Q: What advice would you give to someone looking to buy a fixer-upper?
A: Let’s say you were an investor. An investor looks at property first by doing a market evaluation on it to see where it stands and the condition it’s in now, then where it would be after the improvements are done.
If you found a house that was priced at $100,000 and you put $20,000 into it, and after you got done it was worth $150,000, then it was a good investment. But there are other things to consider as well. If you go into a neighborhood where all the houses have granite and yours doesn’t, then you pretty much have to get granite or you won’t be able to sell it. If none of the houses in your neighborhood have it and you do, then you’re not going to get any value out of it.
As a Realtor, we look at all of those issues because we don’t want you put money into something you can’t get out. We always look at the exit strategy. Even if you were buying it to live in it, if you went in and had $20,000 you could put into a down payment and $10,000 to work on the house and by the time you got finished you’ve overbuilt the neighborhood, there’s no guarantee that when it came time to sell it you could get your money back.
— Vickey Wachtel, Imagine Realty International, 281-728-1221