Why I Sell A Lot of Fixer-Uppers

Why I Sell A Lot of Fixer-Uppers

Share This!

Buying fixer-uppers. This is something my husband and I do – and have done it often – but it’s also a fantastic option for my real estate clients. Have you ever considered purchasing a home and never found the PERFECT one? Well, you’re not alone. This happens to so many people; but, I consider a good problem to have. There are so many wonderful properties in Charleston and Mount Pleasant that could just use a few personal touches. In the long-run, you’ll end up with exactly what you want anyway.

We've had a lot of construction projects with my current home.

We’ve had a lot of construction projects with my current home.

I call this my Buy & Design option. Knowing your preferences, I love to walk through potential homes that could be turned into something extraordinary. That’s why the footprint of the home is the most important to me when selling properties. We’ll take a look at the floor plan, possible ways to modify it and expansion opportunities for later investments. Sometimes the homes don’t even need that much, but my brain immediately considers walls that could be knocked down to create great rooms, rooms that could be turned into offices or playrooms for the working individual or those with young families, and we’ll consider if the lot allows for maybe a master bedroom or bathroom addition (as an example).

I designed this kitchen with my husband's construction company.

I designed this kitchen with my husband’s construction company.

Obviously, this whole process begins with your budget. Usually my clients spend more to purchase the already updated home. But, if there is cash on hand, you could spend less on the property and use those reserved funds to make the home exactly what you want. Chances are, you’ll end up happier if you go this route; but, only if you don’t mind a few renovations here or there.

So, should you consider a fixer-upper? This may be you right now. Let’s talk about some things that you need to consider beyond the budget.

  • Where is the home located? We live in a historical district – especially if you are looking downtown Charleston. Make sure you know any architectural restrictions if you are looking to change the exterior of the home. I work with local architects who can be engaged from early in the buying process so you are not surprised down the road.
  • Check the inspection report. While you may have reserved funds for renovations – especially if it’s an older home – you may end up spending your precious dollars on necessary repairs or improvements. We’ll review the inspection together and tap industry professionals to give us an estimate on any found red flags. Also, this helps us with price negotiations as well with the seller.
  • Are you considering adding lights or changing floor layouts? Chances are this may alter electrical outlets and we’ll need to bring in an electrician. Those older homes we mentioned may also have dated wiring or electrical panels that need to be updated to meet newer codes. The same goes with plumbing lines. Some may need to be moved in order to change or update that kitchen the way you want it to be!
  • Take a look at the exterior. Too many times homeowners have to spend thousands up front for a new roof before they can even begin their fun home renovation projects. Same goes for windows, garage doors, painting, and don’t forget your landscaping.
  • Can you keep any of your ‘dated’ rooms? I have a client that recently purchased an older home with light blue tile and fixtures in the guest bathroom. Generally, I would recommend updating it, but new Moroccan tile trends actually have her bathroom looking fine. I love this example on Houzz where the owner kept green tile but updated some of the fixtures.


Obviously, there are many factors to consider. This is why you need to work with me to find the right home and put all of these potential costs on paper. This is an area of expertise for me and I’d love to help you. We can conceptually visualize the home together during our home walk throughs. Contact me if you want to get started or if you have concerns about fixer-uppers.

I love helping people successfully find and perfect their dream homes in Charleston. This is why I'm dedicated to home selling, buying, decorating, designing and remodeling.