What is a Turnkey Home—and Should You Buy One?


You’ve probably heard the term fixer upper. That’s what people say about a property that may have a lot of potential, but needs some work before it’s ready to live in. Fixer uppers can sometimes make good real estate investments and they can sometimes prove disastrous; likewise, some people really like the idea of a fixer upper and some simply don’t.

Let’s say you’re in the latter camp. Let’s say you’re in the market for a new home, and you definitely don’t want a fixer upper. What kind of house should you be looking for, then? The short answer: A turnkey home. That’s the real estate term for a property that is ready to be moved into right away, and it’s a good alternative for those who find the concept of a fixer upper to be unsettling.

The Pros and Cons of Turnkey Homes

There are some obvious benefits to buying a turnkey home. Most of the time, a turnkey home won’t really require anything—not even a new coat of paint. The appliances are working. The windows and roof are in tip-top shape. If you’re not especially handy, if you don’t have the budget for a lot of ongoing home improvement projects, or if you simply want to be settled into your new home as soon as possible, the turnkey home is an obvious solution.

With that said, there are also potential downsides. The most obvious is price. Fixer uppers are often appealing because they are priced so low; turnkey homes, meanwhile, tend to come with higher asking prices and much less room to negotiate. Also note that, while a turnkey home should be move-in ready, there can sometimes be problems lurking under the surface. It’s always good to pay for a home inspection, just to make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into.

Should You Look for a Turnkey Home?

As for whether you should seek out a turnkey home, that’s really up to you. If you’re looking for a low price point, or you want a vintage home you can fix up, this probably isn’t the right direction for you. And, it’s also worth considering that if you buy a not-yet-finished new construction, you’ll have more say in the design options—customizing the home to meet your preferences a bit more closely.

Then again, if you’re moving for a job and and you want to minimize the disruption to your family life, a turnkey home may be worth the added expense, just to avoid all the hassle and stress.

Seeking a Turnkey Home in North Carolina

There are a lot of great, move-in-ready homes here in Charlotte and the surrounding area—and we’d love to show them to you. Come find the turnkey home of your dreams, and start the buying process soon! Our agents are always here to help.

To learn more, to schedule some showings, reach out to the North Carolina real estate professionals at Minges Cline today!