Is Your Lifestyle More Geared to a Fixer-Upper Fantasy?
Many first time buyers have them. It goes something like this: You find a big home in a great neighbourhood that's well below what you'd expect to pay for that house in that neighbourhood. You see a couple of coats of paint, new broadloom, a few repairs and voilà, a dream home without the nightmare price.
Before you jump headlong into this 'once-in-a-lifetime opportunity' consider how you'll do all of the work. Will it be weeknights after a long day at the office, or will you hire someone? Are you ready to live in a dusty mess as you renovate? Do a realistic assessment of the job at hand and be sure to have the house inspected. The last thing you want is a bargain home that turns into a money pit. You're far better to find a house that costs a little more each month but doesn't need much work than to buy a fixer-upper that eats up hundreds of dollars each month.
For example, lets say you could buy a really nice house with minimal work required for $10,000 more than a fixer upper. At today's mortgage rates, assuming you could stay within your monthly budget, that really nice home would cost you only about $65 per month more than the fixer-upper. If you buy the fixer-upper, you'll be spending a lot more than $65 each month to whip it into shape, as well as the strain your family will go through living in an unfinished home. NEEDS ANALYSIS: What do you want your new home to be?
THE NEXT STEP
You’ve decided to buy a new home! Congratulations! Now, in order to create a clear picture of what you want, it’s time to develop a written analysis of your needs. This is a three-step, written process.
Why are you looking for a new home? Ultimately, what do you expect your new property to provide?
What is your time frame for buying your home? Determine a rough schedule that can be refined later.
What would you like your new home to look like and what features should it have? Create two lists: the first is your dream home and the second is a home that focuses on primarily your needs. This will help you differentiate what you “want” vs. what you “need.”
After completing your lists share them with your agent. Your realtor is a trained professional who can help you focus your wants and needs and ascertain how best to achieve them.