Bradenton Real Estate

April 8, 2011

Buying ‘Fixer Upper’ Homes

buying a fixer upper home, buying distressed property, buying foreclosuresThe current Real Estate Market offers great opportunities for home buyers who want to buy a primary residence, home buyers looking to ‘move up’ to a larger, newer home, home buyers who have always wanted a vacation or winter home in Florida, or Real Estate investors who are looking to expand their wealth by buying investment properties, and for buyers looking for ‘fixer upper’ homes and properties.

Due to the fact that ‘distressed properties’ still dominate the market in lots of areas in Bradenton, Sarasota, Manatee County and Sarasota County, short sale properties, foreclosure properties or bank owned homes are a great way to get the best bang for your Real Estate dollar.

Here are some tips for home buyers and investors anticipating a purchase of a distressed property that will help them determine which property is well suited to their families needs… practically and financially.

  • Choose a location that is central to attractions, amenities, and practical needs.  Well located homes, in most cases, hold their value and appreciate in value faster than homes that are ‘off the beaten path.’  Make sure that the community that you choose is quiet and not in close proximity to unhealthy influences like power lines and stations.  Look at the homes around the home that you’re considering for purchase to make sure that there are no obvious defects that might affect your property value in future.  Also make note of how the community itself is maintained.
  • Choose a layout or floor plan that is popular for resale in the area.  In most cases and neighborhoods, the benchmark for this criteria is a 3 bedroom/2 bath home with an open floor plan featuring a combined kitchen/family room.  Covered parking is also a plus and a standard requirement for most home buyers.
  • Choose wisely when it comes to ‘condition of the property.’   Be realistic about your ‘DIY’ skills and don’t bite off more than you can chew when it comes to repairs, renovations, or rehabs.  Minor cosmetic improvements are easily handled and take the least amount of time to complete.  The time it takes to do repair work, renovation should also be factored in because, if you’re living in the home, until the work is completed your living environment will be stressful with major inconveniences.  If you’re an investor and either ‘flipping’ the home or leasing it to hold, you will have carrying costs for the time it takes to complete your projects… before you can realize a profit or collect rent.
  • Make sure to contract the services of an experienced Home Inspector to uncover major defects with structure, plumbing, electrical systems, roofs, etc.   That way you won’t be surprised by issues that might cause major financial backing to remedy.  Ask your Real Estate agent to add a protection clause or addendum to your purchase contract that will allow you to back out of the purchase if the inspection reveals major defects.  That way if the inspector reveals an issue that will cost a lot to resolve, you will have an ‘escape hatch.’  Pest inspections are also a must.  Long term, unaddressed pest infestations can cause major structural damage.

Hopefully, if you’re considering a ‘fixer property,’ these tips will help you choose and buy the property that best suits your needs.  For more information about buying ‘fixer uppers,’ foreclosures and bank owned homes, or investment properties, contact our team, The Serena Group, Bradenton, Sarasota, Manatee County, and Sarasota County Realtors ®, Foreclosure agents, and Residential resale experts.


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