Buying a house is a very personal decision, no matter the year. If you and your family are looking for the next place that feels like home, you likely have several options, which can feel overwhelming. Especially this year, not only do you have to make common decisions about homeownership, but you also need to think about the implications of buying a house during a pandemic.
Purchasing a fixer-upper is a dream to many, but it isn’t ideal for some. Many buyers would prefer to move into a home they don’t have to change before they get to living. However, you could be one of those people on the fence. You might like the idea of a fixer-upper but aren’t sure if it would be right for you currently. In 2021, every person has their priorities, and you can find what works for you, whether that happens to be a fixer-upper or a move-in-ready renovation.
Here are a few things to consider if you’re asking yourself about buying a fixer-upper in 2021.
1. The Market
One of the most significant factors to consider when buying a home is the market. Right now, many cities are experiencing a seller’s market, which means that the market is better for those selling their homes and looking for more return on their investment. Because people are looking to buy houses right now, the competition is driving prices up. With more competition for new houses, you may find yourself leaning more towards a fixer-upper, which might leave a bit more room in your budget.
2. Your Budget
Speaking of your budget, taking a look at what money you have saved and where you stand with your finances in relation to the current market could help you make your choice. While some years can encourage you to go a bit bigger, the competition in the market could mean that your precious savings could make more use of themselves in a renovation, not in the buy itself.
3. Your Time
Money isn’t the only thing you need to include in a budget. For some people, the most precious resource they need to consider is time. If you don’t have time to make big changes to a house and conduct renovations, finding a move-in-ready home might be the best direction for you.
Instead of finding a brand new place to live, you can even find a middle ground. For example, you can find renovated fixer-uppers with the work already finished before you walk through the door. The before and after photos of these homes prove that the work doesn’t have to fall on you.
4. Thinking Long Term
Another aspect to think about when buying any new house is the long-term investments you’re making as a part of your next move. While putting your money towards cheap fixes and renovations might seem like a good idea at the time, one of the best things you can do for yourself and your home is to invest in quality fixtures that will last and pay off in the long run.
How much creative freedom and liberty do you want to take with your new home? While getting a fixer-upper is a great way to save money, it can also be a fantastic way to build the dream home you’ve always wanted if you have a specific vision. Working with those around you and having a plan can make it all worthwhile, especially if you have ideas that only you can execute.
6. Your Skills
Always consider the skills in your wheelhouse when deciding whether to buy a fixer-upper. When you look into each home, taking your skills into account is vital to determine what small projects you can reasonably do yourself. While DIY is a great way to save money, you should also be cautious. Taking on large projects that require a professional’s expertise can end up costing you more money and time than you bargained for, and could even be dangerous.
7. Finding Trusted Professionals
To avoid any risky situations, consider the team you’ll work with to renovate. Especially if you happen to fall in love with a home with structural damage, safety hazards or large projects in need of rebuilding, finding a contractor or builder you trust will be integral to the process. Unless you happen to be a professional yourself, you probably don’t want to take on a whole remodel alone. Finding someone who can do the job right is almost as important as finding a house with the bones to make it happen.
8. A Spectrum of Remodeling
Whether you have a “move-in-ready” home or a “fixer-upper” isn’t a binary black and white system. It’s more of a spectrum. The term “fixer-upper” can describe anything from a home with a few projects here and there and a fresh coat of paint to put up, all the way to a crumbling foundation and a mold issue. Each home is different, and you can find a fixer-upper that feels appropriate for your situation, no matter where that sits on the spectrum.
Should You Buy a Fixer-Upper in 2021?
The kind of house you buy is all about what your family needs and how you see yourself living. Whether that means you find a fixer-upper with a few projects to complete, a move-in-ready beauty or a place with some serious work to do, the most crucial part is that it’ll be yours. That’s something to celebrate.
Rose writes on home improvement and renovation projects. She is also the managing editor for Renovated. To read more of her work, check out her site.