Here’s my advice on how to approach home renovations prudently.

What better time to give your home a makeover than the dawn of a new year, right? Well, before you jump right into some lofty and costly renovations, slow down and ask yourself a few important questions, like, “Why am I doing this?” and “What is my ultimate goal with this project?” Are you renovating for the purpose of adding value to your home, or are you doing it for the purpose of  your own enjoyment or utility? 

“Are homeowners in your area actually spending their hard-earned money on that trendy renovation you read about online?”

Before you knock a wall down, overhaul your kitchen, splash bold colors everywhere or lay down some brand-new flooring, consult with an experienced Realtor; you could end up throwing money away without even realizing it, so it’s best to first find out which projects are worth their salt and which ones will only bring you headaches. Most people don’t realize that there are several popular renovations that don’t actually bring much—if any—value to a home. 

Our agents look at 10 to 15 houses a day; given the sheer volume of properties we’re exposed to, we’re able to keep our fingers on the pulse of home renovation trends. You may have read about a certain project in a lifestyle magazine, but are homeowners in your area actually spending their hard-earned money on that type of renovation? And, if so, are they even seeing a return on their investment? Most often, large-scale home renovations don’t yield a dollar-for-dollar return, so be careful with where you throw your money. 

Also, you need to be aware of scammers. If someone knocks on your door and says, “Hey, we’re putting fences up in the area and I noticed your home doesn’t have one. This state-of-the-art, high-quality cedar wood fence will last 20 years, and you’ll be able to get X amount of dollars back on your investment…blah, blah, blah”—proceed cautiously; ask questions, do your own research, and use your best judgment. In our area specifically, we see a lot of solar panel salespeople trying to persuade homeowners into an investment opportunity, so be prepared to have that conversation (or avoid it all together). Talk to an appraisal firm first to see whether or not those kinds of upfront costs will likely yield returns that are worthwhile. 

Again, please feel free to use us as a resource! Give us a call, send us an email, or get a dialogue started via social media. Our goal is to help you make informed decisions as a homeowner, buyer, or seller. We’d love to take a look at your particular situation and provide meaningful, professional input as to whether a given project would make sense.