Home in process of being renovated.

The Prevalence Of Fixer-Upper Homes

Victoria Araj5-minute read

June 10, 2022

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  • Texas, California and Florida are the most commonly tagged states for #FixerUpper home posts.
  • The highest percentage of fixer-uppers among all states were in Mississippi (over 1.6%).
  • The price jump from a fixer-upper home to a renovated home in Kansas, including perceived remodel costs, was 743%, the largest percentage difference for any state.

With home prices and rent continuing to rise across the U.S., home buyers are finding new avenues to homeownership. Enter the fixer-upper.

Fixer-uppers offer typically lower price points, albeit with some major DIY challenges. To better understand the U.S. fixer-upper market, the team at Rocket Mortgage® gathered hundreds of thousands geotagged data points from social media and listing data from Rocket HomesSM. From this data, Rocket Mortgage determined where people are posting the most about #FixerUppers, the areas with the most fixer-uppers for sale, and which states and cities currently offer the largest price increases for the fixer-upper flip. 

A Year Of #FixerUpper Data

By performing a comprehensive pull from Instagram data, Rocket Mortgage found the hashtag #FixerUpper appeared in more than 50,000 posts between February 2021 – February 2022. This research reveals the top locations (states and cities) for the use of that hashtag.

Map of Fixer Upper Homes by State.

California and Texas took the top two spots for most uses of the #FixerUpper hashtag. Each of these had more than 4,000 uses of the term within the last year alone; California had upward of 5,000 instances. These results support the assertion that the lack of affordable turnkey homes in the U.S. is driving fixer-upper interest.

As of April 2022, the top nine fastest selling housing markets, ranked by the average number of days a listing remained on the market, were in California, including San Fernando Valley, Ventura and the South Bay cities. Two of the top seven hottest seller’s markets were in Texas, including Kenefick and Silsbee.

Florida was the third most popular state for the fixer-upper hashtag. This state has seen a massive recent influx of residents, which likely increases both the number of people interested in fixer-uppers as well as the number of people without other home buying options. According to the state’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research, more than 329,000 people moved to Florida in the past year alone, and this trend shows no signs of stopping.

Listed As A Fixer-Upper

Hashtags aren’t the only way to determine the location of fixer-uppers. Data from Rocket Homes also reveals the number of actual “fixer-upper” properties listed by state. Calculations show these fixer-uppers as a percentage of the total listings in each state.

Fixer Upper Homes Nationwide

Rural areas like Mississippi and Oklahoma were particularly keen on fixer-uppers. While this doesn’t mean they were necessarily purchased the most often, fixer-upper listings showed more prominence here than in any other states. Nearly 2% of all the listings in Mississippi and Oklahoma carried a fixer-upper label, as opposed to turnkey homes. These areas haven’t seen influxes of residents like Florida and Texas have, which encourages intense competition and potential rapid buying of fixer-uppers. The relative lack of population increase in Mississippi and Oklahoma is clearly leaving a substantial number of fixer-uppers on the market.

Much of South Dakota is rural, however, it was also the state with the fewest fixer-upper homes for sale. Only .1% of all real estate listings there were fixer-uppers. Beautiful and affordable turnkey homes in places like Sioux Falls are currently more common than homes that need renovation in South Dakota.

The Art Of The Flip

Buying a fixer-upper and remodeling it has many advantages, especially for home buyers looking for an affordable house in the current market. When a home buyer flips a house, they enjoy an improved living space and can often turn a major profit if they sell the remodeled home down the line. Affordable fixer-upper opportunities are available across the U.S., even in this highly competitive market where local buyers are often priced out.

Rocket Homes state-level home data identifies the states offering the least expensive fixer-upper homes and also estimates prices of newly remodeled homes in these areas. Incorporated are the perceived costs of remodeling fixer-upper homes to accurately calculate return value.

Biggest Price Jumps From Fixer Upper To Remodel

Kansas offered the biggest percentage increase in price after buying a fixer-upper and putting it through a remodel. On average, this behavior corresponded with a substantial 443% increase in the value of the home – a higher increase than offered in any other state. However, the final average price of the home after remodel was still significantly lower than those in states like California, Texas and New York, although none of these three made it very high on the list of the top percentage price increases.

There was also an interesting phenomenon occurring with Idaho fixer-uppers. This state ranked ninth in terms of highest percentage price increases post fix-up but also offered one of the most expensive finished median home prices. While an initial fixer-upper house could cost below $200,000 in this area, a little tuning up may yield profits reaching nearly $700,000, on average, representing a 288% increase in price. With only a $162,000 remodeling cost, fixer-upper home buyers may turn a large profit in Idaho.

Fixing Up And Moving On

Fixing things up in a home can provide both great financial gains to those who decide to sell and great emotional gains to those who decide to reside in their remodeled residence. And for many in this competitive housing market, it’s a really great option. Data from this study revealed just which states and cities may offer the most opportunities to purchase fixer-uppers, as well as which states stand to gain the most financially from them.

Whether “fixer-upper” is a part of your search criteria, Rocket Mortgage caters to home buyers of all tastes, budgets and U.S. locations. Rocket Mortgage also understands that a house is more than just a building; it represents your dreams, your hopes and your family. To get started on this important search, head to RocketMortgage.com today. 

Methodology And Limitations

For the first half of this study, posts containing the hashtag #FixerUpper were scraped on Instagram, yielding 50,000 posts between February 2021 – February 2022. After filtering out posts that were specifically related to the HGTV show “Fixer Upper,” over 40,000 posts were left to analyze.

 

For the second half of this study, Rocket Homes state-level home data was leveraged, particularly the median home listing price for properties deemed “fixer-upper” and “remodeled.” Using median prices by state along with the perceived home remodeling cost, projected home value returns were presented.

Fair Use Statement

Feeling inspired to fix something up? Perhaps your audience would appreciate the research as well. You’re welcome to share this article with whomever you’d like, but please be sure your purposes are noncommercial and that you link back to this page when doing so. 

Disclosure

Rocket Mortgage, LLC and Rocket Homes Real Estate LLC are separate operating subsidiaries of Rocket Companies, Inc. (NYSE: RKT). Each company is a separate legal entity operated and managed through its own management and governance structure as required by its state of incorporation and applicable legal and regulatory requirements.

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Victoria Araj

Victoria Araj is a Section Editor for Rocket Mortgage and held roles in mortgage banking, public relations and more in her 15+ years with the company. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in political science from Michigan State University, and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Michigan.