The home buying process in Canada can be quite overwhelming for first-time buyers. In the stress of it, many inevitably make mistakes. Costly mistakes. Naturally, this is a popular topic of discussion in real estate circles and a lot of advice is available on how to avoid these mistakes.
But perhaps less highlighted are the mistakes first-time homeowners make in the euphoria of closing what for many is the biggest purchase of their lifetime. The mistakes you make in all the excitement can come back to bite you and can even affect your home’s resale value.
Now that you have been handed the keys to your new home, you should be enthusiastic to start putting your personal stamp on the property. Tread with caution; the mistakes we will highlight below can quickly deflate your enthusiasm and punch a large hole in your pocket:
1. Over-personalizing Renovations
Every new homeowner longs to see themselves when they look at their new homes. The challenge though is your wishes for a home that truly represents your tastes and style can be too far removed from what is practically achievable.
In your attempt to personalize your new home, you may end up overdoing it. Instead of a tasteful modern home, the final result could show a mess of mismatched colours, poorly chosen fixtures, and awkward room layouts.
That would be OK if this is your forever home. As you will realize, though, very few are. Potential homebuyers may find your quirky decor taste entirely unfashionable. So always consider how a potential buyer may perceive the space and avoid being too bold when renovating.
Besides interior designers, the best people to consult on colour selection are professional home painters. Because they have worked on many similar projects before, home painters have a good idea of what colour schemes appeal to most people.
Crucially, unlike interior decorators, painters are more likely to consult for free if you ask politely and especially when they know they’re getting the painting contract. Search Souqh for a curated selection of professional home painters in any city in Canada.
2.Making Major Renovations Too Soon
As a new homeowner, you will have a lot of ideas on what the home must look like. Oftentimes this entails making both cosmetic and structural alterations to the home.
But it’s important not to rush into any major renovation or remodel and give yourself time to settle in and get a full appreciation of the home’s features. This way you will know what you need to prioritize to improve both the efficiency and curb appeal of your new home. You will likely find that a new roof or more energy-efficient windows are a more urgent project than a new bathroom.
So for the first year at least, it may be wiser to focus your budget on smaller repairs. Get a home repair and maintenance professional to come in and access the condition of the home and identify repairs and maintenance areas the previous homeowner may have neglected.
After you have lived in the new home for a while, you will be better acquainted with its features and problem areas and, thus, more prepared to tackle a major renovation or remodel with confidence.
Another issue you will run into when you plow into a major renovation project too soon after moving into your new house is not budgeting enough money. Because you have not given yourself time to fully acquaint yourself with your new home, there are issues you will only discover after you have already started the project. These are issues you will not have budgeted for.
For example, remodeling the kitchen when the roof above it leaks badly. Whether or not you discover that the roof leaks during or after the kitchen remodel, you have to get it repaired. Otherwise, the leak will ruin the new ceiling, walls, and floors. Needless to say, this throws your budget off, which can derail the entire renovation project.
4. Spending Too Much Money On A Renovation Project
Renovations and remodels are costly and can often run beyond their budget. This is especially true for new homeowners who lack prior renovation experience. The issue here isn’t necessarily that you will run out of money before the project is completed. Rather, the danger is you may spend more than you can recover if you decide or are forced to sell the home.
Spending more than you can recover represents a financial loss. So as a new homeowner, it is important to take a step back and work out how much you will have to spend to bring the house to your desired level of comfort, luxury features, overall efficiency, and curb appeal. Then decide if it is an investment you will be able to recoup.
After all, a house is ultimately worth what someone is willing to pay for it, not how much you have invested in it. Factors like location and the current state of the market all intervene and mean some renovations don’t always guarantee a return.
5. Not Pulling Required Permits
At Souqh, we invest considerable resources in vetting and verifying service providers that list on our platform. We do this to make sure you get the best advice and service in your city. We know how many new homeowners have ended up on the wrong side of planning permission bylaws after trusting the advice of inexperienced and fly-by-night contractors.
One of the common mistakes new homeowners have been misadvised into making is not pulling permits before tackling remodels. Depending on several factors, local bylaws may require you to pull building permits and request planning permission before undertaking certain home renovations projects. Not doing so attracts fines and, in some cases, demolition orders that can ruin you financially.
6. Not Hiring A Professional
Of course, failing to obtain building permits may be entirely your fault. In most cases, it is because you take the DIY route and neglect to check with the local city authority and find out if or not you will need a building permit for your project. In other cases, you simply bite more than you can chew.
That’s not to say there aren’t home renovation projects you can tackle on your own. Many may fall right within your wheelhouse. That said, a professional contractor will do the work faster, more efficiently, and as a result, possibly at a lower cost.
More importantly, you can utilize a professional contractor’s experience and consult with them on issues including building permits, scheduling of the renovation, and where to get cheaper raw materials.
When you work with the contractors in the Souqh database, you can be sure that they will only start work after every necessary permit has been pulled. They do this because their reputations rest on that efficiency and due diligence. Furthermore, you will know that the work will be done right the first time.
[Bonus] Unfinished Renovation Projects
The costliest consequence of biting more than you can chew, under-budgeting, and failing to obtain building permits is that the project may stall. This setback may prove too much to overcome.
When a renovation stalls, not only do you risk the money you had already sunk into the project, but the unfinished home may also become less livable and end up consuming too much energy. The unfinished parts of the house may also become safety hazards.
Simplify Home Ownership With Souqh
Finally opening doors to your first home is a major milestone and achievement for anyone. It feels particularly sweet when you consider all the struggles you went through saving up for the deposit, securing the mortgage loan, and filing all the paperwork you had to submit.
But that can all turn bittersweet if, in your excitement, you make the mistakes we have highlighted above. Fortunately, Souqh has all the contractors you need to create the home of your dreams in one place.
Search Souqh for all the home repair and renovation services you need and enjoy all the benefits of homeownership without spending too much money.