In the real world (as opposed to HGTV) fixing it up takes time, money & skill. Price it out before you make an offer, and be conservative. I’m not just talking about dilapidated farmhouses circa 1890 – I’m talking about: Do you buy the house with the new kitchen & in-ground pool or the one that needs both (when both are on your Must-Have list.)
For example: Pools – the cost to build a pool might be $50,000. The cost to buy a house with a pool – about $10,000 more than a comparable without a pool. The cost of a new kitchen compared to buying a home with a new kitchen is comparable in itself – but what about the time it will take to complete the project and the work zone created which puts you out of a most-used room in the house?
Do you need permits for the work? And are you qualified to do the work? There is far more policing of permits now – and I don’t believe it is just because the county wants to tax us on our upgrades. I truly think they want to keep us safe, too! The more liability-conscious a society we become, the more important it becomes to go through the appropriate processes.
Nothing wrong with buying a fixer-upper – it can be an incredibly fulfilling project. But it does requires a bit more thought & homework before you proceed.