According to Zillow, fixer-upper homes are an average of 8% below market value. You’ll need to decide if those savings are worth it!
  • House flipping – If you’re trying to flip a house (aka buy a fixer-upper, add some upgrades, and sell it for more), then a fixer-upper home can be a great investment. People can make big money flipping houses, but make sure you know what you’re doing.
  • Customized design – Finally, the last reason is also the most obvious. If you want to truly personalize and customize your home, a fixer-upper leaves a lot of room to do just that not only in the existing style but also in your budget.


The biggest thing to realize is that real life isn’t like it appears on TV! Just because Chip and Joanna can make every fixer-upper look amazing doesn’t mean it’s that simple in real life. If you don’t have the budget or skillset to make the upgrades you want, it might be better to buy a home that’s already finished.



When Not to Buy a Fixer-Upper Home

There are a lot of cases where it makes sense to skip the fixer-upper. According to Coldwell Banker, 70% of Americans would prefer moving into a move-in ready home. This means that most people aren’t looking to do the labor-intensive tasks that come along with a fixer-upper property.


There are a lot of perks to a ready-to-go home:


  • Move-in quickly – With a fixer-upper, you often can’t move in right away. You have to wait for construction or repairs to be finished, and that means you’ll need to find alternative housing. If you want to move in ASAP, a “move-in ready” home is the way to go.
  • Limited budget – Believe it or not, a ready-to-go home is often better for your budget. While it’s true you’ll get a better deal on a home that needs some repairs, home upgrades and fixes aren’t cheap! When you calculate all the repairs and upgrades, it’s usually better to just buy a home that’s already finished.
  • No skills needed – Finally, you don’t need an eye for style or any fancy DIY skills when you buy a finished home. All the hard work has been done for you!



What Type of Home is Best for You?

Now that we’ve reviewed both fixer-upper homes and finished homes, you should have a clear idea of what’s best for your lifestyle and budget. Don’t fall for the hype that a fixer-upper is always the way to go. Those extra savings might not get you as far as you think!


However, if you have an eye for style and you’re good at DIY, a fixer-upper might be a great way to invest your money and time. Just make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into!