Myths of Home Improvement Shows

Improve-and-flip television shows certainly make home makeovers and renovations enticing, don’t they? They take the ugliest home on the block and unveil a gorgeous transformation all while making extravagant amounts of money on the deal. Where can I sign up!? After watching show after show, you may be tempted to do a similar remodel, but don’t underestimate all that goes into such a project! While these shows can be fun and educational, they are also well scripted and leave a lot of the dirty work out of it, making it tough to discern the reality of such a project. Chunyk Group addresses the misperceptions and reveals what’s really happening behind the scenes of some of the top home improvement shows.

1. Any renovation is a good renovation.

Contrary to what a show may claim, a renovation doesn’t always increase the value of your home. Much depends on the market, the quality of the contractor, what is being renovated and/or added to the house. For instance, a pool (even if it is well-built) will only slightly increase the value of a home. If/when the time comes to sell, the seller will only recover a fraction of the cost it took to build the actual pool. Another aspect to keep in mind is that a potential buyer may look at the pool as too much upkeep and a liability.

2. You will recoup the cost when it comes time to sell.

Unlike the home flippers on T.V., not every flipped home ends up selling for top dollar. It’s not uncommon to break even on certain flips because, as with any home, there can always be a potential issue that wasn’t initially accounted for and drain much of your budget. Home improvement shows will always show you the money. There are very few episodes that show a flip gone wrong, flushing any profits down the drain. Keep in mind that any renovation or project is an investment and as with any investment comes risk.

3. It won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

More often than not, producers aren’t completely transparent with viewers. When total renovation costs are tallied up, they don’t disclose items such as permit, blueprint drawings, and labor costs. Sure, you may get a discount on materials, but don’t forget to calculate the amount of man hours it will take to get the job done and done well. It’s always best to overestimate costs and come in under budget than to be vulnerable with excessive spending that wasn’t anticipated.

4. If you build it they will come.

Who doesn’t love seeing a good before and after photo showing an amazing transformation? Just keep in mind that renovating a home may only be half the battle. A flip or remodel isn’t successful until you can get a buyer to pay more than what you put into the project. According to Times Magazine, it takes an average of six months for a house to sell once it’s been put on the market, assuming the buyer makes it through escrow, which can take up to 45 days.

5. Permission granted.

You know the drill. Each and every house flip television show makes last minute upgrades, changes, and/or additions look simple! Truth be told, some of the toughest decisions you will make are selecting a new layout or design. Of course, the flippers stick to the script and leave out the need for permits, assuming that the home is within city limits. The amount of costs required as well as the length of time it takes to receive those permits can be mind-blowing! Before considering a new project, prepare yourself for a potentially long and frustrating process when it comes to gaining permits and approval.

The main objective with any potential project or flip is to consult with contractors and home improvement specialists to gain full knowledge and understanding of the costs as well as the amount of time it will take to complete. It would also be wise to check the current value of your home and compare to similar homes around you. Would an expensive renovation actually benefit you in the long run should you choose to sell? Consider consulting with a local realtor before you bring the sledgehammer for demo day to ensure that this flip or renovation will put the money back in your pocket.

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