The pros and cons of buying a fixer-upper vs. move-in ready home

Buying a home is one of the most significant investments you’ll ever make. While a move-in ready home may seem like the best option, buying a fixer-upper can have its own set of advantages. Here are the pros and cons of buying a fixer-upper versus a move-in-ready home.

Pros of Buying a Fixer-Upper:
  • Lower Purchase Price: Fixer-upper homes often come with a lower purchase price than move-in ready homes. This allows you to get more house for your money and potentially build equity faster.
  • Customization: With a fixer-upper, you have the opportunity to customize the home to your liking. You can choose the finishes, materials, and design elements that fit your personal style and needs.
  • Potential for Higher Resale Value: If you buy a fixer-upper and invest time and money into renovating it, you have the potential to increase its resale value. You can build equity in the home and potentially sell it for a higher price down the line.
  • Opportunity for DIY: If you enjoy DIY projects or have experience in home renovations, a fixer-upper can be a fun challenge. You can put your skills to use and potentially save money by doing some of the work yourself.
Cons of Buying a Fixer-Upper:
  • Hidden Costs: Fixer-upper homes often come with hidden costs. What seems like a simple renovation project can quickly turn into a major expense if unexpected issues arise. This can quickly eat away at any cost savings you may have had.
  • Time and Effort: Renovating a fixer-upper requires a lot of time and effort. You may need to take time off work or hire contractors to complete the work, which can add to the overall cost.
  • Risk of Over-Renovating: When renovating a fixer-upper, it can be easy to go overboard and invest more money than you’ll get back in resale value. It’s important to do your research and consult with a real estate professional to ensure you’re making smart investments.
Photo collage of apartment before and after restoration.
Pros of Buying a Move-In Ready Home:
  • Convenience: A move-in ready home requires no renovations or major repairs, which means you can move in and start enjoying your new home right away.
  • Lower Stress: Buying a move-in ready home means you don’t have to worry about unexpected expenses or the stress of renovating a home. This can make the home buying process less overwhelming.
  • Predictable Costs: With a move-in ready home, you know exactly what you’re getting and what you’re paying for. There are no hidden costs or unexpected expenses.
Cons of Buying a Move-In Ready Home:
  • Higher Purchase Price: Move-in ready homes often come with a higher purchase price than fixer-uppers. This can limit your options and potentially reduce the amount of house you can afford.
  • Lack of Customization: With a move-in ready home, you may not be able to customize the home to your exact liking. You may need to compromise on certain design elements or finishes.
  • Limited Room for Equity Building: Because move-in ready homes are already updated and in good condition, there may be limited room for building equity in the home. You may need to wait longer to see a return on your investment.

In conclusion, buying a fixer-upper vs. move-in ready home ultimately comes down to personal preference, budget, and your willingness to take on renovation projects. While a fixer-upper may come with more risks and hidden costs, it can also offer greater customization and the potential for a higher resale value. On the other hand, a move-in ready home may be more convenient and less stressful, but it may come with a higher purchase price and limited room for equity building.