Should you buy a house that needs repairs?
Short answer: No
Long answer: It depends
Longer than you want to hear answer: I often work with buyers who are seduced by the siren song of the house that needs a lot of work. ‘Lot of work’ means different things to different people. A couple of weeks ago I showed a house that needed carpet, paint and a couple of trim pieces replaced. Her thoughts on the place: It needs a lot of work. My thoughts: God help the person who thinks this house needs a lot of work, because that person doesn’t EVEN KNOW ‘lot of work.’
And then there are the people who call me up to look at a particular home for sale and I tell them, ‘This one is going to need a lot of work.’ Because I’m thinking in terms of making this house top notch. And then they show up and say, ‘This doesn’t need much work.’ Because they are thinking in terms of just being able to move in without the floors falling in.
So how do I know what I should do, Jules?
Ask me. I’ll be happy to give you an opinion. With that and two quarters you could probably buy yourself a phone call (they cost more than one quarter these days).
You need to ask yourself these questions:
1. Can I get financing as is?
Because this alone is a total show stopper.
2. What are my goals for this house?
Am I going to live here the rest of my life, the rest of this year, or do I want to fix & sell?
3. What am I willing to live with?
Do I want top notch granite counter tops (or whatever is top notch in counters this year) or am I happy with the existing decor/state of the caulk?
4. What is my budget?
Do I think that I’m going to spend $500 on paint and carpet or do I have an $80,000 renovation in mind?
5. How good a deal am I getting?
AKA, if I have to spend $20,000 instead of the $2,200 that I had in mind, will I get it back when I go to sell?
6. Am I really the handy man/woman that I think I am?
What kind of follow through would my mother say that I possess? If she were answering honestly.
Have you thought long and hard about each and every one of those questions? And do you still think you want a house that needs A. Lot. of. Work?
More power to you. Give me a call. I love these houses. I might even help you work on it. Free of charge. Just because I love them so much.
OK… maybe, if you ask reeeeeeeeeaaaaallllll nice and paint things the colors I think they should be painted…