Television shows and magazines extoll the virtues of renovating your home. They focus on unattractive before shots and beautiful end-results.
Often, this makes it seem like remodeling is always a good idea, especially if your house has seen better days and you are looking to sell.
But renovating isn’t always the right move. In fact, there are numerous reasons not to renovate your home before you put it on the market. If any of the following situations apply to you and your house, then it may be wise to rethink the renovation.
1. You Might Not Get a Return on Your Investment
Not all renovations increase the value of your home enough based on the costs involved. According to Remodeling magazines 2016 Cost vs Value
report, remodeling projects only recover on average 64.4% of the cost of in terms of increased value in the house. That means you lose, on
average, 35% of the cost of a remodel project; that money will never be recovered in terms of a higher sales price when you sell your home. So
you basically lose money on every dollar you invest in your house, that’s not a gamble any wise investor would make. Renovating solely for
a higher sales price can backfire if you choose the wrong areas to remodel. Before embarking on any large-scale renovation, you need to research whether you are likely to get your money back.
2. You Can’t Afford It
A renovation is often expensive. If your plans involve more than a few cans of paint, look at all of the known costs involved (including materials and labor) to determine the estimated cost. Then, add at least another 20 percent to function as a buffer against unexpected expenses.
If that figure doesn’t work with your budget, then putting off the remodel is likely your best bet.
Also, if your plan involves tying up every spare dime you have into the renovation, then you should probably sell your home as-is. If you can’t maintain some savings for emergencies outside of the renovation, and you don’t have the money set aside for unexpected costs related to the remodel, then it is better to leave things as they are. A home renovation often costs much more than homeowners who are not familiar with the construction trade can anticipate. Not being prepared for the true costs involved make a remodel a poor choice when your goal is ultimately to sell your house and move on.
3. You’re Not Prepared for the Headaches
Renovations are stressful. And the pressure is even higher if you are remodeling your kitchen or the only working bathroom. Not only do you lose access to the space for days, weeks, even months, but you also have to manage issues relating to the contractor, construction delays, and
the costs of change orders. The initial bid and timeline are only estimates provided by the contractor. If something unexpected is discovered, such as a hidden electrical or plumbing issue, then you will need to provide more money to get the project handled properly.
4. You Have Nowhere to Go
In some cases, the construction related to a renovation leaves your home uninhabitable for a period of time. That means you will need to find somewhere else to stay. If you don’t have a family member or friend nearby who is willing to let you stay for the duration of the project, then you may find yourself in the market for a hotel room or even a rental property. Then, you are managing the costs of your temporary housing, the renovations, and even your old mortgage if the home you are selling is not paid off.
Property taxes, utilities, and insurance requirements can also increase depending on where you live while the project is underway. You also may need to eat more meals out which can increase the total cost of the project quickly.
5. You’ll have the Nicest Home on the Block
While the idea of having the nicest home in the area may seem appealing, it can create havoc if you intend to sell in the near future. Over-improving your home based on the neighborhood standard can make your home harder to sell when that day comes.
Often, areas within a community represent a specific lifestyle or basic income. If you put too much money into your renovation, your home’s value may exceed what buyers in the neighborhood are looking to pay. That means you may have trouble finding a buyer when you decide to move on.
6. Your Home Will be Vacant
Unoccupied homes may be attractive to nearby thieves, squatters, or teenagers looking for a place to host their next party. The risk is even higher if you have high-value items, such as new appliances or expensive construction equipment and materials, left unattended. And even a security system may not be enough of a deterrent if the items are easily accessible.
7. You’re at the Mercy of the Contractor
While the majority of contractors are upstanding people, there are numerous shady ones looking to capitalize on your project. They may require 50 percent of the funds up front, and then simply disappear with your money or complete the initial work more slowly since they aren’t waiting to get paid.
Alternatively, they may bid an attractive price to secure your business, and then ask for more in the form of change orders. This includes asking for additional funds to secure items you thought were included in the original bid, or overcharging for “unexpected” events.
8. You Can’t Leave the Contractor Unattended
The idea of having someone spend the duration of the project in your home unsupervised can make some people uncomfortable, especially if you are still living in the home or using it to hold your personal property. If the idea of someone having unfettered access to your personal space
while you are away seems a bit unnerving, then a renovation may not be ideal.
9. You’re a Perfectionist
If you plan on hovering over the contractors and pointing out every tiny “flaw” in their work, then you are in for an unpleasant few months.
While getting quality work for your money is important, you won’t see “perfect” results. Many homeowners don’t see how imperfect a home can be.
Walls are not perfectly straight. This isn’t because someone made a mistake; it is simply the nature of the beast. A professional contractor will leave you with results that look perfect, but it is hard to see that when the renovation is in progress. If you can’t trust your contractor to manage their responsibilities without second guessing every perceived wobble or misalignment, then a remodel might not be the right move for you.
10. You Don’t Know Design
Unless you are an interior designer, you might not be familiar with current design trends. Instead of remodeling the space to help you sell the home, you might choose finishes that you would enjoy. If your taste doesn’t match up with the majority of buyers in today’s market, then you are more likely to experience a loss in regards to your investment.
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