The lower price of a fixer-upper and the added resale value after a remodel can be alluring to some home buyers. For example, the average price of a fixer-upper home on the TV show “Fixer Upper,” based in Waco, Texas, is $178,449, with the average resale value being $297,488.
But a new study from the remodeling site Porch.com, based on a survey of more than 1,000 homeowners, shows that the majority of fixer-upper homeowners who thought they could save money actually ended up spending about the same or more than a move-in ready home.
Respondents paid, on average, slightly over $250,000 for move-in ready homes. They paid slightly under $200,000 for a fixer-upper. But after the renovations, fixer-upper homeowners ultimately spent nearly $247,000—for those who managed to stay within budget. For those who went over budget—which about 44% said they did—they spent over $25,000 more than move-in ready buyers for a total of $275,741, according to the study.
Still, fixer-upper home buyers have no regrets. Eighty-six percent of homeowners who spent what they thought they would on renovations would buy the same house again. On the other hand, 60% of those who went over budget still would buy the same house too. Regretful fixer-upper homeowners say they would spend more time on inspections and be sure to get better cost estimates for the repairs their home needed.
Staying within budget seems to be the biggest challenge for fixer-upper homeowners. Forty-four percent of respondents said they went over budget on their fixer-upper. The most common projects that made them go over budget were a new HVAC, plumbing, basement, bathroom, new appliances, a new roof, or kitchen.