Evaluating Home Repair Costs

Evaluating Home Repair Costs


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Evaluating Home Repair Costs

Drew Sygit at BiggerPockets.com writes about accurately evaluating home repair costs.

“One of the most important aspects of property investment, particularly for fix-and-flip-type investors (but useful for everyone!), is the ability to assess how much you’re going to have to invest in a property to get it into the condition it needs to be. That’s not an easy skill to learn! Furthermore, it’s a skill that strictly follows the old adage: “You got quick, cheap, and accurate—and you can only choose two.” You can evaluate home repair costs quickly and accurately, but cheap won’t come with it. Sorry!”

“The question then becomes “how much will you pay,” and the answer is “somewhere between $50 and $5,000.” There is a plethora of tools and services out there that can evaluate repair costs to a surprising degree of accuracy—but almost all of them come with a whole mountain of other functionality that you might not want, and you’ll always end up paying for it. (Speaking of paying for it, did you know BiggerPockets has already produced an entire book on this subject? You can buy it here if you want a bunch more detail on this subject.)

Software for Evaluating Home Repair Costs: Never the Right Choice

The obvious place to turn for a tool to evaluate home repair costs is your computer—but it flat-out doesn’t work. There are a number of great tools for contractors to estimate the costs of a job, but they require that you:

  1. Know what materials you’re going to need to do the job, and
  2. Know what those materials cost at your supplier of choice.

If you’re a property investor trying to determine the total cost to repair/renovate a property you’re only considering purchasing, these programs are going to end up not much better than a ballpark guess.

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