Rose.smeltzer, Renter in Van Nuys, CA

Buying a total fixer- 1) fix it first or 2) create add on bathroom and bedroom to live in while fixing the rest?

Asked by Rose.smeltzer, Van Nuys, CA Sat Dec 28, 2013

Please help me decide whether or not to buy a total fixer that is basically land with a 1 bedroom house on a nearly 9000sq/ft property.

I'm interested in living on the property but the house is considered uninhabitable at present and I plan to get an assessment soon.

My interest now is to see what is more economical/wise:
Option 1: I could put a trailer on the property and live there during a slow, calculated renovation.

Option 2: I could hire a contractor to do an add on of 1-2 bedrooms and a bathroom, making the house marginally livable while then slowly making other repairs to the remaining structure.

Option 3: I could initially hire a contactor to make sufficient repairs to make the home livable and then proceed to do individual renovation projects on my own with subcontractors.

My background: completely unrelated to home building. But my dad is a plumbing contractor and my boyfriend's dad has carpentry skills. How much trouble could we get into?
Thanks, Rosie

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:

Answers

3
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Sat Dec 28, 2013
- Those are all good questions, thank you for your reply. Asking price for the property is around 150,000. Next, I'm being prequalified to see how much I can afford to borrow and out of that how much I can afford to put towards renovations. Lastly, I'm not purchasing this to flip but to live there, as this is a nice, quiet area. How much it will be worth when finished is a question I'm not prepared to guess on right now.

Rosie, our answer is going to be predicated on the future value of the property, because - if you can buy this property for $150K and put $75K into it, but the property when finished is only worth $200K . . . we'd advise you to take the $225K and find a place better suited to your needs.

How much trouble can you get into? Well, mostly, only financial trouble! Since the property isn't currently habitable, any loan you get will require that it becomes habitable, and there will be a timeline to adhere to. You won't be able to "get to things" as you find the time.
1 vote
John Arendsen, Agent, Leucadia, CA
Sat Dec 28, 2013
As a seasoned general building contractor, developer and real estate broker I can tell you from personal and past experience that trying to live in a home that you are renovating and most likely working in some form of gainful employment does not a happy camper make.

As a Manufactured Home Dealer, contractor and installer I can tell you from years of experience in dealing with temporary job site trailers that it's definitely a much better option than trying to live in a home you're working on.

If this is a good home for you and you can afford it short and long term do yourself a favor go to your local building jurisdiction and check into what it would take to put a temporary trailer on your property while you're refurbishing it. You won't be sorry.
1 vote
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Sat Dec 28, 2013
Rosie, here's what I think I'd want to know:

1. What's the price of the property?
2. how much do you think the total cost of repairs and renovations would be?
3. What would the property be worth when it's finished?
1 vote
Those are all good questions, thank you for your reply. Asking price for the property is around 150,000. Next, I'm being prequalified to see how much I can afford to borrow and out of that how much I can afford to put towards renovations. Lastly, I'm not purchasing this to flip but to live there, as this is a nice, quiet area. How much it will be worth when finished is a question I'm not prepared to guess on right now.
Flag Sat Dec 28, 2013
Search Advice
Search
Ask our community a question
Investment Properties in Chatsworth Zip Codes

Email me when…

Learn more