Renovations can make your home feel complete, comfortable, and liveable. They can add that warm touch to your living spaces. However, unplanned renovations that aren’t properly thought-out can get messy and blow out budgets.
This is often a question that comes to me when people decide to sell their home – will a small renovation add more value to the property and boost its price? Or, should we just sell the property in the condition it currently is in?
In my experience, I have seen an example of both situations happen – properties being sold with or without renovations. I have seen small renovations stretch out to become enormous, time and money consuming projects. I have also seen large renovations being handled systematically and successfully so there is a surge in the property price and value.
The bottom line is that we can arrive at the “RIGHT” answer for you. We can do this by analysing the situation and understanding what the renovation would actually mean for you and the property.
In this blog post, I discuss the approach we must take while deciding whether or not to renovate. What are some of the questions to ask yourself? And, what are the details you must consider? The steps described here will make your decision square and easy.
1. Why do I want to renovate?
It is vital to keep the details clear. Why do you want to renovate? – Do you want to improve the general appearance of your home and make it attractive to prospective buyers? Or, do you want to add to its capital value? Do you want to upgrade some of the features? Or, does the scope include more than just a few rooms?
2. What is the vision?
What do you expect your renovated home to look like? Take down notes on all your ideas. If you are not sure, get help from a professional – a draftsman, architect, builder, or tradie. I would also suggest creating a vision board. You can pin up magazine cut-outs, pictures, sketches, notes, textiles, and textures to your vision board.
3. What does your project entail?
It is important to know the nature of your project from the get-go. Is it small and cosmetic or large and highly specialised? Look at the impacts and dependencies, for example, renovations around the electrical lines or plumbing can impact areas that aren’t in the scope of your project. Also, understand the challenges and what obstacles lie in your path while completing the project.
4. What is the budget?
At this stage, it is crucial to work out the budget again. Consider this thoroughly especially if you want to sell off the property and see the return on investment sooner. Also, consider the growth potential on the value of your home once renovations have been completed and asses your gross returns. After conducting this analysis you may have better clarity on which way to go.
5. Who will do the job?
Renovations take skill, time, and effort. Even simple renovations can take considerable skill. It is important to consider who will do the job. If it is you who is going to work on the job, decide what you are willing to give up to make time for it. If it is another person – a builder or tradie – get an idea of their plan for the project. How do they intend to proceed and how much time will they spend on it?
Hiring for a renovation project
The time it takes for you to plan your renovation project will depend on what you want to achieve. On average it takes anywhere between 20-25 hours to plan a renovations project.
When you decide to hire one tradie to do the job, you will need to spend time meeting and discussing the project. On average, it takes 10-15 hours to make an informed decision about who to hire. Then there are more hours spent on sorting out the contract, signing it and getting the tradie to start on the job. Here is a break-up:
- It takes 10-15 hours to decide to engage a tradie.
- It takes 2-3 hours to put together a list of tradies to call.
- It takes 2-3 hours to call a tradie.
- It takes 6-8 hours to make the appointment and arrange for an on-site visit.
- It takes 2-3 hours to gather quotes.
- It takes 2-3 hours to review quotes, ask questions and make comparisons.
- It takes 1-2 hours to meet with the selected tradie and sign the contract.
Set aside as much time as you can for this stage. It will save you a lot of unnecessary hassles later. If you have a larger project in mind and need to hire 6-8 tradies, you need to proportionally allot extra time in all your calculations. Then you need to organise and schedule all the tasks and checklists so that all jobs involved are completed to your satisfaction.
6. Who will manage the job?
It is one thing to hire someone to do the job, it is quite another to manage the job. You may not have the right knowledge and skills to manage a renovation that is big and complex. Consider hiring a project manager who can create a detailed project plan and manage the renovation for you. Alternatively, (and depending on the type of renovation) you can arrange for your kitchen, plumbing, or landscaping company to manage and complete the renovation for you.
7. My opinion and views
Renovations are all about improving your home and making it more attractive and comfortable. For all the time and money spent on renovating, it is important to know the market’s response, the value of the investment, and the expected returns.
When the combined value of the location, land worth, and street preferential of your property is high, your spending can be justified. Having lived in your home long enough to know the inherent issues and trying to fix them by renovating is always a good idea. But be objective and analyse how much value is truly added versus how much you will be spending.
Sometimes, it makes a lot more economic sense to sell your property as-is. Even if it means being upfront with the prospective buyer about the state of your property and taking a hit on the price. It is all about what you see as a successful sale!
If you have a property that you are considering selling and are debating whether or not to renovate before you sell, talk to Mario. I can provide you with an objective and detailed analysis within a week.
Drop me a note or call me on my mobile. I am here – At your service!