Breaking into Home Ownership – Finding a Fixer Upper (Even in a HOT Market!)


With the housing market becoming more expensive, buyers must look for the best way to find an affordable home. A fixer upper is a great way to affordably buy your first home in the greater Chicago housing market. Counties such as Kendall, Kane, Grundy, LaSalle, DuPage, DeKalb, Will and surrounding are seeing a surging market with high demand and low supply of homes. However, that being said – fixer uppers still exist!

If you are in the market for a new home, but do not want to spend tons of money or just can’t afford today’s rising home costs, you may want to look into buying a fixer upper. By purchasing a home in less than perfect condition you will be able to save yourself a lot of money. If this sounds like something you are interested in, you are in luck. There are thousands of homes available all over the suburbs waiting to be restored to beauty. All you need to know is where to look.

Listed below are the three most common ways that you can find a fixer upper in your area.

1. The most traditional way of finding a fixer home is simply getting in your car and scouring the neighborhoods that interest you. By doing this you may not come across a lot of properties, but you may find the one that really catches your eye. If you do happen to find a fixer upper this way, make sure that you take down the address and provide that information to your favorite real estate agent (preferably Adam Baxa :-)).

2. Finding a home to restore can also be done by searching the classified ads, Facebook groups or sites like Craigslist. This is also a more traditional method of finding a new home. The best thing about searching for a fixer upper this way is that you will be able to search by location and price without ever having to leave home.

3. And of course you can search for a fixer upper online. There are two ways to do this: you can either search a site that offers listings from a variety of different real estate agencies, or you can visit the site of each independent agency – check my page out Either way, you will be able to find a lot of details on any lower priced homes that may catch your eye. These sites offer information on pricing, as well as pictures of both the exterior and interior when available. By searching for a fixer upper online, you will ensure yourself of coming across the largest number of properties available in your area, and save yourself some time too!

However, it also pays to use an experienced realtor that can spot major issues, advise you on what extra inspections you might want to consider and also will have a good contact list for reliable contractors and others you may want to consult with. I am more than happy to help you understand how to purchase an auction home, foreclosure, short sale or just a traditional sale that needs some work. I can set you up on an MLS search that will automatically email you new properties the day they hit – let’s talk!

Overall, finding a fixer upper can be done in a number of different ways. Instead of overlooking this option, why not give it a try? It does not cost anything to look, and you may find out that a fixer upper is your ticket into the housing market or a way to gain a dream home. A little sweat equity can really help you get into a place that you can make all your own, while gaining equity through your work.

imageAdam Baxa has excellent experience in the real estate market and his web site also allows full MLS access for searching for homes available in the Chicago suburbs. With five star reviews on Zillow and Facebook – Adam works hard to ensure each of his clients are extremely happy with the buying and/or selling process. Adam can help find fixer uppers EVEN in the current busy housing market.


Adam Baxa

Call or Text 630-234-4472

Not Exactly Average….And That’s OK!


It hit me the other day…. my “look” may not necessarily be the first thing people envision when considering hiring a real estate agent. And…to be honest with you… I think I’m quite OK with that. Let me give you a couple of stats from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) that might give some insight as to why someone like myself may not be the first flash in some people’s minds:

  • The typical REALTOR® is a 53 year old white female homeowner with some college education.
  • 62% of all REALTORS® are female, and the median age of all REALTORS® is 58. 


Perhaps the first few sentences may make a bit more sense as to why a Realtor® such as myself is not always the expectation that people may envision. A few days ago, I emerged from my closet wearing a casual “popular sport brand” polo shirt and khaki cargo shorts. I was meeting new clients for the first time at a pretty affluent home. As I approached my wife, I remember asking…. “Does this look like a decent outfit for today?” (for some unknown reason, this actually crossed my mind). She paused and kind of gave me a puzzled look. I went on to mention that it may not be dressy enough and that since I was meeting new people – it may not be a professional *enough* look. Her response to me was….”Babe, you look great! Besides, you are WHO you ARE…own it”. Her saying that brought an instant smile to my face. She was right. I gave her my thanks for the reminder and told her that I really needed to hear that feedback.14322341_10207004132963971_206354131357506344_n

Through my 60+ sales transactions, hundreds of showings and other real estate interactions, I have met so many amazing people. The comments on my approach, my look, my style… all have been so enlightening to me. I was once told by a client displaying a sweet coy smile that I was “very recognizable”….God only knows if she meant this in a positive or negative connotation! 🙂 Some have mentioned that they love my down to earth no pressure style, others say that I’m the type of person that they’d love to have a beer with and several have said that my somewhat casual and laid back style has made them feel more comfortable through a process that can seem so scary. This is all perception and feedback of others – perhaps you should find out for yourself! 🙂

I will personally say that I feel my biggest role is to serve as as a trusted advisor and someone who will always put your interest above my ability to earn a dime. My whole career has been spent serving others. From the time I started working at Edward Hospital in Naperville at age 16 to the years I spent in law enforcement – I have always had such a strong desire to help others. While buying or selling a house is not a life threatening illness or an instance when you need the help of law enforcement – it is indeed a stressful situation. My goal is to always guide you through to the end result – a successful closing.

If the house doesn’t feel right or if I’m noticing hesitation in my buyers – I’ll always be the first to ask just the right questions to help you articulate your thoughts. Sometimes, I’ve been known to ask bigger picture questions just to play devils advocate so that no stone is left unturned. Hell, this has even meant that buyers who were ready to write an offer have either passed on the house or took additional time to contemplate. Guess what?! I only get paid IF I sell houses… so in those scenarios…no money for Adam but sometimes they are a good pause or skip point for the buyers in what is undoubtedly the biggest investment one can make. I’ve always lived by the mantra – it is the right thing to do. Not just in business but in life. Doing the right thing isn’t always the easiest but is always the best.

16426292_10104242015703550_2133043781893725970_nWhile so many comments, jabs, laughs have been had – at the expensive of my non-traditional real estate agent “look” [AKA 6’2″ thirty something male with a beard that loves his sports, beer and having fun] …. I can honestly say that I would not have it any other way. I say this because at the end of the day – my honesty, integrity and customer focused approach is always peaking throughout the experience for my client. Starting with a hmmmm…. this isn’t the type of agent I expected to damn…. this is *the exact* transition from a “typical” agent that I have always wanted.

My wife and I are constantly teaching our children about perceptions as well as treating people the right way. With that, I remind you…. always evaluate the type of service you are receiving when pursuing buying, selling or leasing real estate – not if the agent fits the mold of what your idea of an agent should look like.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s a new age of real estate and this guy will be here to disrupt the stigma of who is available to help you buy or sell your next house. Let’s get going on finding your new house or selling your current one ….who’s ready to see how much fun a real estate transaction can be?!?!?!

I’m more ready than ever to be the go to “I gotta guy” when anyone you know brings up the topic of real estate. BRING IT!!!!

Adam Baxa, Broker, The Baxa Group

Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell

Cell: (630) 234-4472

17499382_1171932142928831_8846970788081413514_n (1)

Do you have any comments or questions to share with Adam? Are you interested in talking to Adam about buying, selling, leasing or any other real estate topic? Please fill out the information below for a quick response. Thanks!