If you have ever spent any time reading through real estate ads, almost anywhere in the world, then you will almost certainly have come across properties that are described as ‘handyman specials’ or are listed as requiring ‘ a little TLC.’ The price of these properties is usually lower because these are not homes in perfect condition, something that can make taking a gamble on such a home very tempting. But should you?
Get an Independent Inspection
Whatever the property owner tells you about the condition of a ‘less than perfect home’, or whatever your real estate agent might say the issues are, if you are seriously considering a handyman special then it is crucial that you obtain an independent building inspection of your own.
Doing so will give you an accurate picture of what is really wrong with the home and you can begin to figure out just what it might take to bring it up to your standards.
Talk to a Professional
Many of the things that will need to be done to improve the average handyman special are basic DIY jobs, a lick of paint here, new carpets etc. Usually though, if a Realtor has been honest enough to label a property thus then bigger jobs are on the cards as well, the kind of home renovation projects you will need to call in the professionals for.
If you are starting to get rather serious about investing in a property it does not hurt to try to get an idea about just how much these projects might cost. Although a general contractor and renovation company cannot give you an exact price quote yet, most are happy to discuss the issues and give you some general information to help you determine if you would be making a great investment or hooking yourself into a money pit!
When you are crunching the basic numbers that might be involved in commissioning home renovations and home remodeling projects that might be needed to bring a fixer upper up to standard do take the time to consider any possible tax benefits you might be entitled to, as well as any penalties you might incur, as these things can make a real difference to your bottom line.
How Committed are You Really?
Some homes, especially older ones, do just ooze charm that is hard to replicate in a newer property, even if they are a bit rough round the edges. This is one of the most appealing things about handyman special type houses for many.
You do need to decide how committed you will be to the project though. Aside from the expense there will also be weeks (maybe months) of upheaval and inconvenience. However, in our experience working with homeowners in the Kitchener Waterloo area, often a few little nuisances end up being a small price to pay for getting the home you really wanted, and not just the one you settled for!