Don’t be afraid to buy a fixer-upper in 2017

A house in need of renovations isn’t always appealing to home buyers, but it might be a smart choice as home prices rise and fewer homes are on the market. The majority of home buyers (80%) did home improvement projects within the first year of their purchase and spent a median of $4,000, according to the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI), an Indianapolis-based nonprofit members association of manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers. Especially for first-time home buyers, who are expected to drive 2017 existing-home sales and may not have enough money saved for a down payment, opting for a place that needs some touch-ups may be the right move financially, even if it isn’t what they initially wanted. Few people actually intend to purchase a fixer-upper, said Pam Heidel, project director at HIRI. Some 51% of home buyers planned to buy a home with no major renovations and succeeded, while 25% said they intended to buy a move-in ready home and ended up with a fixer-upper.


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