Elbow Grease

These Are The Top 10 Cities To Buy A ‘Fixer Upper’

As housing prices continue to rise, people are turning to "fixer-uppers" to make their homeownership dreams come true. But where are the fixer-upper homes?

Originally Published: 
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Many home buyers turn to "fixer-uppers" to make their homeownership dreams come true. (I mean — there’s a whole show about it, however you feel about it.) These homes are typically older, smaller, and need structural, functional, or cosmetic upgrades to be livable — but they also come with the perk of having a much lower price tag (at least initially) and the ability to customize a home to be your dream abode. If a fixer-upper home is something you're considering, it turns out there are some top cities when it comes to the fixer-upper market.

Home buyers, especially first-time homebuyers, face a combination of issues that have made finding the perfect house challenging. Last year, homes outside the city were in short supply as people moved to areas with more space. Then came the supply and demand issue, which made every home purchase a nightmare buyer bidding war, followed by high inflation and interest rates.

"But there's still another card to play, and that's fixer-uppers," StorageCafe, an online platform that provides storage unit listings across the nation, says. "They do require a consistent amount of work – and time – until they're ready to be called 'home,' but they can be a real solution for budget-minded buyers."

Of course, some cities will have more fixer uppers available than others, and price points matter, too. So where are those? StorageCafe wanted to "find out which cities are best equipped to support homebuyers in their search for fixer-uppers." So, they pulled the data, sifted through it, and came up with a list of the top 10 cities to buy a fixer-upper home.

Data was pulled from "for-sale" listings in the 50 biggest states to put the list together. "To identify listings that qualified as 'fixer-uppers,' we used listing 'tag' filters such as 'TLC,' 'good bones,' 'as-is,' 'need of repairs,'" StorageCafe explained. Other data points that were factored into the listing included the size of the home and lot, self-storage costs, and inventory.

"Essentially, we were able to determine which markets are more favorable to homebuyers looking for fixer-uppers from both an availability and an affordability standpoint," StorageCafe explained.

And there were some interesting findings in the data. "According to our research, in the 50 biggest US cities, fixer-uppers are 32% cheaper on average than standard homes ($307K vs. $448K)," the site reports. "Moreover, you might be in for some real bargains if you're up for putting in some elbow grease – especially in tight markets."

So which cities may be best to buy a fixer-upper home in, according to the metrics StorageCafe compiled?

  1. Milwaukee, WI
  2. Philadelphia, PA
  3. Detroit, MI
  4. Memphis, TN
  5. Baltimore, MD
  6. Jacksonville, FL
  7. Dallas, TX
  8. Louisville, KY
  9. Miami, FL
  10. Fresno, CA

It sounds like if you're willing to move, and put in the work to turn the house a home, a fixer-upper might be the ticket you need.

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