Each fixer up presents its own issues. If you are able to do the repairs yourself of course you will save a lot of money. But if you have to hire contractors you will have to look at the cost of similar sold properties in your area to determine how much you should spend on repairs.
If you pooled every last penny for that down payment, youâ€™re not going to have much left over for home renovations, so you might be better off buying a house thatâ€™s livable as is. But if you have money set aside for repairs or you plan on taking out a loan, make sure you get an accurate estimate and then add another 20 percent on top of that. If youâ€™re doing everything with borrowed money with no margin for error, think again. There will be extra expenses no matter how carefully you plan.
When you're ready to buy, the best place to start is to hire an Exclusive Buyer's Agent. EBAs represent home buyers only, and work to get you the best price and most favorable terms. You can go to NAEBA.org for a referral to an EBA in your area.
I'm an EBA and I wrote a book called "Buying a Home: Don't Let Them Make a Monkey Out of You". It will be the best $6 you've ever spent. Follow the link below.
Best of luck!
As Philip statted, your really need to know what you are doing AND have the resouces, knowledge and experience. Many, many, many citizens have purchased the ugly, stinky house, invested the $17,000 required and are happily living in their paradise. Others bought similar homes and found out they did not have access to the funding they needed. They are not as happy.