Simple living room in need of remodel.

how to find fixer uppers in great neighborhoods

Are you in the market for a new home or investment property? Have you ever considered purchasing a fixer-upper in a desirable neighborhood? Fixer-uppers can offer great potential for those willing to put in the work, and they often come at a lower cost than move-in-ready homes in the same area. Below, we’ll explore how to find those hidden gems – fixer-uppers in great neighborhoods – and turn them into your dream home or a profitable investment.

1. Identify Your Desired Neighborhood

The first step in finding a fixer-upper in a great neighborhood is to decide where you want to live. Research the neighborhoods that interest you and consider factors like safety, schools, amenities, and proximity to work or essential services. Once you’ve narrowed it down, you’ll have a clear target area to focus on.

2. Define Your Budget

Determine your budget for the entire project, including the purchase price, renovations, and any unexpected expenses. You’ll need a good understanding of what you can afford before diving into your search. Factor in a buffer for unforeseen costs to avoid financial stress.

3. Connect with Real Estate Agents

Enlist the help of a local real estate agent who specializes in your chosen neighborhood. Experienced agents are well-connected and can help you find off-market listings, including fixer-uppers that may not be publicly listed yet. They also possess in-depth knowledge of the area’s real estate trends.

4. Scour Online Listings

Keep an eye on online real estate platforms like Bank Foreclosures Sale, Zillow,, and Redfin. While many listings will be for move-in-ready homes, you can often find fixer-uppers in need of renovation. Use filters and keywords like “handyman special,” “fixer-upper,” or “investment opportunity” to narrow down your search.

5. Attend Real Estate Auctions

Real estate auctions, including foreclosure auctions, are excellent places to find fixer-uppers. Be prepared to bid competitively, as these auctions often attract investors. However, if you do your research, you can find fantastic opportunities at auction events.

6. Drive Around the Neighborhood

Sometimes the best opportunities are found by simply driving around your desired neighborhood. Look for homes that appear neglected, with overgrown yards, peeling paint, or boarded-up windows. These signs may indicate a property in need of renovation.

7. Network with Locals

Get to know the community by attending local events, joining neighborhood social media groups, and engaging with residents. You might uncover leads on properties that are not yet on the market, and you’ll gain valuable insights into the neighborhood.

8. Be Patient and Persistent

Finding the perfect fixer-upper in a great neighborhood may take time. Be patient and persistent in your search. New listings come on the market regularly, and your ideal property may be just around the corner.

9. Evaluate Renovation Costs

Before making an offer, assess the renovation costs. Consult with contractors or professionals to get estimates for the necessary repairs and improvements. This will help you determine if the project aligns with your budget and goals.

10. Conduct a Thorough Inspection

After identifying a potential fixer-upper, conduct a comprehensive home inspection to uncover any hidden issues. This step is crucial in understanding the full scope of the renovation required and any additional costs.


Finding fixer-uppers in great neighborhoods is a rewarding endeavor for homebuyers and investors alike. With careful research, the guidance of experienced real estate professionals, and a willingness to put in the effort, you can discover properties with untapped potential. These hidden gems can provide the opportunity to create your dream home or build a profitable investment portfolio in the location of your dreams.