|We’ve all seen those shows on HGTV where a lovable team of construction-savvy husbands and wives, fathers and sons, siblings, or business partners buy a run-down house and, in 30 minutes of TV time, turn it into a masterpiece and create tens of thousands of dollars of instant equity.
While it’s certainly possible, these shows almost always gloss over some of the most stressful parts of buying a fixer-upper. Lots of people also overlook the expertise involved, like how to handle permit issues.
In the end though, the allure of a fixer-upper can be irresistible. If you budget your renovations right, you can get a steal of a deal on a run-down house, and you can customize the home in almost any way you desire. I wanted to provide some tips for anyone thinking about undertaking a fixer-upper in Tyler so you can be prepared for what’s ahead.
Check the zoning: This isn’t a glamorous process, so you rarely see it on TV, but zoning can go a long way in determining what is and is not permitted to do to a property. Zoning varies by municipality, and you can research your municipality’s requirements on their website or arrange to meet with a staffer.
Get a home inspection: Cosmetic issues like the avocado green bathroom tile and disco-era dark cabinets are easy to spot of course, but the inspection will help you find out what you’re in for with behind-the-scenes issues like plumbing, electrical systems, and HVAC systems. You may have run the hot water and flipped on the lights when you made the offer, but the boiler could be on its last leg, and the plumbing could be corroded and in need of total replacement. Older homes might not be up to code with electrical systems and could have dangerous materials like asbestos.
Bring in an architect and/or contractor: Many buyers of fixer-uppers want to make big changes like removing a wall to get that open concept feel, or adding a bathroom or walk-in closet. An architect can help you determine which walls are load-bearing and will cost more to remove. They can also help with design elements. When it comes to contractors, do your homework. The cheapest is rarely the best option. A good contractor can give you an honest estimate on all your projects and will stay on schedule.
A fixer-upper can be a long and stressful project, but if you have the resources, the patience, and the research done, you can find yourself in your own custom dream home with a good amount of free, instant equity. If you’re considering a fixer-upper in Tyler, I’d be more than happy to sit down and talk with you about the process more in detail.
Give me a call or send me an email. Let’s talk soon!
Your Tyler Realtor®,
Danny and Rebecca Burks
The Burks Team
If you’re considering a fixer-upper in Tyler, TX…
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