If you are fortunate enough to find yourself in a position where you think you can afford to own property, you then have to deal with making the biggest and most complicated purchase of your life. For some, adding to the complication of a major renovation seems like madness. But for others, fixer-upper homes are the most achievable way to get the house of their dreams. If you have been considering joining the fixer-upper club, here’s what you’ll need to think about.
The Buying Process
The first thing you need to do is determine your budget. In the case of a fixer-upper, this has to include both the price of the house and the renovation costs, but it is easier for you to think of them together for the time being. Good indicators to establish a budget include your annual income, money saved for a down payment, monthly spending, loan type, and current average APR. Don’t forget that there are plenty of hidden ongoing costs to owning a home, so you also need to take things like insurance, taxes, and maintenance into account.
The next step for most homeowners is to get to know their local market and see what kind of home they can buy in the area with said budget. Nolo.com suggests that the best way to know how much to offer on a fixer-upper is to figure out the value of the home if it was fixed, calculating the cost of the work, and then subtracting one from the other.
Once you find the fixer-upper of your dreams (and budget), there are a few additional steps you need to cover before making an offer. Get a full home inspection, which will highlight any repair work you may have missed during your visit, and re-adjust your offer accordingly. If a house you love has severe structural issues that would cost a fortune to repair, it may not be worth it.
As you look into financing your purchase, research the types of loans that will work best for your situation. For example, if you’re a veteran with so-so credit and not a lot socked away, you are eligible for a VA loan, which can help when it comes to finding decent interest rates, plus there won’t be any mortgage insurance. On the other hand, if the home needs serious work, you can look into an FHA 203(k) loan. These loans provide funding for the home and the necessary renovations, in addition for funding that covers the time you can’t live in the home.
When it comes to renovating your new home, planning is the most important thing you can do. It may be tempting to throw yourself headfirst into the first DIY project you can think of, but this is not the most efficient way to proceed.
Make a full list of everything that needs to be done, and sort tasks by priority. At the top, place anything that is necessary to make the house livable, such as electrical work, plumbing, or structural issues. Then address changes needed to make the house attractive. Finally, finishing decorative touches go last.
A full renovation schedule is important, but it is by no means the only thing you need to consider. Real Homes has a detailed checklist of things you need to do before you start renovating, covering everything from securing the building site to learning about your home’s architectural features. And if you haven’t already, invest some cash into some quality power tools such as drills or saws to make those DIY projects a little easier.
There is an accepted idea in society that your first house is a “starter home” and that you will eventually trade up to a bigger and better one. National statistics say the average first-time buyer stays in that house for 11 years before moving on to another home. However, there is also evidence that many first-time buyers, particularly young millennials, are skipping the starter home altogether. Instead, they are choosing to wait longer and put in more effort to buy a home that is right for them for the long haul.
Whether you choose to re-sell your fixer-upper will ultimately depend on two factors: firstly, whether you bought the house with the long-term in mind, and secondly, how much value you have added through your renovations. Do bear in mind, however, that experts recommend living in a home for a minimum of five years before selling.
Buying a fixer-upper for your first home doesn’t have to be a terrifying and intimidating prospect. As long as you are reasonable with your budget and expectations and do your homework, your fixer-upper can either end up being your dream home or a great first step on your way up the property ladder.
Clark Real Estate, Investments and Property Management offers a few fun tips for reaching your health, wealth and happiness goals for the New Year by making a few adjustments with your home!
1. Clear the Distractions: Have you ever noticed you get a boost of creativity or physical energy when you go on vacation? What if it's not because of the long day at the beach, but because of the clutter-free hotel room? The beds are made, the floor is clean, none of the usual paperwork is laying around. You're free to think and move about! When you make plans, you can go do it--without tripping over your kid's homework or frantically searching the house for something to wear.
What if your home always functioned this way?
Start with one distracting room or closet, and rethink it like you're going on vacation: If I was going on a 30 day trip, which items would I need to take with me? Pull those few items, and then move the rest. You can experiment by packing unnecessary items in your suitcase or in a distant closet or the garage to see if life is more enjoyable without the clutter. Or just move the items out of your every day line of sight. If you're feeling extremely bold and are ready for a complete change in your life, donate items to a Shelter or Thrift Store.
Continue to go through each room of your home each week or month. The more you clear, the easier it will be--as you'll start to feel the positive effects of a distraction-free home.
2. Live in your Investment: Robert Kiyosaki (Author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad) talks about how your home is a liability, because you're spending more on it than you're making from it. Many Americans assume that because their home may be increasing in value, it's automatically a good investment. Unfortunately, the math doesn't quite work that way! The Reno area is in an exciting growth period, and those who have invested in rental properties are going to be reaching those Wealth Resolutions sooner rather than later.
You can turn your home into an investment by finding a way to make money from it. Hrmm, how? If you own your home, you're free to rent out a room, or even your garage as a storage space. Tools like AirBnB allow everyday homeowners to make some extra income from their empty guest room or den.
If you're not comfortable with sharing your space, let's schedule a consultation to review the possibilities of purchasing your own income-generating property.
If you're renting the home you live in, there may be ways to generate income from it, as well. Please be sure to run any ideas by our office to ensure it is in compliance with your lease agreement!
Please feel free to call us when you're debating remodeling projects; we can help determine which projects will return the most value down the road if you choose to sell or rent out your home.
3. Tune In: Take a day to just observe your thoughts and feelings when you wake up, walk through your home, leave the driveway, and return. What parts of your home made you smile? What was frustrating? What can you fix, and what can you let go of? When our homes are in disrepair for extended periods of time, it can negatively affect our day, and wreak havoc on the property. Is there a strange smell in the cupboard? A crack in the wall? A dim light bulb? Let's get those things addressed right away! If you're just feeling resentment toward your home, it might not be a maintenance issue, it might be time to upgrade!
We are here to connect the right tenants with the right properties, and the right investors with the right investment properties. If you are feeling unsatisfied with your home, let's talk! We have a growing inventory of options just for you!
Gratitude is the first thing we like to decorate our homes with during the holiday season. The simple act of reviewing what we're thankful for is the fastest and easiest way to make your space brighter. Here is a list to get you started:
I am thankful for
-the roof over my head
-a place to eat
-a place to sleep
-a place to put my things
-a place to connect with family and friends
And what else?
What are the special features of your home that make it unique? What furnishings and appliances make your life easier? What decor makes you feel special and luxurious?
Take a walk through your home reviewing each and every thing that you're thankful for.
Are you finding that you're frustrated, and can't find anything good about your home?
That's where we come in! We've found that the best place to start if you're frustrated with your home is to list off what you WANT your home to FEEL like.
When you walk in and kick off your shoes, do you want to feel relaxed or energized? Warm or cool? When you wake up in the morning do you want to see the sun shining through, or do you want those extra hours of sleep in a darkened room?
Let's review your wishlist so we can get you into a home that fits! Whether you want to rent or buy, Clark Real Estate wants you to be thankful for your home--and we'll work hard to make it happen!
Clark Real Estate
305 W. Moana Ste C
Reno, NV 89509
Our inventory is constantly changing!
Please see our current listings!