Fixer-upper or All Fixed-up: Which is the better option for you?


When buying a home whether you are a first time home buyer or just looking for something more suitable for your lifestyle, buyers always have to confront the question of buying a home that needs fixed up or a home that is move in ready.  A fixer-upper and a move in ready home both come with equal amounts of advantages and disadvantages. Doing your research for both types of homes is the best way to see what will not only suite your lifestyle best, but also what is best for you financially. Below are just a few of the pro’s and cons for both fixer-uppers and homes that are ready to move right in.  


One of the biggest advantages of buying a fixer-upper is price!  Sale price is usually below the potential market value with these types of properties, allowing eager homeowners a chance to own their own property even if they can’t afford those move-in ready homes that so many of us desire.  This adds for a double benefit as you can invest into the home, raising the property value allowing you to flip the home if you so desire. You will not only make back money invested into the home, but also potential to make a profit.  

Another advantage to buying a fixer-upper is having the opportunity to make the home your own.  You can design and decorate to fit your character and personality. As you go along building, designing, and making repairs you are learning new trades.  These trades will pay off for your future endeavors with owning your own home. As years go by things will break or need replaced and you will now have the knowledge of how to do this on your own, saving you from having to pay a professional to do it for you.  

A few more pro’s to buying a fixer-upper include renovating kitchens or bathrooms which can add value to the home, potential of the seller not having many offers which leaves you more negotiating room, and buying cheap in a pricey neighborhood.  You will also earn a sense of pride and self-appreciation once your home is finished knowing you did this yourself. There are also unique ways to get loans for investing in your fixer-upper that allow for you to use very little if any of your own cash to purchase and have money left over  for rehabilitation.

Even though fixer-uppers have a wonderful list of advantages they also come with some cons that you must consider before making such a purchase.  Buying a fixer-upper you need to be prepared for the financial cost to fix the home up, not only to make it livable, but also increase its property value.  Some mortgage offices along with banks do not want to invest in such a property due to the condition and risk of cost to fix the home.

If you are going to buy a home that needs work you have to be prepared for the length of time it will take to ensure the home is move in ready.  If you need something that you can move into within a month or less this would not be the purchase for you. The time spent to get the home ready will be spent working and getting your hands dirty. You will invest a lot of your time in fixing the property so you will need to ensure you have the time available to spend daily on this investment.  

There will always be surprises along the way with a fixer-upper as well. When you first evaluate cost and time that will be invested you will need to account for the surprises along the way.  You don’t know what will be behind the walls or around the pipes. This con also can be costly to you and may outweigh your savings.

If you decide to buy a fixer-upper you also need to be aware of the stress that one will go through to finish the home project. Stress from a fixer-upper not only weighs on you mentally and physically, but it can also affect your relationship with your partner as there are a lot of investments that need to be made and you will go through many ups and downs.

A ready to move in home can be a huge relief for many couples especially if time is of the essence.  Along with timing this also makes for an easy transition as all the work is already done, no hassle of remodeling, painting, or maintenance.  

Move in ready homes are often either updated or new which means they are up to date on today’s trending style and design.  These homes are designed for the demands of today’s lifestyle habits and living needs. This can include open floor plans, hardwood floors, walk-in-closets, and even barn doors.  They are also more energy efficient, keeping you warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, while saving you thousands on utility bills over the years.


An important pro to a move in ready home includes financing.  You don’t have to struggle finding a bank or lender who will work with you and your purchase. Getting insurance will also be easier for you and less expensive.

While everything has pro’s they also have their list of cons.  When you buy a move in ready home you have to be prepared for the financial expense of buying the home.  You will pay way more for a move in ready property as opposed to a fixer-upper.

You also are more limited on being able to design the home to fit your personality and individuality.  The lack of originality and charm that features a piece of you can often be a downside to a new home. After the expense of a new property you more than likely will be financially unable to remodel the entire home.  Newer homes often don’t feature the beautiful architectural features that a fixer-upper may offer.

Finally another con to consider is market value when and if the time comes for you to ever sell your home.  Since you paid a good amount of money for your home, when selling you expect to get your money back and usually prefer to get a little bit extra.  Unfortunately that is not usually the case, market value can go sour quickly and over years homes slowly depreciate in value. You will need to do updates and remodel your home when the time does come to sell just to get close to what you paid for it.


In conclusion both a fixer-upper and a home that is all fixed-up have unique benefits and challenges.  It is best to really do your research on both home types and make sure you are completely sure of your choice as this is a lifetime commitment.   Remember to consider what best fits with your budget, needs, and long term goals for your home.

For more guidance in deciding what the right house is for you, contact us at Re/Max Haven Realty.