Should I Buy A Home That Needs Work?

07.11.23 | Buying

In today’s real estate landscape, finding a home that meets your needs (and budget) isn’t always easy. For many buyers, opting for a home that needs a little bit of work – also called a fixer-upper, can be an effective way to make the most of their purchase. 

That being said, if you’re thinking about heading to the market, you shouldn’t just buy an old home that needs work. Some properties might not offer a great payoff, while others could have you swamped with renovations for years. 

So how do you find the perfect fixer-upper home, turn it into an amazing place to live, and optimize its long-term value? In this blog, we’ll share our best tips for doing exactly that. 

The Perfect Ratio

While the allure of a fixer-upper lies in its potential for improvement, it’s essential to not bite off more than you can chew with the work that’s required. 

Instead of picking the cheapest option on the market, buying a fixer-upper is all about balance. You’ll want to find a home with a solid foundation and good overall condition but still needs some TLC.  

If you buy a home that’s 100% turn-key, you won’t get the best bang for your buck. Or, if you buy a home that’s only 30% in good shape, you could wind up investing way more than you need to in renovations. As a general rule of thumb, the perfect fixer-upper should be about 75% there. 

Looking for more helpful tips on navigating the various rules and regulations of real estate? Check out these blog posts. 

Matching Tastes to Market

One of the key advantages of a fixer-upper is the opportunity to tailor the home to your personal taste and style. However, it’s important to strike a balance between your preferences and renovations that have broad appeal. When you go to sell your home down the line, you’ll want to be able to appeal to as many buyers as possible. 

By making strategic choices during the renovation process, you can create a home that stands out while still appealing to a wide range of potential buyers. One effective way to ensure your upgrades stand the test of time is by working with an expert – more on that in a moment. 

Seek Outside Help

Turning a fixer-upper into a beautiful top-tier home can be a fun journey. However, renovations should always be taken seriously. Even if you have a penchant for DIY projects, there are some things you’ll want to leave to the experts. 

For Design

One of the most enjoyable parts of transforming a fixer-upper is getting to highlighting your personal tastes (along with ensuring wider appeal). That being said, executing your specific vision is always best accomplished with the help of a professional – someone with a keen eye for design and expertise in remodelling.

If you’re serious about maximizing your home’s atmosphere (and ROI) working with a professional designer or architect can be invaluable. They can help you visualize the potential of the space, maximize functionality, stay on budget,  and suggest creative solutions that you may not have considered. With their guidance, you can avoid costly design mistakes and create a cohesive aesthetic that elevates the value and appeal of your home. 

Looking to give your home’s long-term resale value a boost? Explore these related readings for advice on how to do exactly that. 

For Inspection

As with any type of renovations or home upgrades, safety should be a top priority as your work on your fixer-upper. With that in mind, it’s absolutely necessary to have the home professionally inspected before, during and after your renovations. An inspector can point out any potential issues that may not be immediately apparent – from electrical and plumbing systems to the structural integrity of the property. 

Choosing to forgo an inspection is dangerous, potentially costly, and in many instances illegal. Be sure to ask your real estate agent about local regulations and red tape that may impact your project.  

Want to find the perfect fixer-upper? Our industry-leading strategies and guidance can ensure you get the best possible result in Toronto’s ever-shifting market. Call 416-587-3300 to get in touch, or click here to send us an email.