What buyers should know before choosing a fixer-upper

Here's the sitch with permit costs and wait times

BY Staff Writer

SEP 15



  • Kitchen and bathroom (37 percent), other interior remodels (23 percent) and additions (21 percent) were the most popular renovations homeowners took on this year.
  • Fifty-two percent of first-time applicants knew they needed a permit, while five percent of first-time applicants had never heard of a permit.
  • The average permit costs $500 or less and takes two to four weeks to obtain.

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Despite being in the midst of an inventory shortage, buyers have been resilient in their quest to become homeowners. For many, that means putting time and money toward transforming fixer-uppers into the dream home they’ve always wanted.

In 2016, first-time buyers spent an average of $33,800 on renovations — about $7,600 more than experienced owners.

While it may be tempting for homeowning newbies (and veterans) to simply tap into their inner HGTV persona and begin knocking down walls, Houzz’s 2017 Renovation and Regulation Study shows it takes much more than nails and drywall to transform a house.