Why You Should Live in a Home Before Renovating It


Many buyers in today’s market forego fixer-uppers for move-in ready homes, resulting in significant opportunities being abound in prime locations while homes that need work linger on the markets. Savvy consumers in competitive markets tend to gravitate toward these homes that nobody else wants. Why? They can customize the home to their requirements, and build some equity along the way.

With this being said, it is often recommended that buyers live in a new home for awhile before undertaking any major remodeling or pricey home improvements. This doesn’t include lighting or plumbing repairs that are necessary to make the house habitable, but rather the discretionary remodeling, expansions and other improvement projects. Here are a few good reasons to consider holding off on the big home improvement projects until you have had some time to settle in.

Living in the Home Can Change Your Mind

While you may have grand visions for what you’d like to do to a home, based on its condition and your priorities at the time you buy it, until you are actually living there, it’s difficult to know exactly how you will use the house, what will work for you and what won’t. Ultimately, it is the day-to-day experience that will inform your home improvement decisions, instead of early notions of how you want your everyday experience to be.

After Buying a Home, You Deserve a Break

Buying a new home is a massive project, an enormous change in your life, and a shock to the system — if not your finances. Many buyers jump through hoops, spending months on end looking for a home. In some cases, it becomes a part-time job.

A home renovation can be yet another big and stressful project to take on, what with all the decisions to make end contractors with whom you’ll deal. This is why it is ideal to take a break from the stress of buying your new home before starting any renovation projects.

You Need Time to Plan

No matter how small the renovation, it should be designed with care. This means speaking to multiple architects, contractors or designs to get their take on your ideas and options, which can be a time-consuming process.

Many opportunities can be uncovered when you least expect them in just an hour with a well-qualified contractor. For example, even though it may be an added cost now, moving the laundry machines from the garage to the top floor during a larger renovation may save you time and money down the road.

On the other hand, hiring architects and contractors while under the constraints of an escrow period is likely to cause problems for you later.

Buyers usually want to get the renovation ball rolling as soon as possible because they feel like they can’t live in the home under construction, and they don’t want to pay rent and a mortgage at the same time. This may make some sense economically up front, but it can still result in costly problems later.

Buyers who often said on day one that they don’t want a home that requires work, end up buying a home that needs at least some. It is the natural evolution of the buying process. It is rare that someone ends up buying the home that they started off thinking they wanted.

You should be open to doing work on a home, but don’t feel stressed about getting it all done at once. Live in the home as-is for six months to a year. Take the home for a test drive and see how it runs. You might be surprised at how your perspective, and your priorities, change once you settle in.


If you are looking to buy or sell your home and have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us here at DBL Real Estate with the link below today!

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