What Should Home Owners Be Aware Of Before Purchasing or Renovating a Home?


Part One: Purchasing

Purchasing or renting a house is probably one of the most significant economic investments in people’s lives. You are willingly giving away a certain sum of your money every month, either as a mortgage or rent.

Of course, this decision is critical and carries several aspects that need to be thought through. This is real life, and you are not living in one of the television episodes of Selling Sunset where everyone can afford glamorous houses worth millions of dollars. Yes, we all love the show but let’s be realistic!

Before you purchase a house, it is natural to ask yourself what considerations are imperative to have an in-depth base before plunging into the pool. On several occasions, residential architects try to guide prospective homebuyers about the process.

Check Out the Precise Location of the Development

The location is the most preliminary way you get to understand a house. You get a look into the proximity of the house to amenities, the orientation, and assess the overall situation.

Orientation is fundamental because it helps reduce the energy costs saving you hundreds of dollars every year. Understanding the proximity to essential services such as schools, supermarkets, hospitals, parks, and access to public transport among others is crucial.

In addition, it is also useful to inquire about social and infrastructure projects going around the site on a neighborhood level that may increase or decrease the value of the property in the future.

Understand the Local Regulations

Development projects bring with them a lot of red tapes. Developers must get through planning applications, and receive development permission, construction hassles, inspections, and marketing, all while trying to sell the properties for a profit.

From the homebuyers’ perspective, you must ensure to find out about the local regulations. Ignoring building regulations could dampen your plans of adding an extension or renovation in the future.

Set a Budget and Search for Price References in the Neighborhood

As mentioned before, not everyone can afford a house worth millions and that is fine. There are excellent houses available in a price range below that. But you must set your budget. And then some.

By having a budget in mind, your meetings with the mortgage advisors could become more convenient. Additionally, you could do your homework by searching for comps in the neighborhood you are eyeing.

Look for the price range that is predominant in the neighborhood and for how much the average house sells. You must also inquire about the development and construction costs. Taking heed of simple aspects could end up saving you money.


Find Out About the Process of Buying a Home

The process of selling and buying a house is not simple. Several aspects might impact your budget. This specifically includes the planning regulations and overhead taxes. It is always best to take guidance from a reliable solicitor.

Here concludes Part One of the blog that discusses some essentials of purchasing a house. Buying a house requires spending a lot of money and critical analysis of the situation. Hence, assessing the property and the related attributes such as finances, maintenance, regulations, etc. are a must.

Part Two: Renovating

The regulations (NJAC 5:26-6.3) define renovations as “the removal and replacement or covering of interior or exterior finish, trim, doors, windows or other materials with new materials that serve the same purpose and do not change the configuration of space. Renovation shall include the replacement of equipment or fixtures”. When an architect takes up renovation works, there are two Sets of Requirements that they must adhere to: products and practices and materials and methods.

Consult a Residential Architect

Many prospective clients skip the architect and visit a builder for their home renovation project. The first thing the builder asks for is the architect’s drawings. So technically, the first step is to consult a residential architect.

Ideally, you want to go to a residential architect who specializes in additions and alterations. These projects exhibit their unique set of problems, and a residential architect should be able to guide you through the process.

Ask yourself questions like what is your budget, could you grab some extra space in the attic or basement, or should you go up or go out? A residential architect can help answer these questions for you.

Spend at the Property During Renovation

Many times, during renovations, homeowners ignore the process and step in once every two weeks to check on the process. Residential architects generally prefer if you are part of every minute detail. This is to avoid confusion and unnecessary expectations at a later stage.

For instance, the color palette of your newly-renovated home will influence a lot of other aspects such as the carpets, curtains, and the overall interior scheme. Paint palettes that are selected before the renovation must be tested on the walls and could change as the process continues.

If you need more time to reconsider things, then spend more time at the property during renovations to avoid back to square one moment.

Be Realistic About the Timeline

The renovation could take longer than expected so be prepared for that scenario and make accommodations to avoid last-minute frustrations. It could be two weeks before your new pool is delivered or the wooden framework for new windows requires an additional week. Currently some windows are taking 16 weeks to be delivered!

Be prepared for contingencies.

Renovate the Kitchen First

Homeowners often want to know which space to renovate first. Generally, residential architects suggest the kitchen. It is the best space to start with as it could add additional value to your property.

According to the National Association of Realtors 2019 Impact Report, homeowners can recover 59% of the cost of a full kitchen renovation if they sell their home. Further, if you have an outdated kitchen, it makes sense to upgrade it to contemporary times to enjoy the full potential of the renovations.

Practically speaking, kitchen renovations should be the first because they will result in excessive debris and dust. And you do not want that settling on a new paint job or flooring.

Be Specific About Your Design Ideas

If you are working along with the residential architect during the design stages of the renovations, be specific but realistic. It is the residential architect’s job to bring your ideas to life, but they will think about the technical aspects as well.

As clients, you must be rational and openly discuss your ideas with the architect for the renovation. Of course, you are allowed to take inspiration from the internet or books, but take heed of your budget, set a timeline, and then decide what works best for your project.

Be upfront with the residential architect about the money and do not let them go over budget. This teamwork should bear fruitful results. Of course it is just a guideline and you will not know the real cost until the documents are completed. Especially in our current times!

This is the end of Part Two that presents the essentials associated with renovating a home. The process can be tedious and time consuming, but many homeowners enjoy the process of redesigning small aspects of their homes.

So What is Better?

Now you have two full-blown housing options in front of you. Whether you decide to purchase a house or renovate the one you already have, the processes require time, research, energy, and a lot of money.

So, save yourself the trouble, consult professionals, observe what they have to say, and get your queries clarified. After all, the result should be a feeling of money well spent.