Why Purchase a Fixer-Upper?

Joe Polyak March 8, 2019

Why Purchase a Fixer-Upper?

Today, decorator-guru Lisa Silverman joined me for a conversation about how she came into the home decoration business. She also shared some great advice for first-time homebuyers about purchasing fixer-uppers.

About 15 years ago, Lisa bought a very depressed-looking home that was stuck in the 70s. The bones of the home were great, however, and she wasn’t afraid to just dive in. She knew that there were always certain elements in a house that she wanted to use. Though her family thought she was crazy to purchase such an outdated home,  she quickly transformed it into one that looked and felt great. She redid the home with a few key touches—granite, natural travertine, can lighting, etc.—and the difference was incredible. 

Her friends later asked why she didn’t do that for a living, but Lisa wasn’t convinced that she had what it took. Six months later, after much encouragement from her friends, she found the confidence she needed to go professional.

In her career now, Lisa works as a sort of project manager with a team of perfectionists who support her and her work. When she redid the sad house all those years ago, she recalls, she brought in a contractor who did a lot of the work for her. Since then, she’s created an even stronger team with professional painters, contractors, hardwood floor installers, and more. When you work with Lisa, you get the full package behind her that supports what she does to implement the design.

What advice does Lisa have for first-time homebuyers who are thinking of buying a fixer-upper to make it their own? What updates can be done to turn a depressed home into a happy home?

Lisa finds that buying fixer-uppers can be a great idea. When you buy such a home, you can usually get it at a better price point; other buyers will often avoid those listings, becoming overwhelmed by the prospect of doing all that work to get it fixed up and not knowing where to start.

The positive part of buying a fixer-upper is being able to shape it into your own—with the help of a professional, if you’re afraid. The trick is to figure out what you like and have someone come help implement those ideas.

Another benefit that comes with a fixer-upper home is the equity built when you redo the bathrooms and kitchen; these areas are key when it comes to adding value to a home and boosting its equity.

This is the first of a multi-part series, so I highly encourage you to stay tuned for more great professional advice from people like Lisa. To contact her in the meantime, give her a call at (650) 218-7833.

Otherwise, for any real estate questions you have, you can always reach out to me. I’d be happy to hear from you.

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