First Time Home Buyers Find Sound Advice on Fixer-Uppers on

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First time homebuyers taking advantage of a buyer's real estate market need advice about which fixer-upper will shine after a bit of sweat equity. helps old house enthusiasts with every aspect of their home remodeling projects.

A recent column, "We're First Time Buyers: Does Sweat Equity Pay Off?" describes the features first time home buyers should seek out in their home purchases ( Recent low home prices have spurred interest in fixer-upper homes. Even buyers with limited home remodeling experience are using sweat equity to increase the value of their homes., a how-to site offering ideas, articles and resources to old-house enthusiasts, shows them how.

The best fixer-upper houses have structural integrity and are located in stable neighborhoods with good schools. advises buyers to seek out pre-World War II homes with functional kitchens and big square footage for the price. These homes require buyers to put in some sweat equity to make needed improvements, but none of the improvements are too costly or difficult. Peeling paint, unattractive wallpaper, old light fixtures, dirty carpets and shaggy landscaping can all be tackled by home remodeling rookies.

The column cautions first time home buyers against choosing homes from the 19th century or earlier ( These homes often need major structural work, which is beyond the skill of most first time home remodelers. Water damage, cracked foundations and bad wiring are all potential deal breakers. First time home buyers should hire a home inspector to ensure that their potential purchase does not need any major repairs.

Now is a particularly good time for first time home buyers to purchase a home. David Lereah, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, explains, "We are now in a solid buyer's market. It has been a seller's market for many years, but now we are seeing people across the country making deals and bringing prices down."

The housing inventory provides a way to measure the housing market. Lereah reports that it would take 7.4 months for buyers to purchase all of the homes currently available for sale. In a balanced housing market, the housing inventory could be sold in 5.5 to 6 months. The current market has more sellers than buyers. Buyers willing to commit some sweat equity to their new home can increase its resale value by thousands of dollars. is a complete old-house remodeling interactive Web site offering old-house enthusiasts how-to resources spanning several industries from cabinetry to architecture. includes before and after renovation pictures, feature articles, a product showcase and an active forum featuring thousands of questions, solutions and successes.


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