Buying a Fixer-Upper: Is It Worth It? How to Tell
Here’s how that sad-looking house can be a wealth-builder.
In 2012, Alessandra Pollina and her husband, Ondre, were looking for a property that would need no more than some cosmetic changes and upgrades. But because the price was right, they ended up with the ultimate fixer-upper: a two unit, single-family-style home that was already gutted to the studs.
They were excited about its potential, not to mention the one-half acre of land the house is sitting on. “That’s unusual for Boston,” Pollina says. “It’s the biggest backyard ever.”
Four years and many renovations later, Pollina estimates her home in the Dorchester neighborhood is worth (drum roll, please) an epic56% more than it was when she bought it. Wow, talk about a return on investment.
The moral? A fixer-upper isn’t necessarily something to eschew. If the right things are wrong with a house, you could not only turn it into your dream home, but also earn serious equity (wealth building!) in the process.
Oh, and don’t assume you need to be a DIY master to make it worthwhile, either. Time and patience may be all you need.
Here’s how to tell if that fixer-upper is a keeper — or if you should keep walking.