In recent years, home improvement television shows have had a huge presence. Some of the most popular shows are based on “fixer-upper” projects. For those who aren’t familiar with the term “fixer-upper,” it refers to purchasing a property that’s not in the best shape to restore it to be your ideal home or an attractive rental property.
People do this with the intent of renovating a home by contributing their own ideas and saving money. Modern home improvement shows have glorified the process of buying and remodeling homes. This has convinced many others to try it for themselves, but some are still skeptical.
To gauge people’s interest in the fixer-upper movement, ForSaleByOwner surveyed 1,000 Americans. Aside from fixer-uppers, they also asked Americans about their home-buying priorities. The findings of this study can be used to help those who wish to sell their home gather valuable information to make the best decision in today’s market.
Regardless of whether there is a tie between real estate trends and pop culture, it’s important to understand your target market’s home-buying motives to create the best home listing to sell your home.
Americans Are Not Up for a Fix
The study revealed that Americans do not want to fix-up their dream home. 57% of those surveyed said they don’t believe fixer-uppers are worth it. Respondents feel they would rather save themselves from the stress and lack of savings.
On the other end of the spectrum, 20% of respondents believed they could save at least $20,000 from working on a fixer-upper.
Even with the excitement around millennials entering the window to be new homeowners, there was no significant correlation between age and perceived savings from a fixer-upper home. With that said, 18% of 18-34 and 33% of 35-year-old groups say that the fix is not worth the hassle. Though the statistics show that the younger crowd is more willing to show their creative side, there is still no resounding want to work on a fixer-upper.
At the end of the day, homeowners want to find the best home with the highest return on the money and time they put in. The best way to do that is to calculate Return On Investment (ROI) to measure their potential profit after all things considered. This will tell you whether you should grab a hardhat or keys to a move-in-ready home.
Will a Fixer-Upper Really Save You Anything?
52.5% of those who took the survey underestimated what one can actually save (28.5% of them estimating no savings at all). On average homeowners who decide to fix-up their house save $22,980. This is derived from the 10% average savings and the average home cost being $289,000. Of course, these are all dependent on the housing market that you reside in, but these averages are a good guess on what you should expect to save.
If you are trying to make that final decision on what will save you the most money, it may be helpful to perform a Comparative Market Analysis. This will help you determine the value of the homes you are considering compared to other home values around them.
How to Save on Renovation Costs
As the study showed, many Americans have opted to keep their hands clean from renovations. Although, once homebuyers take a look at the potential savings, they might just change your mind.
To start, your renovation costs are going to reflect the time, effort, and quality of the renovations you choose to invest in. It is important to remember to budget accordingly, as there can always be accidents and unforeseen circumstances that may affect costs. Make sure that when you budget to give yourself some wiggle room in case of an unexpected emergency.
To save money on miscellaneous costs you should try to repurpose anything you can from old furniture to kitchenware. Seek out antiques and thrift treasures that can bring life to your new property without breaking the bank. Also, remember that fresh wallpaper or a new coat of paint can revive a tired space, it’s likely that not every room will need significant renovations.
What Is Important to the Buyer?
Everyone has an ideal home in mind and the amenities that mean the most to them. Survey respondents felt a close commute (33%) and a quality education system (31%) are most valuable. Pursuing a dream home starting with a fixer-upper was the least important to buyers with only 11% of respondents willing to take on the task.
This feedback tells home sellers how they can target demographics based on what buyers are looking for.
Differences Across Generations
A home buyer’s age and their stage in life is definitely something to consider. Lifestyles are changing and by 2025 almost 40% of the population will be living in a house without kids. But family-friendly neighborhoods should continue to see huge interest from growing families. Sellers should keep their neighborhood and real estate market in mind when designing or remodeling a house to create the best avenue to sell to new home buyers.
With survey references, we can tell what age groups desire the most to sell them the best home. For example, the youngest group of home buyers care more about commute times and partner satisfaction while older buyers care most about move-in ready properties- two different schools of thought that must be understood to sell.
Differences Across Genders
Backing up the old saying “happy wife, happy life” or partner satisfaction is a male’s top priority when buying a home. Consider small tweaks when showing a property to a couple, like reframing those “man caves” as “she sheds”.
Women on the other-hand prioritize their commute to work over anything else. This may be due to an increasing number of women in the workforce at 74.3% in 2016. Either way, location remains a top priority for buyers. Tell buyers how fast it takes to entertainment (hiking trails, town centers) and major highways so they can imagine and mentally plan their commute.
We hope that the home-buying priorities and insights above help you make the buying or selling decision that’s best for you! If you’re planning on listing your home, remember to keep your target buyer market’s priorities in mind.
This article has been contributed by Kiana Mason.