All renovations are not created equal. Having been a Realtor for over nineteen years and also being involved in several renovations myself I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly of home renovation. When a renovation is done properly it can add value to your home and often bring a faster sale at a higher price. When a renovation is done poorly it can result in disappointment, a waste of time and money and perhaps even a lower price than would have been realized had the renovation not be undertaken.
Prior to embarking on a home renovation ask yourself these questions:
- Is this renovation something that will appeal to most Buyers or is it specific to my wants or needs? If it's specific to my needs is the cost something that I'm willing to forfeit should other Buyers not find it as appealing?
- Do I have the skill set to complete these renovations or do I need to hire professionals to complete the work? Be honest with yourself here. This is the single biggest mistake that home owners make when renovating. The most expensive materials in the world will not make up for poor workmanship.
- Have you realistically priced out your renovation and if so do you have the financial resources to carry it out? Renovating is stressful and adding extra financial pressure will only compound that. Create a realistic budget and add a contingency fund for unforseen items that come up along the way. Renovating almost always costs more and takes longer than you think.
- How long is the renovation going to take and do I need to find somewhere else to live while they're taking place? If you need to find somewhere else to live make sure that you factor this into your costs.
- Am I overimproving the house for the area? If the answer to this question is "Yes" then is this a home that will suit your family's needs for a long period of time? If you think that you would be considering a move in a few years then it might be prudent to revisit your renovation plans.
- Do these renovations make sense? This is where consulting a professional is a wise idea. If you have even the slightest doubt about your plans then hire a professional decorator or designer for a few hours to review and perhaps improve them. If you have questions about whether the renovations will improve the value of your home then consult your local Realtor. She can provide you with information on home pricing in the area and if your renovations would be beneficial to the re-sale of your home or simply for your own enjoyment.