With A Little TLC, Your Fixer-Upper Can Become A Keeper

Owning your own home is something that allows a lot of freedom. When you rent, there is always something that causes you to worry. Will you have enough money to make this month’s rent? If something goes wrong in the house, do you call the landlord? If he or she blames you, will you get evicted? If they sell the house, do you have to move out? When you own, as long as you keep up mortgage payments, you’re clear.

Of course, buying your own home has its tough times as well. Not least the fact that you often commit to borrowing a lot to buy it. Buying a new house can be expensive, and for this reason a lot of people look for ways to cut costs. One reliable way to do this is to buy a house that may need some work done to it – a fixer-upper. While this is cheaper, it does present its own challenges. So how do you deal with these?

Problem: The Decor Has Seen Better Days


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If you’ve bought a house cheap, the chances are the last time it was redecorated was a while ago. Paint may be peeling or faded, the carpets may be musty and stained. You may not want to go in the bathroom given the state it was left in.

Solution: You renovate the place yourself. It seems like a great undertaking but, as long as you plan out the job ahead, it’s doable. The money you spend on supplies and labor will be less than the extra you’d have paid for a new house.

Problem: The Attic Is Full Of … Who Knows What?

Buying a fixer-upper means being ready to deal with what the previous owner left there. People put stuff in the attic because, hey, out of sight, out of mind, right? When you move in, you’ll want that space for storage. So how to unlock it?


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Solution: You can get up there yourself and pull everything out. Hire a skip and throw away 95% of it. Repurpose anything you might use, and sell anything that you can. Or you hire an attic cleaning service who have seen it all before. They’ll take it all away and safely dispose of it.

Problem: The Garden Is Overgrown And Full Of Rubbish

If someone has sold a home quickly and cheaply, it’s fair to say there was a reason for that. And it’s realistic to expect that they didn’t keep the garden in great condition before they left. Grass up to your armpits, weeds running amok. And try not to think too much about what lies beneath.


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Solution: Professional garden clearance services will move what needs to be moved and turn over the garden so it’s ready for use. For a cost, some will also lay turf so you have a new garden quickly. Then you can get to work planting things you actually want to grow in your garden.

Bringing a fixer-upper to the stage where it is a comfortable family home can take money, time and work. But if you’re up for a challenge it’s far from impossible, and if you find you have a skill for it, then you can make money flipping homes. And most importantly, it’s goodbye to those renting nightmares.


  1. Great post! I’d love to fix up a house….would be an awesome project! one day….

  2. I have never been in our attic, we purchase the house new, so no treasure hidden. My husband did open it up once just to see it.

  3. My house is in desperate need of some upgrades and new paint, but sadly it all cost money and something we just don’t have!!

  4. Darlene W says

    As a Real Estate Agent I know what a fixer up can do to people who buy one. If you and your spouse are handy you can keep costs down the DIYer in you will make it work. Some people are over their heads when it comes to fixing up a home so if they don’t have the money to hire a professional they try to do it themselves and I have found most relationships do not survive these attempts

  5. We had a fixer upper house and it’s a lot of work. Read up before you go into it. My relationship wasn’t in any danger. 🙂 But it was a ton of effort.

  6. I wish I was a DIYer. So many more options, but I truly have no interest in it.

  7. I’ve never heard of a realator allowing a house to be sold without every room being inspected for belongings before..perhaps its just our province?

  8. Treen Goodwin says

    My hubby found a few treasures in our attic , i won’t go up there i’m scared of spiders lol

  9. Tara Gauthier says

    Our house was a rental for at least a few years before we bought it and was in surprising great condition inside. The outside though, especially the back yard was another story. We removed about 10 van loads of stuff to compost from the front and back. The back had large overgrown bushes, raspberry canes taller than I am and two compost bins we couldn’t even see plus two garden beds that were used as bathroom for dogs. After a lot of hard work it looks so much better now!

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