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How to Find the Perfect Fixer-Upper in Houston Texas

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Everything is bigger in Texas, and that includes the number of fixer-uppers a potential home buyer will have the opportunity to view before making their decision on the perfect one for them. Texas has a large expanse of land and more and more of it has been made into spectacular suburban neighborhoods now. A Houston fixer-upper is a great opportunity for a home buyer to be able to secure property in a neighborhood they may not be able to afford normally. There are many reasons why a fixer-upper would be a good investment in your and your family’s future, and here is how you can find your perfect fixer-upper in the heart of Texas!

Location Location Location!

The first step in finding your perfect Houston fixer-upper is deciding on a location. You can change everything about a home from the foundation to the roof and everything in between, but you cannot change the location of the property. The perfect location is entirely up to the home buyer and their personal preferences. Many home buyers who have children look for safe neighborhoods with good school systems, and lots of local parks and activities for the children to do. These are things that many homebuyers will not compromise so finding a location that is suitable for all of these qualities is key whenever looking for the perfect fixer-upper. According to Paige Martin, a reputable real estate agent in Houston; “If your budget is under $100,000, you’ll probably want to focus your search on areas like Houston Heights, Garden Oaks, and Braeswood.  If you have more to invest and you’re looking for the best neighborhoods where property values have been appreciating at the highest rates, you’ll want to consider areas like West University Place, River Oaks, and Southampton”. If the home buyer is looking to make the property an investment it is best to do some research and try to avoid neighborhoods that have been decreasing in value. There is usually a trend in the prices of homes in a neighborhood and you want to look for one that has been increasing not decreasing. These are usually the more expensive neighborhoods though and while you want to go for the best neighborhoods for you and your family, budget is also a key aspect that the home buyer needs to take into consideration.

The Budget is Key

Another way to best find your perfect fixer-upper in Houston is to know your budget. There is definitely a difference between a $50,000 home and a $100,000 home. Do not forget to add in the cost of renovations which can vary depending on what shape the home is in. If the home buyer’s budget is at a set amount without adding the renovations, the home buyer will definitely be in over their head after closing on a home that is not moving in ready with no room in the budget to get it to that place. A budget is important to set a realistic expectation of how much home a home buyer can afford. There is no sense in looking at homes that are out of your budget to get your heart broken if you fall in love with a place that is out of your price range. A budget also gives your real estate agent an idea of where to start in pursuit of your dream home if you decide to hire a real estate agent. Instead of just guessing whenever it comes to your budget, the home buyer can get pre-approved for a mortgage loan to help figure out how much they really have to spend on a home. This can help the home buyer have a more stable budget than trying to crunch the numbers and estimate what they can afford.  Having a budget and sticking to it is one of the hardest things to do whenever it comes to home buying, but just think, you need to stay on budget so that you can afford to make your fixer-upper into your dream home!

How much of a challenge is too much?

Once the location and a budget are decided then the home buyer needs to decide how much of a fixer-upper they want to deal with. A fixer-upper is a huge job to undertake so it is important for a home buyer to know their limits whenever it comes to the state the home is currently in. Many homebuyers who want to buy fixer-uppers want to fix the home themselves and will oftentimes bite off more than they can chew home wise and get in over their heads with repairs and renovations. This is why it is important when searching for your perfect Houston fixer-upper that you understand and accept your limits. There is also the issue of time. Home repairs and renovations take up much more time than just walking into a home and turning the key. So not only do the home buyers have to factor in the cost and effort repairs take, but also the time. If they are having to sell their current home to purchase this new home, they will possibly need to factor in the cost of paying for a temporary place to live until repairs are done. This can throw a last-minute crunch in the budget and needs to be looked at carefully if it is even finically possible.  If the home buyer does want to purchase a property that needs more work, there is always the option to hire someone to complete the harder renovations for you. There may be repairs in the home that are above your skill level and that is okay, but then that means it is time to call a professional. A construction contractor is someone who is licensed to complete repairs on structures. If they are not specialized in the area the home needs the repairs in they oftentimes have someone on their team who is or will know someone who is. Whenever the home buyer gets an inspection is done on the home, it may also be a good idea to have a contractor complete a walkthrough of the home to figure out an estimate on how much the repairs and renovation on this home will run so you will know if the home is still in your budget. Repairs and renovations can seem like a lot of work and frustration, which it can be, but with trusted professionals behind you, it can take some of the stress off and make for a smoother transition.

Sometimes the path least taken is the best.

Another way to possibly find your perfect fixer-upper is to search places where the homes can be listed by the owners and not through a real estate company. Many homeowners do not want to pay the fee for a real estate agent to market their home so they would rather list the home themselves. This gives potential home buyers another avenue to search through besides homes listed through real estate companies. Some keywords to look for in listings would be ‘diamond in the rough’ or ‘priced to move’. Another way a home buyer may find their perfect Houston fixer-upper for a great price is through foreclosures. These are homes that the bank or mortgage institution has repossessed due to failure to pay. Their prices are cut drastically regardless of the value of the home. The only issue with these is oftentimes they only accept cash offers. The home buyer can also look for homes that have been vacant for a while. They may need more renovations because everything breaks down over time, but if the location is where the home buyer wants, and the home has ‘good bones’ it may be worth fixing some aesthetic things. Homes that have been vacant for a while usually are not getting shown frequently so the home buyer may be able to negotiate the price even lower if it has been sitting on the market with little to no interest. Thinking outside the tradition means of housing hunting can be a huge pay off for the home buyer in the long run. 

The Houston area is a fantastic area for home buyers. There are many places that are up and coming and growing to provide everything someone could need within walking distance. Many people move here for the city feel without being in the huge Dallas- Fort-Worth area. There are also many inner-water ways which make for spectacular views straight from your own home in the right neighborhood. Also, because Houston is so large there is a variety of housing prices that can be fit into any budget. Obviously living on the water will be more expensive, but if that is not workable in your budget there are plenty of other homes in the city that the mortgage would be way more manageable. Houston could be just the home you are looking for because of the many amenities the city has to offer. Many homes in Houston are more affordable than comparable homes in other big Texas cities, which makes it a great place to find a wonderful Houston fixer-upper that can be your dream home!

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