Set the Stage

Looks like we took a late summer break here on the blog! Alas, summer is over, we are back. And into…..Renovation Season

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It’s upon us (for some of us it seems a constant) and like many you may find the idea of tackling a renovation in your home a little daunting.  Considering selling your home? You’re probably thinking that the spring market is your target; yes it is the traditional kickoff to the selling season. If the scenario fits this is the time to plan those last minute renos that will get your home looking its best and early, you want to be ready to hit it.

FIND YOUR INSPIRATION

If you don’t already have a vision first up is to determine the look—if it’s a reno for you then have fun figuring it out! If you’re selling, take into consideration your area, you want your house to compete but you also don’t want to waste money over renovating if it’s unlikely to come back to you. There are countless great resources out there: magazines and websites will present lots of ideas. Start saving pictures of what inspires you. Websites like Houzz will enlighten and you can easily save these ideas online by creating Ideabooks for each of your renos. TIP: to save other sites that inspire try Pocket

LOOKING FOR THE RIGHT TRADESPEOPLE

Once you’ve got a direction the best way to save both time and money is by finding the right person to do the job. Yes budget is important but we’ve seen many clients with a timeline in mind then try to do too much of the work themselves, that timeline stretching to the breaking point ie that spring kickoff passes them by. Finding the right people is usually the scariest part of a reno—where to find these people? You can never be 100% sure you have the best contractor or trade but start by asking friends and family, it’s often the safest route. There are also websites providing names of local tradespeople that are certified or licensed and insured (just my opinion but I’ve had success with Homestars while living in Toronto and Dundas). Researching the people who won the “Best of…” reader’s choice awards can also give you some valuable leads.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK

After you’ve chosen a few names for consideration be sure to ask for references. Don’t feel bad about this, it’s important and they expect it, if they’re offended then you’ve discovered early on that this isn’t the right person. When you call their references be sure to ask specific questions about the type of work done, you want to ensure it was comparable to what you need done at your home. You can also request an emailed photo of the completed work, most of us are thrilled to pass along ‘the good ones’ and show off our home.

DESIGN AND DECISIONS

Choosing your materials can be another daunting task, if you don’t have the extra money for a designer this is where your array of inspirational photos and resources come into play.  Take the time to note the way everything works together such as flooring, cabinetry, counter tops, back splash, paint colour, lighting and window coverings.  All of these elements should work together to make the renovation a true success. Try not to be overwhelmed…this part can be the most fun!

DON’T THROW YOUR MONEY AWAY

Finally, consider the renovation carefully to ensure that you aren’t sinking money into something that just isn’t necessary before selling.  And remember, your taste may not grab another and the majority rules on the open market.  In other words try to stick with those neutrals we’re always yammering about. Your personal touch can be a nice add-on but be sure it’s an easy fix too.

Spring. ‘Tis the traditional kickoff but times are changing, the Hamilton area is seeing tremendous sales gains (do we need to add Toronto is too?!), you don’t necessarily have to wait. Food for thought: there are far fewer homes to compete with in the fall and winter real estate market and the right buyer is always out there!

If you’re considering selling sooner rather than later, please feel free to CONTACT US for some no obligation advice about the best ways (and the quick and easy ways!) to ensure you’re putting your home’s best foot forward.

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