SA Building & Remodeling
Homebuyers See Fixer-Uppers as Opportunity for Investment
Rudy Niño (October 4)
In this age of environmental concern, it's only appropriate that in addition to recycling old bottles, newspapers and cans, many people are seeing the benefits of recycling old or deteriorated houses.

Although it's not a new concept to buy a run down "fixer-upper" with the intention of restoring it to an attractive and comfortable home, many buyers are taking a renewed interest and some banks are taking a closer look at this market.

What differentiates fixer-upper buyers from other homebuyers is that when looking for a fixer-upper, the buyer is looking specifically for a house in such a condition that he or she would not want to live in it. The challenge comes in the steps it takes to remodel the fixer-upper house into a home.

The initial attraction of these houses is the cost, which is usually significantly below potential market value. In some areas, cities may even offer these houses for almost nothing to anybody willing to make the necessary repairs. Of course, bargains may not be what they seem, and fixer-uppers are called what they are for a reason.

If you decide to buy a fixer-upper requiring extensive remodeling, the big question is how to select a remodeler to do the work. As with any specialist you may hire, the best idea is for you to ask around and solicit advice from friends who have had good experiences with a specific remodeler. That way you can have an opportunity to find out what it was like working with that particular remodeler and to see the work that was done. If you are satisfied, then you can arrange to meet with the remodeler to see if the remodeler's style and ideas make you comfortable.

Of course, depending on your budget and timetable, you may decide to buy the house and then prioritize the repairs, fixing only the essential main systems first.

Like any home improvement, many variables will affect the return you receive on the investment. A rule of thumb is that any repair which brings a house up to the level of the other houses in the neighborhood is a worthy one. Eventually, the homeowner will face the principle of diminishing returns where the home's value will not increase in proportion with the cost of the improvements.

One thing that is not variable is shoddy workmanship, which will not increase a home's value. The time and resources necessary to restore a fixer-upper may not be acceptable to everybody, but those who decide to accept the challenge and make the commitment to invest in improvements on a home and a neighborhood can be richly rewarded.

Call Rudy Niño for a quote at (210) 723-2616 or Request an Estimate online.
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