Boston real estate for sale and finding a fixer up condo
The “fixer” downtown condo for sale buyer pool no longer exclusively consists of contractors and small-scale developers. Instead, the first-time-home buyers are now in the market to purchase a fixer and turn it into their dream home while building up equity.
Contractors are stepping back a bit due to rising construction costs and slow down of contruction material coming from China. The end user, on the other hand, can decide how to renovate within his or her budget, and not have to worry about trying to make a resale profit. And that buyer also has the opportunity to design the downtown condo in a much more personal way.
But beware the fixer up condo process is not without its pitfalls, and isn’t for the faint of heart. Many unexpected problems can arise, and you can easily find yourself exceeding your budget. In that spirit, I wanted to offer a few tips to help you stay on track:
If you’re planning renovate a Beacon Hill condo, definitely consult with an architect on site before you start. Your big ideas for a roof deck may not be something that the Beacon Hill architectural committee will approve for one reason or another.
Doing an interior renovation—for example, new kitchen, baths, moving a wall here and there, electrical/plumbing upgrades, and new flooring—can run several hundred thousand dollars.
If you’re working within the permit process is a lot faster. But you still need to draw up plans with an architect and nail down very busy contractors. Estimate at least a year from purchase to completion if you have your peeps ready to go by the time you close escrow. For horizontal or vertical additions, the process will be longer due to neighborhood notifications and a more complex permit process. That timeline has implications for where you’ll live until your project gets the green light, as well as during construction.
Costs vary widely, so it’s worth consulting with two or three contractors. Who you work with will come down to personal recommendations from friends, overall cost estimate, and availability. And don’t forget to check license details with the Contractors State License Board and the Better Business Bureau.
Though it’s great when you can take a hands-on approach to a renovation, personally selecting all the materials and finishes yourself.