What’s The Fix? The Horrifying Truth Behind Your First-Time Fixer-Upper

Countless millennials fall for the lure of the fixer-upper. With generally lower upfront costs and the temptation to add individual flair with a total redesign, you could even say that a purchase like this is a no-brainer. But, for first-time buyers, jumping into a project is often like diving in at the deep end without a paddle to help you float! Home buying is challenging enough the first time, without throwing a whole load of work into the mix. Worse, individuals who’ve never done this before don’t always even fully grasp the hassle a fixer-upper can entail. Does that mean you should leave project houses off your list altogether? Perhaps not. The important thing is simply to make this leap with your eyes open. By realizing the work and setbacks inherent in the renovation process, you can still make a fantastic home this way. All you need to do is keep in mind the following three potential problems as you brace yourself for this challenge. 

# 1 – You will exceed your budget

No matter how large your budget is, you’re almost guaranteed to exceed that amount. That’s because one job typically leads to another in cases like these. If you need rewiring, for instance, you’ll have to pay for plastering, and repainting. And those are just the basics! Make sure, then, that you can financially weather overspends like these before you commit to a less-than-perfect first property. 

# 2 – Regulations will come into play far more than you expect

Few first-time-buyers realize that building permits come into play for almost every project, even if you stick with interior efforts. Worse, failure to adhere could see you subject to undoing completed work and thus spending even more. That’s why it’s always worth seeking building advice before buying, and making sure you ask ‘when are building permits required for remodeling?’ before you make interior changes, even to your kitchen or similar! With permits also potentially pushing your budget past the breaking point, you should never move forward without being 100% clear on what you’d need, and how much it would set you back. 

# 3 – Everything will take longer than you think

You may assume that keeping your rental or staying with parents for a month or two will be enough to see everything ready for moving in, but you’d be kidding yourself. While work itself shouldn’t take too long, you still have to wait for quotes and work dates from builders, etc. That can take over two months in itself, let alone adding the workload onto that timeframe! As such, you’ll need to at least double the amount of time you can expect a project to take. The best way to tackle this is to make alternative arrangements, prioritize jobs to make the house livable or attempt to do it yourself. Either way, don’t think that this project will be a quick stroll in the park because you’ll be in for a nasty surprise!

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