Deciding to renovate your home is a major decision, and depending on the form of renovation to be performed can be a expensive one. As in other walks of life, in general, home renovations can be divided into those we need, and those we like. We need air to breathe in life but we want to eat chocolate cake. official site Of course, in favor of the breeze, we could choose the chocolate gâteau, but we will soon start to regret it. And so it goes with home renovations, albeit on a less life-critical scale.
The verb “to renovate” has two meanings according to Merriam-Webster online dictionary: 1. To restore the former better condition (such as by washing, restoring or reconstruction) 2. Restoring life, vigor, or activity: reviving They’re slightly, almost imperceptible, different-and one concept is usually much more important to homeowners when deciding how to invest their hard-earned renovation budget.
We often see a home renovation as something that brightens up our living space, gives us more room or makes us more relaxed. Consider adding a new toilet, or a fresh coat of paint. Those renovations fall squarely into the number two category. They restore our home life, and have the ‘wow’ element we love to share with our friends and family. Such renovations do tend to add value to a house’s price, and people will talk about the return on investment that goes with them, i.e. what the renovation cost would be relative to the price increase if the house were to be sold.
However, there is sometimes a much larger home improvement that needs to be considered, and that, sadly, falls into the number one concept. It’s the maintenance renovation, the renovation of “restore to a former better state,” the dull renovation-and the ratio of financial cost to “wow” factor stinks completely. This type of renovation includes things like a new roof, foundation repairs, pointing, insulation, and wiring-normally improvements that you can’t see-and is typically the top priority of any homeowner, regardless of their situation.
Take the case where the homeowner is happy at home and want to live there to raise a family-they enjoy the neighborhood’s community spirit, it’s close to work, and there’s plenty of facilities nearby. Long-term what’s more important? Stopping the leaking basement, or getting a new kitchen? Of course, the answer should be obvious-renovating the basement (restoring it to a former better state) is not only a required preventive measure from potentially significant damage to the house, but is also a necessity for peace of mind.
What if homeowner tries to sell their house? A new kitchen is well known to have the best return on investment and can significantly boost a house’s value. Renovating this little profit-maker may be enticing to first get more money and make the house more appealing, but there is a downside-if there are any unresolved structural or major maintenance issues, the potential buyer would find them when they have a structural survey done, if they have any common sense. Depending on what the problem is, one result could be one of several: a request for a price reduction, a request for the work to be finished and re-inspected at the cost of the homeowner, or, as is quite often the case, a permanent withdrawal of the bid. It’s a hard pill to swallow for the seller, as usually the price appraisal of their house by a realtor has not taken into account the expense of this additional work, and yet, having done the work, there seems to be no benefit in terms of the the value of the house. In reality, there is of course-it’s just that the measurement was too high in the first place.
That being said, there are always house buyers who will not do the proper ground work, so when the home is purchased, the maintenance repairs needed are missing. The seller, whether they knew about the issue (as they often do), has been playing and “getting away with one” and the buyer foolishly took on the concerns of someone else for the sake of the expense of a systemic survey. A note to potential buyers: always, always, get a full structural survey done unless you’re an expert yourself in such matters because the short-term additional cost will be far less painful than discovering significant issues and having to deal with the resulting heartache (and anger) after the purchase is complete.