Young couple looking at their new move-in ready home

Should You Move into a Move-In-Ready Home or a Fixer-Upper?

It’s easy to be enticed by a rock-bottom price tag when you’re home shopping. And it can be a delightful fantasy to think about all the beautiful upgrades and projects you’ll get to tackle with a fixer-upper. But there’s a reality involved: hard work and lots of expenses. 

Now, if you’re a professional contractor or a very handy and mechanical person (or family), a “handyman’s special” might be the most rewarding project of your lifetime. You already have an idea of your future expenses and timelines. But a fixer-upper may be a poor choice if you’re not employed in the construction or home building industry or are already pressed for time.

Today, the team at Signature Properties Group is here to help you understand the ins and outs of buying a fixer-upper vs. a finished home. Let’s start with a list of the pros and cons of a move-in-ready home.

The Pros of Buying a Move-in-Ready Home

Move-in-ready homes are:

  • Inspected before your purchase
  • Compliant with local building codes regarding plumbing, roofing and safety
  • Easy to budget for, as you have a good understanding of your future expenses
  • And it’s easy to move in

Unpack your belongings, decorate, and add your personal touches to your new living space. 

The Cons of Buying a Move-in-Ready Home

The most significant deterrent, compared to a fixer-upper, is the price. Move-in-ready houses are considerably more expensive. We’re talking hundreds of thousands of dollars more in some cases. 

And that low price of a fixer-upper can seem like huge savings upfront. But it will probably not save you any money in the long run. Unless you’re skilled or experienced in flipping homes, you’ll probably find the costs much higher in the long run. 

Now let’s explore the pros and cons of buying a home that needs significant work. 

The Pros of Buying a Fixer-Upper

Fixer-upper homes are sold for a meager price. A fixer-upper might be an excellent initial solution if you need a place to live immediately and your budget is small. As long as the home isn’t dilapidated or unsafe, you’ll have a roof over your family’s head immediately. That can be helpful for families in a tight financial situation. 

And sometimes, the antique feel or old farmhouse aesthetics can be very appealing. If you enjoy the unique ambiance of an old home or historic property, rehabbing these homes can be incredibly rewarding. 

The question is: Do you have the time and money it will take to bring this home up to code and make it a pleasant home? If so, go ahead and buy!

But many families prefer a move-in-ready home, and here’s why.

The Cons of Buying a Home That Needs a Lot of Work

Every fixer-upper will have a host of unique problems and expenses. We’ve listed some of the most common issues and their average repair costs in Phoenixville, PA, to help you decide.

Typical Repairs for Fixer-Uppers

Below are some common tasks you’ll need to address quickly when buying a fixer-upper home.

  • It may need a new roof, which can cost a minimum of $6,000 to $7,000, depending on materials, labor, and roof size.
  • Or, your home may need minor roof repairs, which can cost $500 to $2,000, depending again on materials. 
  • Very old PA homes may still have asbestos siding. You’ll need a permit to remove it, and disposal costs can be high. Expect to pay a minimum of $300 to get started, plus the costs of new siding, which can be thousands of dollars.
  • Electrical issues are commonplace in older homes. Professional electricians in PA charge $40 to $100 per hour, plus a call fee and materials. 
  • Plumbing issues are common, too. Plumbers will charge $50 to $120 per hour, plus materials as needed. 

Ultimately, your fixer-upper might need another immediate investment of $10,000 or more to be habitable. And we haven’t even tackled issues like paint, windows, new floor coverings, or a new porch.

That said, few life experiences are as meaningful as rejuvenating an old home. So if you’re looking for the project of a lifetime, a fixer-upper might fit the bill. At Signature Properties Group LLC, our team is dedicated to helping you find the right home for your budget and lifestyle. Check out our blog for more real estate advice, and contact us to get started.

Real Reviews from Real Clients - Check out Zillow Profile

Zillow user Jamisonrp

Sold a Roxborough home in 2017

"Trish is amazing! Trish was my agent when I bought my home in Philadelphia, so of course I went to her when I was ready to sell. Despite an election and the holidays, she was able to have my house sold by the time frame I needed to move. Trish was always helpful with guiding me through the  process of paperwork, staging my house, and even went to my closing for me because I was out of town. She was always professional and incredibly knowledgeable about the market, comps, and finding appropriate potential buyers."

Zillow user Radcliffe Beverly

Sold a Phoenixville home in 2015

"Trish Puleo exceeded my expectations during the process of selling a home that was part of an estate. Since I was out of state, she offered to check on items and secured vendors to fix some repairs that were needed. She is responsive, knowledgeable, and thorough. She followed up on all showings  and got answers to questions from potential buyers even when I did not know the answer. I felt she always had my back especially with the settlement process since I was not planning on attending. I would highly recommend making Trish your partner in getting a house sold." 

Zillow user Abjkl

Bought a Phoenixville home in 2017

"We were first time home buyers who underestimated the details of what on the surface seemed to be a standard, as in everyone has the same forms and procedures and ethics, home buying process. Trish is an experienced  professional who brought with her calm sensibilities, timely and accurate communication, and complete knowledge of the requirements, timelines and paperwork. She was reassuring, helpful and on our side when we needed it most! Only wish we would have included her the moment we decided to buy a house!"

Zillow user Applescriptguru

Bought and sold a Phoenixville home

"Trish is an excellent realtor and property manager. She’s friendly, professional, honest, dependable, responsive, and knows the Phoenixville area intimately. We’ve been extremely happy with her services, and will recommend her to anyone."

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