Then, look at what you would have to pay for the fixer. Factor in the expenses to "fix it up" and - MOST IMPORTANTLY -- your time.
You can make a profit with a fixer in the "bad" area -- but crunch your numbers very carefully first. Hopefully, you can find an excellent realtor to help you with that. :-)
Mary Buckmaster, Re/Max Eastside Brokers, 425 557 7641
You really should enlist the help of an agent who will help you navigate your real estate investment. It is likely one of the largest purchases you will make and you should hire a professional to facilitate the process. (You likely wouldn't represent yourself in a court room, but rather hire a professional, an attorney, to represent you.)
There is no charge to a buyer in Washington State to hire representation, a buyer's agent's commission is paid by the seller and is negotiated at the time of the listing, not at the time of purchase. It is important you have your own professional representative that advocates for your success and not for the benefit of the seller.
Please don't hesitate to contact me directly if you have more questions (answers, of course, are free of charge :-) 206-501-7837 or email me phoebe@SheSellsSeattle.com and visit my website to view all Seattle area listings: http://www.SheSellsSeattle.com
I am never too busy to help!
John L. Scott/Westwood
Calculate the cost of fixing and imagine the fixed fixer. Than compare that fixed fixer with the equivalent of the recently sold in the area. The total cost of that fixed fixer should be less than the recent solds. The difference between the two should be enough to compensate the owner for the time and effort of fixing.
Also take into account the value of cash compared to money borrowed at todays interest rate and the tax consequences of buying the fixer and fixing or buying one that is not a fixer. If the home is to be a rental than you must calculate the vacancy.
And the last question, is the time, effort and attention worth the gain, if there is one.
The good news is everything in Seattle is going up in value. The upturn started in some areas of Seattle in December of 2011! Check the MLS for areas 702 and north of UW.
Thanks for the Good Question, Stephen