What To Consider When Buying A Fixer-Upper

It would be a fair assumption to say that many reality renovation shows often leave us inspired to buy the worst house in the best street and transform it into the palace of our dreams. While the idea of restoration makes us want to chuck on some work gear and hit up our local hardware store, the process can be a little more complex. Here are some tips to consider if you are thinking about buying a fixer-upper:

Inspection Contingencies
Having the property thoroughly inspected before buying is highly advised. While it may physically appear to be structurally sound, an inspection will show you exactly what needs to be done with the home to bring it up to code. Structural issues can quickly blow out your budget and turn the property from a potential fixer-upper to a condemned knockdown. By having a report and honest communication with the seller about your intentions, your contingency plan will allow you to walk away deposit in hand if the costs accumulate too quickly.

Click here to see beautiful finished work by J&S Hammertime Carpentry.

While we wish we could blink and have our renovation projects completed overnight, anyone who has tackled a fixer-upper knows this is not the case. Making sure your daily life schedules, whether that be work or family, will leave you enough time to complete a full-scale renovation is something to consider.

Successful reno’s are worthwhile investments and can be a lot of fun, but are achievable without a few plastic stacks. Thoroughly estimating the cost of your project before commencing is absolutely vital. Having a solid budget to work with will make the process doable. Including a contingency buffer into your budget for unexpected costs and issues is paramount and will alleviate stress if your renovation encounters any speed bumps.

Council Restrictions
While your imagination can run wild and free with ideas, making sure there are no legal barriers to halt your vision will be a start! Things like heritage listings, even trees, can put a major damper on your dreams. Consulting with your local council will give you an idea if there are any issues you may face going forward with your renovation and should be done before the property is purchased.

Click here to see more stunning transformations from Duncan Thompson Building.

The market doesn’t lie when it hails ‘location location location!’ You may have transformed the best fixer-upper to date, but buyers won’t be knocking on your door if the location doesn’t have much on offer. Scoping area’s for accessibility is a smart move, as living close to public transport, schools, hospitals and main streets will make your house sell like hotcakes when you decide to move on and make your investment return attractive. Doing adequate research on the neighbourhood is also crucial. This is to ensure you do not overcapitalise on an area that exceeds what buyers will be expected to pay. Talking to an expert and comparing your plans with the area will give you the insight you need to make the smartest financial decision.

Alternative Housing
People often misjudge exactly how long a full-scale restoration can take. If you’ve sold your previous home, you will have to consider renting and add that extra cost to the overall budget.

Thinking of starting your own renovation project? Our team at iBuildNew can help you! Contact us on 1300 943 640  or customerservice@ibuildnew.com.au for free assistance in finding a builder.

Breanna Taylor

Breanna Taylor is a third-year journalism and PR student studying at Swinburne University in Hawthorn. She has a strong passion for interior design and a growing interest in property development and renovation.


iBuildNew is the market leading aggregator dedicated to residential home construction and land development. As an independent platform, iBuildNew helps Australians identify and compare new home designs, house and land packages and land estates. It’s the smart way home buyers, who are considering a new build, can find the ideal options to match their individual needs. Home building is a big decision, we make sure you get it right.

You may also like

Feb 13, 2020

How To: Finance For A Home Renovation

Who doesn’t love a home renovation! Whether it’s a big job or small, improving your hom...
Read More
Mar 08, 2020

To Stay Or Go During A Home Renovation?

If you’re renovating, chances are you’ve thought, should I stay or should I go? Figurin...
Read More

Get more from

Browse Custom Builders