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Find bargains in awkward layouts, not fixer-uppers

Submitted by a LOZO expert
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Traditional wisdom held that a fixer-upper (i.e., a house that needs obvious remodeling work to fix issues) could be a great bargain for someone who knows a thing or two about managing a construction project. In fact, with lots of investors buying up properties, and both buyers and sellers becoming more sophisticated, the potential for a bargain is now much less likely. Typically the discount you will get on the house already reflects the cost to do the necessary repairs, which can be quite substantial. On the other hand, there are still bargains to be found on houses that have good ""footprints"" (the basic dimensions of the house) but awkward internal layouts. If you have an eye for design, look for homes that can be easily improved by strategically adding or removing walls to change the layout. For example, you might address two awkward smaller rooms by removing a dividing wall to make one really useful large room. With some creative decoration you can dress up any support beams that are revealed. Generally speaking this type of remodeling is not nearly as costly as people think (less than $1,000 to move a wall, provided it is not load-bearing).

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