How To Find the Perfect ‘Fixer Upper’

June 5, 2015

Are you willing to look past yellowing linoleum flooring and shabby curtains to find a hidden gem?

Renovating a ‘fixer upper’ property can be a challenging yet rewarding project.

If you have always dreamed of purchasing a property and updating it with your own personal style, you’ll want to keep the following tips in mind.

1. Devise a strategy in advance

Before you start looking at properties, devise an investment strategy.

Are you looking for a home for your own family, or are you looking for a property that you can lease out to tenants?

Will you be renovating the property with the intention to sell it immediately?

These outcomes all require different strategies, so it’s helpful to speak to a financial advisor or real estate agent about your goals.

2. Pay attention to location

Location is one of the most important factors for any real estate purchase, because it’s something you won’t be able to change with renovations.

A desirable location will greatly increase your chances of being able to rent out or sell the property later on.

Location is also important to consider when you’re planning your home improvements, because they should fall in line with similar properties in the neighbourhood. You want the home to appreciate over time.

3. Know the difference between outdated and neglected

A sound structure is another important feature to look for in a potential property. Look at the building’s foundation, its trim, the windows, the walls, the roof, and the HVAC systems.

If you need to replace major structural elements, the project may be too much for your resources. Obtain a professional inspection report and comb through it carefully.

4. Choose repairs that involve minimal effort and maximum returns

Along these same lines, you’ll want to choose a property with the need for small repairs that can make a big difference. Peeling paint, outdated bathroom fixtures, or shabby carpets are all easy things to fix.

Kitchens and bathrooms in need of modernisation are ideal, because these are important to buyers and tenants alike.

A new bit of tile or upgraded cupboards don’t cost too much, yet can they can make a world of difference in the property’s overall appeal.

5. Look at the floor plan

Open floor plans are popular with investors, because they provide a blank slate for renovations. The floor plan should have good sight lines and traffic flow.

6. Think creatively

Unlike brand new homes, a fixer upper isn’t going to be staged to woo buyers.

You’ll have to use your imagination to see the potential beneath the shag carpeting and yellow kitchen countertops.

Visit several times, picturing what you would do with areas like the floors, fixtures, and garden.

7. Look at area demographics

Finally, consider the demographic that you’ll be trying to attract after renovation.

Will you be appealing to families? If so, it would be worthwhile to focus on family-friendly storage features or an improved backyard.

Take a look at other renovation projects in the neighbourhood for ideas.

Renovating a fixer upper can be an ideal way to acquire a property at a low price and increase its value. By following these tips and proceeding with caution, you can maximise your investment.

Looking for your dream home? 

Soho can help you find it. Set up your profile on Soho to find properties for sale and properties for rent in your favourite suburbs. But don’t just stop there, download our app to get access to more features. Just remember to shortlist or swipe left on our listings so we can send you others that better match what you’re looking for.

Soho is your expert team in Australian real estate, offering an innovative platform for effortless property searches. With deep insights into buying, renting, and market trends, we guide you to make informed decisions, whether it's your first home or exploring new suburbs.
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