Everybody seems to be buying fixer-uppers these days—or at least you’d think so if you watch much TV. Couples, business partners, old college buddies, and single-handed weekend warriors are taking on “reno” projects like there’s no tomorrow. So, is buying a fixer-upper in Dahlonega right for you? Here are some things to think about and a few questions to ask yourself.
A few things to consider:
- Home renovation shows may be reality shows, but there’s not much realistic about them. It’s easy to romanticize the process when the project leaders find the perfect house at the perfect price; the cast-iron, claw foot tub doesn’t get jammed in the stairway turn on its way to the upstairs bathroom and the $4,000 granite slab doesn’t break in half during installation. Not to mention completing the project in an hour—including commercial breaks! In real life, all kinds of catastrophes, budget-busters, surprises and set-backs happen when you’re buying a fixer-upper, and timelines are blown out more often than not.
- Once you’ve established a reasonable budget for your renovation, add 10% or 20% in contingency funds to pay for work you didn’t anticipate, like replacing the rotted sub-floor in the kitchen, re-wiring the house to meet updated building codes or bringing the claw foot tub in through the second story bathroom window with a crane.
- Some personality types can survive the stress of a fixer-upper project and some can’t (You know who you are!) The same goes for marriages and other relationships. You’ll be dealing with a lot of noise, mess and chaos so be prepared for some strain and a few “disagreements.”
- It’s easy to get carried away. No matter how great the tile, shower fixture, garage door or drawer pulls, there will always be something better, nicer, for “just a little bit more.” Resist the temptation to overspend. After all, these extras aren’t going to make you happier in the home, are they?
Questions to think about:
- How long do you plan to live in the home? Unless you’re a professional house flipper, you might not want to invest too much time and expense in your project if you won’t be there long enough to enjoy it.
- Will the improvements bring a good ROI? How much will the renovations increase the actual value of the home? If you add the purchase price and renovation investment together when you’re all finished, is the appraised value equal to or higher than the money spent?
- Does your project make your house the biggest, best and most costly in the area? Some experts caution that since home prices are usually based on sale prices of comparable homes in the neighborhood, you might not be able to “get your money out” when you go to sell. Your asking price may be held down to the level of your neighbors’ homes.
- Is it just the house that’s run-down, or is it the neighborhood, too? Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether an area is up-and-coming or on the way down. Get advice from your realtor, talk to residents in the community and even research public tax records to figure out whether prices are climbing or dropping before you decide to invest in a home that needs substantial renovations.
Because of its rural nature and rich history, Dahlonega has myriad possibilities for breathing new life into old structures. Buying a fixer-upper in Dahlonega could mean anything from transforming an old horse barn into an exquisite, equine-inspired home to restoring a treasure on the National Registry of Historic Homes. From modernizing a farmhouse to create a cozy B&B to converting a chicken coop into an art gallery.
Or, as it does for most people, buying a fixer-upper in Dahlonega could mean simply updating a nice, everyday home with kitchen and bath upgrades, new flooring and some new fixtures and accessories. If you’re considering a fixer-upper in Dahlonega, let me show you some possibilities!