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What to consider before jumping into your home renovation



Spring is typically the time of year when homeowners like to change things up for a fresh start. It can mean anything from a new coat of paint on the walls to a complete gut renovation. Given the high mortgage rates as of late, some would-be sellers are choosing to stay put and focus on home renovations instead. Inflation and the current market are other matters to consider before deciding what renovations, if any, you are prepared to take on.


I recommend speaking with your real estate broker to determine your property’s potential value. This will help with the decision-making process in terms of how much money and time you want to invest. Your broker should have good insight into the neighborhood which will also help inform your decision on what renovations you should do. For example, creating flexible spaces that can convert into a home office and/or playroom are ideal for professionals with young children. Knowing the demographic of residents in your area is always helpful, and your broker should be able to help you with this.

Also, it’s worth noting the economy has led to a shortage of skilled labor, which could impact your timeline and/or cost. As you begin vetting them, make sure they’re upfront about their availability and resources, and try to seek a reputable contractor with deep experience working with NYC properties. For example, replacing windows in a brownstone isn’t as easy as one may think. An experienced contractor should be able to take care of these things with no issue. If you don’t have a relationship with or know of any contractors, your broker should be able to provide you with some recommendations.

As I’ve said time and time again, prepare to be flexible and expect higher costs. With inflation in the mix, high prices for supplies and materials are making renovations more costly. Here are some helpful tips for working around inflation when it comes to home renovations in NYC. You should work with your broker to weigh the costs and benefits of your renovation. Certain home improvements increase your property’s value more than others.

Finally, if you’re actually looking to sell, Brown Harris Stevens Curate program allows sellers to defer renovation costs until after the close of the sale and includes access to a network of fully insured and vetted service providers. Please reach out if you would like more information.

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