First-time homebuying in any city can be stressful, when it’s in a city like Toronto where the property market is sizzling, the pressure to find a good deal is even greater. Many buyers who want the best value for their money opt to invest in a fixer-upper. Here are some answers to the concerns you may have as a first-time home buyer of a property with potential.
The number one piece of advice for anyone buying a fixer-upper is to find a good inspector in your area qualified for the type of house you are buying. If you are thinking about buying an older home, make sure you tell the inspection service that you are in need of someone who is knowledgeable about homes of that age. If you suspect that there are structural problems, then calling in a contractor to check out the property is a good idea. In fact, having a contractor take a look at the house will also get you get a better estimate of what you might expect to spend.
When it comes to renovating a fixer-upper, be sure to know your budget and how much each project will cost. The very first thing you should do is to ensure that your infrastructure is solid. If there are any electrical problems to address or plumbing kinks you want to work out, then that is what you should tackle first. Once your infrastructure is good, then you will want to start with the projects that are most important first. Kitchens and bathrooms are where the bulk of your money should go after infrastructure as these two areas will immediately boost the resale value of your home. Budget according to what each project should cost, but allow room for unforeseen problems that might arise.
While renovating a home may seem like the easy route to your dream house, you have to be aware of your financial boundaries. Over budgeting or cost overruns can creep up on you and can cause major dilemmas. Making sure that you do not face these potential problems can be as simple as planning for contingencies, paying a lot of attention to project planning and constantly tracking your progress. If you do get in over your head, take a deep breath and consider the following options: seeking more funding, reducing the project scope, and reassigning your resources to lower cost ones.
The next crucial piece of advice to remember is to be realistic about how long it will take to renovate – usually double what you estimate as most projects will take longer than anticipated. Deciding if you want to live in a house under construction or want to find somewhere else to stay while doing major work is essential to maintaining your sanity and relationship (if you are in one) intact. Unless you’re okay with sleeping in an unfinished house with sawdust and power tools hanging about, finding a place to recharge comfortably every night would be a good idea.
For some couples, rebuilding a home is a fantastic bonding experience, for others it can cause tension and tears. Couples often forget or may not even know that remodeling a home is extremely taxing on a relationships and can put a huge strain on the people involved. Your tolerance will be put to the test through the demanding and strenuous work in renovating your first house together. Making compromises, communication, picking your battles, knowing your limits and not being afraid to ask for help are some key factors in having your relationship survive a remodel.
Choosing to buy a fixer-upper has its rewards; while it may involve hard work, careful planning and patience, it will all be worth it in the end when you have the house of your dreams at the price you wanted.