Published 3/19/24

Turning a Fixer-Upper into a Lucrative Investment

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Fixer-uppers can be a stressful investment if you’re not sure about what you’re doing. We all want to make as much money back as possible, but hundreds of decisions have to be made before you can get to that step.


These are the steps to making a major profit off of your property and what clear mistakes you should avoid.

1. Planning Comes First

Make sure to plan as thoroughly as possible before you start your project. This means considering how long you want this to take, how much money you’re willing to spend, and which areas are non-negotiable. 


Nonnegotiable areas would be like replacing a sagging roof or fixing a messed up electrical system. These have to be done for the home to pass an inspection and are the bare minimum.


Planning gives you time to pick the best options and possibly get some deals along the way.


2. Prepare For The Mess

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Any renovation project is going to cause more mess and trash than you could imagine. This means you need to plan ahead and look into residential dumpster rental and some protective masks, tarps, gloves, and possibly helmets, depending on how intense the remodel is.


Try to consider cleaning along the way so you don’t have to complete a major cleaning job after everything else is completed.


3. Source Your Materials Carefully

What materials do you want to use? Are you seeking sustainability, or are you more interested in finding the best way to waterproof basement spaces, regardless of materials?


Either way, you should look for high-quality materials that are built to last. Taking shortcuts and trying to save money here will just result in a lackluster property that buyers won’t be interested in.


4. Consider How Far You Can DIY

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DIY-ing is a great way to save money. Contractors are incredible but can get pricey if you’re not prepared. Unfortunately, fixing an issue you shouldn’t have DIY-ed can be even more expensive.


There’s a thin line you’ll need to straddle between what you can do and what you should do. Don’t let yourself waste money trying to complete an upgrade that’s outside of your capabilities.


5. Deep Clean Before Listing

This feels like an obvious point,  but deep cleaning your property is vital if you want to sell quickly and for more money. Buyers want to picture their lives in the homes they’re looking at, and it’s harder to see that vision if they’re looking through layers of grime and dust to get there. 


Deep clean from the top down and outside to inside.


This means starting with your gutters and getting curb appeal in order before moving inside and starting with fans and lighting fixtures. Buyers will be excited to think about moving everything they own into the house immediately, and you’ll be able to rest easily knowing dirty grout isn’t going to keep you from selling for top dollar.


6. Look Into Highest ROI Projects

Return on investment is one of the largest things to consider. You want to make sure the money you’re putting in is worth it and won’t immediately vanish into the property. Small things, like doing a minor kitchen remodel instead of a major one, are a good place to start, but so is seeking out higher ROI projects.


Replacing an old garage door is one of the highest ROI projects you can complete, but there are dozens of others that can make positive changes. 


Updating an older roof, adding in-ground drainage, and even updating to a more energy-efficient HVAC system are all changes that can boost value and get buyers running to the property. Some projects, though, like finishing a basement or garage, can end up with wasted money. Although you should consider making a home-office-specific space in the house, you shouldn’t spend more than 10% updating any one area of the property. 


7. Don’t Fall For Short Lived Trends

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There are some projects that are timeless, like modern fireplace design ideas, but many are quick blink-and-they’re-gone trends. When you’re upgrading your property, it’s vital that you can recognize the difference between the two. Look at projects and consider what they’ll be like in twenty years.


Do you really need to make this kitchen all-white, or has that trend been out for a couple of years already? Do you really need this era-specific wallpaper, or is that going to have to be taken down in one or two years? 


Focus on lasting impact that will make a large difference instead of little gimmicks that will age quickly and poorly.

Your Fixer-Upper Can Become a Dream Home

Whether this is the first home renovation you’ve ever worked on or you’re interested in improving your skills, you’re not alone. Follow some of these tips, and check out Franklin Investment Realty to fix your fixer-upper!


Author Bio:

Sam Willis is a freelance writer that loves sharing his knowledge and expertise in residential and commercial real estate, as well as engineering and construction. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia where he enjoys spending time with his wife and researching real estate trends in his free time. Sam’s work as a freelance writer can be found on Building Product Advisor, a construction industry resource site.

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