The Inspector

By NPI, Inc.



The Best Advice For Buying A Fixer-Upper Home

 April 18, 2022 |  Home Maintenance, Safety |  guest post, real estate, homebuyer, new homeowner

By Patrick Young of the blog,

Buying a home is a big, exciting milestone. However, it can be a pricey undertaking. That’s why many first-time homebuyers consider an “as-is” fixer-upper home to renovate and repair themselves.

If you’re thinking about following this path, National Property Inspections invites you to consider the following before you sign your name on the dotted line.

Fixer-uppers can quickly become money pits no matter how inexpensive they appear to be at first. If you plan to pay for renovations out-of-pocket, you still need a mortgage to purchase the house. 

For any mortgage loan, fixer-upper or otherwise, a lender will examine your credit. If you have had any hiccups in the past, you should clear them up ahead of time. Then you will need a down payment for your home, cash for renovations, and if you need to live elsewhere while making repairs, budget for that as well. 

If you need to roll your renovations into the mortgage, there are loans especially designed for this purpose, but detailed cost estimates must be included. These estimates should consider all foreseeable expenses, including fees, inspections, and permits.

Know Your Zone
If you’re not sure where to start house hunting, try to figure out what area of the city you want to live in, and see if there are any fixer-upper homes on the market. Check the zoning rights on potential properties, especially if you already have your sights set on a certain home. Zoning restrictions will tell you what you’re allowed to do to that property. For example, if your dream home is located in a historic district, you might not be able to perform certain construction renovations to that property. Not only do zoning laws dictate what renovations can be made to a historic home, but you should also hire an NPI home inspector who specializes in historical homes to ensure the property is sound. 

To get a better idea of what zoning laws surround the house you’re interested in purchasing, visit the local municipality’s website or arrange a meeting with a staff member.

Hiring Help
Once you have a particular property in mind, connect with an expert to walk through the home to see what kind of repairs will need to be completed. A professional can tell you if the home fits your budget and if it’s worth buying in the long run. Before you decide to purchase your fixer-upper, you’ll also need to have an inspection completed in order to avoid unforeseen problems.

Prioritize Projects
Once you purchase your fixer-upper home, determine which projects need to be completed first. Make a list to figure out what needs to be repaired right away and what can wait. Once you’ve prioritized projects, you can make a timeline that works with your budget. 

Curbed points out many cosmetic home repairs are easy for homeowners to DIY, including repainting walls, replacing doors, and refinishing floors. When handling more intensive projects like plumbing, electrical, or structural problems, you should consider hiring a professional.

Stay or Go?
Once you finish renovating the house, you’ll be thinking about whether you should settle in. If you’re in a seller’s market, you can sometimes flip a property and make a profit. If you plan to continue flipping houses, be sure to create business cards in order to build contacts. However, if you were close on your budget or in the red, or it’s a buyer’s market, it might be in your best interests to stay a while. Experian notes a residential appraiser can help determine your home’s market value, which will influence your decision. 

Another option is to turn the house into a rental property. If you plan to operate a rental business, it’s important to get the proper business identification for paying taxes. This will also help you be able to claim certain tax deductions. 

A fixer-upper can be an invaluable investment. Do your research and plan carefully. With smart strategies, you can turn a fixer-upper into your dream home.


About National Property Inspections
Since 1987, National Property Inspections has been the premier provider of home inspections and commercial property inspections throughout North America. NPI inspectors evaluate thousands of homes and commercial properties each year, utilizing industry-leading training and technology to give you an unbiased look at the condition of any home or commercial building. Our ever-growing list of satisfied clients includes homebuyers and sellers, commercial property investors, employee relocation companies and more. Find your local inspector today and discover why NPI is the first name in home inspection.

Patrick Young is a writer and manager for, a lifestyle blog dedicated to men and women living with disabilities.

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