So the new house isn’t perfect—it needs a little fixing up. A house that needs some TLC might seem like a bargain, especially if it’s your first home, but are you the right person to strap on the tool belt and give that house an overhaul? Consider the experience of Mark Brock. A fan of fixer-uppers, he bought his first in the mid-1970s, a circa 1935 house in Columbia, South Carolina, that was rich in history but short on modern conveniences. “Very little had been done to it, but it was in good shape and structurally sound,” he says. It turned out to be a good investment of his time, money, and sweat equity. But it takes a certain mindset—and budget—to see this type of project through. How can you tell if you’ve got a diamond in the rough worth excavating? Well, first you have to closely examine both the house and yourself. Here are some questions you need to consider when you’re thinking of buying a fixer-upper.