What You Need to Know Before Buying a Home that Needs to be Updated

renovationSometimes you find the home you're looking for, but it is in need of major updating. Before you buy a home that is in need of renovation, whether it's a true fixer upper or just a home filled with small projects, there are some things you should keep in mind. Looking at homes for sale in Oakville and choosing one that needs your personal touch can be a great idea, but we have some tips to help you be sure you don't regret your purchase after you move in. 

If you want to learn more about buying a home in Oakville, we can help. Contact us any time, and keep reading for some considerations to keep in mind as you are house hunting. 

Realistic Budgeting for Updates

For many buyers, the appeal of buying a home that needs updating is the price. It's true that in some cases you can get an amazing deal, put in the sweat equity, and have the home you really wanted for a much lower price than if you have bought something move-in ready. However, a quick conversation with anyone who has done a renovation will tell you that the costs can be unexpected and quickly add up. Having a plan and a realistic budget is essential.  

Creating a detailed budget is paramount when considering a fixer-upper. Beyond the purchase price, factor in renovation costs, permits, and potential unforeseen expenses (like needing to stay in a hotel for a time or increasing other living expenses if you can't use your kitchen). Oakville may have higher renovation costs than the average you've found online, so it's essential to obtain quotes from local contractors and professionals. Be prepared for the possibility of cost overruns and include a contingency fund in your budget.

Local Zoning and Permits

Navigating the regulatory landscape is crucial when updating a home in Oakville. Familiarize yourself with local zoning regulations and building codes to ensure compliance with the municipality's requirements. Obtaining the necessary permits for renovations is vital, and failure to do so can lead to complications during the selling process or, in some cases, legal issues.

Keep in mind that this process can be even more complex if you buy a historic home, so prepare yourself with the information before you close on a home. Oakville boasts a rich history, and some homes may have unique historical features. Before undertaking updates, especially in older properties, consider the preservation of these features. Heritage regulations may apply, and alterations might need to adhere to specific guidelines to maintain the character of the home and comply with local preservation efforts.

Prioritizing Your Updates

In most cases, buyers are not able to do the entire renovation at once, either because of the cost or other prohibitive circumstances. Not all updates are created equal, and it's essential to prioritize renovations based on your needs, budget, and potential return on investment.

Identify critical updates such as structural issues, roofing, and electrical systems before focusing on cosmetic enhancements. Understanding which improvements will have the most significant impact on the home's value and your qualify of life is crucial in maximizing your investment in both financial and personal ways.

Gain Understanding through a Home Inspection

A comprehensive home inspection is non-negotiable when purchasing a property in need of updates. Hire a qualified inspector to assess the home's condition, identify potential issues, and provide a detailed report. This information will be invaluable in creating an accurate budget and prioritizing updates based on the property's specific needs.

Before finalizing the purchase, thoroughly understand the scope of work required for the updates. Assess the structural integrity, plumbing, electrical systems, and other critical components. Be realistic about the extent of renovations needed and ensure that your budget aligns with the necessary improvements.

And remember, we will be with you every step of the way to help you find that ideal property to call home. Ready to find your Oakville home for sale? Contact us any time. 

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