So, you were saving every penny and bought a new (old) home, but now you face the greatest temptation of all – should you wait to renovate first or move in into your fixer upper immediately and remodel then? Hold on. It is understandable that you’re eager to start that new chapter in your life and that the desire is just overwhelming, but there’s a lot more to it than just giving in to temptation. So stop, breathe in, and consider all the pros and cons of each option in order for this transition into your dream home to go as smoothly as possible.
The most important things to consider when it comes to renovations are time and money. In other words, you need to make sure you know exactly what you want, how much time it will take, and what it is going to cost you. Ideally, renovations are the most efficient when a home is unoccupied. But on the other hand, you might not have a clear vision of what you’d like unless you actually spend some time living in your fixer upper. Before you let this conundrum get the best of you, at least set the budget limit. It will focus you on more important things and it’ll definitely be easier to prioritize.
Fortunately, now you can do that in just a couple of clicks. The smart thing to do is consider the nearby houses and how much they’re worth. Should you wish to sell one day, the price of your home should not stand out. Thanks to enterprising lenders and brokers, that information can now be found with just a few clicks on your trusted search engine. The property value report is a great online tool that can aid you in this endeavour. You will gain access to information like the property’s sales and rental history and all additional necessary real estate data, so you can make sure total expenses of buying and renovating do not exceed the value of your neighbors’ homes. This way you won’t go overboard since even minor projects can add up and really put a strain on your finances.
Consider this as well
Once you set the budget limit, it’s time to decide whether to wait until the renovations are done or move in and try to manage all at the same time. A million questions will spring to mind – which option is less stressful, how quickly can I find competent professionals, are there hidden expenses, is this the design I want or will I change my mind, is my family comfortable with either of these options…? This can go on forever. Let us consider the advantages and disadvantages of moving into your fixer upper.
Waiting has its perks. When the house is unoccupied there is no moving and protecting the furniture, which will save a considerable amount in itself. Not to mention it is less disruptive to the homeowner as well. However, do consider how much time the remodeling will take and if you have a place to stay until all is completed. If you opt for staying at your current home, it will involve double payments on many things (mortgage, utilities, etc.).
Even if you find a low rent accommodation or stay for free at your friends, make sure that everybody is comfortable with the time frame set for the completion of works. Sometimes the complexity of alterations may require you to wait for a couple of months. Families with small children or elderly members may find these disruptive renovations extremely stressful, and in such cases, it is advisable to move in after the work has been done.
Move in and pace yourself
If you have a strong vision of what your home should look like, and your budget allows it – there’s little to worry about. Yet, sometimes, you can’t get a general feel of the home and how your family will use it unless you spend some time breathing in the ambiance. More often than not, people know they want to change ‘something’ but they are still unsure of what that ‘something’ actually is. This is completely normal and in this case, you should settle in first and be creative later. You’ll have time to consider all the renovation ideas, run them by your family and calculate the funds, all that in good time. What’s more, this may considerably lower the cost of hiring a remodeling expert. Such professionals are almost always unavailable on short notice, and if they do find time for your project, you can bet it’s going to cost extra. This way you can afford to wait a little for exceptional service and since you’re already there, you can personally keep an eye on the progress on your fixer upper.
In the end, it’s really up to you and whether the changes of your future home fall into the category of minor or major. Whatever the case, careful planning is imperative if you want to avoid stress and unnecessary expenses.