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Jake7 10-03-2010 02:58 PM


I'm planing on getting out of the Marine Corps in 2013, so I've still got some time left.

However, my wife and I are super-planners, so we're trying to iron out the details of where we'll go, looking at house price ranges, etc.

We're currently thinking about if we'd like to go with a cheaper house and sort of build it the way we want it (aka Fixer-upper) or just go with an already built house.

Anyone with experience on the subject have something good/bad to say about the fixer-upper they bought?

jeepcache 10-03-2010 03:00 PM

are you staying in hawaii?

Jake7 10-03-2010 03:01 PM

Negative - we're looking to come to the Midwest. Our top two are Missouri and Kansas, with Colorado still a slight possibility

jeepcache 10-03-2010 03:03 PM

i would try to nail down what kind of income you're going to be able to pull before you decide on what type of house to buy. a fixer upper can drain your checking acct QUICK!

Jake7 10-03-2010 03:27 PM

Hah, well it's our first house, I guess which is why we're considering a fixer-upper because we've both kind of always wanted to do that, and we may as well do it while we're still young!

We'll be financing the renovation costs rolled up into the mortgage. All said and done, it's our first house so we're trying to keep it under $160k including closing costs and such.

We're REALLY looking for something with some land - and by "we" I mean "I" haha. We've got two young kids, so we want something we can camp/fourwheel/blahdeblah on.

But back to topic! A disastrous fixer-upper is always a risk, which I guess is our biggest deterrent from the idea.

helicase50 10-05-2010 04:47 PM

My house is kinda a fixer upper so let me warn you on some things.

What is, is not always what it seems!

Things can look fine and normal, and even pass inspection fine (get an inspection). But once you start changing things you may find hidden problems or something that the past owner did so messed up that well it is just not fun to fix and it takes more time and is overall just a pain in the bum so you can't move on to your next thing.

With these you have to know there will almost always be a few surprises. If you plan on doing this around work and kids it will take even longer. Painting sucks too.

Lastly, markets may change a lot, but get with a good Realtor, and keep your options open, if you like them go with what they want to show you.

jeepcache 10-05-2010 07:03 PM

my house is the same. its in really good shape, but it's also 100 years old. the housing market here is so bloated, i couldnt afford something new. if you can swing it, i would avoid a fixer upper as your first house. i would have. i have tou re do my basement next year because the seller painted over water damaged sheetrock...

Jake7 10-06-2010 03:28 AM

Oooo. See, that's what I'm scared of. I know that you just plain can't trust people nowadays to be honest, even about something as big as a house purchase.

However, I've always wanted to fix up a house. Ugh, decisions decisions.

Motorcharge 10-06-2010 06:04 AM

I can't see paying $100,000+ for a house and not building my own. For that much money you might as well get exactly what you want.

Jake7 10-06-2010 12:37 PM

You mean contracting someone to build it, or actually building it yourself?

I did price building a house, and it was definitely a lot more than 100k, even in some rural areas that we're looking at...

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