Renovating a property before selling

April 3, 2021
house to reform in soller

Where to start

The renovation of a house is a complex and cost-intensive project. Most homeowners modernize their property continuously over the years. So that certain measures like roof repairs, window replacement or facade painting do not have to be carried out all at once. The situation is different when a house in need of renovation that has been bought or inherited. In order to adapt the house to modern standards and make it habitable according to their own ideas, many people ask themselves the big question: Where do I start?

The current condition of the property

Depending on how in need of renovation the property is, you can see a lot of damage with the naked eye: a leaky roof, single-glazed windows etc. Other damage, some of which is much more elementary, often remains invisible. What about the electrics, the water pipes, the heating system?

The actual condition of a dilapidated house is impossible for laypeople to assess. Of course, if this is a property you have owned for some time or have inherited you will be well acquainted with the condition of the house. Therefore, you should always consult a building expert. This cost a few hundred euros in fees, but in the end a well-founded analysis of the current situation saves time, money and nerves. Clear planning can be carried out on the basis of the expert opinion. This shows which remedial measures need to be taken, which should, and which can. The expert can also provide advice on legal questions. Among other things, it must be clarified whether provisions of the monument protection apply, whether there are specifications in the development plan and which measures must be complied with in order to meet certain environmental regulations.

Your plan for the property

If you have an overview of the necessary renovation work after a detailed assessment of the property, you can create a list of steps and arrange them according to priority. The repair of damage is always a priority. If the roof needs to be covered or the masonry needs waterproofing, these jobs are high on the list. This is followed by work that should be done but can also be done at a later point in time.

At the end of the day there should be things that are not necessary but desirable, such as home automation or the sauna in the basement. The floor plan of the house must also be taken into account. Old houses often have room layouts that no longer meet today’s requirements for modern living. Should walls be removed or drawn in? Do you want an extension?

The small details

When planning major renovation measures, the “smaller” details are often overlooked, which are, however, important for the individual quality of living. This includes, for example, the design of the outdoor facilities with a terrace and awning. Perhaps a patio roof or a canopy should be installed? The colour and style of the windows, the equipment with shutters and the choice of front door must also be taken into account so that the look is right after the renovation.

The planning of the upcoming remediation measures should be as detailed as possible, in that all work that has to be done is noted in a list. This gives you an initial overview of the necessary measures and allows you to draw up an initial, rough list of costs.

Get quotes

Consult with tradespeople to get an idea of ​​the real cost. Cost calculators and cost templates on the Internet always only provide a rough guide. The offers of the craftsmen show the real costs that would be incurred for the renovation, so that these figures can be used to plan very specifically. In addition, homeowners get an insight into the market prices and material costs. The best way to make inquiries to craftsmen is on the basis of detailed renovation planning. The more specific the job description, the more transparent the offer. This protects against expensive follow-up costs.

Do it Yourself

Skilled homeowners can also do some renovation work on their own. Because the higher the personal contribution, the lower the costs for craftsmen. A lot of work can be done by yourself, especially in the area of ​​interior construction.

Essential measures such as electrical installation, roof and facade work, window replacement, heating or plumbing should definitely be left to professionals. This is primarily for safety and guarantee. In addition, improperly carried out work can result in follow-up costs that increase the renovation costs.

Even those who do not want to lend a hand in handicrafts can do some preliminary work themselves in order to save money. This includes, for example, clearing out, organizing construction waste containers or removing wallpaper, floors and covers.

Tips to save money on any renovation

Anyone who decides to hire craftsmen to carry out the renovation saves a lot of time and effort; however, despite the time pressure, the next best service provider should not be chosen. It is better to obtain sufficient offers and compare them with one another. In the case of noticeably cheap offers, the quality of the craft business should be questioned – the cheapest offer is often not the best! Particularly with online bargains, caution is often required. A look at references and competencies helps with a better assessment.

A lot of money can be saved, especially with an all-round renovation, if there is a possibility of comparison. The fees of good craftsmen often fluctuate by 20 percent. The following rule of thumb applies when looking for offers: If renovations of EUR 3,000 or more are planned, at least two different offers should be obtained. In addition to the price, the aspect of performance plays an important role in the selection of the service provider: For craftsman A, the total price may be cheaper, but craftsman B offers more inclusive services. Or the products that Craftsman B installs in the course of the renovation are of higher quality than the products offered by Craftsman A. Especially in areas of renovation where later replacement would be very costly, product quality should not be saved. This includes, for example, laying new floor coverings.

In addition to craftsmen, do-it-yourselfers and helpers, materials and tools are of course also required for a conversion. The purchase of high-priced models, which are only needed once anyway, is one of the typical cost traps when renovating. It is better to rent expensive and high-quality equipment that is interesting for renovation, for example in hardware stores. As a result, neither the quality of the renovation result nor the budget suffers. Depending on the device, rental prices of around 25 to 100 euros per week are conceivable. With a microcredit you can get the materials immediately or borrow the tools quickly to continue working. This way you don’t lose valuable time. Alternatively, it is also worth asking here from knowledgeable craftsmen who may already have the diamond drill you urgently need at home.

When it comes to building materials, residual stocks can be purchased in many hardware stores, which have a favourable effect on the price. A look at the local classifieds can also be worthwhile: Those who have just recently renovated, but miscalculated the amount, often give away leftover materials to collectors. Building materials can also be ordered ex works as a package. The advantage here is that it is a tailor-made amount that exactly fits the renovation project. In this way, no residues are accumulated, the disposal of which can often have an impact on the price.

How to make profit with your renovation

First of all, you should differentiate between maintenance and modernization. Maintenance includes repairing minor damage such as loose roof tiles or cracks in the masonry immediately. If the tiled roof has to be completely renewed after about 30 years or the facade is repainted after five to ten years, it is also a matter of maintenance or renovation measures. They do not increase the value of the building, but merely prevent its premature depreciation. However, if the roof repair or painting is combined with thermal insulation, it is a value-adding modernization: the condition of the house improves, its useful life is extended.

Not all modernization measures add value to the same extent. In addition, the priorities shift depending on the situation on the real estate market. Modernized bathrooms, spacious floor plans and high-quality interior fittings, for example with parquet or natural stone, are currently very popular. When it comes to energetic measures, it is particularly the installation of a modern heating system – with condensing technology or renewable energies – that leads to better marketing opportunities. Energy efficiency is also an important value criterion for rental properties, because in view of rising energy prices, tenants look very carefully at the ancillary costs when choosing an apartment. As a rule, landlords can pass eight percent of the modernization costs on to the tenant.

The benefits of staging a home

Often when a buyer enters a house, they see it as your home without always getting the feeling of home. When you stage a home, you shift the perspective from the look of a home to the actual feel of a home. In staging the house, you are ensuring there is a continuity in the home from room to room that allows the buyer to imagine their life in the house.

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