Real Estate

The pros and cons of buying a fixer-upper in Los Angeles


Alt-tag: A person giving a house key to a couple.

Buying a home in Los Angeles is a big undertaking. Why? Because home prices there tend to be on the higher side. Because of that fact, many people there consider buying fixer-upper homes that are a lot cheaper but are in desperate need of renovation. So, you are probably wondering whether buying this kind of a home is actually worth it. Many people feel the same. But, the answer to this question depends on many factors. And, today, we will share them with you. That is, today we will talk about all the pros and cons of buying fixer-upper homes in Los Angeles that will, hopefully, help you make up your mind. 

The Pros of Buying a Fixer-Upper 

Let us begin on a positive note and say something nice about fixer-upper homes. Maybe one of the biggest ‘pros’ of fixer-upper homes is the freedom to rebuild, renovate, and redecorate them the way you want them. This will be your chance to create something that fits all your needs and preferences. You will be the one deciding where your money will go – whether you want to invest in a more expensive kitchen, or in the more expensive bathroom, for example.

Moreover, fixer-upper homes are a lot cheaper than new, staged ones. This will give you an opportunity to save some money. And, most importantly, this will enable you to make the home worth a lot more than you initially paid. Thus, if you are on a budget, and if you want to make a home out of an old house or an apartment, buying a fixer-upper may be a great idea. 

The Cons of Buying a Fixer-Upper 

Everything that has pros must have cons as well. When it comes to fixer-upper homes, one of the biggest ‘con’ is that they require a lot of work. You will probably need to renovate the entire home which is something that not only requires a lot of your time and energy but something that requires a lot of your money as well. Thus, if you decide to do this project, make sure you have your renovating budget planned

Another con is the fact that these kinds of homes are never move-in ready. There is a big chance that you will have to wait for weeks and even months until all the renovation projects are complete. So, be prepared to stay in a hotel and to keep your items in a storage unit for quite some time. 

Have the Home Inspected! 

Before you decide to buy a fixer-upper, and especially before you start looking for moving professionals like SOS Moving to help you relocate your belongings there, be sure to have the entire home thoroughly inspected. A reliable inspector will be able to check each and every room, all the installations, plumbing, electricity, etc., and determine whether that home is worth buying. If you get the green light, you can go ahead and call your movers. But, if you get the red one, we strongly advise you to stay away from that home – it will eat away your budget. Moreover, professional home inspections are necessary as some fixer-upper homes are not safe – there may be some big construction problems that can be life-threatening. 

Estimate Renovation Costs 

Another thing you should do before buying a fixer-upper home is estimate its renovation costs. This is something you should do before buying any home too! Once again, a good home inspector or a contractor will be able to help you out with this one. After inspecting the home thoroughly, they will make you a list of everything that needs to be done as well as all the prices for it. If there is a lot to fix, decide whether doing this project will be worth it at all. Renovating a fixer-upper home is far from a walk in the park and if you are not careful you may get yourself in big trouble. Moreover, when estimating the renovation costs, do not forget about the money (about 5 % or 10% of the house’s value) that you need to leave aside for complications. 

Check Whether You Need a Building Permit 

Imagine the following situation – you have bought a fixer-upper home, renovated it completely, managed to add some additions to it, found movers to help you relocate items that are difficult to transfer, like your jacuzzi, etc., and now you are finally ready to settle in. This all sounds amazing until inspection comes and tells you that you could not have built those additions and that you could not have placed that jacuzzi in your yard. Yes, this is very likely to happen if you do not have the permit. Without a permit, you can not build extra rooms, change the roof, and in some areas of Los Angeles, you can not put a jacuzzi in your yard either! To avoid this unpleasant and extremely costly problem, make sure to know whether you need a certain permit for the fixer-upper home you intend to buy. 

And, Check Whether You Have Time, Energy and Motivation 

Last but certainly not the least thing to consider when buying a home, especially when buying a home that needs a lot of work, is whether you have the time, energy, and motivation to fix it. Fixer-upper homes are extremely demanding. You will have to be there for every project and for every problem that occurs while doing that project. Thus, make sure you have motivation in you to finish everything. Talk to people who have done this before in order to get an insight into how hard this can actually be. If you think that you may not be able to get through with it, it would be much better to look for a move-in home instead. 



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