Start with an experienced Realtor in your area who understands the workings of you local market. Buying a fixer upper can work in your favor if you are located in an area of growing values. You don't want to buy where you won't get a good return on your investment. Then be sure the work you do is top notch. If you lack expertise, don't do a bandaid approach hoping no one will notice the underlying problems. Do it right the first time every time and you'll be happy with your investment.