Fixer Upper Houston Homes For Sale: 13-Step Guide To Profit
Turning an old home into a marketable property needs careful thought. This guide provides insights for your first venture in a Houston Fixer Upper.
Houston Fixer Uppers are great investments and just need a little TLC. With the right foundation and a bit of work, buying, renting, and reselling fixer-uppers can be a very profitable hobby or a full-time profession.
However, there's a level of risk involved in this process. It typically requires more time than you initially expect if you haven't been involved in home repairs or the Houston real estate market in the past. If you're up for the challenge, it can be a rewarding experience.
“The Houston Properties Team EXPERTLY handled all of the steps involved in selling our house. Trying to sell a property is very intimidating, we were completely overwhelmed. Fortunately, the Houston Properties Team came in and took care of everything for us: from staging our house, getting it listed, all the way down to negotiating with buyers to get us the best offer. In just two weeks, we’ve had multiple showings and offers. They made things easy for us, and they worked so fast! We can’t thank you enough.” – Landrus | Google Review
Table of Contents
- 13 Steps from Budgeting to Closing and Home Staging a Fixer Upper
- Notes Before Buying a Fixer Upper
- The Best Houston Realtor to Sell Your Home
13 Steps from Budgeting to Closing and Home Staging a Fixer Upper
As the authority in Houston real estate, we'll provide you with the most candid advice on any property so you can make the best decision for you and your family. We'll tell you the "bad" and the "ugly" because we're not just your real estate agent — we're your trusted advisor.
Here is a guide to get started identifying profitable Houston Fixer Upper homes for sale:
1. Know your budget. The amount you want to invest matters in finding and fixing the right Houston home. There's a difference between an initial investment of $50,000-$100,000 and $200,000-$300,000 in terms of home, area, and contractor options.
2. Decide on the right Houston neighborhood. Whether you plan on living in the home or not, neighborhood matters. It's important to remember that your ideal place to live may not be the best place to make a fixer-upper investment.
If your budget is under $100,000, you may want to focus on areas like Houston Heights, Garden Oaks, and Braeswood. If you have more to invest, you'll want to consider West University Place, River Oaks, and Southampton.
3. Investors say that you make half of your money on the original purchase. Be prepared to make an extensive Houston real estate property search. Typically, the best Houston properties for sale go quickly.
Spend time driving Houston neighborhoods looking for "For Sale" signs. It also pays to work with a well-qualified Houston Area Realtor who knows what you're looking for.
4. Keep in mind that the old real estate catchphrase, "location, location, location," is important. We recommend avoiding neighborhoods that have been decreasing in value and ones that are going downhill.
Neighborhoods like the Houston Heights, In-town near Washington Avenue, Downtown Houston and Bellaire have been appreciating at great rates. Thanks to the revitalization and work going into those communities. For people willing to hold onto their investment for 3-5 years, these Houston neighborhoods can offer great opportunities.
5. Besides working with your Houston Area Realtor, read Craigslist and other classified advertising posts. Look for keywords including: "fixer-upper," "priced to move," "handyman special," or "diamond in the rough."
6. Review Houston listings of foreclosed properties. The sub-prime mortgage turmoil has affected Houston's home prices in the $80,000-$130,000 range. Thus, there are several properties that investors can purchase at reduced rates. They'll need to invest some money in the property to resell it or put it on the rental market.
7. Look for homes that have been vacant for a significant period. Your Realtor can run a search for you on homes that have been on the market for a long time.
Often, vacant homes that sit on the market are less appealing to new Houston home buyers as they "smell funny," collect dust, and are not properly shown. Their prices come down as sellers wait. Investors looking for fixer-uppers can often find a good opportunity by buying these homes. They'll put in some TLC, staging the home before putting them back on the market.
8. Look for homes that need cosmetic work, not major structural damages. For Houston investors beginning their fixer-upper career, it's difficult and expensive to fix structural problems. These include foundation cracks, stucco repairs, termites, bad roofs, or major water damage.
Look for "ugly homes" that could use new paint, carpeting, flooring, and appliances. These are the easiest and least expensive to fix.
9. Get pre-qualified for a mortgage with a Houston mortgage broker. Secure mortgage pre-qualification. You'll be able to make a firm commitment to buy and make your offer more desirable to the seller.
**10. Know your target purchase price. HoustonProperties.com recommends a simple financial model that tells you:
a) What you think the "fair value" of the home is,
b) How much you need to invest in the home,
c) What you think you can rent or sell it for when it's complete, and
d) How much investment return you expect to make (e.g. if you can make 3% keeping your money in the bank, 5-8% in the stock market, you'll want a higher return for your fixer-upper project).
Using these guides will help you create the right purchase price for your target home. Typically, this translates into a price that's 15-25% less than its fixed-up value. This model helps rationally guide you through the home purchase process and serves as your budget for the project.
For a free fixer-upper financial model template, please email PMartin@HoustonProperties.com.
11. After you've selected a home and are going through the Home Buying Process, (click here to read more Houston Home Buying Process tips) get several bids from local contractors. Click here for tips on selecting the right contractors.
12. Make the final closing contingent upon obtaining satisfactory bids for home improvements. You can back out of the deal if you find out during the home inspection that it's too expensive to complete the repairs.
13. After closing and repair, make sure you get the house ready for sale. This includes completing proper home staging. Click here for tips on selling Houston area homes.
To speak with a Houston Realtor at HoustonProperties.com for finding attractive Houston area fixer-uppers and investment properties, call 713-425-4194 today or contact PMartin@HoustonProperties.com for more information.
Notes Before Buying a Fixer Upper
"I can't recommend the Houston Properties Team enough. Working with Courtney Williams as our realtor has been a painless and wonderful experience and would recommend her to any of our friends and family. She and the Houston Properties Team guided us flawlessly through our first home purchase. There is no other person I would trust with our next home purchase after how amazing this process has been." - Chad Dubiel
Tackling a fixer-upper is a daunting task, especially for the inexperienced. It will require time and sweat equity.
Rushing a project this big can make costly mistakes beyond the realistic budget. Your realistic budget should include the closing cost in the budget.
Decide what needed immediate attention and what repairs you can put off at a later date. But, make sure to prioritize major issues and not just cosmetic ones.
If you need assistance in finding a fixer-upper in the best Houston neighborhood, email Paige Martin at PMartin@HoustonProperties.com.
The Best Houston Realtor to Sell Your Home
The Houston Properties Team has a well-defined structure based on the individual strengths of each member. Each member is a specialist in their role – which is why our homes sell faster and for more money than average.
Paige Martin, Broker Associate with Keller Williams Realty, and the Houston Properties Team are ranked among the top residential Realtors in the world.
They have been featured on TV and in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, Fortune Magazine, Reuters, Fox News in the Morning, Money Magazine, Houston Business Journal, Houstonia, and Houston Chronicle.
Paige Martin was just ranked as the #5 agent in the world with Keller Williams, completing over $1 Billion in Houston residential real estate sales.
Her recent awards include:
– 2021 Best Real Estate Teams in America, RealTrends.com
– 2021: Top 100 Women Leaders in Real Estate of 2021
– 2021: America’s Top 100 Real Estate Agents
– 2021: Top Real Estate Team (Houston Properties Team), Houston Business Journal
– 2021: Best Houston Real Estate Team, Best of Reader’s Choice
– 2021: Top Real Estate Team (Houston Properties Team), Houston Business Journal
– 2021: #1 Real Estate Team, Keller Williams Memorial
– 2020: America’s Best Real Estate Teams, Best of America Trends
– 2020: Best Houston Real Estate Team, Best of Reader’s Choice
– 2020: Top Real Estate Team (Houston Properties Team), Houston Business Journal
– 2020: #6 Individual Agent, Keller Williams, Worldwide
– 2020: #1 Individual Agent, Keller Williams, Texas (Top Keller Williams Realtor)
– 2020: #1 Real Estate Team, Keller Williams Memorial
- 2019: Top Residential Realtors in Houston, Houston Business Journal
- 2019: America’s Best Real Estate Agents, RealTrends.com
- 2019: #5 Individual Agent, KW Worldwide
- 2019: #1 Individual Agent, KW Texas
- 2018: #5 Individual Agent, Keller Williams, Worldwide
- 2018: #1 Individual Agent, Keller Williams, Texas
- 2018: #1 Individual Agent, Keller Williams, Houston
- 2018: America’s Best Real Estate Agents, RealTrends.com
- 2018: Top 25 Residential Realtor in Houston, Houston Business Journal
- 2018: Texas’ Most Influential Realtors
- 2017: #1 Individual Agent, Keller Williams, Texas
- 2017: #1 Individual Agent, Keller Williams, Houston
- 2017: #10 Individual Agent, Keller Williams, Worldwide
- 2017: America’s Best Real Estate Agents, RealTrends.com
- 2017: Top 25 Residential Realtor in Houston, Houston Business Journal
- 2017: Texas’ Most Influential Realtors
- 2016: #1 Individual Agent, Keller Williams, Texas
- 2016: #1 Individual Agent, Keller Williams, Houston
- 2016: #20 Individual Agent, Keller Williams, Worldwide
- 2016: Texas’ Most Influential Realtors
- 2016: Top 25 Residential Realtor in Houston, HBJ
- 2016: Five Star Realtor, Featured in Texas Monthly
- 2016: America’s Best Real Estate Agents, RealTrends.com
- 2015: #9 Individual Agent, Keller Williams, United States
- 2015: #1 Individual Agent, Keller Williams, Texas
- 2015: #1 Individual Agent, Keller Williams, Houston
- 2015: America’s Best Real Estate Agents, RealTrends.com
- 2015: Top 25 Residential Realtor in Houston, HBJ
- 2015: Five Star Realtor, Texas Monthly Magazine
- 2014: America’s Best Real Estate Agents, RealTrends.com
- 2014: #1 Individual Agent, Keller Williams Memorial
...in addition to over 318 additional awards.
Paige also serves a variety of non-profits, and civic and community boards. She was appointed by the mayor of Houston to be on the downtown TIRZ board.
Benefits Of Working With The Houston Properties Team
Our team, composed of distinguished and competent Houston luxury realtors, has a well-defined structure based on the individual strengths of each member.
We find the team approach as the most effective way to sell homes. We have dedicated people doing staging, marketing, social media, open houses, and showings. Each Houston Properties Team member is a specialist in their role—which is why our homes sell faster and for more money than average.
The benefits of working with a team include:
- the ability to be in two or three places at one time; a member can handle showings, while another answer calls
- collective time and experience of members
- targeted advice and marketing of agent expert in your area
- competitive advantage by simply having more resources, more ideas, and more perspectives
- a “checks and balances” system; selling and buying a home in Houston is an intensely complex process
- more people addressing field calls and questions from buyers and agents to facilitate a faster, successful sale
- efficient multi-tasking; one agent takes care of inspections and repair work, while another agent focuses on administrative details
- multiple marketing channels using members’ networks
- constant attention: guaranteed focus on your home and your transaction
- lower risk for mistakes. Multiple moving parts increase oversights. A team approach handles these “parts” separately
- flexibility in negotiation and marketing
- better management of document flow
- increased foot traffic through more timely and effective showing schedule coordination; and
- increased sphere of influence and exposure to more potential buyers.
To meet all the award-winning members of the Houston Properties Team, please go here.
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