Are you considering remodelling your home? Maybe you should think otherwise. If you watch enough home shows and read popular home remodel blogs and sites, you might get the notion that remodelling your home is a given. Even your neighbours will show off their own home remodels and enthusiastically pass on their contractor’s name to you.
But home remodelling is not for everyone or every house. Before you pull up that corner of carpet or slap on a tester patch of paint in the living room, consider reasons why you may want to avoid—or at least delay—that home remodels that you have been dreaming about.
In 2018 alone, more than 5.34 million existing homes sold to new owners. Though many buyers choose to invest in properties that they can renovate themselves, others much prefer to buy homes that are move-in ready.
Believe it or not, remodelling an old house can increase its resale value, but that doesn’t mean you should start renovating each room. You need to be smart about the improvements you make. Hitch Property Constructions has the best range of renovations services to help you create your dream house.
You May Not Break Even
You buy your house for $500,000, put in $50,000 worth of work, and sold it for $550,000 or more. Did you break even?
In a house sale, so many factors are at play that it is impossible to identify how each one contributes to the selling price. Factors unrelated to remodelling may have a bigger impact on a house’s price, such as economic climate, comparables, mortgage rates, and more.
Some home remodels retain high value: major kitchen remodels, additions, bathroom fixes. Other remodels return little value upon sale. Investigate the resale value of home remodel projects and accept reality. Maybe that pirate-themed office you built for yourself is just that–for yourself, not for subsequent buyers.
Eco-Friendly Remodels Are Still Difficult
Recent advances mean that homes are more eco-friendly than ever. But the process of remodelling is an inherently wasteful process. Just look at the contents of your dumpster on your next kitchen remodel, and you will see 40 cubic yards of drywall, wood, carpeting, vinyl flooring, wire, and glass—all destined for the landfill. Not only that, consider the energy wasted in manufacturing and transporting the building materials.
However, you can make your next remodelling project as green as possible. If you’re not sure how to go about this, LEED consultants exist for this very reason. Be sure to always purchase EnergyStar-rated appliances for the kitchen and laundry room.
Home Remodels Can Fray Relationships
Home remodelling can have a corrosive effect on marriages and another close, personal relationships. Reclaim your life by maintaining a good balance of remodelling and living a rich, full life with your people, whether this means your spouse, children, parents, friends, or whomever. Investigate all the ways to keep your relationships healthy. Budget a long-term hotel stay for any remodelling project that takes a major room out of commission.
Costs Always Seem to Rise, Not Fall
Find a contractor who can deliver a bathroom remodel on time and budget, and he’ll have guaranteed business for the rest of his life. More realistically, large-scale remodelling projects are riddled with change orders that increase the cost and extend the finish date. Even small remodels have a unique way of inching upward in cost.
Get an accurate, third-party view of remodelling costs. After that, mentally add 25-per cent to both the cost and the schedule.
Some Home Projects Are Difficult to DIY
The clarion call of home remodelling shows and blogs is that you can do it all by yourself. Energetic home bloggers will install their air conditioners or furnaces, build additions, install metal roofing, jack up the house, add house siding or any number of other complicated home projects.
Some projects are tidy and well-defined: for example, interior painting, installing floating floors, replacing electrical outlets, or building small items like benches or coat racks.
But things get costly when you begin a project by yourself, find yourself out of your element, and then shift the project to a contractor. To avoid that problem, categorize projects as do-it-yourself, hire-a-pro, or either way. Match projects against easily discernible home improvement skills that you already possess—not home improvement skills you hope to possess.
You Might Get Scammed, so Be Careful
If you go through life worrying about getting ripped off, you’ll never go anywhere. But a healthy dose of caution is always in order when approaching a giant home project that may run into the five or even six figures.
Yet home improvement scammers do exist, and they are out there, on the prowl for their next victim. The lure of a big payday is exactly why unscrupulous contractors prey on unsuspecting homeowners.
Scam artists especially like to target exterior projects, such as those involving driveways and roofs. Others operate in a grey area. Water pipe insurance, while a legitimate business, might be completely unnecessary for your home. Mould remediation, too, is a legitimate business, but many scammers insinuate themselves into this industry as a way to separate homeowners from their money.
Thoroughly research contractors to reduce the possibility of getting scammed. Make sure that you seek out the contractor, not vice-versa. If the contractor comes to the door unsolicited, a possible scam might be in the works.
Here are a few key things you need to know before you start renovating and remodelling a home for sale.
Understand That You Might Not Recoup the Full Value
Unfortunately, renovating your home before you sell it may not increase the value of your house as much as you might think. It’s possible that you won’t recoup the full cost of the renovation when you finally do sell your property.
Before you start making improvements, consider how much money you’re willing to spend on the renovations. Then, make sure you’re willing to potentially earn less than that amount back when you sell the property.
If you’re not comfortable with the thought of recouping less than you spend on the renovation, it may be best to avoid renovating altogether.
Remember, some buyers want homes that are blank slates. They want to be able to make it their own and want complete control over the renovations. This means they may not be willing to pay top dollar even if you put the time and money into the renovations for them.
It’s Okay to Put Yourself First
There’s no way of knowing how quickly your home will sell. It could sell in as little as a month, or you may get stuck in the house for more than a year depending on the market.
If you’re going to renovate a house for sale, focus on adding features and making improvements that you’ll be able to enjoy using.
Even if you’re moving out of the house, you’ll end up getting to benefit from those improvements while you’re there. This can make waiting for the right buyer more pleasant.
Before you start renovating, think about the features that you’d most enjoy in the house. Just remember to keep your renovations simple and avoid installing features that will make the space too specific to your needs.
Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes before you start looking at your options. You can even ask your real estate agent for suggestions since they know the market and have an idea of what buyers are looking for. Planning for a new look of your house? Look no further! Hitch Property Constructions is here to help in your home renovations.
Focusing on the Kitchen Is Always a Safe Investment
Buyers almost always look for homes with modern kitchens. After all, it’s the heart of the home, and when the appliances are new, it can make the rest of the house feel more modern.
If you’re not sure where to invest your time and money on a remodelling project, start with the kitchen. Replace outdated appliances, repaint scuffed cabinets, and consider updating the countertops.
These improvements won’t cost as much as other renovation tasks, saving you the cash upfront. Even better, they can speed up the sale process so you’ll get more offers and will be able to get a better price for your home.
Don’t Focus on Improvements That Won’t Add value.
Some renovations may end up making your home look nicer, but they won’t increase home appraisal value when it matters most. Schedule a pre-sale inspection before you set your asking price and see what the inspector finds.
If they discover problems with your property, think about fixing them instead of spending your money on cosmetic improvements. The fewer issues buyers have to fix on their own, the more money you’re likely to get when your property does sell.
Just remember to compare the estimated cost of the repairs after the home inspection. Some major repairs, like installing a new roof, may end up costing more than you’d be able to recoup. Other repairs will cost far less, but can still increase the total value of your home.
It’s Okay to Look at Other Renovated Homes for Sale
The best way to see what remodelled homes are selling for and why they’re selling is to look at their listings. See which features their previous owners changed and which ones they kept the same.
Use this to help you prioritize the renovations for your own home.
By using their properties as a guide, you’ll gain a better understanding of what current buyers are looking for. Consider the styles, the colours, and the additions that make those properties stand out and try to mimic them in your house.
This will make your home more competitive in the market.
Buyers Will Notice If You Cut Corners
No matter what plan to renovate or change in your house before you put it on the market, make sure you do it right. If you cut corners, buyers will notice. Worse, they may assume that the rest of the house wasn’t properly maintained or repaired.
If you can’t do something yourself, either hire a professional or don’t make the improvement. If you find the process overwhelming, get help rather than trying to rush the job. Unfortunately, rushing the job and cutting corners to save money can end up hurting your property’s value and, ultimately, your sale price. Check out our range of Melbourne home renovations for your dream house.
The Pros and Cons to Renovating an Old House
Old houses can be bought for less. If you’re looking for a true fixer-upper, you’ll likely pay less than you would for a new home. And if you do the renovations yourself, you can save thousands of dollars in the long run, and you’ll end up with a great investment.
An old house has plenty of character. There will likely be old woodwork, intricate details in the mouldings and quirky light fixtures and hardware. Even with renovations, you’ll be able to keep some of the uniqueness while bringing it up-to-date and making it your own.
When it comes to the building blocks of an old house, you know what you’re in for as these homes were built to last. While you may have to update plumbing and electrical, the structure of the home is usually solid.
The price of renovating an old house can be steep. Some of the most expensive areas for renovating an old house can be found in replacing the roof and foundation, electrical and plumbing and updating the HVAC system. Be sure to get a thorough inspection before buying so you know what you may be in for price-wise.
Old homes can harbour toxins. Materials such as lead and asbestos are common in old homes and can be a health hazard if they aren’t dealt with properly. Having them professional removed can make the cost of your renovation skyrocket.
Renovations could take more time. Since old homes aren’t generally cookie-cutter, surprises are often found during renovations. Your plans, price and timeline will likely change, and most of the time, it’s not for the better.
What part of an older home is usually the most in need of remodelling?
Ms Fleck: Often, an older home may be in need of many items in order to bring it up to date, and this may feel overwhelming to the homeowner. I usually suggest starting with the most bothersome areas to my clients. The answers also depend on the owner’s budget. Of course, the entire home can stand a “facelift” or complete remodel, but this may not be feasible to the owner.
Here are a few examples:
- Depending on the condition of the cabinets, they may decide to keep or replace them. If the cabinets remain, maybe a refreshing of the cabinets with stain or paint is in order.
- Replace the countertops and backsplash.
- Update the appliances.
- Paint the room.
- Possibly replace the flooring.
If there is carpet in the main living areas, it is probably worn and dirty. New carpet will be the most economical and best “bang for the buck.” Wood flooring is very popular along with tile in some locations.
Refreshing and updating the colours in the home make a big impact and uplift for the owners. It can be completed in just the main areas of the home where everyone spends the most time.
If all of the main areas of the home impact the owner’s budget or give a sense of overwhelm, I suggest picking one of the above areas. Other areas to consider:
- The master suite is a popular area for many homeowners, as the bathroom is often dated and in need of repair. The room could be gutted and started fresh with an open plan. New cabinets, shower, tub, flooring and updated plumbing fixtures will enhance the room and mood of the owner as this is another heavily used area of the home.
- Exterior maintenance and a fresh coat of paint is usually a good area for an older home. Replacing the doors and windows are usually considered for an update along with higher energy efficiency.
Are there some renovation projects that are best left undone?
I would suggest renovating the areas of most importance to the value of the home. Those renovations that don’t fit with the space or value of the home should be forgotten. For example, I met with a young couple who wanted to enclose a patio for a fourth bedroom. The location didn’t make sense, and the cost would exceed the value of the home, as well as the couple’s budget. At this point, it would make more sense to sell the house and move to one with four bedrooms.
Although your home may be 30+ years old doesn’t mean that you have to live in the past! When renovating an old home, choose a renovation project that meets your desires, your budget, and DIY ability.
Your House May Not Really Need Remodeling
If you believe this five-figure kitchen remodel is necessary, can you answer why? In most cases, an unattractive but functional kitchen can boil an egg as well as will a pristine kitchen with seating for twelve at the breakfast bar.
Many homeowners add space to their house or recondition a bathroom for no discernible reason. Outside influences may fuel your decision to remodel: low home equity rates, boosterism from home remodelling shows, and neighbourly peer pressure. None are good reasons to remodel.
Carefully consider your next home remodelling project before committing yourself. Realize there is no shame in deciding not to proceed with the remodel at all.
When you make the decision to sell your home, you want it to sell as quickly as possible for as much as possible. Remodelling an old house with outdated features is a great way to increase the value of the property and make it more attractive to buyers.
Just remember to weigh the potential rewards with the costs of each renovation before you decide which improvements to focus on. This way, you’ll protect your bottom line and won’t spend money that you won’t be able to get back.