Like any new experience, taking the leap into homeownership naturally involves a fair bit of stumbling in the dark. We may fall in love with a fading home, so much that we blind ourselves to the massive commitment that entails making it livable again. Just as easily, we might forgo the fixer-upper entirely in pursuit of the quick, easy purchase, and regret not taking the time to revitalize an aging space with our personal touch.

What constitutes the right or wrong purchase is largely dependent on the buyer in question, but a buyer can’t make that distinction without knowledge of the products available. It’s a fantastic idea, then, for home shoppers on the hunt to know the pros and cons of owning a ready-to-move-in home, versus purchasing a property in need of TLC.


The Fixer Upper – Pros

One undeniable pro of buying a home in less-than-stellar shape is its price, which will generally sit below potential market value. Property taxes will also be lower with a fixer-upper, as they are contingent upon sales price. Some old, historic homes may also be eligible for a tax credit on repair costs. Perhaps the greatest perk of going with a fixer-upper is complete freedom of design; from the attic to basement, it’s all a blank framework to shape in the image of your dream space.


The Fixer Upper – Cons

Although some enjoy the grind, no one can ignore the hard work and time required to turn a fixer-upper into a proper dwelling. Unless you’re the ultimate handyman, getting in touch with local contractors is a must, which adds to the overall cost. Homes already in need of repair may also have undiscovered issues; it’s not always easy to predict what waits behind an old sheet of drywall, or inside a pipe.


The Move-In-Ready Home – Pros

Those looking for the comforts of home life without the burden of extensive repairs and modifications need to look no further than the move-in-ready home. Newer homes often come outfitted with up-to-date design features such as hardwood floors, walk-in closets, and open floor plans. Modern alarm systems and internet connectivity are also common in move-in-ready properties. In addition, loans for move-in-ready homes may be easier to secure. If–like many modern houses–a home is energy efficient, those loans can be paid off using the thousands you’ll save in energy costs.


The Move-In-Ready Home – Cons

Besides the price and relative lack of easy customizability as compared to fixer-uppers, new homes are often designed pragmatically, without the hand-crafted care and attention to architectural detail apparent in homes of a previous age. Some prefer a simple aesthetic, but those seeking unique and fascinating detail in design may gravitate towards older offerings.


Whether you prefer to move in instantly, or you’re predisposed to restoring aged properties, it’s important to acknowledge that a gut preference may not fit your current situation. Recognizing the pros and cons of both home types allows prospective owners to avoid making a life-altering decision on impulse.