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How To Find The Perfect Fixer-upper

Thursday, February 1, 2024   /   by Makayla Santa Ana

How To Find The Perfect Fixer-upper

How To Find The Perfect Fixer-upper

Finding your dream home can be tricky, but there are some great steps you can take to know what properties are worth your time investment and which ones you should move on from.

Finding your dream house is like finding a partner. You want to find one that makes you happy and works well with you!

Just because someone isn’t as flashy or has average features doesn’t mean they aren’t worthy of your love. They may have just bought this house, or lived in it for a few years before deciding to upgrade or downgrade. Who knows? Maybe their next house will be our new favorite!

With that said, here are some tips to help you determine if a potential home is the right fit for you and also gives you hope that maybe you could afford a similar house down the road. These are things that can easily cost nothing extra, but make a big difference when looking for a home.

Removing distractions

Too often people get distracted by the size of the lot, the amenities at the school, or how close they live to the beach. All of these things matter, but not enough to buy a home.

If all those things are deal breakers then you probably don’t want to look at many homes beyond your budget. But if you do, then you need to be comfortable living there so you don’t waste money on a place that won’t feel like a home.

Check the house is clean

Brown Wooden Framed Windowpanes

A great way to get rid of all the not-so-pretty energy in a property is to do some major decluttering. If you’re looking to sell, start clearing out things that are not needed anymore or use them for another purpose.

Thoroughly check every room for unnecessary items. You should aim to have only one item per room unless it’s a storage unit.

Keep focused on doing this while being conscious about how much time you spend in each area. It will take longer to complete your task if there are lots of distractions so be aware of that.

You can also organize all of these items online using free listing sites. This gives people access to see what types of spaces they're looking to clear out and makes it easier to find the right home.

Look at the neighborhood

One of the biggest reasons people buy a house is because they want to live in that area. People who are passionate about an area usually contribute to it by serving as a school board member, working with community organizations, or even starting one themselves.

If you’re looking to move into a new home, make sure you're comfortable living in the surrounding area. You should do some research and talk to people around the area to see if there have been any issues with homes in the past.

You don't need to be buying a house yet to start doing this, but soon enough you will! Before jumping in, however, make sure you are confident in your ability to deal with such situations.

Also look up local laws and regulations for owning a house. For example, most areas require a homeowner's insurance policy. Finding out what kind of coverage you have and how much hassle it can protect you from is important.

Make it personal

A Man Looking at the Glass Doors

There’s no such thing as a bad house, but there are lots of good houses and lots of bad people. A good person can make a bad situation feel better, while a bad person can turn up in a great one and trash it.

If you’re looking to buy a home, you will definitely have your share of ups and downs. You'll find yourself thinking, “This could be mine!” then three weeks later when you're trying to sell yours, you wonder why you ever wanted to own it. It's hard to keep that positive momentum going when things go sideways.

Don't let someone with little experience cost you money or waste your time. While some may consider themselves savvy real estate investors, they may not know what makes an effective listing or how to market their property.

You want to look for sellers who take care of their homes. They should pay attention to detail and maintain them well. They must respond to messages and come to appointments on time. If possible, they should be willing to meet at a neutral location so you don’t worry about negotiating from strength if there is a problem.

Repaint if needed

Brown Wooden Ladder Beside Painting Materials

If you are looking for a new home, there is no need to invest in expensive renovations unless you want to. Many homes that have lost their luster are due to bad interior colors or materials used.

By being aware of what types of paint will work with your house, you can search for listings online or through friends to find a perfect match. Or, you can take it one step further and do it yourself!

Some sellers could even allow potential buyers to pick up the color if they are repainting before the sale, which gives you an opportunity to move into a home with your favorite colors already.

Update the house

Brown Broom and White Plastic Bucket

A great way to find your next home is to look at houses that are in bad condition. You can check out online listings, go during business hours, and even visit homes with owner’s manuals or pictures available!

Interior decorations such as paintings, furniture, and rugs make a big difference in how much you like a room. Make sure to evaluate these things carefully, though.

You don’t want to buy something because it looks good if it no longer fits into the homeowner’s lifestyle.

Talk to your agent

Two Men Walking Inside Building

Your Move4Free REALTOR® can help you with talking to the seller! We will have the needed conversations with the owner or their listing agent. Some things we look for is if their tone suggest they want to improve it? Are they talkative and friendly, giving off confidence that they will make any changes.

Be firm but not too firm

Looking for your dream home can be fun, but it also comes with its share of nerves and stressors. While having an empty house is ideal, owning a house that you love or want to own is much better.

Be firm but not too firm about what you will accept as a sale. If the seller wants more than you would like to spend, move in different directions until you find a deal you both agree on.

This could mean changing your budget or looking at less expensive homes, but they must fit into your budget and you have to feel comfortable in them! Also, remember that buying a house is a lot of work — so make sure you are ready for this by seeking out some level of help from family and friends.

There’s no need to dive head first into the process, however.

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