It’s clearly obvious to anyone involved with the buying and selling of houses that the market is flourishing. If you’re hoping for a bargain home, you may have to settle for a few defects that can result in a lower price.
Buyer demand for homes is exceeding supply, causing the available inventory to drop to the lowest level in a long time. As buyers enthusiastically grab new homes as they are listed everyone agrees that it’s a seller’s market. There aren’t enough properties to go around and many are on and off the market in just a few weeks.
If you’ve got a budget, it helps if you’re prepared to compromise on some features from the start. Buying a home that doesn’t appeal to others can be a savvy move. Bargain home imperfections can often be fixed with elbow grease and net their owners some quick equity.
So what property shortcomings can be safely overlooked?
Focus on the bones.
Too many buyers become preoccupied with housing features that are easily altered. Changing the wall color is as simple as a can of paint. What is really important for a bargain home to be a “bargain” is the structural integrity
A bargain home has “good bones” if it boasts a solid foundation, sound roof construction, and 2-by-6 studs in the framing of exterior walls). Otherwise, structural elements like these can be costly or difficult to fix.
Interior painting is one of the simplest and cheapest do-it-yourself home improvement projects.
Some scary sounding repairs are straightforward.
There are certain issues that will scare off many buyers. Factors like an ancient HVAC system or leaky roof don’t have to be a deal breaker. Evaluate the problem and budget accordingly.
If the home is otherwise acceptable and you plan to make an offer, you can simply deduct those costs from your offer price in the beginning.
Old-fashioned kitchen or bathroom?
Usually buyers are looking for updated homes with a flashy new kitchen and big, modern bathrooms. Many folks are put-off by the tatty kitchens and ugly bathrooms that often go with a bargain home.
The solid house with avocado-green bathroom or that brown‘70s kitchen could be overlooked and it may be well worth tackling the project yourself. Hiring a contractor to create a showstopper kitchen, could cost as much as $40,000. But if you were to do some of the work yourself or simply give it a cosmetic refresh, it would be much less.
Negotiating a big discount on a bargain home – with a great location and good floor plan – because of an ugly kitchen or bathroom, can be a smart move.
Overlook ugly doors and dated fixtures.
Some fixtures are practically begging for an update. Bargain homes may have ugly interior electrical and plumbing fixtures like lights or faucets.
Since they’re easy to replace, you shouldn’t sweat these visual insults. Your competitors will be frightened off and you can snap up a bargain home.
Landscaping is an easy fix
There is at least one real estate professional who advises clients to look for a house with bad curb appeal. There are houses that look dreadful or absolutely crazy from the street. That wonky porch or strange pathway could be the problem but sometimes it’s just bad landscaping that’s the culprit.
If you’re looking for a bargain, a lack of curb appeal won’t scare you off; problematic or nonexistent landscaping is an easy fix.
Before you buy property, figure out what you can live with and what you can remedy. These are the true bargain homes.