Kirkland Residents: How to Know if Fixer-Upper Houses Are Worth the Price

Fixer or finished? Cost-effective or expensive? When choosing a house these are just a few questions. But is a fixer-upper right for you? Find out!


Kirkland, Washington, is known for million-dollar homes, waterfront locations, and being a bit of a break from the space of Seattle. If you are looking into a fixer-upper in this community, you might be concerned about whether it is worth the investment. Read below to find out more about buying a fixer-upper.

Do the Math

A new home is not worth major debt, so pick something in your budget! If you are looking at a fixer-upper, first, add up what it will cost to renovate the property. Base these numbers on an assessment of the condition of the house. Include materials, labor, gas, and electricity in your estimate. Think about whether you want to add any features that you will have to build from scratch, like a new bedroom or garage.

Next, subtract your estimate from the home’s likely market value after renovation. Base this market prediction on the prices of similar homes in and around the neighborhood. Deduct another 5 to 10 percent for extras, because there will always be unforeseen expenses. What’s left should be your offer. 

Want vs. Need

At the end of the day, you want to make a home your own. The great thing about buying a house that needs work is that you have free reign to choose what you want in your house, from the flooring to the doorknobs. You get to turn the house into your dream home, and at a much lower price than the cost of a “move-in ready” house.

Be sure to check the local zoning laws before you buy a fixer-upper. You’ll need to obtain building permits if you make structural changes. If you are in a historic district, you may be prohibited from altering parts of the property altogether.

Structure vs. Cosmetics

When looking into a fixer-upper, it is crucial to have an expert come to the property and check on the structural integrity. Although the house may look like an easy fix, having a look at the supports, plumbing, electrical, and other essentials of the home before purchasing can be a way to protect your family and your pocketbook. If a home would cost more to fix than you are willing to pay, it may be a better idea to keep looking. 

If you have the structure inspected and it seems that it has great bones, cosmetic changes are easy to make. Choosing French doors instead of sliding barn doors is much easier than removing a whole wall because of warped studs. 


When choosing a fixer-upper, location is a key ingredient in finding that forever home. A house on a busy street across from a landfill will always be less desirable than a home in a quiet neighborhood. A fresh coat of paint can’t fix an undesirable location. It is also important to look into schools in the area if children are involved, hospitals, job offices, grocery stores, and other places that you attend each day. 

Learn More About Restoration of a Home

At Eakman Construction, we know it is important to not only find a home but one that is right for you and your family. WIth Kirkland Custom Home Building, we are here to deliver your dream through years of skill and experience. Give us a call today at (206) 972-2275 to work with one of our trusted contractors to design your dream home and make it your reality.