Buying An Atlanta Fixer Upper: What You Need to Know


Buying An Atlanta Fixer Upper: What You Need to Know

If you watch HGTV, then there’s a chance you’ve been inspired by Joanna Gaines or Flip or Flop: Atlanta to buy a fixer-upper. There’s nothing more rewarding than renovating a home to fit your ideal style, but it takes a lot of TLC to get those “before and after” photos. 

If you’re looking for your own Atlanta fixer-upper, here’s a realistic take on what to expect.

Setting Expectations

Perhaps the greatest perk of an older home is the lower listing price. However, this typically comes hand-in-hand with a laundry list of repairs that need to be made. Some home updates are much more costly than others, so it’s important to know what expenditures to expect when you go under contract.

Take a look at some of the most expensive home repairs that might pop up:

Foundation Repair | $5,000-$50,000

Roof Replacement | $5,000-$45,000

HVAC System | $5,000-$15,000

Electrical Rewiring | $5,000-$15,000

Window Replacement | $500-$1,000 (per window)

Plumbing Repairs | $3,000-$16,000 

(Data from


When a Home Has “Good Bones”

What does it mean when inspectors say a house has “good bones”? This typically refers to the overall construction and structure of the home. There’s nothing worse than faulty plumbing or cheap materials that are bound to deteriorate over time. The durability of a home is important for surprise factors that a homeowner might not expect, such as natural disasters or other weather concerns.


It’s all about timing.

Many fixer-upper projects are dependent on the owner’s preferred timeline. It’s best to tackle large projects one chunk at a time if you plan on living in the home while renovating the space. However, if you’re planning to “flip” a home—buying and updating a property with the sole intention of selling it at a higher price—then you might focus on projects that will yield a higher return on investment.

Here's a breakdown of the top reno projects for the best ROI:

Minor Bathroom Remodel | Returns an average of 102%

Landscaping | Returns an average of 100%

Minor Kitchen Remodel | Returns an average of 98.5%

Major Kitchen Remodel | Returns an average of 91%

Entry Door Replacement | Returns an average of 90.7%

Deck/Patio/Porch Addition | Returns an average of 90.3%

Basement Remodel | Returns an average of 90.1%

(Data from


Older Homes Have Character

We don’t want to scare you when it comes to fixing up older homes. Compared to some cookie-cutter new build communities, older homes have natural charm and character that can contribute to a lovely living experience.

So, here are a few fixer-upper positives to inspire you during your renovation journey—as well as some flipping negatives to learn from:

PRO: Older houses are typically located in well-established neighborhoods with mature trees and a sense of community.

CON: Old homes can harbor toxins. Materials such as lead and asbestos are common in old homes and can be a health hazard if they aren’t dealt with properly.

PRO: When renovating, you have the chance to customize your home to suit your specific needs and style preferences.

CON: Renovations could take more time. Since old homes aren’t generally cookie-cutter, unexpected surprises are often found during renovations.

PRO: Older homes often boast unique architectural details, craftsmanship, and character that can’t be replicated in new construction.

CON: Older homes are more likely to have moisture problems, due to unidentified leaks and flooding or water damage that was never fixed properly. As a result, mold or mildew may be present.


Does renovating an old home still feel overwhelming? No worries. The LaMon Team is connected to multiple local contractors who would be happy to help you out. We work with the best of the best in Atlanta, and we’d be happy to connect you to our top recommendations.

With a little extra love and the help of a local contractor, your fixer-upper will be the talk of the town! 



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