Is That Fixer-Upper Worth It? This Advice From the Property Brothers Will Help You Decide
Drew and Jonathan Scott, hosts of the hit HGTV show “Property Brothers,” have a knack for transforming the most undesirable pieces of real estate into beautiful homes.
What tricks can these experts offer for your next project?
They shared some of their top tips in a recent PopSugar interview.
1. Work With Experts
A fixer-upper might seem like a great deal.
You buy a house that needs some TLC and invest your time, energy and a few special touches to turn it into something worth way more than you paid.
But old or neglected properties can come with unpleasant surprises.
Jonathan Scott recommends working with professionals who know the area.
“Any house can be made to look beautiful, but by working with the right experts, you can ensure the property you choose is actually worth it in the end,” he told PopSugar.
2. Look Beyond a Property’s Current State
“I love it when other buyers run away from a property because that usually means it's the one I want,” said Drew Scott.
It’s easy to be turned off when you walk into a room and see ugly carpet, wallpaper, paint or appliances. But these are all cosmetic problems you can change with a small investment and a few days of work.
3. Look for Unexpected Places to Save Money
Rather than put off a project because you’re afraid of the cost, search for ways to complete it on a budget.
“If you can't afford custom kitchen cabinets,” Jonathan used as an example, “then buy prefab and spend a few extra dollars on the countertop, crown and lighting to make it look more custom.”
You can find sneaky ways to make a room look fresh, new and modern without splurging for expensive, brand-new materials.
4. Splurge Where It Matters
Drew advises becoming familiar with the community in which you’re buying, particularly if your goal is to flip a house.
Get to know the people in the neighborhood and what they’re looking for. Are they willing to pay extra for custom cabinets, or are you better off going with the prefab?
“Also, technology is a hot-ticket item these days,” he said.
“How about a fridge that will tell you when your food is about to expire? Or the new energy-efficient washers and dryers that will wash a load in 15 minutes and dry in 15 minutes?”
5. Find Up-and-Coming Neighborhoods
Emerging communities are gold for smart real estate investors.
They buy properties early for cheap, then sell them for a huge profit when the neighborhood is in high demand.
Drew warns, “Trying to invest in emerging communities can be risky, so if you are new to real estate, then we suggest sticking to areas you are comfortable in.”
If you do want to spread your wings and get into an up-and-coming neighborhood, he said it helps to work with a real estate agent who knows the area well.
You can also look for major developments coming to certain areas by checking with a city planning department.
If you have enough real estate experience (or know someone who does), these coming developments can help you spot a good buy.
Your Turn: Have you renovated a fixer-upper? What tips do you have to add?
Dana Sitar (@danasitar) is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. She’s written for Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, Writer’s Digest and more.