Eview Group

So you want to buy a fixer-upper…here’s what you should know

It’s the great Australian dream, the subject of many a lively dinner party, and the content of countless TV shows – that poor dejected property that was transformed into a million-dollar beauty.

At some point in our real estate journey, many of us toy with the desire to buy a fixer-upper and give it a whole new lease on life.

Whether it’s a Queenslander, a semi-detached terrace, or a derelict 1800s Victorian, if you’re in the market for a fixer upper, here’s what you should know…

Structural issues

That grand old lady just begging for a new lease of life might have more secrets than you know, which is why expert advice is definitely required before you sign on the dotted line of any fixer-upper.

In addition to cosmetic plans you have for the property and additions that you’re considering implementing, you need to know if there are structural issues lurking beneath this stately old girl’s exterior.

Structural problems quickly add to the cost of any renovation, so make sure you have that pest and building inspection done and know exactly what you’re up for.

Scope of work

While you’re considering which areas need attention, get crystal clear on your scope of work and its cost. And again, that’s where expert opinion can be invaluable.

That means taking the time to consider and liaise with a builder or tradesperson about what renovations and repairs you’re likely to make along with any additions.

At this stage your aptitude, budget and skill all come into the equation. How much of this work can you feasibly do yourself, what must be outsourced, and what’s that likely to cost?


A fixer-upper steals your time just as quickly as it steals your heart, so be prepared to invest weekends and holidays into your love affair with that property.

This timeframe can obviously be cut down by calling in the pro’s but is this factored into your costs?

Heritage and council requirements

If your fixer-upper happens to be heritage listed, there’s a chance it comes with some restrictions about what you can and can’t do to the property, especially when it comes to the exterior.

This is worth investigating prior to purchase by seeking out the heritage property guidelines in your local council area.


Really, this is the big one… a fixer-upper might come at a reduced cost but that’s likely because you will be investing significant funds into it during the renovation journey.

It pays to be realistic about your budget, understand the costs involved in your property, and account for them at the outset.

The final transformation

Anyone who has been part of the renovation journey of a fixer-upper will tell you how rewarding and at times challenging it can be.

Our agents have countless stories of the incredible transformations they’ve been privy to as property market experts.

If you have a passion for property, an eye for renovations, and the budget to accommodate your plans, purchasing a fixer-upper is one of life’s great adventures where your efforts can reap big results while preserving a piece of Australian property history.

You can view the properties that we currently have available here.