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What to Look for and What to Avoid in Buying a “Fixer Upper” in Detroit

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Whether you are looking for a Fixer Upper home to live in or simply a good potential investment, there are some things you should look for and things you should avoid. In this article we are going to outline some of Realty in the D’s Tips for Buying a Fixer Upper.

Obviously things like location, neighbors, etc. are important, but what should you be looking for in terms Fixing It Up? The best ways to add value to a home are as follows in terms of importance:

  1. The Kitchen – The best place to add value to a home is the kitchen. This is where most buyers start their home evaluation. If the kitchen has already gone a full renovation, you may have lost the biggest opportunity to add value.
  2. The Master Bathroom – This is the second most important area to consider. A great way to add value is through updating that master bathroom.
  3. Paint – A simple inexpensive way to add value for a DIY (“Do it yourselfer”), is to add a fresh coat of paint. This said, if your painting skills are not up to par, you really should consider hiring a professional painter to make sure the cut lines, etc. are in good order.
  4. Finish Carpentry – Many homes, especially the “Builders Grade” new construction homes from the early 2000’s. In an effort to make new construction more affordable, many builders sacrificed in this area. Simply adding some Crown Molding, Wainscoting, etc. can bring significant value to a Fixer Upper.
  5. Flooring – An easy way to add value to a Fixer Upper is to replace older carpet or refinish existing wood flooring. This really brings a “Wow” factor to the homes.

On this flip side, there are some things you need to be very careful about when considering a Fixer Upper. The following are the areas that can destroy any opportunity to make profit on a Fixer Upper:

  • Structure – Will it stand up?
  • The Roof  – Will it keep water out and heat in?
  • Foundation – Is the basement dry? Does the foundation have cracks?
  • Electrical – Is the house properly wired? Is there enough power to supply the house?
  • Plumbing – How’s the water pressure?
  • Heating – How much longer does the furnace have to last?
  • Doors and Windows – Doors and windows cost significantly more than you may think, so make sure to evaluate there condition prior to buying a Fixer Upper.

The best way to protect yourself in these areas is by having a good Home Inspector tour the property before you make any moves. Trust, me this is very good money spent…

On another note…Are you interested in buying or selling a home? We’d enjoy the opportunity to help. Let us know by completing the form below.

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About The Author
Lisa Virkus

Detroit is one of the fastest growing real estate markets in the country. The issue is there are not enough Realtors who actually know the market and which neighborhoods are the safest and poised for the best growth. This is why I founded Realty in the D. I live in one of Detroit's historic neighborhoods and have been selling real estate in Detroit for almost a decade. I know the Detroit market, which neighborhoods are hot and which neighborhoods are the next to become hot! Whether you're looking to buy or sell your next home I would be happy to help you! 

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