5 Critical Questions to Ask Before Buying a Fixer-Upper

Story Highlights
  • #1 -- Do you enjoy working with your hands?
  • #2 -- Is your spouse as excited as you are?
  • #3 -- Are you absolutely in love with the house?
  • #4 -- How much free time do you have?
  • #5 -- Do you intend to pay other people to do most of the work?

Buying an old house can be exciting, but it is also a lot like having a baby – you never know what you are going to get and the overwhelming feeling of raising it will never stop. 

However, there are a number of questions you should ask yourself first before jumping in and buying a house – especially a fixer-upper.

Here are a few key things to consider before you decide to jump on the DIY-wagon with your hammer and your saw:

#1 — Do you enjoy working with your hands?

If this is a no, then fixing a house is definitely not for you.

However, if you are someone who loves to fix things, who is handy, and who loves to decorate, then you are in for a treat!

Fixing up a house is a lot of work and it won’t be easy, but there is nothing as satisfying as standing back and looking at what you have achieved.

Fixing up a house requires dedication and a lot of time for honest hard work.

If you are passionate about fixing up the house, you will find the time. If not, you will find excuses.

#2 — Is your spouse as excited as you are?

This is an important question because fixing up an old house is going to involve a lot of teamwork.

Make sure that you and your spouse are on the same page regarding this house and that you are both prepared to put in the effort.

If you are not on the same wavelength, your spouse might start resenting you for all the time that you spend fixing up the house.

But, if you are willing to work together, there is nothing more rewarding than looking at the finished project that was made with love.

#3 — Are you absolutely in love with the house?

You need to make sure that the answer to this question is a big fat YES!

You cannot see yourself living anywhere else but in this gorgeous old home and you don’t want to fix up any other old home that you see afterwards.

Once you buy into the old-house bug, there is no turning back; it consumes you like a child consumes an ice cream.

#4 — How much free time do you have?

This brings us to our next question: how much time would you need?

This is all dependent on the size of the house and what you need to fix.

It might take one year, it might take a few years. The point is that if you have free time, you are probably going to spend most it working on the house.

If you have a busy schedule or you aren’t prepared to offer up your free time, then you should probably steer clear of a fixer-upper.

#5 — Do you intend to pay other people to do most of the work?

This is an important factor and one that will influence the questions about time.

There is a saying that goes: if you want to enjoy an old house, you must have lots of time and lots of money!

Old houses will require a lot more maintenance than newer houses and if you have money to pay someone to fix all the cracks, leaks, and faults in the house, then that’s great.

But if you have to do it yourself, you will have to be flexible with your schedule.

By answering these five questions honestly and truthfully, you are one step closer to purchasing your dream home!


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