1912 Bungalow is one of our favorite houseblogs and we just found this great list they pulled together that may be welcome advice for first-time fixer-upper house owners.
If I could do it all over again.
1. I would spend more money upfront and purchase a house in the best condition that I could afford. We thought we would save ourselves money buy purchasing a fixer and we were worried about house payments. We ended up spending MORE money fixing our house up than if we had bought the nicer, more expensive house.
2. You will save yourself so much money and frustration if you find a house with unpainted woodwork, if that is important to you. Stripping paint is a horrible, horrible process. It is not fun, it is not exciting…it is hard and expensive work.
3. Get to know your potential neighbors. We were lucky that we ended up with great neighbors. If I had been smart, I would have knocked on some doors and met my future neighbors before we bought our house. In my neighborhood, there is not much that happens that they don’t know about. Your potential neighbors can probably give you the lowdown on the owner of the house, the other neighbors, who or what you should watch out for, and probably some history about your future house.
4. I will not live next door to an apartment complex. We saw some really great houses but didn’t make an offer because they were next to 2-3 story apartments. I like to live next to people who own their houses and have more invested in their upkeep. Plus, I don’t want people to be able to look out their windows and have a bird’s eye view of my backyard.
5. Look for homes that still have intact original features such as moldings, beamed ceilings, hardware, original wood doors, light fixtures, wood framed windows with wavy glass, etc. The more original features the better. Yes, all these things can be added back if they are missing but it is costly – especially to put back wood framed windows.
The list continues.
1912 Bungalow is also running a holiday contest.