Buying a fixer-upper in Berks County can be a great investment, provided you buy the right one. If you find a home where the right things are wrong, it can be a great way to find your dream home. 

But do you need to be a DIY master? No, you just need time and patience.

How can you tell if that home you're looking at in Berks County is worth fixing up?

Evaluate the Price

Is the house priced according to the repairs it needs? Don't fall in love with a home that “just needs a little TLC.” Do the research to make sure the price compensates the needed repairs.

You should also check how much other homes in the area sold for. This will also help you decide if the home is priced too high. Also, you should make sure you don't over-improve the home for the neighborhood, as it could affect how much you get back on it if you decide to sell it after you make the improvements.

What Improvements Are Needed?

A home that has opportunities for instant equity is what you want. So if you turn around and sold the home, you'll get your money back.

You may find a home that just needs a good paint job or landscaping, which are relatively easy fixes.

Other tasks may require the work of professionals and cash to pay them. It’s those projects you want to carefully evaluate against the home’s price.

Which Projects That Require a Pro Add Instant Equity?

Some of the improvements a home needs require a pro (unless you're already a pro). There are a few projects a home may need that are at the top of the list for things that are worth the cost:

  • New roof
  • Hardwood floors
  • Insulation

While those three are pretty safe bets. Almost any project can be worth it with a fixer-upper if the price is right. For example, a complete kitchen renovation can cost $65,000 and recover only about $40,000 when you sell. But if the fixer-upper is discounted enough, think how amazing it would be to cook in a kitchen you designed yourself.

Evaluate Your Ability to Deal with Disruption

Whether you’re a DIY Jedi or content to let the pros handle the remodel, if your patience is shorter than your potential home’s to-do list, a fixer-upper may not be a good choice.

Renovating a bathroom alone can take two to three weeks. Add hardwood flooring, a new kitchen, and siding, and you’re looking at a whole summer’s worth of rehab.

When considering a fixer-upper, evaluate the limits of your emotional energy as well. Inevitable project pitfalls and delays can be wearing. Only if you have the time, patience, and emotional endurance for a fixer-upper will it be a good fit for you. And only you can determine that.

But if you can budget your time and money, and employ the right fixer-upper strategies, you might find yourself with a double reward: A home that’s worth far more than you paid, and the joy of knowing you helped get it there.

Searching for the perfect home for sale in Berks County? We can help you find the home that's right for you in Reading and the surrounding communities of Blandon, Boyertown, Douglassville, Exeter Township, Fleetwood, Kutztown, and Oley with our powerful property search tool.