Fixer Upper vs. Move-In Ready: Which One Is Right For You?
When it comes to buying real estate, you want to make sure the property you purchase is the right fit for your needs. For some buyers, purchasing an older home that needs some work is their ideal situation. For others, buying a home that is move-in ready is the only option they’ll consider.
The question is: which is right for you? There are pros and cons to both.. The important thing is to recognize which is the best fit for you, your budget, and what you want out of a home.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of fixer uppers and move-in ready homes to help you determine which is the better fit for you:
BUYING A FIXER UPPER
Fixer uppers are, as the name implies, homes that need a bit of TLC. “A bit” is all in the eye of the beholder though.
The major draw of fixer uppers is the price. Since they need work, you can typically get a fixer upper at a fraction of the cost of a move-in ready home of a similar size or in a similar location.
It’s a blank canvas
Design choices! You have the freedom to design your house as you wish. You can tailor your choices to your exact tastes. So appealing! Since a fixer upper will need work and renovations, it does offer the opportunity to put your own stamp on the design and layout and really make the house your own.
It’s a project
For people who are interested in home renovation, there’s nothing better than a fixer upper. Taking on the challenge of completely transforming a home is a really exciting prospect for a lot of people, and if you’re in that camp, a fixer upper is a great opportunity to take on a worthwhile project.
It can get expensive and there might be surprises
Things like repairing electric, adding a new roof, tearing up and installing new flooring, and redoing a kitchen can get pricey, and if you’re not careful, you can find yourself way over budget, swimming in contractor bills with no end to your renovations in sight. With a fixer-upper, there are likely going to be some surprises. You don’t know what’s going on behind the walls until you open them up.
It takes time
Even if you’re a person who loves renovating homes, there’s no escaping the fact that it takes time. If you need to move into your home quickly, a fixer upper isn’t going to be the right fit. And for all those buyers who like doing DIY and like to get their hands dirty, just know that whatever you decide to tackle, it needs to be done right. Know what you’re good at and outsource the rest.
BUYING A MOVE-IN READY HOME
Move-in ready homes are recently built, updated, or remodeled homes that need next to nothing in terms of renovations or improvements. You can comfortably move in without making a single change.
An easy transition
As soon as you move in, unpack your hundreds of boxes, your home is ready. In terms of convenience, you can’t beat a move-in ready home. Moving can be a stressful process, and for many new homeowners, the last thing they want to do upon moving into their new home is start managing a bunch of renovations.
Better energy efficiency
Newer, move-in ready homes tend to be more energy efficient. They require less energy to heat the home during the winter and cool the home during the summer, which can end up saving you a significant amount of money in the long run.
Home prices are higher
When you buy a move-in ready home, you’re paying for the convenience. Move-in ready homes will always be significantly more expensive than fixer uppers in the same neighborhood and of the same size.
The “cookie cutter” effect (not in all cases though)
When you buy a move-in ready home, everything has already been done for you. Which is certainly convenient, but it can lack originality, charm, and the architectural and decor details you might want in a home. Newer homes sometimes feel more generic and “cookie cutter” than their older counterparts, so if charm and individuality are important for you, a move-in ready home might not feel like the best fit.
In the end, your dream home is out there, whether it’s an old Victorian or a new construction. Fixer uppers and move-in ready homes both have unique benefits and challenges. Ultimately, you have to go with the choice that best aligns with your budget, your needs, and your long-term goals for your home.
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