3 Things to Know Before Renovating Your Home

May 14, 2018

Your cabinets haven’t been updated since the 1960s. There is a weird smell coming from the basement – or is it the attic? The paint is chipping on half the doors and the grass in your lawn is a bit overgrown.

Does this sound familiar? Since you’re reading this, you’re probably ready for something new. It’s time to improve your living situation, so why not remodel your home? There are many benefits to renovating your home including a higher market value, an updated and more comfortable environment to live in, and an improved neighborhood altogether.

With as many benefits as there are to renovating your home, there are a few things you should know before getting started. Whether you’re looking to remodel before putting the home on the market or just want to make the environment you live in more comfortable, it’s crucial to keep these considerations in mind before getting out the toolbelt.

1. The Value of Your Home Before the Renovation

When was the last time you did a home valuation on your home? Probably not in a while, especially if you haven’t considered selling any time soon. The best way to find out whether a home renovation is worth the cost, time, and effort is to do a little bit of math.

There are a few ways you can find out the value of your home quickly and easily. The first way is to open a new tab, go to Google, and type in “home valuation tool”. A plethora of tools will pop up and walk you through a few steps that will give you a basic valuation. If you own a townhome in Seattle, Townhomevalues.com is a good place to get a specific valuation on your home.

While online valuation tools work for a quick glance at what your home could be worth, they often don’t tell the whole story. Their algorithms take the basic facts of your home – year built, square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, etc. – to calculate a valuation compared to other homes in your area with similar stats.

What these algorithms don’t take into consideration is how old your cabinets are, the shape of your floors, the missing shingle on the roof, the view, or any of the other details that shape how the house is lived in.

That’s why it’s a good idea to get an expert out on the scene. You can hire a real estate agent or inspector who will go through a lengthy process of listing out what you’ll need to fix in order to get the highest market value for your home. Their valuation will be much more detailed than the algorithms and you’ll likely end up with a checklist of things to tackle.

One more option is to get a developer to take a look. If you’re not sure whether you have the time, money, or resources to complete a full renovation on your home, the developer will tell you up front how much they would pay to get your home off your hands as is.

We have a team of friendly local professionals who have seen it all and have even handed cash over for properties which may seem like they don’t deserve a new life. We go in and make the improvements ourselves while you get an opportunity to move on to the next stage of your life.

2. The Potential Value of Your Home After the Renovation

You’ve bought and applied buckets of paint, replaced all the doorknobs and handles, and maybe even fixed up all your cabinets and countertops. After you’ve put all the time, money, and effort into renovating your home, how much did the value increase?

If your reason for renovation is to sell your home for top dollar in today’s market, this is especially crucial to know before launching into work. Even if you’re simply fixing up your home to make it a space that you’re happier to live in, it’s worth doing some research to find out which improvements will add value for when you want to sell later down the line.

Getting to this number is easier said than done. It’s easier to find the value of your home in its current condition – after all, what you see is what you get. Calculating the return on investment on a home remodel is a complex equation that won’t be exact. After all, the housing market is changing on a daily basis, and your home’s value in six months may vary greatly from what it’s worth in nine months with even no work involved.

The 2018 Cost vs. Value report is one of the most widely used reports for those considering the return on a home remodel. It “compares average cost for 21 popular remodeling projects in 149 markets with the value those projects retain at resale in 100 U.S. markets.”

There are a few considerations you can take when trying to decide how much a home renovation could add to its value down the line. These include:

  • Age of renovation – How much time passes between the date you finish renovation and when you sell? If you list immediately after renovation, this means everything is new. If it’s five years later, it may not be as shiny (or worth as much).
  • What was there previously – If you have carpets worth $400 in the living room and upgrade to $1,200 hardwood floors, then the assumed added value would be $800.
  • Perceived value – Have you heard the phrase “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”? Well, this applies to home renovations as well. Your bathroom remodel may look like $20,000 well spent to you, but potential buyers might perceive it as just being worth $5,000.
  • Don’t go overboard – You might love those custom green hardwood floors that you dished out an extra $2,000 for, but will a potential buyer? When investing in a home renovation, find a balance between what works for you and what buyers are looking for in their own home.
  • The housing market – In a market as crazy as Seattle’s, anything can change in a blink. Shacks are selling for half a million dollars and two-bedroom townhomes are selling for over a million. Before you launch into a remodel, take a look at the market trends and determine whether you could get what you want for your house without the work.

3. You Don’t Have to Renovate Your Home

Your front door is barely hanging on its hinges, your roof leaks everytime it rains, and you’re pretty sure there’s something weird growing in the basement. What do you mean I don’t have to renovate?

For those who believe you must put in time, money, and work to get your home ready to sell on the market, we’re here to tell you that’s not necessarily true. There is another way.

As we mentioned previously, many real estate investors and developers would be happy to take a look at your property and determine the value of your home as is. Not only that, but you may also get a cash offer right there on the spot.

Before going with just anyone, make sure the company you contact has your best interest in mind, as well as their own. Many real estate investment companies get a bad wrap for focusing solely on profits and not taking the neighborhood and your own personal situation into consideration when making an offer.

We’re a local, family-owned team who has grown up in the Seattle area and have a fondness for the character and charm of each of our neighborhoods. When we make an offer on a home, we do our best to find a balance between what works for us and what works for you. It’s the least we can do to make sure the neighborhoods we know and love grow with everyone’s best interest in mind.