Tips on Buying Your First Fixer-Upper

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Real Estate Agent with REMAX at Home

Well, it's time to jump in the water and get your feet wet.  The first thing you want to do is get out there and start looking.  Talk to real estate agents, look in the classifieds, and keep your ears open for a good deal. You want to find the worst house on a decent street; you don't want to end up with the nicest, most expensive house on a not so good street.  If the house is in a bad area, it will be harder to sell because the location is not that desirable and your prospective buyers will be harder to get pre qualified for financing.  Find a house that is structurally solid but needs some major or minor cosmetic attention.  Minor cosmetics come in the form of carpet, paint, ceiling fans, light fixtures, and landscape.  Major cosmetics are the windows, bathrooms, kitchens, and roof.  The items to steer clear from are leaky basements, bad foundation walls, septic and well problems, and structural problems with any pavement or interior walls.

Once you find a home that you think could be a winner, there are a few things off the bat that you should do.  You will want to get comparable sales for similar homes in the area to see what they are selling for.  This will give you a good idea on what your home will sell for once it is remodeled and ready for sale.  The next thing you want to do is make price sheet of everything that needs done and come up with a ballpark number.  It is best to be conservative and take the high end of the estimates.  That way you can cover yourself and if you end up going under budget you'll make more money.  From there you want to add the repair costs and borrowing costs together.  If you take that sum and add it to the purchase price, you should only be at 70% of the after repaired value.

 Find a bargain, price your expenses, and buy your first fixer-upper - one that makes you a great paycheck.

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Rainer
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Valerie Archer Belardo

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