Megann  Willson

Megann Willson

Real Estate Agent

HomeLife/Realty One Ltd., Brokerage

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Where you start in real estate is never where you end up

Renovated kitchen

Ask anyone who has owned a home for a long time, or even multiple properties, and they’ll tell you this is true. Their property never looks the same now as it did when they bought it. Sometimes the changes were necessary, but even with buyers who move into  a brand-new home, this is one thing I know for sure. The minute they are in it, they’ll start making changes. 

Sometimes, those changes are purely cosmetic. They want some colour on their walls, a colour they love, for the first time, after spending years renting apartments. In other situations, they may want to express themselves with DIY skills they have been waiting to show off. Perhaps they want to do some gardening and plant a rosebush or a tree, to “put down roots”, as it were. These changes may be subtle, but they always happen. 

In other situations, the first activities may be necessary. They might have to add a second bathroom to accommodate someone in the home, or make a repair to an aging countertop, or fix the wobbly deck so they can enjoy their yard. But while they’re fixing their fixer-upper, or adding a built-in to perfect a space, they’re making the home different than it was when they started. 

Why am I telling you this? Because often homebuyers are put off by the smallest detail, and shy away from a home that just needs a little change. This may be because they have stretched their budget as far as it can possibly go, and they know they won’t have the cash to make any repairs or changes. (I urge you, don’t do this. If you don’t prepare for a repair, the house will deliver one to you anyway. It’s the way of home ownership). They also have been misled by the fallacy of a dream home. Not one of those gorgeous spots on real estate shows or in decorating magazines started out that way. And it always gets a little worse before it gets better. 

Sure, you need to know your limits. Don’t buy a fixer-upper that is a complete “gut job” when you have few or no skills or resources to undertake the work. But that ugly blue carpet? That shouldn’t be an impediment to a home that is otherwise solid, sweet, and in a neighbourhood you love. Even if you tear it out and live with bare, painted floors for a while, it’s not the most expensive change, and it’s very do-able. The bathroom is “pretty in pink”? So what? Yes, it will be more expensive to swap out toilets, sinks, and tile, but if they flush and run and the plumbing is in good shape, you’ll be able to get new ones eventually. The main thing when you're starting is to ensure it is safe and functional. 

Remember this piece of great advice that has been around for a very long time: it is better to have the worst house in the best neighbourhood, than the other way around. That advice is no less sound today, than it was when it was first coined. No matter which home you buy today, I guarantee that by the time you sell it, it won’t look at all like it did when you started. 

Thinking of selling your home? Get in touch today and I'll provide you with a competitive market evaluation - and we can discuss which upgrade projects are worth the money prior to listing your property. 

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