Do you watch the HGTV sensation Property Brothers? The concept is two brothers, one a realtor and the other a general contractor take a couple who already has an established budget to see their ideal dream home, which turns out to be about two or three hundred thousand dollars over their budget. Then the general contractor brother steps in and the brothers show the couple fixer upper homes that they promise could offer the same amenities as the dream home they just fell in love with. With some apprehension the couple moves forward with faith that the fixer upper will turn into everything they hope for.
This example may be a bit extreme, but I think you might understand the story. In fact, I went through this same thing when I purchased my first home. My realtor was my friend and also a general contractor, so for every home we viewed she would remind me of the things that could easily be changed with very little effort.
Of course I already knew not to worry about out dated paint colors or wallpaper. I was a little more concerned with items that would cost a bit more like, kitchen appliances, poor landscaping or dirty and ugly carpeting.
If you’re not looking for a turn-key home, as long as you budget appropriately in advance you can replace those avocado colored appliances and shag carpet. Flooring options are getting more and more diverse, and there are now many low-cost options that look just like their higher-priced counterparts.
What I Learned
After we viewed (a lot) of homes, because I had to be convinced that an older home was not going to break the bank, that in fact an older home has character, charm and quality that has stood the test of time that you can’t find in a brand-new build.
Many buyers get caught up in how a house looks right now. I was guilty. I was tempted to run many times. My home was not perfect. It didn’t have everything that I was looking for, but after a couple of years and about $15,000 it’s pretty close to everything that I wanted. There were many simple fixes that I was able to make to modernize my older home. Remember, “older” doesn’t have to mean bad. There are construction loans for both conventional and FHA loan products that could help you finance in the repairs needed to update your home.
Don’t walk away from a great house just because you’re not a fan of what you’re walking in on. Call our team for options on how a renovation loan (often called a 203k in FHA terminology) could be a great fit for your purchase.