November 14, 2020

Almost daily I am asked, “Is this the right time to do a renovation?” Well, I really don’t know the answer to that question because there are SO many variables in play at this time during a global pandemic, economic crises, and building boom (yes, none of those things seem to fit quite right together). But there are some things that might be helpful for you to consider when making your decision:

 

HOW LONG WILL YOU STAY IN YOUR HOUSE?

Create a home that works for you and your needs, the next homeowner will most likely change it to fit their needs as well. Renovating is expensive and exhausting so make sure that you are committed to living there a minimum of 5 years otherwise, I would suggest holding off on renovating.

Renovating for resale is my least favorite thing to do – actually, I don’t do it. If you are just trying to get your house ready to sell, I suggest you go as least expensive as possible and look for the highest return on investment.

IS YOUR CURRENT SITUATION COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE?

Most people who are doing construction right now are in a position that they have to. They have either sold their home and need to move, decided to cash in on a hot market, and are downsizing / upgrading or relocating from an urban area to suburban. This typically means that they are cash positive and have sold high or have equity in their home and refinanced.

A truly tricky situation is when a typical family of four living in a three-bedroom home find two parents at home working with two children at home and in school. I agree, this is a sincere challenge but perhaps my best advice is to wait, see what the market does, build equity in your home, and see if you can get back to the office or find office space in one of the many empty office buildings around. The concept of being creative about shared office space is a good one and I think very necessarily as we move forward. While I realize it is an expense that you don’t want to incur, mental health and productivity is an essential part of creating a sustainable lifestyle, and… you are probably spending less money on childcare and entertainment.

What if you decide you are not ready for a renovation, but your house is driving you nuts?

If you are simply trying to fix up your house to be more sustainable especially during a global pandemic and you are spending so much time at home, the paint will do wonders. From the interior, exterior, walls, cabinetry even floors there is nothing like a fresh coat of paint. And lighting is easy to swap out and will make a huge impact on your space, just be frugal when selecting fixtures.

Things NOT to do because they are too expensive and custom would include tile, windows, siding, plumbing, and cabinetry. If you need to upgrade an appliance because it is broken, stay with a standard size so that you can reuse it in a future project or buy something very inexpensive.

Long and short, we are in very uncertain times. I’ve been in this industry for over 30 years and NEVER have I seen such a strange market. When the words “never before” comes into play, I lean toward the conservative. Do a renovation if you have to but otherwise, try to hold off if even for a few months and things feel more predictable then… definitely reach out and let’s see if we can work together!