You know I couldn’t write a post about 5 things I wish I knew before we bought a fixer-upper without also writing it’s cheerier, happier counterpart, could you?
While that post was kind of Debbie Downer, I truly do feel those are all things I wish I had taken more seriously before we took the plunge. We were, and still are, starry-eyed about the whole home renovation and DIY process, but are now wiser! I hope.
The DIY life and fixer-upper journey are not for everyone. It’s a commitment and a lifestyle, but it can be a lot of fun and a great experience.
Here are 5 reasons you should consider buying a fixer-upper:
1. It Can Be Everything You’ve Always Wanted!
The main motivator for doing all the hard work is that it will reflect YOU! Since everything is getting ripped out and replaced, you get to replace it with exactly what you want! You’re not stuck with in-good-condition-but-not-your-style bathroom tiles or tied down to contemporary handles on your cabinet doors when you wanted chunky knobs. The great part about starting from the bottom is you can take your home wherever you’d like it to go.
2. Fixer-uppers can be fun! No, really!
When I’m not moaning about the constant vacuuming, dumpsters killing our grass, and Home-Depot-induced zombie trances, renovating can be pretty fun. The key is to pace yourself and not get in over your head (Repeat that to yourself again for maximum impact). Our first year of renovations was full of blasting music, Chipotle runs and eagerness to tackle the next project. It was fun! Since then we slowed down and now DIY in waves. Taking breaks from the work keeps it fun.
3. Built like a Rock
They don’t build ’em like they used to. Take this point with a grain of salt, because there are MANY caveats to this. Our house is old, and crumbling in parts, but our house is also built like a rock. Our building inspector said he has never seen a house so solidly built before – the rafters in our attic are like tree trunks. The original craftsmanship is beautiful – we have big, thick molding, lovely built-ins, curving ceilings, and tons of character. Sometimes crumbling houses still have a solid base. (Again, you’ll want to make sure you get a very thorough home inspector before buying a fixer-upper so you know exactly what you are getting yourselves into.
4. The Warm Fuzzy Feeling
Pride. Every few months when I feel overwhelmed with house projects or feel like we’re not making progress, I look back at all the photos I took of the house when we first bought it. And it makes me feel really good. We did this!!
5. Bang for your buck
Let’s be honest, if I could have bought a nice, new house that checked off all the boxes for us, for the same price we bought our fixer-upper for, no contest. I like DIYing and the constant projects… but it’s nothing like an HGTV episode. By purchasing a fixer-upper you’re better able to leverage the investment you make into your home. You will learn full-well there is a reason your home was priced so much lower, but it lets you buy something you might not have been able to afford if it was shiny and new.
So there you have it – 5 things I wish I knew before we bought a fixer-upper, and 5 reasons it might be the path for you. Choose wisely. What I will always call our “renovation adventure” has certainly had high and low points, it’s been quite the ride.
While we often say “never again”, sometimes I think we’ve signed ourselves up for a life of DIY. It’s addicting!
Do you DIY? Do you want to?