If you have limited funds when it comes to buying your future home, you might end up on the market looking at fixer-uppers. 'Fixer-upper' can mean a lot of different things, so you don't want to get stuck with a home that has too much work in it after you purchase. Here are four things that can indicate that a home is a cosmetic fixer-upper and might be perfect for your needs.
1. Wall-to-Wall Carpeting
Too much carpeting might seem stifling, but it doesn't need to stay. If you get a chance to look at a home with your real estate agent or inspector, investigate if there might be hardwood flooring underneath. If there aren't any surprises under the carpets, there are plenty of great laminates that are easy and cheap to install before moving in. While carpeting might scare others away, you might be able to secure a great home that just needs a quick flooring adjustment.
2. Older Appliances
Updating appliances in a home might not be as much of an endeavor than you think. Swapping out a leaky dishwasher or energy-guzzling fridge might be the first on your list, but other appliances can be swapped out later on. Just because appliances are old doesn't mean that you won't have the budget down the line to replace them. Dated appliances won't necessarily make a home not move-in ready and will give you the power to choose appliance styles and types on your own.
3. Darker Wood Paneling or Paint
Styles change, and some homes might seem like a time machine back to the 80's. While you might feel overwhelmed by dated decor, this might be easier to change up than you realize. A fresh coat of white paint over wood paneling or darker walls can make a huge difference. You can also freshen up the look of doors and cabinets that are sturdy but just need a brighter look from painting.
4. Overgrown Landscaping
If you come up on a home that has overgrown yard spaces or just hasn't been kept up, this might not be a reason to run the other direction. Be sure to see what the home offers on the inside first. Sometimes if a yard just needs a little TLC, a clear cut and a layer of mulch can be a quick short term fix until you can work on long term landscaping. Do look out for rotting or irreparable fences. These types of needed replacements might be more money than you are willing to commit to.
When it comes to possible home updates, run these by your real estate agent or home inspector to ensure that there isn't more work involved than you hoped. If there are mostly cosmetic issues with a fixer-upper, this might be a diamond in the rough that you can quickly update and make your dream home.