Your best place to start is with your Realtor! If youâ€™ve not hired one yet for the purchase process, I recommend interviewing a few and selecting someone who is experienced in the property types that you are interested in.
Iâ€™ve personally been buying fixers-renovators for close to 20 years. Renovation costs can swing drastically all depending on the finishes and how much prep work is needed. Itâ€™s not uncommon to open a wall or demo a bathroom to find a bigger project then one anticipated because of undetected issues such as dry rot, termites, etc.
There is only so much that a pest inspector/home inspector can detect during home buying inspections. These undetected surprises along with change orders during a project can really throw off a budget.
If youâ€™re handy, there are a lot of cosmetic projects that one can do, such as painting, refinishing wood floors, changing fixtures where you can really save money. Sweat equity was a big part of my early renovation projects.
It goes without saying to not attempt work that youâ€™re not experienced in such as plumbing, electrical, foundation. You also need to be aware of what types of work require permits.
An agent can provide a tremendous amount of feedback/suggestions as to appropriate improvements to a property, how not to over improve for the neighborhood, choice of finishes, how to improve a floor plan and how not to make the space too personalized a la â€œTacky Houseâ€ which can impact resale value (this of course depends on how long one is planning to live in the property; is it a stepping stone to the next place or a long term 5+ year settle in plan).
I have great contractors that Iâ€™ve been working with for years for all the mentioned projects that you are inquiring about.
Iâ€™ve personally renovated rooms, most recently bathrooms, on the cheap for a rental property:
As well as redone bathrooms down to the studs for a full facelift. Cost for each approach ranged from $3000 to $14,000.
I have a few recommended resources on Yelp:
Cheryl Bower, Realtor , GRI, ABR
Zephyr Real Estate