10 Property Renovation Mistakes to Avoid
If you are buying an investment property and planning a significant renovation to boost its resale value or rental potential, there are some common mistakes that you will want to avoid. These blunders could end up costing you thousands of dollars and months of lost time. Here are a few property renovation mistakes made by inexperienced real estate investors:
1. Not Having a Plan
The first part of a good renovation plan is taking the necessary time to make the plan. Know what you intend to do with the property when the remodel is complete. Have a property-specific construction budget laid out. Don’t go into any major renovations without a solid plan to follow.
2. Form Over Function
Don’t sacrifice functional elements purely for stylistic design choices. Make sure everything is structurally sound. Install appliances, flooring, insulation and other features that work properly and provide good energy efficiency. The final decor or furniture should be less of a concern compared to the more important elements of the property.
3. Getting Emotional
As a real estate investor, your priority is making money. You are not the one who is going to be living in the house. Remove emotions from key renovation decisions and planning. Understand the market and create something that will be attractive to potential buyers/renters without injecting too much of your personal tastes and desires. Keep the renovation strictly business.
4. Not Respecting the Original Architecture
All homes have a certain architectural style and this should impact what you do with your renovation. Don’t try to redo a property in a way that doesn’t flow at all with the original concept. You can modernize and breathe new life into the house without doing something that doesn’t quite look or feel right within its core architectural elements.
5. Not Enough Budget
This is a very common mistake. Renovators can fail to budget enough time and/or money for the project. They end up behind schedule and overbudget as unexpected things pop up throughout the process. It’s always smart to budget carefully and build in some cushion just in case things don’t go exactly as planned. Anyone who’s been in this business a long time will tell you that everything rarely goes perfectly in a home renovation.
6. Hiring the Wrong Contractor
The renovation contractor you work with can make or break your entire investment. Don’t just hire the cheapest crew available or the first contractor you meet. Ask for referrals. Interview them carefully. Get plans, budgets and estimates in writing before signing any contracts. Make sure they are the right fit for the job that needs to get done.
7. Not Securing Permits
Obviously, there are construction permits and zoning issues you will need to navigate when planning any significant property renovation. Make sure you do your research and understand all the proper steps you need to take with the city, HOA and other governing bodies.
It is really easy to get wrapped up in a renovation project and take it too far with customizations and other unnecessary features. Focus on what matters most first and then add on the extras if you have the time and money in the budget.
9. Going Cheap
Not only is going with the cheapest contractor a mistake, but you might also be tempted to go with cheaper building materials and other renovation costs. We’re not saying you have to use the best of the best materials, but you should be careful about going too cheap. Use the right materials for your renovation plan and be prepared to invest a little more if it makes sense for the project.
10. Cutting Corners
Just like going too cheap on materials, you will want to avoid cutting corners to save time or money. This will almost always come back to bite you. This is why it’s necessary to have a plan and to follow it as closely as possible to prevent the need for rash decisions.
These are just a few of the most common property renovation mistakes we see real estate investors making. For help with all your home buying and investing needs, join the PropertyLark network. Gain exclusive access to our off-market deals and our investor resources.