Buying Fixer-Upper Could Be Financial Downer, Expert Warns

Rob Hart
August 26, 2019 - 4:43 pm

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) A fixer-upper may not be a good way to save money on a new home, after all. survey of homeowners found that the average move-in ready house cost $250,000.

A fixer upper cost an average of $50,000 less. But that survey also found that homeowners spent more than that on repairs. 

Nearly half of those who bought fixer-uppers said their renovation projects went over budget. 

Brian Wickert, President of Accunet Mortgage in Waukesha, Wisconsin tells the WBBM Noon Business Hour that fixer-uppers should be tackled by people with experience - and time.

"Usually that person is going to have the expertise to do a lot of the work themselves," Wickert says.

Real estate reality shows like "Love It or List It" or "Flip or Flop" make home improvement projects seem easy. But the professional house flippers on TV have a few advantages that the average homeowner lacks.

Wickert said they know what they want, have cash on hand to buy properties, and have a team they can trust.

"They have existing crews and contractors that can get in there and get the job done quickly and efficiently," Wickert said.