With the summer real estate market heating up, some people are opting to renovate their properties as opposed to selling altogether. Today I will discuss four tips to keep in mind if you plan to take on this kind of project.
The lazy days of summer are here and our Louisville real estate market has been a little crazy lately. While some are taking this chance to make their move into a new home, others I have spoken to have said they would rather stay put.
For those of you who have decided on this latter option, realize that you can still achieve a change in scenery without a change of home. How? Through home renovations. But be careful taking on these kinds of projects. Don’t nickel-and-dime yourself. Be strategic when choosing and executing your home renovations, instead.
There are several things you can do to make your current home feel brand new without breaking the bank, and today I would like to share a few of these tips.
1. Financially vet your project. Before making any renovations to your home, it is important that you do your research into whether it will be worth it. One way to look into what kind of return to expect from a project is by looking over the National Association of Realtors’ Remodeling Impact Report. You can find that report here.
If you do find that the returns will be worth it, do some comparison shopping before settling on a contractor to complete the job. Kitchen and bathroom remodels are very popular and can pay off in the long run, but can also quickly amass a significant bill. While you should not go overboard, you should also not settle for the absolute cheapest option. The key is striking a balance between what you will pay upfront and what long-term benefits you will reap down the line.
2. Properly vet the contractor. After meeting and consulting with a contractor, you should always ask them for references. This will help demonstrate their trustworthiness as well as their skill level. Also, make sure the references you get are from people who hired this contractor for the same project as what you are planning. Beyond that, you also must make sure that the contractor is licensed and insured. Ask for a copy of their policy so that you can have peace of mind in the event that something goes wrong. This will be critical because if disaster did happen to strike over the course of your project, you do not want to be left to foot the bill.
It is also a good idea to ask contractors if they belong to any professional associations, such as the Homebuilders Association, or if they have any additional licenses or organizations that they are affiliated with.
And I always recommend Google searching any contractor you are thinking of working with. Not everything we read online is true, but online reviews can provide key insight into what kind of service you can expect from such professionals.
Finally, you must be comfortable asking contractors specific questions when vetting them for the job of your home remodel project. If they happen to be less expensive than another professional but are offering more extensive services, you must ask them how they’re able to do so. Always compare contractors by looking at “apples to apples” to what they offer.
3. Be careful paying up front. Contractors can easily be motivated by money, so providing the entire payment before work has begun could lead to unsatisfactory results. After all, with all financial incentives taken out of the equation, what is left to drive the expediency of their work? Of course, certain supplies must be paid for before work can begin, but this can be negotiated as you go. I always recommend paying for goods and services after you receive them, even if you choose to pay in installments for specific aspects of the project over time. Contractors should be able to afford to do the project for you.
4. Make sure you are doing the right project. As I mentioned earlier, the project you take on has got to make sense. If a renovation is not set to bring you adequate returns, I would advise against taking it on. I would be happy to help provide you with a market analysis and discuss your options if you are thinking of renovating in the near future.
If you have any other questions, would like more information, or you or someone you know is interested in buying, selling, or investing in real estate, please feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.