Choosing Between Buying A Move-In Ready or Fixer-Upper House

Choosing Between Buying A Move-In Ready or Fixer-Upper House

Move in ready house

Guest post by: Phil Blair

When picturing your ideal home, you probably imagine pristine finishes, updated bathrooms and kitchens, and a nice open floor plan – not choppy layouts, dated décor and shag rugs.

More often than not, many soon-to-be homeowners are faced with the dilemma of whether to spring for a move-in ready home or to create a dream house by renovating a fixer-upper.

A move-in ready home is ideal if you have your heart set on a new home and are eager to move quickly. However, these cost more and offer little to no customization options.

A fixer-upper, on the other hand, is a good option if you understand what you’re getting yourself into. It can be a profitable whopper of a deal. Or, it can be a nightmare, punctuated by a series of unexpected disasters.

With this in mind, which one should you buy: a move-in ready home or a fixer-upper? In this article, we’ll help you decide by looking at the pros and cons of each option. Let’s get started!

Advantages of Move-In Ready Homes

Nice interior home move in readyAs the name implies, move-in ready homes are ready when you are. Here is why you should own one:

  • Energy-efficient

Newer homes tend to be more energy efficient. Modern building codes require a certain level of efficiency that is well above the most efficient construction in older homes. Hence, with a turnkey property, you can expect anything from superior insulation to solar power to sustainable material.

  • Simpler financing

It’s easier to obtain financing for a newer home than an old one. Of course, your odds will depend upon several factors. For example, your residential income, down payment, credit history, and more.

  • New design elements and technology

New homes will typically come with trendy design elements and technology. For instance, hardwood flooring, open floor plans, barn doors, and walk-in closets.

Plus, new homes come equipped with up-to-date technologies. Internet cable, speakers, alarm systems are just but a few.

  • Easy transition

Again, as the name implies, these are homes that are ready when you are. These require little if any work. No maintenance or demolishing is needed. Essentially, turnkey properties allow you to enjoy all the creature comforts immediately as you move in.

Disadvantages of Move-In Ready Homes

Expensive repairs are costlyGood as these may seem, move-in ready homes aren’t without nits. These include:

  • Lack unique architectural details

Although these come with a slew of problems, older homes have charms. These are rich in history, character, and architectural designs. Such designs include mantles, plate rails, ledges, and lintels over windows and doors.

  • Little personalization

When it comes to buying new homes, there will always be some give and take. You may love the hardwood flooring and the master bath, but your wife may not be okay with the brand-new kitchen.

  • Costly

Move-in ready homes cost more. After all, who would buy a fixer-upper if these weren’t?

Advantages of Fixer-Upper Homes

New construction homeFixer-uppers can be attractive to investors looking to flip the property and make a profit, or to buyers looking for more house for the money. Here are the reasons why you should buy one:

  • More design choice

With fixer-uppers, you have the freedom to design the house of your dreams. If you want to go bold in the kitchen or want an open concept, all of these design ideas and more are possible with fixer-uppers.

  • Tax savings

Property taxes are directly proportional to the sale price of a home. That is, the more the home’s sale price, the more the property taxes and vice versa. Since fixer-uppers cost less than new homes, your biannual property taxes will be less.

  • Discounted prices

Besides the design factor, this is yet another reason why most people opt for fixer-uppers. With fixer-uppers, you have the opportunity to own a property that you would otherwise have not.

  • Great location opportunities

As you probably know, location in real estate is everything. Since fixer-uppers cost less, you may have the opportunity to get into the neighborhood of your dreams.

Disadvantages of Fixer-Upper Homes

Fixer-Upper house  not move in ready

  • Costs of remodeling could outweigh savings

This is why you need to do proper research prior to buying. It is important for you to research how much you’ll spend to renovate that kitchen or redo the bathroom.

  • Surprises

Fixer-uppers can surprise you at times. Initially, you may think you only need to renovate the kitchen and redo the bathroom. However, you may soon realize that there is also a foundation problem that needs fixing.

  • Extra time and work

With move-in ready homes, your home is ready as soon as you unpack your moving boxes. The same can’t be said for a fixer-upper as, oftentimes, the remodeling process can take months.


Going back to the question, which one should you buy: A move-in ready home or should you buy a fixer-upper? When you consider the aforementioned factors, there is no answer that is right for all. At the end of the day, your choice will depend on a number of factors such as time, cost, and your preferences.


Guest post by Phil Blair with Century21Everest PropertyManagement

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