Fixer or Turn Key?

Looking for a home in California? I can help! As someone who knows potential, I love finding fixer uppers for clients as well as turn-key properties for the people who want to move in quickly! If you’re interested in real estate outside of the Southern California area you can still find something here.


A flip we did in 2018, follow here for the complete story.

While looking for homes there are some things to consider:

Fixers vary in condition obviously. The most important thing to determine is budget. I cannot stress this enough. The last thing you want is to be stuck with a property that you cannot finish. Make sure as you are carrying the mortgage you can also afford to reasonably pay for construction. Be on top of the budget and maintain communication with your contractor.

Hire a general contractor who has subcontractors that he trusts and has worked with in the past. Some general contractors just sub out the work to the lowest subs. Others work as a team and have worked together for years. Being married to a general contractor, I can tell you that my husbands guys bend over backwards for him because he does the same for them. They will work so much harder for him than many would because of their trust that they will get paid on time and that he will consistently give them work. I can’t tell you the amount of times my husband has given them payments without being paid himself. That being said I recommend Innovative Builders for large construction projects in Southern California. Check his website out here.

Be realistic on what you can afford. I know this goes with the budget above but seriously, don’t think you can afford a turn-key home when you will be barely able to make the mortgage every month. Sometimes although fixer-uppers take longer they are WAY more budget friendly. We decided on our home because it was in a school district we wanted and it was the lowest price home I could find. I knew we were just going to tear the thing apart so I didn’t care what the inside really looked like. I had one demand, an attached garage in the front as to not take up any precious yard space in the back. I’m obsessed with back yards! This is my old backyard below. We’re building a house right now but I still am going to miss this yard!

Be open to another area. Many times clients are so stuck on finding a home within 1 sq mile of a location that they miss out on some really amazing neighborhoods. Living in Long Beach, CA there are some amazing neighborhoods full of potential that people write off because they want to be walking distance to a starbucks. Why not walk to a local coffee shop instead and be in a place where your neighbors actually want to know you?

Hire a qualified Real Estate Agent. Someone who knows your style, your budget, your lender, etc. Knowledge is power. Buying can be a stressful experience but having someone who has professionals at their grasp for any question or concern is really an added value to you.

HAVE FUN! Shopping for a home should be a fun experience! If you’re majorly stressed while shopping it could be that your agent really can’t tell what you want! Either find a new agent or sit down with them and tell them the things you don’t like about the homes you’ve seen. Good luck with all your home buying needs and if you want to focus on the design and renovation, just enjoy the eye-candy on our site!