Purchasing a Fixer Upper: Things to Consider Before Buying

On television today, there are so many different fixer upper shows that it is hard to keep track. With these shows growing in popularity – show hosts taking that beaten up old home on the corner and turning it into their clients dream home – the purchase of fixer upper properties around the country have become increasingly common. Who doesn’t want to buy a home for pennies on the dollar and turn it into the home they’ve always dreamed of while still remaining under their budget?

However, when it comes to purchasing a fixer upper home, not all of them are created equal. While some offer the opportunity to create your dream home while also having a ton of appreciation, other fixer uppers become monster projects that do nothing but steal your money (ever seen the movie “The Money Pit”?). So, how do you know the difference?

Here are some issues to think about first when considering buying a fixer upper home.

  1. Is the home in a bad neighborhood?:

There’s a saying in the real estate industry that states, “Location, location, location,” which is why this is the number one thing you need to consider when purchasing a fixer upper. On the television network HGTV’s website they state, “When it comes to renovating, almost anything can be done if you’ve got the budget, but there’s one thing you’ll never be able to change – location. If the house is located next to a sewage treatment plant or in a high-crime area, it doesn’t matter what you do to the property, it’s automatically unappealing to most buyers.” While you might see the potential in the home, you always have to think of resale, or what living would be like in the home if you are purchasing it as an investment property. Would another person want to buy or rent in that area/neighborhood, or say for example, in a flood area? If the answer is no, then it’s probably not a good idea for you to either.

  1. Is the home structurally sound?:

This one seems like a no brainer, but you would be surprised. When it comes to fixer uppers, a general rule you want to follow is making sure the home’s structure is more or less intact. There is a very large difference – in money – between some new cabinets and fresh coats of paint, and a home in such disarray that you move from a home makeover to a major home renovation. Forbes magazine said it well when they said, “If the home has structural or foundational issues, but the ‘lipstick on the pig’ looks good, then it’s too good to be true.” One idea is to bring along a home inspector with you to look at properties if you’re looking at fixer uppers. Though this might cost some money upfront, it could also save you a lot of money in the long run if they unearth any large structural issues.

With a fixer upper, there may also be larger ticket items that need attention like replacing the HVAC unit, putting on a new roof, or updating the plumbing. None of those are terribly horrible like a faulty foundation or structure, but are still more costly. So, make sure you ask yourself how far you are willing to go in renovating whatever fixer upper property you end up purchasing. Are you looking for that home in need of minor upgrades such as flooring and cabinets, or are you okay with a larger renovation project?

  1. Will the cost of renovating the home be too great to make a profit?:

If you’re looking to buy and flip a fixer upper in order to resell and make a profit, this is definitely something you need to be thinking about! For example, if you buy a home for $150,000, put $50,000 worth of renovations into it, but can only sell the home for $190,000, then you are out 10k on that project, not to mention closing costs! On top of that, you have to look at other homes in the area. What are they selling for? Will the amount of renovations you want to do to the home, and therefore the price at which you need to list in order to remake that money, be too expensive for that neighborhood? If so, then you might end up having to sell for way less than what you were originally asking for and what you need to profit in order to get your money back.


If you’re looking to purchase a fixer upper home either for yourself, or to flip and resell, these are just a few of things you should think about first. Fixer Upper home projects can be great! You get to create the home you’ve always wanted, or flip a home to make it a dream for someone else while making a profit for yourself, but don’t forget to use caution!

In this next fixer upper adventure we wish you happy hunting and good luck!

Listing Feature – 2921 Vinny Drive


This is our new listing, an immaculate Cavco manufactured home, in the desirable Vista Verde Estates. Set on a quiet cul-de-sac, this home has a very desirable location right next to Willow Lake which has beautiful boulder views and flat nature trails for walking. Located in the city of Prescott, the home is close to city amenities like medical, grocery stores, and restaurants.

With three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an attached two and a half car garage, this home has been extremely well-cared for. It is very clean and well maintained, making your move-in that much easier.

Offering a formal living room, informal dining spaces, and a deck for lounging in both the front and backyard, this home has a ton of extra space for you to make it your own.

The home also offers an open kitchen with a center island and large pantry, a master that is spacious and has an en-suite bathroom and walk-in closet, a separate indoor laundry room, and a two and a half car garage with room for storage. The outdoor living this home provides is the perfect place to enjoy your morning coffee with the surrounding trees that create a great sense of privacy. The backyard is completely fenced and has immaculate landscaping with mature, green trees, the entire landscaping of the home being low-maintenance.

Property Details:

  • $275,000
  • 1,387 Square Feet
  • 15 Acres
  • Built in 2004
  • 3 Bedroom
  • 2 Bathroom
  • 5 Car Garage

Interested in seeing this home for yourself? Call for your showing appointment today! 928-771-1111 OR e-mail us at info@kathleeny.com. We would love to answer any questions you may have!

Agent Feature – Julie Marquardt

Pictured above from left to right: sons Clay and Chad, husband Brian, and son Seth.


Married to a career military officer, Julie has spent much of her life traveling the globe with her husband, living in places such as Germany, California, Washington DC, and many more.

Julie and her husband Brian have raised three amazing boys – Clay, Seth, and Chad. Their eldest, Clay, lives in Washington DC and was recently married this past year in 2018. Seth is currently living in Texas and has followed in his mother’s footsteps, succeeding in his own real estate career. Their youngest, Chad, recently graduated from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix with a major in Natural Resources Tourism and a minor in Business Administration.

Julie started her career in real estate while her husband was stationed in Virginia before his retirement from the military in 2014. They moved to Prescott in 2015 where she obtained her Arizona real estate license, quickly becoming one of the most knowledgeable and beloved agents.

Julie is detail oriented and provides unparalleled service to her clients. She has her ABR (Accredited Buyer Representative) and is currently pursuing her GRI (Graduate of Realtor Institute). A representative of both buyers and sellers, she truly does it all! She is always looking to serve her clients with the utmost customer care and respect, her kindness and experience making her stand out among the rest.

Here are what some of Julie’s clients have to say about her:

“We worked with Julie Marquardt for over a year in search of our new home. House hunting with Julie was a true pleasure. She is a knowledgeable, enthusiastic and energetic, as well as patient, honest and respectful. She is intuitive and not afraid to offer an opinion when one is requested. She was extremely helpful in narrowing our extensive search that included a lengthy list of ‘must haves.’ When our search became frustrating, she got on the phone and called every realtor in Prescott inquiring about homes with our requirements that may come on the market in the near future. The effort proved fruitful and we purchased a home that had not yet been listed on the MLS. Julie once again went to bat for us during the negotiations phase ad was present for all the inspections. We have purchased several homes in several states and working with Julie has been our most positive experience. We can’t sing her praises too loudly or recommend her too highly. She is wonderful.” – Brad and Judy Hunt

“Julie is amazing! I was all over the place in my search, but she remained unfazed! I had a million questions and she was able to answer every one of them!” – Chuck and Barbara

“Our agent Julie Marquardt was absolutely perfect in all respects. We depended on her throughout the whole process. She came through at all times! We are so happy with her on all levels. We have found a new friend.” – Richard and Leslie Mount

“Thank you Julie for helping me close on my first property!” – Adrianna Holden

“Julie Marquardt is fabulous! She is super knowledgeable about Prescott, Prescott Valley, and the surrounding areas. She understands “country” properties super well, including water wells, septic, fire protection, HOA restrictions, and easements. Country properties with land are generally much more complicated than ‘town properties.’ Hence having someone like Julie to help you find that perfect horse property with a view is critical.” – Sam and Patricia Prather

Home Remodeling: Which Projects Are Worth It?

With home prices on the rise not only in Arizona, but also in almost every state, a lot of sellers have begun to opt for home remodels rather than selling their home. Or, they’ve decided to invest some money into upgrading their homes in hopes it will bring a good return when they do go to sell. Either way, any homeowner looking to do some remodeling must ask themselves this question: which projects are the most essential in increasing the value of my home?

While some may have the funds to do not only the maintenance to their homes, but also the expensive upgrades, in most cases we are left choosing between the new kitchen we’ve been dreaming of or replacing the old roof that is only going to last a few more years. So, the question is, which do you go for? The cosmetic upgrades to make your home more appealing to the eye, or the general maintenance that isn’t as easily noticed, but is often vital to the longevity of your home?

In most circumstances, realtors and contractors would agree that when it comes to choosing your projects for updating your home, the most important ones to tackle first are the ones that upgrade your home in its structural maintenance.

In Remodeling Magazine, the upgrades on homes that received the most money back for the value were projects such as replacing the siding (a 92.8% recoup) and replacing roofs and windows (an 80% recoup).

That isn’t what most of us want to hear, especially if we plan on staying in our homes and all we can think about is tossing those dirty kitchen cabinets or worn down carpets, and putting in nice wood. However, when you think about it realistically, it makes sense.

If you are staying in your home, you will spend all that hard saved money on a new kitchen, only to be hit with a larger bill a few years down the road when the roof or siding needs to be replaced.

For those selling sooner rather than later, it does not matter if the kitchen is sparkling new with granite counters and a farm tub sink, if there are too many big general repairs to be done, buyers will stay away. For example, the buyers may love the new kitchen you’ve installed, but if the roof is old and leaking, or the HVAC unit is at the end of its life, they will be scared away, or they’ll end up asking for those high end repairs at the end of the inspection period, at which point they could choose to walk away.

While Remodeling Magazine also showed that remodels such as minor kitchen updates (about $15,000 worth) also brought in about a 92.8% return on cost, in most cases, it’s the maintenance repairs that bring the most return on cost and that buyers would prefer to be done. These updates make sure the home is structurally sound and will last without a sudden tens of thousands of dollars repair.

No fancy kitchen is worth a faulty foundation or dilapidated roof, and most buyers will agree.

Creating Your Bedroom Retreat

When it comes to buying new furniture, there are often many questions one asks themselves.

What do today’s trends look like? What is my style? What kind of look am I going for?

These are just a few things you might consider when looking to buy new furniture. When it’s your own bedroom, there may be even more. Your bedroom is a place you should be able to come and relax, a place that helps you de-stress from a long day of work, or running the kids around, or one of the many other things that fill your day.

In order to do this, there are so many important decisions when re-doing your room. What will your color scheme be? Do you want rustic, or modern, or some other style of furnishings? Do you want clean lines and an open feel, or pops of color and zest? Whatever your style and tastes are, the more you make a room your own, the more it feels like a home and becomes a place you can truly come to kick up your feet and feel at ease

In this article from furniture.com titled “How to Create a Bedroom Retreat,” they walk you through the best ways to make a room your own and the importance of each piece of furniture in your room from drapery to throw pillow, each adding to the feel and relaxation of your space.

Along with their blog, furniture.com also offers a one-stop-shopping experience for furniture across the country and they offer a handy local sales finder, so you can find the furniture you love and have it shipped straight to you!

If you’re looking to re-do your room, or any room in your house really, we hope you find their article helpful and that it gives you some good ideas on how best to make your room your own little paradise.