Buying a Fixer-Upper: Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

Buying a Fixer-Upper: Tips for First-Time Homebuyers by Ray Flynn. Picture from Pixaby. Published by Northern Lights Home Staging and Design
Buying a Fixer-Upper: Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

When you’re considering buying your first home, the process can seem overwhelming. This is, after all, one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, and it’s a lengthy and costly one that can lead to stress and anxiety even when you have a good plan. For first-time homebuyers who are looking for a fixer-upper, the success of the project hinges on whether you do your homework in the beginning — and there can be a lot of homework.

Knowing what to look for and having some decisions already made, such as whether you’re going to live in the home yourself or flip it once it’s finished, is imperative. You’ll want to think about the big picture before you tackle house hunting, as it could affect your budget or timeline, two of the major factors in taking on a fixer-upper.

There’s a lot to think about, but with a good plan and a little help from professionals, you can get your first home just right in no time. Keep reading for some great tips on how to get started.

Set a Budget

Figuring out your budget should come first, as it dictates exactly how many repairs you can do, who you can hire to help out, and when the timeline for completion is. Get a good idea of what kind of renovations need to be made, and get a professional opinion from an inspector so you can work out a budget as soon as possible. Pad it, because there are always unexpected expenses when one is dealing with a fixer-upper, and you don’t want to be left with a nasty surprise.

Location Is Key

The location of your first home — and whether you intend to stay there or not — is key. There are many older homes that have good bones and are situated in great neighborhoods; these are the ones you want to keep an eye out for. You don’t want something that will be difficult to sell down the road because of the area it’s in, and the community should be one that will fit your target price range when you do decide to sell. Even if you’re going to live in the home once it’s complete, you may decide at some point to move.

Tackle These Projects First

It can be difficult to decide which home projects to take care of first, especially if there are several things that need to be done. Look for safety issues before you do anything else, and hire pros to help out with these. Flooring, roofing, and structural problems should be a priority. After that, electrical issues and plumbing should be taken care of. Ensuring your home’s safety is imperative and should be done before any aesthetic projects begin. For DIY repairs, make sure you have the right tools for the job, such as sanders and jigsaws.

Create Curb Appeal

One of the most important things you’ll need to do is create some curb appeal. This can be beneficial whether you want to sell the house or stay once the renovations are done because it can boost your property value. Adding a new mailbox, planting flowers or shrubs, and updating the front porch area are great places to start, but you can also create some privacy with a “living fence” made out of evergreen trees or shrubs; click here for more info.

Buying and renovating a fixer-upper is a big job, no doubt about it. However, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming or stressful. Starting with a specific plan and knowing what to expect will go a long way toward keeping things calm and stress-free, and you can simply enjoy the process.

Written by guest blogger Ray Flynn of the When he’s not working as a civil engineer, Ray Flynn spends his time dreaming up new DIY projects that promote green living. He created his own website, where you can visit him at


Be sure to check out Selling Your Fixer-Upper: Tips to Sell Fast and For More” by Northern Lights Home Staging and Design.

Northern Lights Home Staging and Design is an award winning company with training in home staging, Interior Design and color consulting. We have won numerous awards for customer service, our blog, Youtube channel and Interior design.


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