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2017-03-21

Houses in Toronto come in all shapes and sizes and can range from heritage to sleek and modern. When looking for a new home, there are many considerations – Is the location ideal? Is it in my budget? Will it suit all my needs? But also: how much work do I want to take on?

Depending on the type of home you like, you may be faced with the decision of whether or not to take on a ‘fixer-upper’. You may be looking to take on a big project, or you may prefer to do no work at all. Here is a look at the pros and cons of both options:

Pros of Fixer-Uppers

  • Lower Initial Cost – Homes that require work will usually be priced lower than a renovated home.
  • Creative Control – You have the opportunity to update and renovate the home however you like. You will have complete control in the final product.
  • Add Value Most of the time, by investing some money and elbow grease, you will be adding more value to your home. If you plan to sell again in the not-so-distant future, this is an important consideration.

Cons of Fixer-Upper

  • Unexpected Costs – Costs can quickly add up, and you will not always be aware of them upon initial inspection. Surprises can arise and budgets should have room for some unexpected spending. You will not be able to determine the exact condition of everything in the house until you are in the renovation process.
  • Plenty of Work – Whether you decide to take things on yourself, or hire others to do the tasks, at the end of the day – it is a lot of work. Some renovation projects can take almost a year to complete. Be prepared to devote a lot of time and energy into the project.
  • Delayed Move-In – The planning and work involved in renovations can significantly delay your move-in date. If you are only taking on minor renovations, living at home can be suitable, but if the renovations are large, or if you have children or pets to consider, you may need to find a place to stay while projects are underway.

Pros of Move-In Ready

  • It Is Easy – This is an obvious one! A move-in ready home is just that – it is ready to move in to. You can head straight to the fun stuff – decorating and enjoying your space.
  • Newer Features –  A new or newly-renovated home will usually have updated appliances and new technology throughout the home.
  • Energy Efficient – Newer homes are more energy efficient than older homes thanks to better insulation, glazing and heating methods. Upgrading an older home can help, but it will still be difficult to match the efficiency of a newer build.

Cons of Move-In Ready

  • More Expensive – To recoup the costs of updating, sellers often price move-in ready homes at a higher price point. You are paying a premium for someone else’s work. Doing the same level of work to a fixer-upper is often much cheaper because you keep the profit.
  • Questionable Quality – Move-in ready homes can be built/updated beautifully with the best materials, but it is not always the case. When you are not there to oversee the work, it is hard to ensure that everything is done properly and with care.
  • Less Creative Control – Odds are that a developer or previous home owner will not share your same vision, so the home may have some details that are not exactly “you”.

Would you rather put in the work and have a completely customized older home, or find a sleek new modern home that is ready to enjoy? Whatever your preference – there are plenty of options out there. Give me a call at 416.921.1112 and we can work together to find your dream home.