Buying a home can be torture. So the idea of simply walking into that move-in ready abode and unpacking without so much as repainting a wall is appealing.
Then again, there’s something thrilling about customizing your pad right down to that white subway tile backsplash in the kitchen.
Michael Kaim, of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Professional Realty, says move-in ready and renovating each come with pros and cons.
“The main pro of buying a move-in ready home is that you don’t have to worry about the expense of renovating and the concern of the unknown costs,” he says.
But move-in ready homes tend to be more expensive than homes that need work since they’ll likely be outfitted with modern kitchens and bathrooms.
“There are potential savings on renovating the house yourself or contracting the repairs than having the seller do them,” Kaim says. “The biggest pro to buying a home that needs work is how much less you’ll spend on [it].”
Kaim also says a cheaper home that needs work could make it more affordable to move into a desirable neighborhood or city if the buyer is willing to make some major renovations themselves.
But renovations can have unforeseen costs, and Kaim says that’s the main argument against buying a home that needs work. “Once you dig in, there might be unforeseen problems — even with an inspection,” he cautions. “You might have electrical issues or mold issues. There’s often something that comes up that you didn’t calculate.”