Why You Should Live in a New Home Before Renovating
Moving into a new home is an exciting chapter for individuals and families alike. It’s a chance to redecorate and reinvigorate your space with customizations you’ve been dreaming of. With that being said, many people often struggle between the idea of renovating their home before they move in or waiting to make changes until after they’ve settled in. While it can seem appealing to renovate things ahead of time, it’s going to increase your costs tremendously. You’ll either need to pay two mortgages or find short-term housing during the process of renovation. You’ll likely face several hurdles that you may not even know you had, since the bones of the new house are still unexplored. If you’re moving into a new home and are planning to make changes in the future, we recommend waiting. To help understand this thought process, here’s a few reasons why you should live in a new home before renovating.
Finding Your New Home
If you haven’t already found a new home, take the time to determine whether you want a fixer upper or a home that’s already got a strong base for renovations. Fixer upper homes are not always move-in ready and will require a lot of work. The house itself is usually cheaper, but be prepared to spend a lot of time and money to transform it into something you envision yourself living in. Fixer upper homes are usually sought after by couples who enjoy the task of doing the renovation labor themselves.
Homes that are move-in ready, just a little outdated, are another story. Finding a home that’s got the layout, space, and potential that you’re looking for will allow you to move in and slowly begin renovations. While these homes may be a little more expensive, they’ll give you the opportunity to take your time in deciding which renovations you want to do first. Then, you can complete the rest periodically while you’re still occupying the house.
7 Reasons to Live in a New Home Before Renovating
After you’ve closed on your new home, you might be tempted to pick up the phone and immediately start calling contractors. If you want to inquire about pricing, turnaround times, and general reviews on different companies, that’s great. You can start early and gather some information so that when the time comes, you know exactly what to expect. However, don’t be so quick to sign a contract. Here are 7 reasons to live in a new home before making any renovations.
1. Moving is Stressful Enough
The entire process of moving—from the first box packed to the last one unpacked—is a stressful process. Regardless of how much stuff you have, moving is overwhelming. While moving across town might only take a day of transit with the moving company or rental truck, moving across the country adds even more stress. It’s understandable that you’re excited to start your new life in a new home, which is why many people think that renovating before they get settled in will make things easier. Yet, if you’re familiar with the stress of moving, just imagine combining that with the stress of renovating. Undergoing both at the same time can lead to total overwhelm and increased mistakes. Give yourself time.
2. You Don’t Want to Make Rash Decisions
Trying to rush everything can lead to bad decision making. When you allow yourself to settle in, you’ll be able to enjoy your space and recoup with some stability. This will clear your mind and give you the mental clarity needed when deciding on your next big change. Our brains can only process so many things at once, so don’t rush into renovations. Many professionals recommend a one year “cooling-off” period from move in date to the beginning of renovations. While this may seem like a long time, it allows you to thoroughly weigh your decisions and better understand how they will affect your daily routine in your home.
3. Waiting Can Replenish Your Budget
If you’ve just purchased your first home, you’ve likely depleted a good amount of your savings. The same can be said for those who are upsizing, moving locations, or changing cities. Buying a home is a big financial commitment and can drain your budget. Throw in varying moving costs and you’ll likely need a little time to catch up. By living in your home before making renovations, you can replenish your budget and avoid unnecessary financial stress. When you do decide to renovate, try working room by room instead of making changes to the entire house at once.
4. Testing Existing Space Allows for Stronger Ideas of What You Want
After you close on a home that you want to renovate, the ideas will start flowing. However, these ideas are based on brief encounters with the house and standardized floorplans. You may think that you know what you want to do with the space, but the only way to really test out your vision is to live in the home for a little. Doing so will give you a better understanding of how you move throughout the house naturally, which will inevitably influence your designs for renovations. While your visions may be vast and within reach, you’re not going to know exactly how you’re going to use your existing space until you live there. Waiting to renovate gives you a more efficient plan for what you want to do, which will save you time and money in the long run.
5. You’ll Learn Your Pain Points
During the time that you’re living in your home, you’re going to notice a few areas that are either huge inconveniences or not adequately structured. When you wait to make renovations, you’ll get a better idea of where lighting is suffering, areas in the house that you despise and original details that you love, areas that induce problems with foot traffic, which rooms are lacking adequate storage, and more. You’ll learn what you love and, more importantly, what you cannot live with. This allows you to avoid undergoing multiple renovations. When you put enough time in to consider the bones of the house, you’ll save money and energy.
6. You’ll Have Time to Play Around with Renovation Ideas
By giving yourself some time to live in your home for a while, you’ll simultaneously give yourself room to play around with different renovation ideas. This is a great way to reduce the typical stress of renovating before move-in, as you can do it on your own schedule without having to worry about where you’re going to live. For example, if you originally wanted to renovate the dining room and kitchen separately but notice that your family spends most of their time in the kitchen, you can consider knocking down a wall and creating a more open floor plan that will combine the two rooms and better accommodate everyone.
7. There’s More Time to Find the Right Contractor
When you wait, you’ll find that you have more opportunities to shop around for the right contractor. If you’re making large renovations, you may also need an architect and designer. Finding the right fit is often a time-consuming process that should not be rushed. There’s nothing worse than hiring a contractor only to find out they’re unqualified or too inexperienced to turn your vision into a reality. Take the time to speak with different contractors, ask questions on timing and pricing, and check certifications and references. Since you already have a place to live, you won’t be rushed to hire the first company you meet with.
When you’re looking for your next home, make sure you find a real estate agent who works with your best interests at heart. First Star Realty is committed to help you find the perfect home, whether move-in ready and fully renovated or not. We’ll work with your budget to help you achieve your real estate goals in your ideal neighborhood.
All the agents at First Star Realty work with integrity as a core value. As a client-centered organization, we’ll put in the work to find homes that will make the biggest impact on your life while staying within your budget. First Star Realty provides five-star realtor services to Northwest Arkansas and work with all our clients throughout the entire buying or selling process. If you’re ready to buy or sell a home, contact us today. Our team of highly seasoned real estate professionals provides exceptional, personalized service to all our clients. Call us today at 479-267-1600 or fill out a contact form on our website.