Saturday, April 23, 2016

Get Your Renovation Price Before You Buy That Home

With the current real estate market in the area being so hot and with so may people looking for homes to buy and so few homes actually on the market for sale people are buying homes that they really do not want.

The need to purchase something in the area is becoming almost a fever pitch, this is making it more difficult to actually purchase a home. With the limited homes that are on the market people and a glutton of buyers looking, homes are being bought that require a large amount of renovations, repairs, updating or in some cases require more square footage leading to the construction of additions.

In this ultra competitive real estate market where property can sell overnight buyers are being asked to make quick decisions if they want to make an offer or not. This can lead people into a problem of buying a home that requires work but not knowing how much the renovations will cost.

You can hire a home inspector to tell you what they think is wrong with the home but that won't tell you how much it will cost to fix and to update. What you need is a renovation contractor that can give you a rough ballpark number on the renovations you require.

The best thing you can do is to retain a renovation contractor that you trust to come in and walk through the home with you. Tell them what you want to update and fix and they will give you a rough budget on what it will cost. This way you will be able to add that to your budget when you are making your offer on the home.

Not all renovation contractors will do this, but the good ones usually will, they will usually do it for a small fee just to cover their time.

The renovation budget that they give you will not be binding in anyone and if you actually purchase the home then they will be able to take their time and give you a proper estimate that reflects your level of finish and the plans that you come up with for the home.

If you are looking for help to figure out the cost of the renovations before you make an offer on that home make sure you have your renovation contractor take a look. A little bit of time and money before the purchase could save you a lot of money and heartache in the future.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Why Custom Kitchens Are Better Then Ikea Kitchens

In the world of building and renovating homes, we try to do as much custom work as we can, not just because we want to but because it turns out better in the end for the client.

One of the most frustrating things with people today is that they have been led to believe that the best way to save money is to buy an Ikea kitchen and have it installed to save money over having a custom kitchen built and installed.

Let's get the money thing out of the way to begin with, everyone thinks that custom kitchens are so expensive and that's why they go and buy Ikea kitchens. The cost to actually buy the kitchen is cheaper up front from Ikea compared to the cost of a custom kitchen but that's were the savings stop. 

When you shop for Ikea kitchens the prices they give you are the basic prices and there is nothing fancy or unique about it. You have to purchase all the hardware for the doors separately either from Ikea or from another source. Custom kitchens come with all the hardware in the price and are also installed by the kitchen supplier. 

The biggest cost of an Ikea kitchen that no buddy tends to think about is the cost of the assembly. Most people think that Ikea kitchens must be fairly easy to put together and install. Take it from me, we have assembled and installed Ikea kitchens for clients as part of a renovation and the cost of this ends up being very high. The fact that they are hard to put together and there are always pieces missing means that you loss precious time running back to Ikea to buy or return cabinets. Because Ikea kitchens are not designed and make for your house then they take longer to install. It becomes difficult when floors are out of level, walls aren't plumb or you have to alter a cabinet to fit a space it wasn't designed for.

Every time I install an Ikea kitchen when I total up what the homeowner spent and my cost for my employee's to assemble and install it the cost ends up working out to within 10% of the custom kitchen.

What are you giving up just to save 10 or less percent on your kitchen? A lot, custom kitchens make use of every single inch in a kitchen. Because a custom kitchen is made just for your kitchen there are little things that can be fit in to what an Ikea kitchen would consider wasted space. Things like spice racks, cloth drawers and specialty corner cabinet hardware that don't require a lazy suzanne to be installed giving you amble storage.

One of the biggest things that you are giving away for less then 10% savings is the quality of the overall kitchen. Custom kitchens last as long as you are going to own the home, Ikea kitchens are usually in need of repair and replacement in less then 10 years. Why spend so much money when you are going to have to start repairing it in less then a decade.

Your kitchen is one of the most used parts of your home, you should be making a proper investment in it. Forget the Ikea kitchen, spend that extra 10% and get a custom kitchen.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Renovate Before You Move In

The best time to renovate that house you just bought is before you move in.

When you buy a house that you want to renovate you should think of doing some or all of the renovations before you ever physically move into the house.

If you are buying a second home like a chalet or a cottage then you can easily delay the date that you are able to move in until your renovations are finished.

If you are buying a house that is your primary residence then the best thing you can do is get bridge financing so that you can do the majority of the renovations before you have to move in.

There are many reasons to do this:

  • Dirt. Renovating is a dirty business and it is always easier to clean up a house after a renovation if there is no furniture in the way. Rugs, furniture, bed spreads can all end up covered in dust if the dust and dirt drift throughout the house.
  • Your own stuff. It's hard for a contractor to work around other peoples stuff, they end up having to do things twice and they are constantly moving men, equipment and materials to accommodate the homeowners who need access to different parts of the house.
  • Convenience. If you are planning to renovate a kitchen or a main bathroom or the only bathroom in the house that has a shower then you are going to want to have it completed before you move in. Not having a kitchen can be a very stressful thing, especially if you have a large family. 
  • Cost. Contractors take into consideration the amount of time they will lose when they have to work around other peoples stuff. They also add more time and money to the job so that they can properly protect the homeowners stuff from dust. Dust screens, the taping of rooms off, the tarping of beds and furniture all takes time and time is money. If a contractor knows that they are going to work in a home that is empty then they are able to plan on less time and less money to complete the renovation.
  • Design. It is always easier for your contractor to help you with design ideas and layouts when the rooms of the house are empty. A more accurate readying of a rooms size can be determined when there is no furniture in the house.
  • Problems. It is always easier to identify problems in the home when it is completely empty. There are no rugs to hide anything and pictures covering the walls. Everything can be assessed with a simple look around.
  • Layout. Once the house is renovated you might think about the layout of your home completely differently. Renovations to kitchens tend to change the whole flow of how the home functions.
The bottom line is moving is stressful and if you can move without having to deal with renovations that are also stressful then you will actually enjoy the whole experience (and you might save some money).

Rob Abbott
Village Builders Inc.