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Are you thinking about buying a fixer-upper? If you want to be able to personalize your space or want a property in a specific neighborhood, buying a home and renovating it allows for flexibility and is also an excellent way to build equity! Many buyers will only buy a property that is finished, so it’s possible to find hidden gems if you’re willing to put in the work yourself. Joe and I have always been into the "fixer-uppers", and we've definitely learned a lot along the way. There are always ups and downs anytime you're considering buying a home, much less completely renovating it, but it's so worth it! Here are our biggest tips for what to look for when you're looking for a fixer-upper:

Make Sure The Bones Are Good 

Structural renovations cost WAY more than anything cosmetic. Before you sign the dotted line to renovate a fixer upper, I would recommend getting the property inspected for any hidden structural damages you'll have to pay to repair. As long as the bones are good, the rest will fall into place. The nice thing is that everything cosmetic can wait if you ever need to put your projects on hold, so don't stress! 

It's All About The Location 

A house isn't all about the location, but it does matter! In so many cases, popular locations cost money. If you want the location without the price tag you just may have to be willing to put in the work! Joe and I's method is to buy one of the cheapest houses on the street in the location we want and using that extra money we saved to create the renovations of our dreams. Location is just a part of the deal you shouldn't compromise on. Look for a neighbor hood that fits your lifestyle and future buyers will like it too! 

Make A Budget 

Budget and price out the costs of renovations BEFORE you buy! This will help you stay on track with what's realistic rather than what sounds good. The cost of renovating can be expensive too, so just make sure you know what you're getting into! To prevent costs from getting out of control, create a home renovation budget and stick to it. Lay out all the projects you want to get done and exactly how much it's going to cost you to get there. From there, you'll be able to see what areas aren't realistic or what areas you might have to come up with different solutions for. For example -- going DIY vs. hiring someone to do it professionally!

DIY vs. Hiring Professionally 

When you're going through your budget, decide what makes sense to DIY vs. what makes sense to hire a professional to do. There will definitely be some things you don't want to mess with that makes it worth the extra money to have it done for you. Joe and I have always really enjoyed home projects, so we chose to DIY most aspects of our house like our kitchen cabinets (click HERE to watch our tutorial), our wallpaper, etc. However, things like the boys' custom bunkbeds or our built-ins for our front office were left up to the professionals! Be realistic about what you're actually willing to DIY, that way you don't mess up the budget when you get to the project and realize you're tapped out (don't worry, I've been there a few times too).

Think Through Your Renovations in Phases 

It may seem like all your renovations have to be done at once, but they don't! Think through what is your main priority vs. what can wait til the next phase. This will help with not only budgeting your money but your time (and sanity) as well. Don't bite off more than you can chew! Take it step by step and watch how tackling smaller phases at a time heightens your efficiency. 

Take Things In Stride 

Things WILL go wrong during your renovations - it happens! Try to take things in stride and be solutions-oriented. Things may not turn out exactly how you planned, but it will all come together and be better than you imagined! At the end of the day, make sure you take a second to appreciate the process because you're building and creating a home like no other for your family through your renovations and designs. Enjoy it!! 

There's no doubt that a fixer upper is a lot more work, but it will be so worth it when you get to enjoy so many of the little personal touches you were able to add that never would have existed if you bought someone else's past home. Create a home like no other without the premium price tag of a ready-to-move-in house! We'd love to see how you found the gold in your latest fixer upper. Tag us on Instagram and Facebook @MegMade and use our hashtag #findthegold. 

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