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Vancouver Real Estate: Should you buy a Turn-Key Home or Renovate?

Obviously, when you are looking to buy a home, the first thing you are looking for is “the perfect home”. But it seems that the definition of “perfect” is different for different types of people! To some, buying a turn-key house is the ideal option, and they wouldn’t even entertain the thought of the purchase of a renovation property in their lifetime. To others- renovation homes are an opportunity they can’t pass up because they can customize the house to their heart’s desire. However, no matter which person you are there could be obstacles standing in the way of your optimal choice.

So, what should you be considering when deciding to buy turn-key or purchase a reno property? There are five main things that I believe are incredibly important when choosing the best option for you. Who knows, by following this advice you might save yourself from a financial mistake and an emotional pitfall in the future…

Consider Your Budget

Possibly the most important factor you should assess is how your budget will affect your home choices. Both renovations and buying a turn-key house can cost you a lot of money, so, you should be sure that your pocket can handle whichever you decide to go with.

Buying a new home means qualifying for a new mortgage, so whether you are buying turn-key or renovation, you will be putting out some money. The easiest thing to look at is your “wants and goals” list vs. the “what you can afford” list. If you are lucky enough to find a home that hits all the points on your checklist, then you might be in the clear to buy a turn-key home if that’s what you wish! However, if your dream home is out of your reach, then looking at a renovation might be the better option; but that doesn’t mean it comes at a perfect price. Looking for a renovation home will most likely require a lot of shopping around. Weigh all the pros and cons such as space and build of the house against your budget, as well as how much it will cost you to update the home the way you want. Unfortunately, money will always come into play when searching for your dream home- but if you go about it in a smart way, you’ll be happier with decisions in the long run.

Consider the Market and Return Investment

Is it a good time to be buying and selling right now? Will it be a good time for this in the future? Do your renovation plans or current home layout work not only for yourself, but for the next homeowners? These are all big questions you should be asking yourself when home searching.

If home prices are suspected to drop in the next few years and you are planning to sell again in the future, you should be considering what will make your home the most profitable for later down the road. No matter if you buy turn-key or renovate, there will always be certain components that will increase the chances of your return on investment- such as a stunning and functional kitchen or an unbelievable master bedroom and ensuite.

However, if you are planning on this being your forever home… then this might not be a worry for you.

Consider the Property and Location

Yes, considering the property and location might relate to return on investment, but I deem it so much more than that. If you have your heart set on a particular area or property type, that may dictate where you will find your desired location.

The truth is, in Vancouver… the trendier areas are always going to be set at a higher price. That’s not to say you won’t find a turn-key home you like, it just might mean it won’t check off every must-have on the list. In this situation, looking for a house to renovate could be your best option!

Really evaluate what is important to you. Do you want a larger property? Is a quiet neighbourhood with close by amenities a deal breaker? These are all things to consider before you say no to a renovation or turn-key home.

Consider the Feel of the Home

If you are lucky enough to find a home with the right personality and feel that suits you, don’t let it slip through your fingers- buy it (but be smart)! However, if there are too many nit-picky things you’d like to change, but the house is a great fit then consider a renovation project.

Knowing your tastes and what you personally look for in a home is a necessary thing to recognize. First, start by looking at the home and what it can offer you in regards to its functionality… and then start figuring out if the homes character is something you love or something that you need to upgrade. One thing to remember is if you don’t adore the home you’re in… it will be harder to want to keep making those mortgage payments.

Consider Your Patience

No matter what, buying a home takes patience. It takes patience to find the right home, it takes patience to find the right price- everything takes patience. Whether to buy a renovation property or turn-key home all boils down to how long you are willing to wait to get what you want.

For those who are looking for the “home of their dreams” and they want it now, turn-key might sound like the only option… but have you considered how long the wait might be for you to find that turn-key home of your dreams? It might actually be a shorter wait period if you were to invest in a home that you kind of like, and update it to be the way you want.

However, renovations do take time too. You’ll want to talk to your contractor or renovation company and ask them about timeline. If they come back at you with a time period that feels a little steep, then I would recommend keep searching for your turn-key home; because it might just pop up during your lengthy renovation and you’ll be kicking yourself for the fact that you chose the messy route.

Now that you are aware of these factors in buying turn-key or reno, which option do you feel is best for you?

Comment below or contact me to get started on your Real Estate search. I will do everything I can to make sure that we find the right home and the best options for you.

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