HomeHome Buyers November 16, 2022

Buying a Home to Remodel

For some, finding that dream home that truly encapsulates what they envision can be challenging. Maybe you found a beautiful home, but there are a few aspects that don’t align with your hopes. Thankfully, there’s always the option to buy a home with remodeling projects in mind. Whether you’re contemplating changing a couple of rooms or having a great deal of work done throughout the home, there are important considerations to make when buying a home to remodel.

Find the Right Home

When it comes to finding the best home for remodeling, it’s important to identify a property that aligns with your plans and also has solid return on investment potential. To determine how much a home’s value could increase, it helps to consider overall project costs within the context of local market conditions. Our local Windermere Real Estate agents live and work in the community and have expert knowledge of how much similar homes in the neighborhood have recently sold for.

Choose the Best Projects

When making decisions about which remodeling projects would be best, it really depends on what your plans are for the home. If you see the house as purely an investment property, then you’ll want to focus on projects that return the most at resale such as adding stone veneer, replacing the garage door, and boosting curb appeal. If you’re planning on moving in and staying awhile, then it’s best to pick projects that will improve your quality of life and overall happiness while living there. This really depends on your lifestyle and needs, so take time to think about what would be most beneficial for you and your family. Either way, before starting, make sure to evaluate whether any structural issues need to be addressed because that’s always the top priority.

Create a Budget

Before diving into plans, create an overall remodeling budget to determine which projects are affordable. Also, if you know you want a home that needs some work, it’s good to have all this information prepared in advance. That way, your real estate agent knows more of what you are looking for, given your price range and the scope of work you’re prepared to take on. Plus, your budget can guide lenders on how best to help you when structuring your loan. There are specific home renovation loans available. Ask your Windermere agent for more details.

Itemize Remodeling Costs

Once you’ve budgeted how much money you’re able to spend on remodeling, then it’s time to create a more detailed budget by itemizing remodeling costs. This budget should list all of the costs involved including permits, labor, materials, clean-up, etc. It’s good to be prepared, but in these situations, you also have to be ready for the unexpected. We’ve all heard stories about construction projects running over budget or contractors taking longer than estimated. To prepare for these scenarios, it’s best to build an additional 10% into your budget just to be safe. This way if the unexpected happens, you’ll still be able to achieve your goals.

Find a Great Contractor

After you develop a budget with contingency options, then it’s time to find a great local contractor. Asking your real estate agent as well as friends, family, and neighbors for referrals is the best place to start. If you receive multiple referrals, definitely contact all of them. It’s helpful to get several price quotes and compare them to online estimates. When you speak to contractors, request project bids and timelines. All this information will help you compare prices and identify the contractor who can complete the project within your preferred timeline. Tom Silva of This Old House has eight tips for hiring a contractor that are worth checking out.

Conduct Thorough Inspections

Since you’re planning on buying a home that requires remodeling, it’s very important to conduct a thorough home inspection. Any home that needs work is likely older and has already had several owners. An inspection provides a detailed list of all the home’s shortcomings and any major repairs that need to be done. It can also give you additional information about what’s required to make specific changes you have in mind. Having an in-depth analysis of the property’s condition puts you in a better position when making an offer.