Buy a Home with These Features to Avoid Renovations

A couple searching for a new home with minimal renovations required.

Gravitating toward move-in ready homes when house hunting has numerous merits. These properties are good to go — even though they may need some facelifts to look more presentable. More importantly, these residences are less likely to require costly renovations for a long time.

Moving into a house you do not need to renovate is underrated. Buying and relocating to your new home can be a significant expense — not to mention the time and energy required to close the deal and transfer your belongings to a different address.

Taking out a mortgage can put an enormous strain on your credit, plus putting down five figures can drain your cash reserves. You may overextend yourself on an additional loan if you seek new credit to finance an expensive renovation. You will probably have to live with your new home more or less as it is for a while.

Look for these specific features to find a move-in ready home worth putting an offer on.

1.  Modern Kitchen

Kitchen makeovers have a steep price tag. Renovations are generally cheaper than remodels, but beauty is personal. You are more likely to want to change the form of an outdated kitchen and bring your design ideas to life than restore this room to good repair without touching its layout.

Any kitchen work is a big-ticket project. The national average cost of a minor midrange remodel was nearly $27,000 in 2023, while a significant upscale one set homeowners back almost $155,000. The costlier the project, the smaller its ROI.

Before listing their properties, sellers who remodeled their kitchens recouped just 31.7%-85.7% of their initial expenses. The value of remodeled kitchens can drop by almost 70% at resale. These cost recovery figures will be higher when adjusted for inflation since the dollars home sellers spent were more valuable than those they received when they handed over the keys.

An upscale remodeled kitchen sold for 30 cents on the dollar. Revamping it is always an option but enjoying it for many years allows you to defer an expensive home improvement until you are more financially ready.

2.  Updated Bathroom

Renovating a bathroom is generally less expensive than updating a kitchen. Still, moving into a house with a functional and livable bath is a blessing.

Construction work in this space renders your toilet and shower out of commission, causing considerable disruption to your daily routine. It is wise to allow the home seller to upgrade the room’s worn-out surfaces, finishes and materials, add features to enhance its livability, and deal with the mess on your behalf.

You will not feel a sense of accomplishment for completing such a project. Still, being the ultimate beneficiary of this makeover without experiencing chaos to see it through is an accomplishment in itself.

Regarding the resale value, Realtors estimate only 71% of a bathroom renovation cost is recoverable. Buying a house with a renovated bath at a 29% discount is a real bargain.

3.  Newly Added Bathrooms

About 65% of homebuyers prefer homes with two or two and a half baths. The more, the merrier — but also costlier. Sellers know this. That is why those who tackle bathroom additions intend to list their homes within two years.

How much will a new bathroom inflate the property’s value? Additions have a cost recovery of 63% — a huge discount since the new baths will not even be more than 24 months old when you move in.

4.  Complete Thermal Enclosure System

A thermal enclosure consists of a tight building envelope, adequate insulation, and high-performance windows. This system minimizes heat loss throughout the house, making the property more energy efficient.

Due to thermal expansion, timber-framed homes lose their airtight construction over time and develop cracks that regularly need caulking to winterize. Unwanted air leaks can waste up to 25% of energy used for space heating.

Poor insulation can inflate utility bills anywhere in North America. When combined with air leaks, inadequate insulation in critical parts of the house, including the floors and the attic, can increase energy costs by 11% annually.

Windows account for half of all heat loss or gain occurring in the house despite making up about 8% of the exterior surface area.

Considering the above figures, buying a house with a complete thermal enclosure system makes financial sense. It spares you the trouble of dealing with three home improvements and lets you begin saving energy from the day you move in.

A professional home inspection and a home energy audit can help you verify whether a house does an excellent job of preventing indoor heat from escaping to the outside.

Unless you forgo the due diligence contingency, you can hire a professional home inspector to identify problems with a property, including air leaks and insulation in select areas. A home energy assessor conducts tests to determine how much energy a house uses and detect its pockets of heat loss.

Sellers who market their houses as energy-efficient may have already commissioned a home energy audit and performed the recommended improvements based on the assessment’s findings. Ask for supporting documents to validate claims about thermal enclosure system elements.

Move-In Ready Houses Are Second Only to Your Dream Home

Building your house from the ground up or renovating an existing property is the only way to live in your dream home. Either will break the bank, so look for the next best thing — move-in ready houses. Now that you know the key features to focus on, put an offer on the properties that meet these criteria to live in a home you will love as it is for a long time.

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