What’s most important to the success of a renovation project? I asked a handful of property owners who have renovated multiple times, an architect, a space designer, and a contractor. All agreed: do your homework, plan thoroughly, and respect timing.
Do your homework
Before you begin, talk to as many as you can who have been through the process. Get lots of recommendations, ask dozens of questions and take notes. Interview your primary professionals carefully, examine past performance, and check references. When evaluating bids, consider reputation and experience as much as you consider price. When checking references, ask how each responded when problems surfaced during and after the job.
It’s tough to ignore the economists and real estate pundits who see in the current marketplace signs of ebbing exuberance and cooling ardor. Professional brokers will agree that the frenzy of last spring is gone, and that is a good thing, they add. But are we headed for a freefall? Are we in the midst of a real estate bubble that’s about to burst? No, and no.
With each new month of 2004, sellers have been enjoying an increasing advantage. Clearly, we are in a rising market, and the pace of activity is fast and furious for property owners on the east and west side, up and downtown. Competitive bidding is becoming the norm. However, not every property is rushing out the door to contract, and we are experiencing a fair amount of buyer drop-out. Therefore, today’s sellers are cautioned to curb your enthusiasm.