As home prices rise and inventory continues to be tight, MarketWatch staffer Alessandra Malito writes that buying a home in need of renovations may be a solid option, although unappealing to many.

For people yearning to be first-time home owners, the fixer-upper may be the only way they can achieve their goal. Home prices are staying near all-time highs and are expected to remain this way, partly because of more demand and fewer homes for sale.

Pam Heidel, project director at HIRI, says that few people intend to buy a fixer-upper. But, as Dale Contant, president of Atlanta Design & Build and president of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, notes, a fixer-upper lets home buyers make the place their own.

If you’re attempting to do some finishing touches yourself, Contant suggests starting with small projects, such as doorknobs and painting, and searching Google, watching home improvement videos on YouTube and getting ideas or tips from Pinterest or home design site Houzz. “If they’re willing to get their hands dirty, it is very rewarding,” Contant said.

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