In this age of environmental concern, such as being green, it’s only appropriate that in addition to recycling old bottles, newspapers and cans, many people are seeing the benefits of recycling old or deteriorated building and houses.
Although it’s not a new concept to buy a rundown “fixer-upper” with the intention of restoring it to an attractive and comfortable home or an retail location, many buyers are taking a renewed interest and some banks are taking a closer look at this market.
What differentiates fixer-upper buyers from other homebuyers is when looking for a fixer-upper, the buyer is looking specifically for a house in such a condition that he or she would not want to live in it. The challenge comes in the steps it takes to remodel the fixer-upper into a home or an old charmed retail place.
The initial attraction of these properties is the cost, which is usually significantly below potential market value. In some areas, cities may even offer these properties for almost nothing to anybody willing to make the necessary repairs. Of course, bargains may not be what they seem, and fixer-uppers are called what they are for a reason.
If you decide to buy a fixer-upper requiring extensive remodeling, the big question is how to select a remodeler to do the work. As with any specialist you may hire, the best idea is for you to ask around and solicit advice from friends who have had good experiences with a specific remodeler. That way you can have an opportunity to find out what it was like working with that particular remodeler and to see the work that was done. If you are satisfied, then you can arrange to meet with the remodeler to see if the remodeler’s style and ideas make you comfortable.
Of course, depending on your budget and timetable, you may decide to buy the house and then prioritize the repairs, fixing only the essential main systems first.
Like any improvement, many variables will affect the return you receive on the investment. A rule of thumb is that any repair which brings a property up to the level of the other properties in the neighborhood is a worthy one. Eventually, the owner will face the principle of diminishing returns where the property’s value will not increase in proportion with the cost of the improvements.
One thing that is not variable is shoddy workmanship, which will not increase a property’s value. The time and resources necessary to restore a fixer-upper may not be acceptable to everybody, but those who decide to accept the challenge and make the commitment to invest in improvements can be richly rewarded.
Remodeling an old building or an old home is no easy task, particularly if you’re planning a full makeover. Older home remodels often present more challenges due to uneven floors, walls that aren’t square, lead paint and asbestos in the building.
Even if you plan to handle much of the remodeling yourself, knowing when to call on the help of professionals is important. Consider the scope of your project before you begin the work.
Blanco’s Certificate of Appropriateness – Continued
Blanco’s Historic Preservation Commission had a special meeting on Thursday, February 10 with three representatives of Uptown Blanco Ltd., in keeping with the beautiful town of Blanco in the downtown historic district. Uptown Blanco Ltd., were given the green light on the following two items:
A sign will be erected on top of the old Glasscock Building #1 and # 2 located at 315 and 317 Main Street in the National Registry of Historic Places. Plus, one flag pole will be allowed above the theater. Lighting will be allowed with use of lowest lumens possible to avoid unnecessary illumination of the night sky.
Charles Willgren produced pictures from the OBCCPS collection, taken in the 1890s, that showed parapets on top of the Old Masonic and the Comparet Buildings with the “wings”.
This article was contributed by Rudy Nino, a member of the HPC and a local builder/remodeler.