Deciding Between Turnkey and Fixer-Upper Homes Can Be Difficult

As a homebuyer, many factors are involved when deciding between turnkey and fixer-upper purchases. It is never a good idea to buy a home without truly understanding how each type affects the owner. What are the best ways to tell if you should buy a home with makeover potential? When do you know that a completely finished house is your best choice? Here are a few considerations that could help you make the best decision.

A Fix Doesn’t Have to Be Done Right Now

Most people who buy fixer-upper homes do it for the turnaround investment potential. If they can make enough improvements in a short amount of time, they can resell the home for a premium because of increased equity in a vibrant market. 

If you buy a fixer-upper because you are madly in love with older styles and you are trying to find a permanent place, do not be overly consumed with all the project’s possible jobs. You can get a great deal on a beautiful older home that needs a bit of work in most cities if you are willing to stretch out the improvement schedule.

Similarly, if you are totally opposed to having any improvement projects looming, a turnkey home is probably right for you. In large part, the decision to buy either type of home depends on your willingness to invest “sweat equity” into a dwelling.

Budgets Are Prime Factors

A turnkey home is free of needed improvements. This is why they are offered at prevailing market prices, or they will fetch premiums depending on the neighborhood. 

Fixer-upper homes, on the other hand, need structural improvements. They have lower price tags regardless of their location. 

All homebuyers have long-term budgets that they must reconcile in order make a home purchase. Do you spend more for a home that requires no extra time and money? Do you grab a deal, and make budgetary allowances for needed improvements down the road?

Keep in mind that turnkey homes are usually designed for “the now.” They tend to have little character potential. Also keep in mind that fixer-upper homes tend to take on an eclectic look once they are improved. 

It all comes down to how you want to appropriate your available home-purchasing funds. You should never break your budget by purchasing a turnkey home simply because you do not want to make improvements. At the same time, do not break your budget on a fixer-upper because of the unforeseen. Most home improvement projects require the assistance of contractors. They also require an investment of time.

How to Decide

At the core, the choice between purchasing a turnkey or fixer-home rests on your reasons for buying a home in the first place. 

If you are buying a home for the investment potential, a turnkey home might be the best choice. If you are wanting to save money on a purchase and you are willing to make improvements over time, a fixer-upper is obviously the best choice.

Of course, other factors are involved in this type of decision. Having kids can sometimes make it difficult to live in a home that is constantly under construction. On the other hand, a love for craftsmanship and personality can sometimes make it difficult to live in a “cookie cutter” turnkey design. 

The answer lies in making a list of the most important things for you when it comes to your home purchase. Include as many monetary, environmental, and personal factors as possible. Reconcile them all against the homes available in the geographic region where you want to live. This should help you see the benefits and responsibilities associated with purchasing either type of home.


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