Buying Your Fixer Upper

Not all homes are created equal and often a simple walk through a home can dictate a laundry list of to-do's.  For some, the uphill battle is an immediate turn off, while for others, it's the catalyst for creativity.  It's no secret that I love a good fixer upper, it's what baited me into the business of real estate in the first place.  Today, you can find me amidst a steady stream of rehab projects - some personal and some for investment purposes.  If a fixer upper has been on your radar, read on for more of what you might want to know.

Why buy a fixer upper?

There are a few scenarios where you might find yourself considering a fixer upper.  For one, you found the perfect lot or parcel of land but the home falls short compared to the sweeping views or perfect proximity.  Don't forfeit your dream landscape too quickly, perhaps the house has the potential to be everything you dreamed of and more.

On the other hand, perhaps you're looking to build equity in a home quickly.  You found the worst house on a gorgeous block and some quick math proves a renovation project may pay dividends on your initial investment.  A few months of dust and debris are easy to overlook when you can focus on the ROI you are capturing upon completion.

Work with an experienced Realtor

A big incentive to purchasing a fixer upper is the return you can receive on your investment.  However, the price you purchase the house at sets the bar for your potential profits.  Working with a Realtor experienced in evaluating properties for investment purposes and ensuring the fixer upper you are considering is of the sound variety is critical.  This can often mean involving a team of professionals early on - contractors, architects, designers, etc.

Before I purchase a home I plan to fix up, I bring my crew of professionals through to ward off any early signs of pitfalls.  It also gives me the opportunity to evaluate what is possible with the home structurally and from a city zoning perspective.  From there I can research comparable properties in the area to see the value different improvements might add.  It's a game of numbers and you need to be sure a discerning eye is crunching them.

Consider your timing

Much of the way the housing market behaves throughout the year comes down to timing - the beginning and ending of the school year, seasons, holidays, etc.  Homes in high demand areas that require work are often gobbled up quickly by savvy buyers looking to build equity.  However, we are approaching that point in the year where buyers become distracted - busy getting ready for school to start and the bustle of the holiday season to settle in.  This is precisely the timing to leverage yourself and secure your fixer upper as the pool of buyers has thinned.  If you've been considering purchasing a home, now is the time to start combing the market.

Where do I start with financing?

The most common question I receive about purchasing a fixer upper is how to go about financing it.  The truth is it can require a bit of finesse.  There are lots of programs out there that allow buyers to finance a home as well as the cost to renovate it all in one.  Like a traditional mortgage, there are guidelines to be met and qualifications to be made and working with a lender experienced in the programs available is key to your success.

I can help you with all of that

As a Realtor that has been renovating properties in Southwest Minneapolis and Edina for the past 14 years, I have a plethora of experience when it comes to evaluating properties, architecture, construction and design.  The common thread woven throughout this post is the need to be working with masters of their craft - from the savviest lenders to the Realtor who's game to crunch the numbers - having the right team in your corner will set the pace for both your immediate and future success.

When I made the decision to move to Fox Homes, it was with the intention of working with my clients far beyond the closing table.  With my own team in place and the expanded network of Fox Homes, I am able to take your dreams of a fixer upper and help turn them into a reality.  Let's talk about your perfect location and how my team can transform it into your dream home - from the simplest updates to raising the roof, we've got the experience and professionals to make it happen.

Want to read more?  Check out this post about my move to Fox Homes or this one here for more on my latest rehab project.  Ready to sit down and talk about your dream home?  Contact me at or by phone at (612) 723-7636.