Back in the day (80s to early 90s), I knew some guys that made a decent living buying crappy older homes, fixing them up, and selling them for a profit. It worked in that time and place, but I'm not convinced that it would work everywhere. Back to the OP's point, though, sure, I've seen plenty of "fixer upper" dealers that turned into nothing but a headache and a money pit for buyers. Personally, I only buy properties that in good shape. I'm too dang busy with taking care of my business to bother with that kind of thing.