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From Worn to Wonderful: Why We Chose to Embrace the Challenge of a Fixer-Upper Home

Updated: Apr 19

Buying a fixer-upper home can offer numerous advantages for the right buyer. As both an architect and a mechanical engineer, Chris and I share a deep appreciation for the intricate details that go into creating functional and aesthetically pleasing spaces and structures. So, when it came to choosing our own home, we sought out projects.

This decision was driven by a unique blend of professional passion, personal excitement and raw, untapped potential. Here are several reasons why were compelled to purchase a fixer upper that may resonate with you as well:

Affordability and Investment Potential:

Fixer-upper homes are typically priced lower than move-in-ready properties due to their condition. This presented us an opportunity to enter the real estate market at a lower cost and potentially build equity over time. By investing in renovations and improvements, our hope was to increase the home's value and potentially reap a substantial return on investment when we ultimately sell.

Customization and Personalization:

Fixer-uppers give you the chance to create a home that perfectly suits your tastes and needs. We craved the freedom to design and renovate spaces of our own, according to our preferences, and integrate personal touches with well thought out details from high end design inspiration. This level of customization can lead to a deeply satisfying and uniquely personalized living environment.

Learning and Skill Development:

Taking on a fixer-upper project can be a valuable learning experience. We are continuously gaining new skills, whether it's basic home improvement tasks or more advanced renovations. Over our lifetime, these skills will save us money on repairs and maintenance in the future, as well as stress. We will have confidence in tackling most challenges head-on (particularly after repairing our main sewer line that burst three weeks into owning our home)!

Creative Expression:

Renovating a fixer-upper allows you to express your creativity. From selecting paint colors and materials to designing layouts and selecting fixtures, we recognized the chance to bring our vision to life and create a home that reflects our collective style (and for me, flex my learned skills from the professional world).

Potential for Profit:

If you're willing to put in the effort, a well-executed fixer-upper project can lead to substantial financial gains. As we enhance the property's condition, we're hoping the market value will increase significantly, potentially offering a profitable resale opportunity in the future.

Less Competition:

Fixer-upper homes often receive fewer offers compared to move-in-ready properties. This can work to your advantage, as there's less competition in the buying process, potentially allowing you to negotiate better terms with the seller. Our home had been sitting on the market for 90 days (bear in mind that this was in 2018) which gave us additional wiggle room for negotiation... although to this day, we still wish we were able to buy at a lower price for the amount of updates we needed.

Location and Neighborhood:

During our home search, we were focused on a very small area of our city - in particular, arguably the most desirable residential area of our entire city. It is known for its historic charm, upscale residential areas, academic institutions, cultural attractions and walkability. A fixer upper was the only way we could afford the neighborhood. The hope is that, by investing in renovations, we can turn our property in a prime location into our dream home.

Satisfaction of Transformation:

The process of transforming a neglected property into a beautiful and functional living space has been incredibly satisfying. The sense of accomplishment and pride in our work, while exhausting, is beyond rewarding and fulfilling.

Long-Term Investment:

While a fixer-upper requires upfront effort and investment, it can be a rewarding long-term investment. Over the past five years as the property appreciates in value and you continue to enjoy your personalized home, you'll likely see the benefits of your hard work over time.


It's important to carefully evaluate your skills, budget, timeline, and willingness to take on the challenges of a fixer-upper project. If you're prepared for the journey, a fixer-upper can offer a unique opportunity to create a home that's truly your own while potentially enjoying financial gains in the process. While our journey isn't complete, we are thriving in the path we've chosen!



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