Is it Worth Remodeling an Old Home?

People looking to buy a home often ask us, “Is it worth remodeling an old home?”

The answer always is “it depends.”

There are numerous factors that determine if it’s worth remodeling an old home or not. Here are some things to consider:

Purchase Cost

Some old homes can be purchased at a lower price than newer homes. But this is not always the case. If the home will need to be remodeled, be sure to consider that when making an offer.

If you already own the old home you’re considering remodeling — because you inherited it or because you’ve owned it for some time — the purchase cost may not be as immediate a factor and remodeling may be more worth it.

Extent of Remodeling Needed

Remodeling the basic structure and systems of a home will cost considerably more than cosmetic renovations like paint and floor coverings.

If you’re upgrading electrical or plumbing systems, installing a new HVAC system, or changing the floorplan of the home, that’s going to be a bigger investment.

Kitchens and bathrooms are among the most common home remodel projects. While they can be pricey, they also generally yield a fairly good return on investment. For example, House Beautiful reports that you should expect a 54%-77% return on a kitchen remodel.

Remodeling to fix actual damage can end up being quite extensive and expensive. A home inspection can help discover unseen damage that needs to be repaired.

Choice of Materials

Of course, the materials you choose for the remodel will impact your cost and your return on investment. Higher end, luxury finishes look great and make a statement, but you should be strategic when choosing them. You don’t want the home to look dated as trends change.

How Much Can You DIY?

If you can do any of the remodeling yourself, it may seem more financially worth it to remodel an old home. And in some cases, it actually is.

However, some DIY remodels end up taking much longer than hiring professionals. Some DIY remodels don’t have as good of a finished result.

If you’re going to attempt a DIY remodel, it’s important to look at all of the factors involved in determining if it’s worth it.

Why are You Remodeling?

The purpose behind the remodel also plays a factor into whether it’s worth remodeling an old home or not. Are you remodeling to get a better resale value? Are you remodeling to get more comfort and enjoyment out of a home you’re planning to live in?

While it’s not as easily quantifiable, your comfort and enjoyment is worth a lot. Remodeling in this case may be worth it, even if you don’t see as high a return on the investment financially. The longer you plan to remain in the home, the more “worth it” remodeling is.

On the other hand, if you’re remodeling to get better resale value, it’s always best to get a real estate professional’s help and advice in determining if it’s worth it or not. They can better evaluate how the remodel will affect the home’s value and reasonable asking price. And then it’s a matter of whether the math makes sense or not.

Consult a Real Estate Expert

While remodeling may seem to be worth it, you want to be cautious about over-improving so much that you won’t get a return on your investment if and when you sell the home.

Send us a message or call us at 559-490-0207 today to learn more about how we can help you determine if it’s worth remodeling an old home in your specific situation.

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