Growing up, my parents would, every several years or so, make some kind of home renovation. I always wondered why and would often ask them what the point of these renovations was. After all, even when things looked a little old or dirty, that didn’t mean they were broken. On top of a renovation being comfortable or nicer looking, their response always involved “well, if we ever decide to sell this house…”
Now that I’m older and some of my friends are looking into selling their own house, I finally get it. Not only can renovations make your house worth more (as in a greater selling price), but they also make it more marketable. There are several things that, had my friends thought of working on earlier, would have upped the sales price, such as landscaping for instance.
From talking with them and my parents in preparation for this article, there are a few things I wanted to talk about as far as home renovations and early preparations when you plan on moving.
Nature + Time = Improvement Needed!
Things can technically work and not be in great condition or cause problems. Currently, the walls in my bathroom are coming apart, and I have to jiggle the glass shower door aggressively to get it to open. But those things still get the job done without a doubt. However, even though these things work, they are annoying and they can leave doors open for future disaster. For instance, the material on this side of the wall has shown us we have a rodent problem as there are mice droppings in between the wall and some chewed up wire we’ve already had to take care of, which is typical of rodents’ ware on your house.
A lot of times renovations may be taken to prevent future disasters. They are recommended for parts of your home that are especially subject to failing or damage due to a natural disaster, depending on where you live. Be aware of what time and nature, or wear and tear, can do to your home.
Is this the Right Time?
If you’re not moving out of immediate necessity, ask yourself if the time is right. A friend of mine had parents who were constantly moving and finding themselves in debt because one of them was anxious to move onto better things. If they had waited, they wouldn’t be in the troubles they are.
Homebridge.com lists three questions to ask yourself before moving, and the list is pretty solid so I thought I’d post them here and elaborate on them myself. Homebridge specializes in VA home loans, so they know a thing or two about this subject.
- How Long Are You Going To Live In The Area? Is moving houses a necessity or a desire and ultimately is it worth it? Like the family that I mentioned before, they had lived all over as they were a military family, and many times moved houses in places they were only at for a time.
- Will the home meet your needs now and in the future? Is it worth moving now, or would you be better to wait until you have more money and get a house more accommodating to your wants and needs? In other words, is this new home going to be temporary, and do you already know it’s going to be temporary?
- Have you considered the new trend with fixer uppers?This goes back to renovations. Right now, there is a trend in buying old houses you have to fix up. It’s not a bad idea, it definitely can pay off. But are more renovations (besides the ones you’re making on your current house) something you’re ready to immediately jump into? It may make sense to not sell a fixer upper, but use the money from a renovated house to purchase a fixer upper.
How Far Should I Take These Renovations?
If you’re wondering how many renovations need to be made and how important they are before you sell, know two things: 1) the less renovations you make, the less you will most likely sell your house for, and 2) the time in which you need to move determines exactly how many renovations you can make.
If you are moving soon, the bare minimum required for selling may be all you can do. If you have a set time line and can afford to slowly renovate, you might want to go for a more fancy renovation. Ultimately, it comes down to how much money you want vs. how much time you have.
Will My Investment Be Worth It?
This may be the most important question you can ask yourself if your reason for renovation is to make money off of your house. How much more does a renovation make your house worth?
First, you’ll have to logically analyze the housing market and what is trendy with home buyers — AKA, what kind of houses are selling for the most right now? What are things you can afford that will raise the price of your house more than you spend on them? How long will it take as well, because a rush job will not be worth it. Things have to be done right and workers can’t be rushed in these instances. This is how you know your investment is worth it.
I’d like to hear your thoughts on this. Let me know in the comments!