The idea of transforming a rundown house into a dream home can sound very appealing to those on a budget. While renovating a house can be a more affordable way to own the perfect home, homeowners will need to keep a keen eye on the budget to make sure the project does not break the bank.
“It is very easy to overspend when undertaking renovations,” explains Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa. “But homeowners need to be mindful to avoid overspending. With interest rates being as high as they are, homeowners are advised against taking on any extra credit if it can be avoided. It is also important to stick to a budget to avoid the risk of overcapitalising on the investment,” he explains.
To help homeowners remain on budget, RE/MAX of Southern Africa shares the following tips for a stress-free renovation:
Tackle one room at a time
The last thing a homeowner wants is to run out of money and be forced to live in an unfinished house. By tackling one room only, if things end up costing more than you had planned, you can still finish off the room and tackle the rest of the rooms later once you have saved up some more cash.
Set a realistic budget right from the start
Before starting any work, do the research to get an idea of how much everything will cost. Shop around to find materials or suppliers that suit your budget. Remember to leave a 10% buffer on all costs to allow room for unexpected costs, like delivery or installation fees or even emergency repairs, when the old features are removed.
Have alternative options lined up
While doing your research, if you discover that putting in new flooring or replacing the countertops will cost a bigger portion of your budget than you had initially planned, it might become necessary to reevaluate the project scope. Take a look around the room and decide what could remain as is and what definitely needs to be replaced. Sometimes, you can get away with spending just a small amount of money to refinish certain features instead of outright replacing them. Other times, you may need to go for the cheaper option. For example, if quartz countertops are too expensive, then perhaps exploring the cost of melamine alternatives is worthwhile. The key to remaining on budget is to be flexible and adaptable to the situation as it changes.
To ensure you avoid overcapitalising, Goslett recommends speaking to a local real estate professional who can inform you of the recent sale prices in the area.
“Equipped with this information, homeowners can then work out how much they should spend to avoid putting more money into the home than they stand to get out of it,” he concludes.
Writer: Kayla Ferguson