Are you planning on purchasing a home in Atlanta this year? 

If so, you’ll want to read this.

In order to save money, many clients ask me if it’s better to buy a fixer-upper in this market where home prices are high.

In certain conditions a fixer-upper could be a good option. But in the current economic and residential real estate environment a move-in-ready home may be your best choice. Read on to learn why.

What is move-in-ready?

Move-in-ready means that the home is ready for immediate transition to living once the property is acquired. No major renovations are needed to make the property livable. 

Likewise, the buyer is content with the state of the home’s major features and does not plan to make renovations in the immediate future.

In the current Atlanta residential real estate market, I believe that buying a property that is move-in-ready as opposed to a fixer-upper is the more cost-effective purchase option. 

Below are my top four reasons why you should consider a move-in ready home over a fixer-upper in Atlanta.

Cost of remodeling and inflation

Inflation has made the daily headlines this year. It is the primary reason you should avoid buying a home that’s a fixer-upper in 2022.

Rising building material costs and supply constraints have made significant renovations cost-prohibitive in many cases. For example, lumbar prices are up 148% from the lows of August 2021.

According to a recent Forbes article, Floor coverings, windows, furniture, and major appliances have seen price increases anywhere from 7-20% in 2022.

Nothing in home building and renovation seems immune from increased prices and supply constraints. Even garage doors are challenging to come by, leaving many new homes unfinished while waiting for a garage door.

Therefore, by finding a home that is move-in-ready, you will avoid having to submit to increasing material costs and supply chain headaches.

Easier to stick to your budget

With all the uncertainty around renovation prices, it makes sense that it is much easier to stick to your budget if the cost of the home is more fixed than variable.

One of the challenges with buying a home that needs renovation work is that the costs are always greater than you initially think. As a writer on CNBC stated, plan for everything to cost 50% more than you think.

Add inflation to these unexpected costs, and you could be in for some surprises to the upside.

Additionally, your budget becomes more important in today’s market with meager supply, meaning that it’s not uncommon to pay more for the asking price due to competition. 

You don’t want to layer in renovation costs on top of stretched budgets.

Better loan qualification and fewer surprises

Purchasing a move-in-ready is seen as less risky; therefore, mortgage lenders are more likely to qualify you for the home loan you need.

On the other hand, a fixer-upper needing significant renovation can be more complex and complicated to value. And it’s often more challenging to get a traditional home loan.

Nobody likes costly surprises, a mortgage lender, or a new homeowner. Unfortunately, fixer-uppers tend to come with expensive surprises.

Quick move

Lastly, and sometimes most importantly, move-in-ready means you can move right in and enjoy the home immediately. 

Logistics of figuring out how and where you’re going to live when a home needs major renovations can be a nightmare. 

Looking for and purchasing a home can be stressful. The last thing many homeowners want after buying a home is dealing with contractor and renovation timelines.


With supply challenges, inflation, and rising interest rates in this competitive market, buying a move-in-ready home can be a more prudent and cost-effective option than buying a fixer-upper.

If you are looking for a new home this year then please contact me here. As your agent, I can help you navigate the complexities of the current market to help you find the right home within your budget.