Should You Buy a Fixer or Something Turn-Key?

  • Taya DiCarlo
  • 04/27/22

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Congrats, you love the house, but you think it needs a little bit of TLC. Before moving forward, ask yourself, is it a money pit makeover or is it a house that just needs some light renovation that you could move into shortly after closing?

What’s the differences between the two and which one you should go for?  

Let me start with my humble opinion. I think that you should go for the house that isn't perfectly turnkey, meaning everything's been renovated. I think you should go for the house that just needs a little bit of TLC that you could, you know, fix up for a couple weeks and move into shortly after closing.

What does that look like? That means the house maybe needs to have the floors refinished, some fresh paint, maybe some new fixtures, maybe some new light fixtures, very easy things that can be done within a couple weeks after closing because that's inexpensive and you don't have to have a lot of overhead to get it done and you could enjoy the house right away.

Most of us cannot afford to pay a mortgage, rent somewhere while the house is getting renovated, and the cash money that it's going to take to pay your vendors. Not to mention the fact that if you do get a construction loan, you're going to be paying interest on top of that. Or the fact that it's hard to find contractors who are available right now. The cost of construction has tripled over the last couple of years. If you can find someone to do the work, good luck trying to find the items that you need within the timeframe you need to get it done.

People time is a currency, and you could be talking about 12 months or 24 months to do a major money pit makeover. If you want to do that, knock yourself out, but I highly recommend that you take my 2 cents and find the house that just, you know, maybe it's grandma's house that's been taken care of through the years. It just needs some new plumbing or new electrical. These are things that you can knock out in like a couple weeks. You can pull the permits; you can do it all the right way and you won't have to wait too long to enjoy the property.

But that's just my 2 cents.

If you have any questions, or you want to start a dialogue, let’s talk.

Don’t forget to catch up on my weekly show, Taya’s 2 Cents, where share my two cents on different real estate topics from buying and selling real estate, owning a home and more.

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Taya is a California native with 12 years of real estate experience and has sold over $145M in residential sales. She repeatedly goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure deadlines are made and that all transitions go smoothly. Whether you’re selling or buying, Taya is the kind of Realtor® you can always depend on.

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