More homeowners are trying to make the old new again at the remodeling fair

Investing in old homes has always been in vogue, but now it’s becoming a necessity for many home buyers.

According to Minnesota Realtor’s 2022 report, the number of homes for sale fell by more than 24% in one year.

“It’s a tough market right now because there’s not a lot of inventory,” said Lynn Monson of DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen.

5 EYWITNESS NEWS interviewed Monson at the West Metro Home Remodeling Fair in Hopkins on Sunday. Monson says it’s the only show he pays to appear and teach, with the goal of keeping people in their homes and not looking elsewhere.

When the City of Hopkins created the show 29 years ago, their goal was to keep residents happy in their homes rather than moving, and they say it works well for both homeowners and local providers like Monson.

As housing demand drives prices higher, Monson says it’s made both his business and the remodeling show even more relevant.

“There’s nothing better they can find, so let’s fix it to make it work for us,” he said. Monson helps people customize and improve their homes so they can stay efficient and enjoy their homes throughout their lives.

The Minnesota Realtor report also shows that the median price for a home is now more than $338,000 — a 9% increase from 2021.

Becca McLagan, a realtor in Wisconsin, said many young families are now turning to older homes, or fixer-uppers, to afford a home.

“We just have this overwhelming pool of buyers and they’re all looking for a home,” McLagan said.

The busy Midwestern realtor counts herself in that group. McLagan and her husband have bought three older homes in recent years, sold two and converted the last one into a cabin rental in rural Wisconsin.

While the home market has been difficult for buyers to navigate, McLagan has coached others to not only make the best decision, but also to affordably renovate their purchases. While selling her home and working for a local school district, she found time to start DIY Home School as well.

While McLagan says there’s always been an interest in home renovation and remodeling, she believes the demand for homes, which is driving up costs, has pushed more people to renovate their homes.

“So far it’s mostly people looking at our own projects and asking questions.” McLagan began posting her own home renovations, which then morphed into a home improvement school and big side hustle. “Everything from ‘I want to wallpaper a hallway, can you give me some tips’ to more advice on buying.” She added.

5 EYWITNESS NEWS asked McLagan what homeowners can expect when they decide to go down the fixer-upper route, and what are the most common things people overlook. Her answer: Finding a balance between budget and time. From experience, she says it takes a lot of planning and patience and it’s not a turnkey deal.

While an older home can be cheaper upfront, renovations can cost a pretty penny, and many people aren’t sure where to start.

This is why Monson says the West Metro Show has been so successful and helpful to homeowners for nearly three decades.

He, too, says that both homeowners and buyers have many factors to consider — most notably their time and renovation budget.

“I’ve never received a blank check,” Monson said, laughing.

The West Metro Home Remodeling Fair is an annual event in Hopkins. It’s free and even offers free consultations with architects, building inspectors and trusted contractors.

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