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Old 05-13-2007, 05:05 PM   #1
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Hi all. We are in the process of purchasing our first home. We don't have a huge mortgage budget so we have been looking at fixer-uppers right now. The hope is to get a larger house that's a little run down and fix it up ourselves. We aren't experienced in the ways of construction but he is generally good with handywork and she's good at bargain shopping and sticking to the budget. Hopefully it'll pay off. Anyway, you'll be seeing more posts from us in the future. BTW, we live in the Denver area in case anybody was wondering.
-Brian & Heather

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Old 05-13-2007, 05:50 PM   #2
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Make sure you have a realistic budget for how much mortage you really can afford along with a little bit of extra money each month for those repairs and improvements. [both expected and unexpected]

I would strongly suggest a qualified home inpsection before you buy.
That way you know your getting a solid house with no major problems.
That said, a fixer upper is a great way to gain some equity.

Good Luck!

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Old 05-16-2007, 07:40 AM   #3
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Hi Brian and Heather and welcome to the site.

I hope you are able to find the right house for yourselves and one that will make the 'fixing up' experience a good one, for you both.
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Old 05-16-2007, 02:25 PM   #4
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Make sure to be realistic about your potential fixerupper. A place that needs the floors sanded, the walls stripped of 6 layers of old wallpaper and painted, the bathroom updated, and eventually a kitchen remodel has great potential for gradual progress by a dedicated couple of workers with $500 dollars budgeted for improvements every month.

On the other hand, a place with a crumbling foundation, an obsolete electrical system that is in need of imminent replacement, a roof that's due for replacement, and a furnace that has been working for 50 years and may die any day, is going to need a lot more money upfront, and probably a lot more professional contracting.

Be realistic about the types of projects you can learn to do, and the timeframe that they'll need to be done in.

I'd also advise not to get into too large a house, thereby overextending both your mortgage and improvement budgets. You can always fix up a smaller house for 5 years, sell, and use the profits to move on to that larger fixerupper, in a little better shape than what you can afford now.

Just some thoughts from my brief experience. Good luck!
Nate
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Old 05-16-2007, 03:22 PM   #5
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Welcome

Good advice here regarding fixer-uppers
Depending on the condition and goals, it could easily be another $500+ a month to fixer up
(tip: don't use those fix-a-house TV show budgets as a guide, they are for amusement only...and they are pretty amusing)

Yet if you are realistic about what you can and can't do, and what you'll have time to do, and what you'll have to pay to have done, and if you don't stretch your "roof over my head" budget with the mortgage, you can really fixer up
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Old 05-16-2007, 05:03 PM   #6
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On the other hand, a place with a crumbling foundation, an obsolete electrical system that is in need of imminent replacement, a roof that's due for replacement, and a furnace that has been working for 50 years and may die any day, is going to need a lot more money upfront, and probably a lot more professional contracting.
hey sounds like my house!

already replaced the foundation (brother in law), updated the electrical (myself), starting on a new roof soon (myself), all new windows (brother-in-law), new furnace/ac (dad). needs a kitchen (Kraftmade outlet store is an hour away, $90/cabinet). new bath, siding, etc.

My point? Only take the big risk if you got the money/resources (family?) to help you along the way. And your budget will rarely stick, so be prepared to give-and-take. But look at it this way, with all the above jobs factored into the price of my fixer-upper home, I got 1800sqft on 1acre, for the SAME price as a ready-to-go 900sqft house on 1/3 acre. It isn't for the faint of heart though...
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Old 05-16-2007, 07:20 PM   #7
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hey sounds like my house!

already replaced the foundation (brother in law), updated the electrical (myself), starting on a new roof soon (myself), all new windows (brother-in-law), new furnace/ac (dad). needs a kitchen (Kraftmade outlet store is an hour away, $90/cabinet). new bath, siding, etc.
Is your family available next weekend?
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Old 06-10-2007, 09:16 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the replies guys. Well, we didn't get the house we had our hearts set on. We were hoping to pick it up for about $20k less than the asking price but when our realtor called the selling realtor she found out that there was a bidding war on the house and it was already that much over the asking price. Yikes! No thank you, we weren't that in love with it. So we kept looking and found a really nice house that has been updated and well maintaned over the years and we move into it on the 27th of this month. Yay! The inspector looked at it and said the only thing that didn't check out was the furnace which was almost 30 years old. Fortunately for us, the seller offered to go 50/50 on a new furnace so now we get a brand new furnace for 1/2 off. We're really excited. We'll probably be posting here a lot once we start doing some of our own renovations. Thanks again everybody.
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Old 06-11-2007, 06:25 AM   #9
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Bh,

That's great, I am glad that you were able to find a house that you really liked and that checked out good with the inspection. Congratulations on your new home.
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Old 06-11-2007, 06:48 AM   #10
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Congratulations!
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Old 06-11-2007, 06:16 PM   #11
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Congratulations!

Let the games [and 10K trips to Homey for stuff] begin!

Good luck!
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Old 06-14-2007, 12:58 PM   #12
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Congratulations!

Let the games [and 10K trips to Homey for stuff] begin!

Good luck!
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Old 07-02-2007, 06:27 PM   #13
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Old 07-02-2007, 07:15 PM   #14
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You just learned firsthand why fixer uppers are generally not a good "buy into a good neighborhood cheap" value. Those types of homes are in high demand by newlyweds/first time home buyers. They underestimate the cost of repair and overbid.

Congratz on the new house.
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Old 07-03-2007, 03:12 AM   #15
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Thanks for all the replies guys. Well, we didn't get the house we had our hearts set on. We were hoping to pick it up for about $20k less than the asking price but when our realtor called the selling realtor she found out that there was a bidding war on the house and it was already that much over the asking price. Yikes! No thank you, we weren't that in love with it. So we kept looking and found a really nice house that has been updated and well maintaned over the years and we move into it on the 27th of this month. Yay! The inspector looked at it and said the only thing that didn't check out was the furnace which was almost 30 years old. Fortunately for us, the seller offered to go 50/50 on a new furnace so now we get a brand new furnace for 1/2 off. We're really excited. We'll probably be posting here a lot once we start doing some of our own renovations. Thanks again everybody.
Sounds like you got a better deal anyway. Glad that you were able to know when to walk away from a house. Too many times people fall in love with a house and end up paying way more than it is worth. This house seems like it has a good basis to start with and witha updated furnace will be good for you. I would advise that you only do one room or area at a time and pick the simplist to start with to get your feet wet. Have seen where a couple will go in and start on a remodeling of the whole house all at once and end up getting overwhelmed with the task. Easier on the marriage if you do one at a time and then you can get the satisfaction of a job done at each step. Hope you have the best of luck with your projects.

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