Move-In-Ready vs. Fixer-Upper Homes: Which Should You Buy?

Olivia Elsher

Oct 3, 2022

Move In Ready Vs Fixer Upper Homes

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There are many ways to achieve your dream of homeownership. You could buy a move-in-ready house or a fixer-upper home, but which one is right for you? Check out the pros and cons to better understand what to look for when you start looking at available properties.

Pros and Cons of Move-In-Ready Homes

Many houses are move-in ready, which can mean various things. These are a few factors you can expect if you decide to pick this type of house purchase.

Pro: You Won’t Have Immediate Costs

Fixer-uppers earn that title by having outdated or missing housing features. It might pass a general inspection, but you could have to pay up to $10,000 for a new HVAC system after closing. Move-in-ready houses have all the appliances and structural features you’ll need to start a comfortable life in your new home.

Con: You Can’t Personalize Household Features

When you purchase a traditional house that doesn’t require any work, you also don’t get to start personalizing it after moving in. You might want to change the color of your siding or replace your flooring, but you’ll need time to replenish your savings after paying the down payment.

Pro: You’ll Know What You’re Buying

Sometimes people who buy fixer-upper homes understand that they’ll have to tackle upfront projects, but surprise repairs are also common. You won’t have expensive surprise projects with a move-in-ready home because it will have functioning appliances and household features that passed a thorough inspection.

Con: You Have to Purchase Quickly

Many people want to buy a new house and not worry about renovations. Move-in-ready homes will sell quickly, especially in a competitive market. If you’re buying without a realtor, you’ll have to navigate complex price negotiations and may not secure your dream property if other buyers place a more competitive offer.

Pros and Cons of Fixer-Upper Homes

Read on to learn why people either love buying a fixer-upper house or regret the purchase. It could be the right decision for your family, but only if you can handle these potential factors.

Pro: You Can Build Your Dream Home

A fixer-upper will be putty in your hands if you’ve always pictured your home with an intricate mosaic floor plan or an architectural style that isn’t mainstream. The necessary renovations are opportunities to personalize your house beyond paint colors and bathroom hardware.

Con: You’ll Need Additional Funding

Renovation work will require additional funding after you write the check for your down payment. Luckily, there are several options available to help you acquire the means to renovate your property. One of the best options to pick is a FHA 203 (k) renovation mortgage loan.

Pro: You’ll Pay Less Up Front

The average fixer-upper home costs around $225,000 in the U.S. and can be even more affordable in rural areas. Move-in-ready houses average $348,079 for the 2022 market and get even more expensive in competitive cities.

Saving over $100,000 means you could have all the money you need for renovations after moving into an older home. You could also keep the savings to pay off debt or go to college if you can wait on repairs and renovations.

Con: You’ll Live in Constant Construction

Imagine that your future home needs new floors. After ripping them out, your contractors may see plumbing issues you didn’t know about. There could also be delays in material production or delivery. If continual construction would disrupt your daily life or cause uncomfortable routine changes for your kids, a fixer-upper might not be the best purchase for you right now.

Find Your Dream Home

Now that you’ve read about move-in-ready vs. fixer-upper homes, it will be easier to browse the housing market. You’ll know what you want, what you can afford and what lifestyle you want after moving in. These factors will help you pick the best house for your needs without compromising your homeownership dreams.

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