Monday, August 6, 2012

Home Remodeling - Things Every Homeowner Should Consider Before Moving Ahead

If you're thinking about moving ahead with a home remodeling project, the following are some factors to consider. This is tried and true advice gleaned from over 25 years of consulting with clients in Toronto on home buying, moving, selling and renovating. It will not only save you financially, but emotionally as well.

Speaking of emotions . . .

Toronto Home Remodeling: Can Your Family Afford the Emotional Cost?

There is an old idiomatic expression in the real estate industry that goes, "Renovation leads to separation." This is especially true if the family inhabits the home while the renovation is taking place. Noise, dust, cramped quarters and dealing with unreliable contractors take a huge toll on even the most stable relationship. This is added stress on top of professional responsibilities, child rearing and other day-to-day pressures.

This is why I have always found that the most important factor to consider when deciding whether or not to renovate is not the financial cost, but the emotional cost.

After all, what good is a newly renovated home when there is no family left intact to enjoy it?

Toronto Home Remodeling: When It Makes Sense to Move Forward

If your family is prepared to weather the emotional toll, following is when it makes sense to move forward with a home remodeling project.

You Love Your Home: This is probably the best reason. If you love the basic bones of your house, its location, and the feel of the neighborhood, then remodeling makes sense - if it's within reason (which we'll discuss in just a bit).

The Costs are in Line with the Neighborhood: You can easily spend too much on a home renovation project. Following are two questions to ask that will help you keep costs in line with your desires.

The first question you need to ask - and answer -- before proceeding is, "Does it make sense to spend this amount of money, on this home, in this area?" You want to be able to answer "yes" emphatically.

The second question is, "When all the work is done, will my home be the most expensive home on the street?" The answer to this question should be "no."

The reason is, any improvements you make should be those that a future buyer will be willing to pay for.

Rarely is this the case when a home is the most expensive on the block. Remember, potential homebuyers pay relative to what other homes in that vicinity have sold for. So no matter how much that slate tile in the master bath costs or how great it looks, if it puts your home in the "most expensive" category, it's unlikely you'll recoup what you spent.

Toronto Home Remodeling: Make Sure Moving Is Not a Better Option

As renovating can get expensive - quick -- sometimes it makes sense to move. To illustrate, consider this: let's say you own a beautiful two-bedroom, semi-detached home on a lovely, quiet street. You need a third bedroom and would like to have a family room on the ground floor. You'd also like a pool.

Do you think it would be a good idea to have all of these changes and additions done to your existing home? My experienced opinion is, "Probably not." Why?

These are significant changes. You're not remodeling, you're rebuilding. In real estate speak, changes like this make you a classic "move-up buyer"; one who wants a detached home with a private driveway and a larger lot size. It would be better to buy a home with these features than remodel your existing one.

Toronto Home Remodeling: Get First-hand Advice before Making a Final Decision

No matter what your decision, get some helpful first-hand advice before making it. Seek out the following three people:

(i) an experienced, local real estate agent. They'll be able to advise you on tangibles like resale value;

(ii) someone who has gone through a similar home remodelling project. They'll be able to tell you what to expect, eg, cost, how long it's going to take, recommend contractors, etc.; and

(iii) a contractor who can provide you total costs for your Toronto home remodeling project.


  1. When remodeling a home there are normally multiple goals. These goals are not mutually exclusive, but there are three general categories.

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