Buying a fixer-upper can be a great way to get a condo in your desired location without having to spend more than your budget. However, many buyers underestimate the difficulties involved with purchasing a fixer-upper. If you’re planning on buying a condo that still needs a little work, these tips can help you navigate the process with a minimal amount of stress.
1. Purchase a Bad Condo in a Great Building
Try to find a cheap condo that requires a little work but is located in a first-rate condo community. The value of other condos in the building will increase the value of your fixer-upper once you repair it, and you’ll get all the great amenities of the building for a budget price. Your best bet is to work with a real estate agent who’s familiar with the area you’re looking at and knows where the best buys can be found, such as those in downtown San Diego. Real estate agents can guide you through every step of buying your new home.
2. Select a Fixer-Upper That Needs Mostly Cosmetic Repairs
Not every home that needs repairs will be easy to fix. Major issues like gutted kitchens or a layout you hate may be too much of a hassle and cost too much to fix. The ideal fixer-upper condo is structurally sound and has a good layout but needs only a few cosmetic changes. Things like older flooring, stale paint colors, and outdated light fixtures are fairly easy to change.
3. Don’t Do Things Yourself Unless You Have the Expertise
If you’re a handy person with plenty of DIY experience, you may be able to get away with renovating the condo yourself. However, you definitely shouldn’t risk doing major repairs such as plumbing and electrical work if you know nothing about those subjects. Hiring professionals may save you money because they’ll get it right the first time.
4. Know the Cost of Repairs Before Purchasing
Taking the time to estimate how much each repair will cost before you buy the condo is important because you need to be sure you have the budget for your fixer-upper. Make sure the cost of the condo plus the repairs will not greatly exceed the value of other condos in the area because an overimproved condo might be difficult to sell.
5. Get Rigorous Inspections
If you’re interested in buying a fixer-upper, the inspection stage of the home-buying process is particularly important. Make sure to pay for a thorough, detailed inspection, and consider getting more than one inspector in to look at the place. You need to be fully aware of everything that will require fixing after purchase.
6. Start Talking to the Condo Board as Early as Possible
Renovating a condo typically requires compliance with the rules and regulations that govern the entire building. Make sure to discuss your renovations with the condo board early, and begin filling out any required forms as soon as you can to avoid stalled construction due to a conflict with the condo association.
Buying a fixer-upper condo can save you a lot of money, but do your homework ahead of time so it doesn’t turn into a money pit. Seek advice from professionals, both real estate agents and home improvement experts, to ensure the soundness of your investment. If you’re looking for fixer-upper condos in downtown San Diego, your first move should be to talk to the professionals at 92101 Urban Living, who know exactly where the greatest buys can be found. Call 619-649-0368 today to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced real estate agents.