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January 22, 2024 3 min read

Should Newlyweds Buy a Fixer-Upper? 7 Considerations


Many newlywed couples face the challenge of navigating the housing market. It can be tough to find the right property with a reasonable price tag attached to it. After spending for the wedding, your funds can be in a tricky spot.


That’s when you come across it — a fixer-upper home at an affordable cost. It’s more than tempting to jump on the deal right away. But first, you should coordinate with your new spouse about this crucial decision. There are various factors to consider before settling with this home type.


1. Property Inspection


The natural characteristic of a fixer-upper is that it’s in a more used condition compared to other homes. Their low price can be because of certain damages the seller discloses beforehand. However, it’s still best to find a property inspector who can run a full assessment of the house.


When a property inspection discovers a problem, it can be a little disheartening to learn. However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t push through with getting the property. If anything, buyers can ask for a concession in the final purchase price. That way, you still pay a fair price while staying informed about the property's condition.


2. Potential Replacement


Most fixer-uppers will require various replacements, each unique to what the property really needs. Newlyweds can consider these standard replacements for their possible home:


  • Roof:Roofs past their prime can endanger the structural integrity of a building. It’s key to look at a full-on replacement when necessary. Even inspectors will place this portion of a fixer-upper as a high priority.
  • HVAC:Older heating and cooling systems are another cause of concern in a used home. Most of these units can’t function properly after two decades of use. Even if they do, it requires much more energy than usual, raising your energy bill.
  • Windows:Like HVAC systems, fixer-upper windows are less energy-efficient than their modern counterparts. Keeping your current ones can contribute up to 30% of your energy use. Install replacement windows to save more in the long run.


3. Necessary Repairs


If certain aspects of a fixer-upper are still salvageable, you can focus on repairs instead. For instance, maybe the paint of the house is chipping off or the landscaping needs a bit of work. Have a home improvement project with your spouse.


Aside from repairs, fixer-uppers create the perfect environment for mold and mildew. To remove this, mix one cup of bleach and one gallon of water and apply on the surface. You can also call in remediation specialists for more severe mold growth.


4. Thorough Cleaning


Most fixer-uppers are not in the best condition, meaning they tend to be abandoned for a while. Dust starts to accumulate and cobwebs start to form. When you’re buying this property, it’s important to consider the initial cleaning needs that this home will require of you.


Most places will require plenty of sweeping, wiping, vacuuming and deep cleaning. While it can definitely be a little chaotic, it’s great preparation for other home improvement projects. It also ensures that the place will be spotless when moving in.


5. Final Price Breakdown


A fixer-upper's main appeal is that the price is essentially lower than other homes on the market. It’s partly why 82% of millennials buy fixer-uppers over newer houses. However, home improvement costs can drain whatever savings you made in the first place.


Before going with a fixer-upper, compare the prices of newer and older properties. Factor in all the replacement and repair costs that the latter requires to be in good condition. That way, you can see whether you’re overspending or getting a good deal.


6. Overall Timeline


Getting a fixer-upper means taking on a renovation project that will span a few weeks, depending on the gravity of your repairs. A fixer-upper is a doable option if you can wait and change your move-in date with your life partner. However, if you would prefer a home that’s ready for occupancy, it’s best to explore other options.


7. Personal Preference


It’s tough to make a call about whether you should buy a fixer-upper or not because it all depends on what you want. DIY enthusiasts and handyman couples will revel in the challenge of remodeling a fixer-upper, but others may not like that. Talk with your partner and set out your personal preferences for house hunting.


Renovating Before Settling Down


Buying a fixer-upper has its ups and downs. Take a reality check and make the proper considerations before you fully commit to buying and renovating it. Think of it as an adventure — and with a home, you’re one step closer to settling down with the love of your life.