Choosing between a fixer-upper and a move-in ready home can be a tough spot to be in. Should you save money and mold a fixer-upper to your heart’s content? Or, should you go with the move-in ready house and bypass the risk and extra labor? At CENTURY 21 Core Partners, we have helped several customers choose the best house for them in and around Southeast Pennsylvania.
Here is a list of pros and cons to make this decision more straightforward, as both fixer-uppers and move-in-ready homes have their benefits and downfalls.
Should I Buy a Fixer-Upper?
In the best-case scenario, you could customize a DIY house to fit your vision and stick to your budget. The other side to this coin, however, is ending up with a half-finished project and a mound of debt. Let’s look at some pros and cons of buying a fixer-upper before you take that leap. Advantages to purchasing a fixer-upper include:
- A lower purchase price: Buying a fixer-upper is undoubtedly cheaper than buying a ready-to-go home. However, be wary that you may not be saving as much money as you’d hoped. While fixer-uppers have lower upfront costs, they still require a down payment and repairs. A good rule of thumb is to make sure the fixer-upper you’re looking at is 10-20 percent lower than the market value. According to Zillow, the average fixer-upper home listed for just eight percent less than market value, thus saving buyers only $11,000 in 2016.
- Choose where you invest: When buying a fixer-upper, you get to decide where your money goes. You can remodel rooms you spend the most time in and pick and choose what DIY projects mean the most to you.
- Less competition: Because fixer-upper homes pose a risk to homebuyers, not everyone wants in. That can be an advantage for you, though, if you decide to take this route.
- Snag a better neighborhood: It can be a difficult task to snag a move-in-ready home in a desirable area. These communities seem to have it all — they’re safe, affordable, friendly and have excellent schools and places to work. Buying a fixer-upper could be your “in” to one of these neighborhoods.
The biggest con to a fixer-upper is the extra expenses. It can be challenging at times to find the funds to pay for your DIY project. We recommend using a home equity line of credit if you have a sizeable amount of equity in your home. Steer clear of using your credit card — they should only be used for small costs you can pay off in a few months. Interest rates can be one of the most expensive ways to finance your project.
Pros and Cons to Buying a Move-In Ready Home in York, Pennsylvania
You may think the advantages of purchasing a move-in ready home are a no-brainer — because they are. Pros include:
- No need for extra labor: Extra labor includes projects like painting, knocking out walls, carpeting, plumbing, electrical problems, adding rooms or making changes to the landscape.
- Come with modern appliances: Modern appliances are usually energy-efficient and reliable.
- Security systems, cable and internet already installed: You might not need to spend extra cash on setting up these systems as they are likely already installed.
Cons of buying a move-in-ready home include:
- Higher up-front costs: Instead of having you pay for conveniences separately, the seller will roll everything into a higher asking price for the home.
- You may have to forego quaint architectural styles: Modern homes may not have the flourishes and style you have your heart set on. If you want to redesign something or would like custom amenities, you’ll have to pay extra for professional remodeling services.
Contact CENTURY 21 Core Partners to Start the Home-Buying Process
Ready to make your move to York? Get in touch with our local agents at CENTURY 21 Core Partners today. You can also browse our website for homes for sale in York and Southeast Pennsylvania.