I think it is a good time to buy a home that is a fixer. Before you start thinking that I’ve been wandering around in our national forests and maybe partaking of some of the “natural flora” that we have out there, let me explain.
It’s a good time to buy a fixer in our corner of the Salem real estate world. I can’t believe I used the words it’s a good time to buy because it makes me feel like I need to use some anti-propaganda soap after a NAR shower. Unfortunately, saying “It’s an agreeable moment to acquire real property,” makes me sound like I need to get ready for a Cotillion. I’m not a fashion designer, only guessing here, but I think my hiking boots would clash with my petticoat. So alas, I’m stuck with “It’s a good time to buy.”
Some of you may know that I purchased a house built in 1960 about 8 years ago now, that needed a lot of work. I still have my 1970’s rust colored counter tops in my kitchen which are crazy ugly, but that project is for another day when my kids can survive the kitchen being ripped up for three months. Anyway, our plan was to do a few projects every year improving the house and bringing it back to life. This past year we were able to do two more projects than expected. Why? Because contractors are seriously cheap these days.
In case you haven’t noticed, the economy stinks. Really, I know that is a shocking revelation to you guys, sorry to break the bad news to you all. Contractors, as a result, are super competitive with their quotes. Margaret Oscilia, my favorite local stager, just wrote about the paint sale that Sherwin Williams is having this weekend (Sept 24-26) in Salem Oregon, and yes, I will be there buying loads of paint. Think about it. If a gallon of good paint costs $35 and you can get it for 40% less, that means you can now afford those closet organizers, that quite frankly every home should have. Seriously. Think closet organizers people. You all have too much stuff. I know…I’ve been in your homes. Must. Focus…back on topic, now. Having a solid budget and keeping to it, is really important with homes that need work.
We replaced our electrical panel not too long ago. The quote we got in 2007 was 30% higher than what it cost us in 2009 to do it. What I am finding is that my “remodeling” dollar is going a lot farther than it did during the boom. During the boom, contractors didn’t have to drop their prices because there was ample work. Now, they need to be really competitive and not be excessive in their charges.
So…if you are leery about taking on a fixer because it will cost too much to fix it, think about how much farther your money will get you into projects today than before. Watch for sales, which seem to occur more frequently than before. It still costs a lot of money, and yes, your time to remodel, BUT if you are so inclined, I think it is a good time to buy a fixer. Low interest rates mean you have lower payments so you can stash more money away for those projects AND contractors are super competitive. You can get good quality contractors for less than before as they work hard to stay busy.
And remember, think closet organizers people.
You can see homes that need work right over here on my Salem home search tool.