Photography: Donna Griffith | Story: An Amazing Kitchen Makeover on a Surprisingly Low Budget
Contractor Jonathan Scott and real estate agent Drew Scott discuss the pros and cons of investing in a home that requires some work.
A common dilemma when house hunting is whether to purchase a home that’s move-in ready or a fixer-upper to renovate yourself. On paper, a finished home is the hassle-free, low-risk option; fixer-uppers pose greater risks and require more time to reach the end goal. However, if you consider yourself a jack of all trades and are willing to get your hands a bit dirty, the benefits of a fixer-upper can be well worth the effort.
From a contractor's perspective
Jonathan: When looking at the decision from a construction standpoint, there are pros and cons to buying a renovator’s special. It’s no secret that it takes more time and effort than a move-in-ready home. Asking yourself important questions – Am I able to tolerate living through a renovation? What’s my renovation timeline? Can I be accommodating if it ends up lasting longer? – will help determine if you’re the type of person who can handle the process. If you’re willing, the whole procedure of buying and renovating a fixer-upper can be very rewarding. It can open the door to greater possibilities like the ability to purchase a larger house or live in a preferred neighbourhood.
With today’s popular DIY mentality, you have to be careful. It’s easy to overestimate what you’re capable of and underestimate the difficulty of home renovations.
From a realtor's perspective
Drew: From a real estate perspective, there are many positives to investing in a fixer-upper. If you’re able to find a home in your desired area that’s far below the cost of the average neighbourhood house price, it’s a great opportunity to secure property in a coveted location. You’ll not only benefit now but also in the long run, as living in an established, sought-after neighbourhood is a common must-have among house hunters, which will likely increase the resale value of your home.
If you’re someone who loves the charm and character of an older home paired with modern conveniences, buying a fixer-upper is a good route to take. Undergoing major home renovations offers the opportunity to customize the house to your style.