If you’re dreaming of making a big change to your home in the new year – whether that’s buying new, building new or renovating – it’s time to stop dreaming and start preparing. You’ll want to hit January with these 5 big steps already checked off your list.
Know your budget
I’ve seen too many dreams shattered because clients design their happily ever after with architects and designers but the actual costs far exceed the dollars available. Before you start, visit the bank and understand what your options are.
Talk to a realtor
Realtor’s understand the housing market better than anyone. So if you are looking for a building lot or a new home to renovate, it’s never too early to bring in a realtor. They can advise on what to do to get the most for your home when you sell, support your search, and be a voice of reason as you embark on the emotional purchasing process.
Realtors can be an excellent resource for people looking to renovate. They can tell you what home improvements are most desired in your neighborhood and tell you when your renovation plans might be too much of an investment for where you currently live or are planning to live.
Interview possible builders/contractors
Enlisting the advice of a qualified contractor can help keep any project grounded – from both construction and budget perspectives. This is a critical job and it’s important not to make a rash decision.
Start by asking people you trust for referrals. Check signs in your neighborhood for projects currently underway and contact a number of companies. Based on your first impressions – how quickly and professionally they respond, a review of their website, and how interested they sound – make a shortlist.
Take your time to interview contractors and most importantly call references.
Remember, whoever you choose will be in your life before, during, and after your project – so make sure it’s a good fit. Trust and communication are essential when undertaking a home renovation.
Build for the future
Spend time understanding your life goals over the next decade. Identify how your space should match those goals over time and not just your immediate needs. It’s important to start with the big questions. How long do you plan to live in this house – three years or thirty? Are you planning a family or preparing to be empty nesters? How should your lifestyle now and going forward impact your plans?
Once you have answers to these questions, you’ll be able to refine your plans and ensure the changes you are planning make sense for the stage of life you are entering, not the one you are leaving behind.
Get organized and purge
Whether you are moving or renovating, one of the biggest jobs a homeowner faces is organizing and decluttering. Start by making a list of the furniture and appliances you definitely want to keep. Then look long and hard at everything else and decide if it can go on the purge list. Go through every room and every closet – including the garage and storage areas. Then sell, consign or donate all the items on your purge list. It’s a great time of year to sell items on Kijiji or Facebook Marketplace. You’ll make a little extra money in time for Christmas and feel good about your lighter, cleaner more organized space.
I hope you find this list useful. Feel free to reach out any time with your questions as we are here to help you create the home of your dreams. Give me a call at 403-390-7708 or shoot me an email. In the meantime, have a look at some of our work over on our website.