Why You Should (Or Shouldn’t) Invest In A Nashville “Fixer-Upper”

Nashville, TN is a thriving city that is not only growing in real estate, but it is also getting a “face lift” in many popular neighborhoods. Prevalent and trendy areas such as East Nashville, 12 South, and Sylvan Park are notorious for older homes primarily built in the 40’s and 50’s that are being bought and completely renovated – boasting a contemporary and trendy allure yet maintaining its original nostalgic charm. Many first-time home buyers and Nashville investors are gobbling up these older homes and putting a lot of elbow grease into major renovations.  So before you consider investing in a “fixer-upper” in Nashville, you should ask yourself some very key questions. These questions might seem obvious, but it’s imperative that you can truly answer “yes” to all of them before committing yourself to a rehab project.


          Do you prefer a new or older home?

          Are you prepared for the challenges? Both anticipated and unforeseen?

          Do you have the patience to withstand a possibly long process?


One of the greater advantages of a fixer-upper is that it serves as a great way to get into a larger house or into a better neighborhood than you might be able to get into otherwise. If you’re someone who loves the charm and character of older homes; the archways, hardwood floors, moldings, architectural details, etc., but love the features and conveniences of modern amenities then renovating an older home may just be the perfect investment for you.

Have An Inspection:

First things first – have an inspection before you buy your home. Be sure to tell the inspector that you plan on renovating the property. A home inspection can put your mind at ease and help you determine if your investment is a sound one. Or it will help you ascertain whether or not you want to back out. If your home will require foundation work, plumbing work, or wall repairs it is vital that your make a list of pros and cons to determine if this is something you want to dive into both financially and emotionally. Major home renovations can stretch out for months which can take a toll on your stress level.

What To Expect:

If you decide to commit yourself to home renovations you’ll need to take into consideration whether or not you will be living on or off the premises. Living on premises is obviously more economical, however, for more extensive projects living in the home in the interim can be very unpleasant and displacing. You also need to expect a lot dust. Your home will be a construction zone for quite some time. Depending on how much of an overhaul you’ll be doing you may be living out of suitcases and moving from room to room while work is in progress. Chances are you will be living without a fully functioning bathroom and kitchen. If you have children I would strongly recommend living off premises for health and safety reasons.

Calculate Your Budget:

The money you will save on purchasing a fixer-upper obviously will be allocated towards renovations. There are some creative and savvy ways to save on renovations but it would be in your best interest to not compromise quality. As with any major purchase you want to get the best for what you can afford. Statistically the most beneficial areas of a home to invest the most money into are the kitchen, bathrooms, and master suite as these are the biggest selling points of a home overall. Try your best to economize your budget to include stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops, and high quality fixtures. Although hard wood flooring is known to be more expensive than carpeting, it is a more sought after feature among buyers therefore an option you should probably consider if you are interested in eventually selling the house.  

When planning your budget always get multiple estimates from contractors. You need to factor in materials and labor and be sure to have enough financial cushion for any unforeseen problems or disasters. You never want to run your well dry.


Expect The Unexpected

Although renovating a home can be very exciting it can also be very stressful. Home renovations are rarely a project of smooth sailings. A lot of things can go wrong, and they do! Be realistic and anticipate some setbacks. Appliances may not ship off on time, your kitchen cabinet manufacturer may send the wrong wood selection, a granite counter slab may be cut wrong, your contractor may get backed up or short on man power, etc. Thease are all relatively small things that are bound to happen but will resolve themselves in due time. You may also discover after renovations have commenced that something needs to be fixed that you didn’t initially know about. No one wants to be slapped in the middle of a renovation project with n unknown costly repair, but it does happen so brace yourself if and when it arises. 


The Finished Product


Take a deep breath and take things in one-at-a-time. Always keep in mind what the final end result will be like as a propeller to keep you moving forward. Have fun with it. In the end you will have a home that is tailored specifically to your liking and your needs. You will have more of a sense of appreciation and pride for the home knowing that you put in so much work and dedication into it. 


Reference: Freshome; MSN Real Estate


If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling

a Nashville Home please contact:


Emily Lowe 

The Lipman Group | Sotheby’s International Realty 

Office: (615) 463-3333 / Cell: (615) 509-1753