Home Shopping Choices: Should You Purchase a Fixer Upper or a Move-In Ready Property?


Should you buy new or used?

It’s the age-old question, and one that’s not likely to ever be definitively answered. But, what you can do is assess the pros and cons and see which one looks like the more attractive option, for you. If you’ve been struggling with this decision for a while, here’s how to sort it out and make the right decision.


Buying A Fixer-Upper


The Pros

When you buy a fixer upper, you’re buying a very inexpensive home that needs a lot of work before it’s considered “livable.” The upside is that it’s cheap — much cheaper than a new home. Someone else took the depreciation hit on all the new supplies, so if you do your remodel right, you won’t have to eat the cost of a lot of expensive repairs and still get a nice, shiny, new home when it’s all said and done.


There’s also a matter of added value to a fixer-upper. By investing some of the money, and a little elbow grease, you’ll add more than your financial investment into the value of the home. Most older homes from the 1900s, for example, need some updating, but mostly just a good cleaning and a few repairs. When it’s done, the home is worth more than what you paid for it.


You have more control over the design than a new home. With an older home, you can literally tear the roof off and rebuild it from the foundation up if you want to. It would be impractical to do this with a new home. Almost anything on an older home is worth replacing, so you don’t have to feel like you’re wasting money.
And, because you’re not paying for someone else’s remodel when you buy the home, there’s no inflated cost. You can focus on paying only for what you want, not someone else’s “dream home.”


The Cons

The cons of a fixer-upper include the fact that, whether the work is done by you or a team of contractors, someone will have to get their hands dirty. And, that not only costs money, it costs a lot of time, too. While some fixer-uppers only need a good cleaning, many also require extensive repairs. And, you never really know what you’re getting yourself into until after you’ve purchased the house.
This scare a lot of people away from “reno homes.”


Your budget can explode, and you can end up spending way more money than you ever imagined.


Buying A Move-In Ready Home


The Pros

When you go shop for new homes in Sarasota, FL, you know that you’re getting a house that’s never been lived in. All the fixtures are new, so you know there’s not really anything that could seriously go wrong.


A freshly, built home may also come with a warranty.


You can often get higher-end technology installed as standard equipment in a new home, which you may not get in a renovated one. Newer homes also tend to be more energy-efficient, by design. This is because they use different building materials that weren’t available 20 or 30 years ago. So, anything that’s older than, say, 10 years, usually can’t be made as energy-efficient without a lot of work and expense.


The Cons

They’re expensive. Doing the same amount of work on a fixer-upper will usually be cheaper, and not all new homes use quality materials so you really have to do your due diligence before buying.


Samantha Richards has worked in property in one way or another since leaving college; on building sites, as an estate agent, and now as a developer. She enjoys sharing her knowledge online.