Can a fixer-upper really save money over a custom new home?


I always had a dream of buying a house and having this fun adventure of fixing it up. Nothing is more exciting than buying a house, but the reality is there are a lot of things that go into it. There are so many people who told me how great it would be to buy a discounted house to fix up and make all mine, that I would save money because I wouldn’t have to buy something new.

The truth is, this is a great sales pitch tactic for real estate agents who are trying to get rid of a house that holds so many unknowns. They would most likely make promises that all the fixes are small or just cosmetic, but there is a lot that could go wrong.

Having experts come in to see what needs fixing, each professional would decide on completely different areas that needed to be improved, to the benefit of their financial pockets. Of course, a good home inspector needs to be employed to be sure the home is safe and to determine what major issues need to be addressed. Often, housing inspectors that focus on newer houses may not agree with someone that specializes in much older or historic homes.

Areas that will need inspection include:

  • The electrical wiring has to be checked to be sure it is grounded properly, as well as ensuring the electricity is flowing properly and not surging in some areas or lacking in others.
  • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning can make a huge difference in regulating the house’s temperature through the seasons not to mention the costly repairs to the systems themselves.
  • Structure and foundation is what makes me worry the most as it can be one of the most expensive areas to fix. Cracks in the foundation, settling, and the roof are all important in keeping the house in good condition.
  • A pest inspector might also be needed to see the extent of any damage caused by pests such as termites.
  • Since water damage can be so extensive when it happens, making sure the plumbing is in top condition is vital. If the plumbing fails, then I would need an inspector specializing in plumbing to inspect so I could then pay another person to make the repairs.

This repair list can go on and on–not even including all the cosmetic work that will certainly need to be done! Maybe I want to move or remove a wall, or perform any kind of major remodeling, that would stack on my budget along with everything else I’ve already listed.

Or, what seems like a wiser decision to me, I could use all that money and just have a new custom home built. I’d have the option of designing the house exactly like I want with the appliances that I need and no need to try and remodel a room so it could almost fit what I want.

Plus with a new home, I’d have the newest technology and energy efficiency available. I can be aware of my neighbors and design my house with total privacy in mind.

A new house designed to fit my life that can grow along with me, with no need to worry about starting all over because the house was beyond repair. A company like Willoughby Construction in Palm Beach can give me and my family that security and peace of mind. My biggest worry after that would be knowing the move-in date, instead of keeping up with inspectors, repairs, and possibly disastrous repairmen.


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