Is buying a fixer upper really worth it?

I recently came across an article in the Montreal Gazette that really resonated with me as I’m currently making updates to my century-old home. I love my house, but it hasn’t been an easy process by any stretch of the imagination. Here are a few points to keep in mind if you’re considering renovating an older house or investing in a fixer upper.


  1. Once you peel back that carpet (or tear down that plaster or lift those tiles), there’s no going back. If you uncover a serious or structural issue, you have to deal with deal it. If you don’t, future owners can come back to you years from now to pay to have problems fixed if they can show that you knew – or should have known – of their existence.


The view of my yard and barn form my porch.

The view of my yard and barn form my porch.

  1. Be realistic about the scope and cost of the renovations required. If you aren’t at all handy and will have to rely on contractors to get the job done, costs can increase quickly. But if you can do some of the work yourself, it can help to keep costs down. An inspector or a contractor will be able to give you an idea of the costs of the renos you want to undertake.


  1. Don’t over-invest in your renovations. The last thing you want is for the cost of the renos to be so high you’ll have no hope of recouping them when you sell.


  1. Always rely on the experts for the big things. They can help you avoid costly mistakes and will help make sure the work gets done right, the first time.


  1. Not everything needs to be completely redone. For example, painting cabinets and changing out hardware can do wonders for a tired kitchen at a fraction of the cost of installing new.


  1. Finally, if you’re renovating with the intention of selling, it’s important to think about what the buyer wants, not what you want – avoid getting too emotional in your decision-making process.




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