diy repairs

Buying a Fixer Home in Elk Grove Presents Opportunity

Fixer home elk groveAs long as that fixer home in Elk Grove has not lost its integrity, I would consider buying it, providing the price was right. Many people would agree with this premise — I should more clearly define “many people” as the people who don’t mind doing repairs or fixing up homes. Because not every buyer wants to buy a home if it presents a few challenges. As with life, I suspect most don’t enjoy challenges. They would prefer a challenge-free life, a marshmallow life.

On the other hand, I love challenges because for me it’s a very clear set of purpose. After I study what’s presented, I can envision the conclusion, the outcome, the goal; it’s crystal clear. Take home improvement projects, for example. I love to remodel homes and turn them into pieces of artwork, and I’m just about done with my own home so you know what that means. It means I need to work on somebody else’s home because my husband is not yet ready to move.

I’m too busy, though. Which means my improvement urges are suppressed. I sell real estate in a 4-county area in Sacramento, and that career keeps me plenty busy working with clients. When I spot a fixer home that is begging for work, I can’t help but feel pulled toward it. It’s a sickness of sorts. Like my dead ex-husband who liked to start new companies always had a problem driving past a “for lease” sign because it called to him to rent the space, remodel it and open a business. See what I mean? Stupid. You catch that home improvement bug, and you yearn to tackle new projects; like a chocolate craving, you can’t help it.

This Elk Grove agent has listed a home in Elk Grove that is crying out for such a project. It’s a short sale, but it’s pretty much a guaranteed short sale for reasons I can’t go into. Trust that if you write an offer, it will close. There is a little bit of dry rot, it needs a new roof (approx $10,000), I would replace the carpeting (because it’s stretched, dirty and an icky color), and the seller says the toilet upstairs needs a new seal and had leaked, which is why the water is turned off.

This home is priced roughly $70,000 below its fixed-up market value according to the 1/2 mile comps for a 3 bedroom, 3 bath, over 2100 square feet in Foulk’s Ranch. But the flippers nowadays seem to have higher profit margins, they want steeper discounts, which a short sale won’t necessarily offer. Some don’t seem to understand that banks aren’t figuring in the flipper’s profit margin when determining value on those BPOs. At $255,000, it’s a great deal for an owner occupant, though, especially a first-time home buyer.

Slap on a new roof through an energy-efficient mortgage, perhaps fix the few spots of dry rot to get a mortgage, and deal with the rest of the stuff later. Even a 203K loan would suffice and handle all the repairs. But many homebuyers want turn-key projects, and don’t care about the quality of the work. I’ve always figured I’d rather have the home fixed up according to my own standards and not those of some guy out to make a fast buck, but that’s me, and I’m not normal. Remember, I love home improvement projects.

So, here’s the deal. Either buy the home today, do your own repairs the right way and pocket the leftover equity, or buy it later from a flipper and pay a premium for the opportunity.

Check out 7113 Ballygar Way, Elk Grove, CA 95624, offered by your Elk Grove agent, Elizabeth Weintraub, Lyon Real Estate, 916.233.6759.

Preparing Your Home For Sale Before Going on the Market

Preparing Home for SaleBefore fixing anything in your home to prepare that home for sale, you should ask a Sacramento real estate agent what needs to actually be done. Because your idea of making a home improvement repair might be different than a repair the agent might advise, not to mention, you could end up spending money that you don’t need to spend. This is a valuable service experienced agents provide to sellers, advice on what to fix and whether the home should be sold in its AS IS condition.

If your agent has little to no experience, you’re at a disadvantage when it comes time to sell. But a veteran agent who sells a ton of homes can be a god-send to you.

The advice for what to fix and what not varies from home to home and neighborhood to neighborhood and market to market. I recall way back when I sold my first home, and I grabbed the city home inspection report that I paid for when I initially bought the home. I combed through that report thoroughly and fixed every defect on it as a precursory to preparing the home for sale. What a waste of money, time and effort. Most of that stuff, I discovered later, were items the buyer didn’t give a hoot about.

Obviously, if you have visual distractions, those should probably be corrected but again, it depends on how much money it costs, what’s involved labor-wise and whether the market demands it. I have listing that’s coming on the market next week which has vinyl siding and in some places the posts have been chewed, a few J channels are busted or cracked and, in another area, the siding is missing all together.

It’s almost impossible to match vinyl siding panels on a reorder from the manufacturer because the sizes and colors vary. The seller doesn’t have any extra pieces. Not to mention, vinyl siding is not vogue anymore and stucco is considered a better exterior option. The cost to change out the exterior is more expensive than the return on this particular investment. Plus, for what this type of property is, the siding is OK. It won’t affect the sales price. Not for this home and not in this market.

If you’re thinking about preparing your home for sale on the market, hire the best Sacramento real estate agent you can find, and then follow her advice. Don’t spend more money than you need to spend.

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