Why Don’t More Buyers Consider a Fixer-Upper?
In a time of rising housing costs, a fixer-upper offers more house for the money – but the iffy cost for renovations scares buyers already hurt by high interest rates.
NEW YORK – Real estate agents say today’s buyers appear to have little desire to take on the additional costs and headaches of major renovation projects. Turnkey homes have always been popular and that popularity hasn’t declined any, even though a fixer-upper often offers more house for the money.
It’s one reason sellers are receiving an average of three offers now, compared with around six a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors.
The drop in demand for unrenovated homes is mostly driven by high mortgage rates, agents say. Fixer-uppers are always a risky proposition for buyers, but now they’re more costly as the rates for home loans and construction loans have both increased – plus house prices remain high.
Agents say the appetite for fixer-uppers is lower both for people who are shopping for their main property as well as for second homes.
Tommy Byrd, 72 years old, examined about a dozen unrenovated homes in his hunt for a vacation house in Santa Rosa Beach, Fla. He recently decided to limit his search to only renovated homes, as he does not want to manage the renovation from another state.
“I’d prefer to purchase a turnkey property,” Byrd says.
Any home that sits on the market for more than a month is usually either overpriced or in need of significant repairs or updates, adds Taylor Marr, Redfin’s deputy chief economist. “Most homebuyers right now simply don’t have enough money left over to invest in major repairs or remodeling.”
Source: Wall Street Journal (06/27/23) Dagher, Veronica
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