Fixer-Upper vs. Renovated Homes: Which is the Better Investment?

In the ever-evolving world of real estate, the age-old debate between fixer-uppers and renovated homes remains a hot topic of discussion, especially in the dynamic Sydney housing market. Whether you’re new to the market or looking for your forever home, choosing between these two options can be a daunting task. In this comprehensive blog, we’ll dive deep into the Sydney real estate scene to help you decide which path might be the best opportunity for you.

The Sydney Housing Market

Before delving into the fixer-upper vs. renovated home debate, it’s essential to understand the current state of the Sydney housing market. Sydney has consistently been one of Australia’s most sought-after cities for both homeowners and renters due to its thriving economy, stunning landscapes, and vibrant lifestyle. However, this high demand has led to increasing property prices over the years.

According to the latest CoreLogic Home Value Index, released in August 2023, the median price of a house in Sydney now sits at $1,333,985 with apartments averaging around $817,059. These prices tend to vary greatly depending on the neighbourhood, proximity to amenities, and the condition of the property.

So how do you make sense of it all? You lean on trusted professionals who have been in the game for 25 years. So let’s explore the pros and cons of fixer-uppers and renovated homes.


Fixer-Upper Homes: Pros

Lower Purchase Price: Fixer-uppers can come with a lower initial purchase price. This can be an attractive option for homeowners with a limited budget. If you’re looking for your first home, or simply looking at higher-cost areas, it makes sense to find a property that needs a bit of love to enter into your preferred area.

Customisation: Buying a fixer-upper allows you to tailor the property to your specific tastes and needs. You can create the perfect home from scratch, adding personal touches that are hard to find in renovated properties.

However it’s important to make sure the ‘non-negotiables’ are there. These are elements that can’t be altered in a renovation situation but are critical to purchasing the right property. These include:

      1. Aspect – North is always ideal for the perfect balance of morning and afternoon light. However, you need to consider your location and personal preferences as these may impact factors such as temperature, views, energy efficiency and more. 
      2. Position – where the property sits on the block itself is critical, not too close to the road but with an adequate backyard.
      3. Proximity to amenities – Check out how many local schools are within walking distance as well as public transport, health, food, wellbeing and more. Certain amenities will be more attractive to different audiences so it’s important to lay out your own non-negotiables.
      4. Suburb Demographics – It’s important to understand the types of people living in your area and its layout. This contributes to the walkability, services and general feel of a suburb.




    While there is a whole lot more to consider, these a just a few. Buyers Agents can help you make sense of all these factors and find you the perfect home that ticks all your boxes. 

    Value-Add Potential: When done right, renovating a fixer-upper can yield substantial profits when it comes time to move your investment on. Sydney’s real estate market has shown consistent growth over the years, making it an appealing choice for homeowners.

    Less Competition: Fixer-uppers often face less competition from other buyers, which can lead to better negotiation opportunities and potentially lower purchase prices.

    Fixer-Upper Homes: Cons

    Time Consuming: Renovations may require a property to be vacant for an extended period, meaning you may have to factor in additional time spent in a temporary location before moving in.

    High Renovation Costs: Renovations can be expensive, especially in a city like Sydney, where labour and materials costs are relatively high. Overruns in the budget are common, and this can lead to financial strain.

    Unforeseen Issues: Older properties may hide structural or maintenance issues that can add unexpected costs to your renovation project.

    We’ve been in the game a long time, and we specialise in designing, managing and delivering design and renovation projects for our home buyers. We find that buying a fixer-upper can be very daunting for our clients because of these cons. But that’s what we’re here for. Not only do we advise, purchase and manage your properties, but we can also help coordinate and deliver your renovation projects too with our trusted industry contacts. 




    Renovated Homes: Pros

    Move-In Ready: Renovated homes are ready for immediate occupancy, saving you time and hassle associated with renovations. You can instantly make yourself at home.

    Predictable Costs: With a renovated property, you know the exact cost upfront, which can help you plan your budget more effectively.

    Higher Resale Value: If it comes time to move your investment on, renovated homes often command a higher resale value due to their modern features and move-in condition. 

    Renovated Homes: Cons

    Higher Purchase Price: The convenience of a renovated home comes at a premium, with higher purchase prices compared to fixer-uppers.

    Limited Customisation: While renovated homes offer modern amenities, they may not cater to your unique preferences, limiting your ability to customise.

    Competitive Market: Sydney’s housing market is fiercely competitive, and renovated homes tend to attract multiple buyers, potentially leading to bidding wars.



    So what’s the answer?

    Ultimately, whether you opt for a fixer-upper or a renovated home in Sydney depends on your individual circumstances, budget, and long-term goals. In Sydney’s competitive real estate market, both options can be lucrative investments, but they cater to different needs.

    Before making a decision, consult with a qualified buyer’s agent who has expertise in the Sydney market. They can provide valuable insights, up-to-date statistics, and guidance tailored to your specific situation. Remember that in real estate, there is no one-size-fits-all answer, so take your time to weigh the pros and cons carefully before taking the plunge into the Sydney real estate scene. 

    Looking for an expert opinion with 25 years experience? Contact us today. 

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