I’m a proponent of buying property that needs work. I like to shop for a specific location and then find a property in that location that can be changed to fit my needs. But how do you know if a property can be adapted to meet your needs at a budget you can afford?
There’s a fairly new type of professional called a renovation consultant, or a remodeling coach, that can assess the property for you. They can identify the creative possibilities and functional limitations of the property before you make a commitment to a purchase.
Their assessment will help you:
- Prioritize Your Needs: A renovation consultant will help you ascertain what needs to be done to the property to adapt it to what you really want.
- Expose the Potential: By making design recommendations and looking beyond the obvious issues to find simple solutions that uncover the full potential of the property in a cost effective way, a renovation consultant can help you visualize and plan for the realization of the full potential.
- Value Engineer the Project: A knowledgeable consultant will help you design and choose materials that add maximum bang for your buck.
- Evaluate City Planning and Zoning Requirements: In most municipalities there are rules that could impact improvements that you might want to make. A thorough assessment of these is imperative.
- Establish a Renovation Budget: It is important to establish a realistic budget and timeline for the renovations. This will ensure that the purchase price plus the cost of improvements does not exceed the average value of property for the neighborhood.
- Develop a Timeline: A realistic timeline for the completion of the renovation will give you the information you need to plan where you are going to live, if the property will be uninhabitable during the renovation.
A renovation consultant can offer unbiased advice and is an invaluable resource if you find yourself considering a “fixer upper”. Consultants usually charge a flat fee between $400 – $700 for this type of service. If you decide to purchase the property the consultant can be retained to help with the renovation. They have expertise in design, product selection, scheduling and construction. By developing a game plan with a renovation consultant you will be better prepared and the renovation will flow more smoothly. They can be your eyes and ears on the job while you’re living your life.