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Should You Buy A Fixer-Upper or a Move-In Ready Home?

Fixer-Upper Remodel

HGTV’s “Property Brother’s” & “Fixer Upper” have made the idea of buying a “fixer-upper” and making it into your dream home popular in the past few years. While on TV the process of fixing up a home looks simple, fun, and the sensible way to go, in reality fixing up a home can lead to a lot of unpredictable issues, stress and sometimes you may end up paying more than buying a move-in ready home.

When considering buying a fixer-upper over a move-in ready home or vice-versa, there are pros and cons that you should consider before making an offer on either:

Buying a Fixer-Upper


Lower listing prices
Fixer-uppers allow homeowners to own their own property when they can’t afford a move-in ready home. These homes start at a lower price because the seller knows that the home needs renovations done but wants to sell now.

Customizing and Style choices
The well-known pro of buying a fixer-upper is that they allow the homeowners to make their new home “theirs.” From re-doing a room to an entire remodel of the house, since work needs to be done you can change how it looks while making fixes.

Adding value to the home
By making renovations and new design choices, every job you complete increases the value of your new home. If you’re looking to live somewhere for short-to-mid term and want to make a profit, buying a fixer-upper may be the best choice for you.


Extra work right off the bat
A disadvantage of buying a fixer-upper is even after moving into your new home, you still have work to do. It doesn’t matter if you are doing the work or if you hired a contractor, the more work you have to do the longer it will be until your home finally feels like “home.”

Hidden costs
Buying a fixer-upper to save money upfront is a smart choice, but sometimes when remodeling you may find complications that need to be addressed immediately. These surprise jobs can start adding up and eat away at the budget you set for renovations before you even start the job you wanted to complete from the start.

Working on a home after buying furthers along the time before your new home truly feels like a “home”. In some cases you may not even be able to move in depending on the renovations being made.

Buying a Move in Ready home


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Move-in ready homes offer ease in making your home “yours”

Less work
While there will still be work to do (such as painting a room and unpacking), the amount of time/work it takes to live in a move-in ready home is miniscule compared to a fixer-upper.

Newer design and tech
Most move-in ready homes feature modern designs meaning you’ll have a bit until your home is outdated. Move-in ready homes also often include newer appliances such as washer/dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, etc.

Energy efficient
Move-in ready homes are more energy efficient thanks to newer tech/windows. Having an energy efficient home will not only save you thousands each year, but will also improve the livability of your home with warmer winters and cooler summers.


Higher price
Simply put, move-in ready homes will cost more than fixer-uppers up front. With design already set in place, newer appliances and energy efficiency, it’s a given these homes will cost more.

Little customization
Compared to fixer-uppers which can be treated as a blank page, move-in ready homes offer little customization. If you’re looking to buy a move-in ready home make sure you like the design that is already in place for the home.
Both home styles offer many pros and cons, but it all comes down to what you want to do with your home. If you’re looking to buy a fixer-upper or a move-in ready home in Washtenaw County there are plenty of homes to chose from and we can help you pay the right price for one.

We are your Ann Arbor real estate experts, call us today!

We cover all of Washtenaw County including Chelsea, Dexter, Ypsilanti, and Saline. Call us at 734-747-7500. We’re also available via email at

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