top of page

The Pros and Cons of Buying a Fixer-Upper Home

Are you thinking of buying a home that needs a little work? Perhaps you've been searching for the perfect place to call your own but haven't found anything that quite fits the bill. Or maybe you're looking for a way to save money on your home purchase, Or perhaps you're wanting to get your hands wet with some investing in Real Estate! Whatever your reasons, buying a fixer-upper can be an exciting adventure, but it's important to weigh the pros and cons before taking the plunge.

On the one hand, a fixer-upper can give you the opportunity to customize a home to your exact specifications, and it may even increase in value right away or over time if you make the right renovations. On the other hand, a fixer-upper can be a money pit, requiring more time and investment than you originally planned. In this article, we'll explore the pros and cons of buying a fixer-upper so that you can make an informed decision about whether it's right for you.

Fixer-upper homes can also be a popular choice for real estate investors. The goal for investors is to purchase the property at a lower price, fix it up, and then sell it for a profit. This strategy can be effective, but it's important to do your research and work with a professional to ensure that you're making a smart investment decision. It's also important to note that while this article provides information and insights about fixer-upper homes, it's not intended as professional investment advice. Always seek the guidance of a qualified professional before making any significant investment decisions.

The Pros of Buying a Fixer-Upper Home

Fixer-upper homes may come with their fair share of challenges, but they also offer numerous benefits that make them worth considering. Here are some of the pros of buying a fixer-upper home:

Potential for increased home equity When you purchase a fixer-upper home, you have the opportunity to improve its value by making renovations and upgrades. By investing in the home, you are not only creating a more comfortable living space, but you are also increasing its equity. With a little bit of effort, you can turn a less desirable property into a highly sought-after home in a desirable neighborhood, which can result in significant gains in home value instantly and/ or over time.

Possibility of customization and personalization

Buying a fixer-upper allows you to create a home that is tailored to your or the market's specific preferences and lifestyle. You can choose the finishes, appliances, and design features that best suit your needs and style or that would increase the home value, rather than settling for a pre-designed home. Whether you want an open-concept living space, a larger kitchen, or a home office, a fixer-upper provides the flexibility to customize your living space to your liking.

Opportunity for cost savings or making money if selling

One of the main benefits of buying a fixer-upper is the potential for cost savings and/ or making money. Fixer-upper homes are often priced lower than move-in ready homes, so you may be able to get more house for your budget. Additionally, if you are willing to take on some of the renovations work yourself, you can save money on labor costs.

The potential for investment and profit Fixer-upper homes can also offer opportunities for investment and profit. By purchasing a home that needs some work, you may be able to buy it below market value and make strategic renovations that will increase its value. Whether you turn around and sell it right away or rent it out, this can result in significant profit potential, especially if you plan to sell the home in the future. However, it's important to note that real estate investing is not without risk, and it's important to seek professional advice before making any investment decisions.

The Cons of Buying a Fixer-Upper Home

While the prospect of buying a fixer-upper home can be exciting, there are also some significant downsides that should be considered before making the investment. In this section, we will explore some of the common cons associated with buying a fixer-upper home.

Potential for hidden and unexpected costs

One of the biggest drawbacks of buying a fixer-upper home is the potential for unexpected costs to arise during the renovation process. Even with a thorough inspection, there may be underlying issues with the home that are not immediately apparent. For example, a leaky roof or faulty electrical wiring could end up costing thousands of dollars to repair. These unforeseen expenses can quickly add up and significantly impact your budget.

Time-consuming and stressful renovations

Renovating a fixer-upper home can be a time-consuming and stressful process.

Depending on the extent of the renovations, it may take several months or even years to complete the project. Living in a construction zone can also be challenging and disruptive to your daily life. It is important to be realistic about the time and effort required for a fixer-upper renovation project.

Difficulty in securing financing

Securing financing for a fixer-upper home can also be challenging. Many lenders are hesitant to finance a home that is in poor condition, as it poses a higher risk for default. Additionally, it can be challenging to accurately estimate the value of the home after renovations, which can impact the amount of financing that is available. Most fixer-upper homes will not qualify for most first-time buyers' home loans, or VA loans, and will have to be financed either through conventional loans or bought in Cash.

Possibility of not achieving the desired result

Another potential downside of buying a fixer-upper home is the possibility of not achieving the desired result. Renovations can be unpredictable, and the final product may not always meet your expectations. This can be especially disappointing if you have invested a significant amount of time and money into the project.

Overall, buying a fixer-upper home can be a risky investment, and it is important to carefully consider all of the potential downsides before making a purchase, with that said, if you're ready to proceed, let's delve into the buying tips.

Tips for Buying a Fixer-Upper Home

While there are certainly cons to buying a fixer-upper home, with the right approach and mindset, you can turn it into a great investment opportunity. Here are some tips to keep in mind when considering a fixer-upper:

Get a thorough inspection before buying

Before purchasing a fixer-upper, it's crucial to have a comprehensive inspection done. A professional inspector can identify any potential issues, such as plumbing or electrical problems, mold, or structural damage, that could end up being costly and time-consuming to fix. Use the results of the inspection to determine if the home is worth the investment and to create a realistic renovation plan and budget.

Create a realistic renovation plan and budget

With the results of the inspection in hand, you can begin to create a renovation plan that is realistic in terms of cost and scope. It's important to set a budget for your renovation and to stick to it as closely as possible. Be sure to account for unexpected expenses and add a cushion to your budget to avoid overspending. Work with a contractor or other professionals to help you create a detailed plan that includes a timeline for completion.

Consider hiring a contractor or other professionals

If you're not experienced in home renovation, it's a good idea to hire a contractor or other professionals to help with the work. A contractor can help you create a realistic renovation plan and budget and can manage the project to ensure it stays on track. Other professionals, such as architects, interior designers, and electricians, can provide expertise in their respective areas and help ensure the final product is exactly what you envisioned.

Factor in the cost

Factor in all costs, including hidden costs, indirect costs, and other costs as well as time during renovations.

It's important to weigh the benefits of buying a fixer-upper against the costs involved in renovations and time.

By following these tips, you can minimize the cons of buying a fixer-upper home and maximize the potential for increased home equity, customization and personalization, cost savings, and investment and profit.

Consult a REALTOR

When considering buying a fixer-upper home, it's important to consult a real estate agent who specializes in that market. A good realtor can help you understand the potential value of a fixer-upper property and give you a realistic estimate of the fair price for the property. They can also provide insight into the local real estate market, including the availability of fixer-upper properties, the potential resale value of the home after renovations, and any zoning or permit restrictions that could affect the renovation process. Additionally, a realtor can recommend reputable home inspectors and contractors to help you make informed decisions throughout the buying and renovation process. Working with a knowledgeable realtor can make all the difference in ensuring that you make a wise investment and achieve your dream home.


In conclusion, buying a fixer-upper home can be a great investment opportunity, but it requires careful consideration and planning. As we've discussed, there are pros and cons to buying a fixer-upper, and it's important to weigh these factors before making a decision.

On the positive side, buying a fixer-upper can provide the potential for increased home equity, customization and personalization, cost savings, and even investment and profit. However, there are also potential downsides, including hidden and unexpected costs, time-consuming and stressful renovations, difficulty in securing financing, and the possibility of not achieving the desired result.

To help ensure a successful fixer-upper purchase, we've provided some key tips to keep in mind. These include talking to a realtor to get a good idea about the market and potential value as well as the fair price for the property, getting a thorough inspection before buying, creating a realistic renovation plan and budget, considering hiring a Realtor, contractor, or other professionals, and factoring in the cost and time of living elsewhere during renovations.

At the end of the day, the decision to buy a fixer-upper should be based on individual circumstances and goals. It's important to carefully weigh the pros and cons, conduct thorough research, and consult with professionals to make the best decision for you. With the right approach, buying a fixer-upper can be a rewarding and profitable investment in your future.

Gabriel and Kristina

The Zachary Team and San Antonio's REALTOR® Couple


Disclaimer: It's important to note that the writer of this article is not an expert in real estate investment. The information provided in this article should not be considered professional investment advice, and readers should seek professional guidance before making any investment decisions.


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page