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Fixer-Uppers Offer Path to Homeownership

Buying a fixer-upper remains a viable option for many buyers trying to stretch their dollar in the current environment of still-rising home prices, bidding wars, low inventory and rising interest rates. While these properties do require buyers to put in a significant investment in physical work—not to mention time—they are a real solution for cost sensitive buyers. 

Asking the question “which cities are best to find a fixer-upper" StorageCafe conducted deep research into 61,200 active listings on Point2 by breaking those properties down into price, number of other fixer-upper listings in the area, home size and lot size. The study also took into account local storage costs as properties that are listed as fixer-uppers are generally smaller (1,400 square feet compared to an average of 1,900) and it’s more likely that owners will need to store a portion of their possessions as work is completed. 

All-in-all, the research found that in the 50 largest metropolitan areas, properties that were listed as a fixer-upper were 32% cheaper on average than standard homes coming in at $307,000 and $448,000, respectively. This comes to an average savings of $155,000 for the average buyer; price differences can be even higher in high-cost cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles, where savings can top $400,000 to other hotspots like Atlanta, Dallas and Houston where you could still find savings of $250,000. 

Among the top 50 cities, Milwaukee, Wisconsin emerged as the best city for getting a fixer-upper. It’s status as a pre-industrial city, it has a generous amount of investor of homes that need work. These properties make up 12% all listings for the city, double the overall average of all other cities. 

In Milwaukee, a savvy buyer can pick up one of these homes for $80,000, lower than prices for regular, non-fixer-upper homes ($195K). 

Click here to view a complete ranking of the best cities to find a fixer-upper.

About Author: Kyle G. Horst

Kyle Horst
Kyle G. Horst is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of the University of Texas at Tyler, he has worked for a number of daily, weekly, and monthly publications in South Dakota and Texas. With more than 10 years of experience in community journalism, he has won a number of state, national, and international awards for his writing and photography. He most recently worked as editor of Community Impact Newspaper covering a number of Dallas-Ft. Worth communities on a hyperlocal level. Contact Kyle G. at [email protected]
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