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Fixer-upper homes cost 45% less than comparable turnkey homes: study

Buying a home that needs a little TLC might save you a considerable amount on your next property purchase.

The median cost of a fixer-upper home in the U.S. is $225,000.

That is 45% cheaper than similarly located turnkey homes that are the same size, according to Porch, an online home improvement website that connects homeowners and contractors.

Porch analyzed home listing prices on Redfin, a full-service real estate brokerage, to pin down the median costs of fixer-upper homes and turnkey homes.

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The current fixer-upper cost median is nearly 20% lower than what Porch observed in 2021, which was set at $280,000.

Fixer-upper homes were still cheaper than turnkey homes in both years, however.

Fixer-upper homes are defined as properties that are in need of repairs, while turnkey homes are defined as properties that are already renovated and are move-in ready.  (iStock / iStock)

While home buyers receive significant savings when they purchase fixer-upper homes, they must spend money and time (and sometimes endure a lot of aggravation) on renovations and repairs that can into the thousands of dollars.

Porch cited full structural skeleton and foundation renovation estimates from RemodelingCalculator.org and found that median repair costs for a certain project would be around $130 per square foot. 

That number is reportedly 15% higher on average than similarly located turnkey homes of the same size.

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Porch’s updated fixer-upper study found that only 1% of home listings in the U.S. have been classified as fixer-uppers in 2022 so far.

Contractor adds tiles to floor

Cost estimates from RemodelingCalculator.org say a full laminate floor renovation that is 350 square feet could cost between $1,464 and $2,056 with basic materials. (iStock / iStock)

Citing data from Redfin, home buyers have a higher chance of finding a fixer-upper in Mississippi, where 4.73% of homes are considered fixer-uppers; Maine, where 4.72% of homes are considered fixer-uppers; and Louisiana, where 3.64% of homes are considered fixer-uppers.

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Other notable states that have more than a 2% share of fixer-upper homes include Alaska (2.72%), Arkansas (2.72%), Hawaii (2.5%), Indiana (2.4%), Vermont (2.34%) and California (2.3%).

Person installs new roof tiles

Cost estimates from RemodelingCalculator.org say a full asphalt roof renovation that’s 1,600 square feet and requires a single layer tear-off could cost between $5,312 and $7,460 with basic materials. (iStock / iStock)

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
PRCH PORCH GROUP INC. 2.42 -0.35 -12.64%
RDFN REDFIN CORP. 8.48 -1.02 -10.74%

The states in which home buyers have a harder time finding a fixer-upper home are Utah, Nevada, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Massachusetts — all of which have a fixer-upper percentage share that is less than 1%.

As of May 2022, the median home sale price was $430,982, according to Redfin’s most recent Housing Market Overview.

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The real estate brokerage found that its reported median was a 15% increase over last year.