Here's why fixer-uppers are ruling the property market

Some owners are being warned against renovating altogether. Photo by Nolan Issac on Unsplash

It’s a question that most of us have asked ourselves at some point: will the amount I get for this house outweigh the amount that I spend on renovating it?

It’s a hard line to walk, especially since we’re all inclined to renovate houses based on our personal preferences and needs, rather than thinking about the long-term results and the next owner. 

But in some places, that question could be a think of the past. Reality TV has a lot to answer for, and that includes the current state of the property market. It seems like a new renovation show is popping up every time you blink, and people all over the world are starting to realise that they could reap the rewards as well. 

In one Australian city, the demand for fixer-upper properties is so high that Brisbane owners are being warned against carrying out renovations before they go to market in a property downturn.

But it’s not just the Queensland capital that’s seeing a demand for shabbier homes; even Sydney has seen some completely dilapidated properties sell for nearly $2 million – a sure sign that if the location is right, there’s a buyer out there.

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Apparently people have watched enough renovation shows to become experts, and are willing to wait for a slightly shabbier property rather than forking out big bucks for a top-of-the-line new renovation. 

So how do you know whether renovating is right for you? You’ll need to do your homework. Rather than simply looking at the houses that have recently sold in your area for guidance, you’ll have to do a bit more digging and separate the ones that have sold unrenovated, and the ones that have had an overhaul before hitting the market. 

If the difference between the two types of properties is minuscule, you could be better off selling without those costly renovations. Sure, you may not get the extra few thousand that you were hoping for, but you could get your property on the market (and potentially sold) quicker, and you wouldn’t have to worry about living through the building work. 

Whether you’re confident in your decision or seeking some confirmation, it’s best to check with your local estate agent before putting your house on the market. They’ll be able to give you first-hand knowledge and advise on the best course of action. 

Would you prefer to buy a fixer-upper or a newly-renovated property?