I’ve often wondered if HGTV created the renovating craze we’ve seen in the last 20 years or did some television producers have a crystal ball helping them foresee the billion dollar industry that was emerging? It’s a chicken and egg phenomena that has me scratching my head.
Where did the urge to change up our spaces originate?
It seems to me that our grandparents were fine letting us play in their tiki-themed 1950s basements or sleepover in our parent’s old rooms that hadn’t been touched since they moved out after high school. Grandma didn’t crave an open concept kitchen or a designated teenager ‘squad’ room.
But over the years, people have caught the renovation bug, the desire to turn their home into a personal oasis.
In my business, I try and keep up with the popular home shows. I know the property brothers, Mike Holmes, and Sarah Richardson. It’s important to connect with my clients and inevitably, they’ll tell me about the recent renovations they’ve seen online or TV.
So I haven’t been surprised by the recent theme of client consults: do we love it or list it? Is it time to move or improve?
The original Love It or List It television series out of Toronto became such a sensation that even Hilary Clinton has cited it as her favorite program.
I personally think that Love It or List It is a fairytale. There’s no perfectly flawless home waiting down the street for you to move into. And while often a move would make the scale of renovations easier to handle, time and time again people choose to love the home they are with for a number of emotional reasons.
So as my clients evaluate their living arrangements – deciding between 1) stay and renovate, or 2) start over in a new home – there are a number of questions I ask them to consider.
- What stage are you at with your family and how long will this phase last? The size and needs of the family changes over time and is worth considering when planning.
- Do you love your location? Your lot? Your neighbours? Or not?
- Is it a buyer’s market or a seller’s? And are market conditions changing in the near future?
- Do you need to do small improvements before you can even think of putting your house up for sale?
- Are there homes available in your desired neighbourhood?
- Is your lot big enough that you can expand the existing footprint of your home through an addition?
- Would your renovations add value to your home or would you be overbuilding for your current neighbourhood?
- Are you better off renovating, or should you find a low-cost fixer-upper to renovate or even an empty lot to build your dream home on?
- Will your budget allow you to cover the cost of your desired renovations?
- What is the cost of moving both financial and emotional? Consider realtor fees, relocation costs, new neighbours, new schools and the new commute to work.
With so much to consider, you’re best to consult a team of professionals – from home renovation experts to realtors – before making big decisions. And given Calgary’s current home market, there’s no better time to put your thinking cap on. The home market is soft but firming up, interest rates are low, the economy has nowhere to go but up and it looks like Trump won’t be president.
At Alec Williams Construction, we’ve been doing this for many years, and we’ve seen it all. We are happy to lend you that experience to help you answer all of these questions. Consultations are no cost and no obligation.
If you are weighing the big question of ‘Do we love it or list it?’ call me directly at 403.390.7708. I’ll help you work it through.