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We were so excited when we bought our very first home that is a fixer upper. As many people know in the last 10 years “fixer upper” homes have been very popular but at times people underestimate how much it really costs to fix it up.
Our home was built in 1976 so it is over 40 years old…so yes a little dated. When we first saw the home we were overwhelmed with the size of it and we loved some of the great features like the high ceilings and the wooden beams.
As we started moving in we also paced ourselves on fixing it up. Here are the 10 pieces of advice I would share with you when it comes to renovating a fixer upper home.
- Pay close attention to the inspection paperwork – This is so important because it gives you the key details of what needs to be fixed and the timeline needed. The electrical panel in our home had paint all in it, the previous owner painted the room and just did not even cover the panel! There was white paint all in it and in order for us to have homeowner’s insurance we had to get that fixed within the first 30 days of moving in. All that detail was in the inspection report. PAY ATTENTION TO THAT PLEASE! It will give you guidelines on what to prioritize first.
- Appliances – Ensure your appliances work. Check it yourself with the inspector! If something does not work ensure the seller fixes it or lowers the sell price of the home. Important! This should be one of the first things you fix when you enter a new home. The dryer we had was the original one…I repeat the original one. I did not check it when we had the inspection. It took 2 cycles before the clothes were dry. It was frustrating and we had to replace as soon as we could.
- Paint goes a long way – One of the first things we did was paint the inside and outside of the home. The house was lettuce green so in order for me to mentally be excited about the new house, I had to paint it. As soon as we did that, it felt like a new home! We painted the inside a pure white. White represents fresh and a new start, it is a great color to start with.
- Pace yourself – Do not push to get everything done at once if you cannot afford it. It is not worth renovating a kitchen if you have to finance it and struggle to make the monthly payments. Many families save for years before they update their home, it is normal. Do not feel pressured to do upgrades if you really cannot at first.
- Work your way from the bottom up – If you hate the floors in your new fixer upper, save and get that done first. One mistake I regret is updating our bathroom vanity and not doing the floors first. What happened to us was the tile on the floor is not manufactured anymore, so it was extremely hard to find a tile that matched. So if you want to redo your kitchen and you hate your floors, do the floors first so then you can easily install everything else and your floors are consistent.
- Focus on one room at a time – You will feel that you got a lot done if you completely finish one room at a time when it comes to decorating. I focused first on the office/closet, then the kitchen etc. I literally went from room to room and decorated. I had a theme and I made sure it reflected from one room to the next. It becomes depressing if you do not finish an entire space at a time I feel.
Hope you found these points helpful! Stay tuned for part 2 of my advice on updating a fixer upper! How has your fixer upper Reno going?