Summary: Fixer uppers seem like a quick and inexpensive way to get a home that you can customize. Watch out for certain risks that might cause you to spend more time and money on renovations than you intended to.
You might think that getting a run-down house for a very low price is the best way to go, but be careful. Those homes might end up costing you way more to fix up than you would have spent on a decent house that you did not need to renovate at all. Make sure you find a good inspector that you can trust to evaluate the house before you buy it. Especially look out for these signs that tell you to walk away.
If the house has a cracked, falling, or otherwise unstable foundation, it is probably best not to buy that house. The foundation is the very base of the entire structure, so if it is compromised, then the integrity of the whole building is compromised. And you never know what it might take to fix the foundation. You may have to break the whole thing down and build it back up.
If the house does not come with electricity and plumbing, be mindful that these things may be expensive to set up. You will also likely to hire professionals since electric and septic installation can be tedious, tricky, and sometimes dangerous.
Buying a fixer upper is more customizable than buying a completely built home, and likely takes less time to finish than building a house from the land up. Just make sure you are aware of all the risks that you are taking if you do not have the building inspected, and even if you do, there is always the chance that the inspector missed something.