For a number of years buyers have been most excited about move in ready properties. Of course clean and tidy homes have always held an advantage in the resale market, but back before the crash, a lot of buyers were seeking fixers to put some classic sweat equity into. That more or less died off after the crash.
One thing that certainly aided in the decline of the fixer market was the lack of decent financing options. Sure hard money lenders were always there waiting to take you payment in the form of a few broken bones if necessary...kidding... sort of. But mainstream lenders were very gun shy about houses that were not real clean.
This latest run up in values however has made it difficult for traditional rehab companies to acquire property cheap enough to pencil a remodel and resale. That same run up in values has brought a whole new wave of potential homeowners back tot he drawing board and the fixer is making a return to prominence.
Although lenders are still not a loosey-goosey with the vault as they were in the mid 2000s, and let's be honest that is a good thing, they are starting to lighten up on the condition requirements. This make the dream of home ownership available to a larger group of people, and in general that is also a very good thing.
Buyers at or near the bottom of the price range for homes can start looking at fixers. bear in mind that FHA and VA are still a bit more picky about condition so using a conventional lender is the best approach for buying rough property. Be sure to stay connected to a real estate pro as they will help guide you to what can and can not fly with a bank loan.
Real estate is still America's best investment for the mainstream consumer.