TLC Properties: Renovation or Rehab – Smart Investment For A Must-Have Home

Renovations and Rehab Blog

Wow! It’s been a while since I was able to sit down and write. It has definitely been a busy few weeks. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends and family.

My weekend before Thanksgiving was filled with home showings and my very first open house. Ok, so it wasn’t really MY open house, but I got some very valuable real estate experience by helping one of my contemporaries.

For today’s post though I really want to speak about my experience working with some great buyers who have entered my world. Like I did a few years ago, my buyers are looking to make a long-distance move and get back to their family, who are located here in the Capital District. This particular couple really knows what they are looking for, which to my surprise were serious fixer-upper properties.

I love fixer-upper properties. You have a chance to make something your own, you can help preserve the original nature of a historic home, you can save lots of money. My buyer has built & redesigned homes before and enjoys the process. Because of this we looked at some really fabulous homes, though many of them weren’t in what one might call fabulous shape. Actually there were some that no one would call fabulous shape. However, with my buyer’s ability to see what could be, I quickly found myself ready to get a hammer and nails and start the work myself.

All too often many beautiful homes go overlooked because they require work. Not every home is salvageable but, when you find a gem that has weathered decades or even centuries and still maintains it’s structural integrity, in lies an opportunity.

An opportunity to make a home your own. Seriously, you don’t need a brand new build to get what you want in a home. In fact, sometimes people invest in new builds and the homes still don’t necessarily meet all of your wants and/or needs. Not saying buying new is a bad thing, for some people it makes all of the sense in the world, but with a little ambition and creativity you can bring a relic into the current time. The best part, you can increase your equity rather quickly by choosing a distressed property and making the proper, cost effective, renovations to it. Always think about resale and market value when doing renovations. Spending money you don’t need to or you will never see a return on is silly, unless you have a generous budget and feel like spending.

I know, I know – renovations? Nobody has time for that. It’s true, renovations can seriously cramp your everyday style. But! Getting exactly what you want in a home, building equity, and having that feeling of pride with every project completion can be very rewarding for home buyers and owners.

My buyer’s and I stumbled upon a Craftsman, out of the original area we were looking but very close to their family. It had fallen into foreclosure and was in sad shape for how pretty you could see it had once been. It was dirty, had a top to bottom red kitchen, and the furnace was totally broken but the bones were in good shape. The “ah-ha!” feature was that none of the traditional Craftsman touches had been messed with. The original woodworking and structural elements were intact. The only exception was the peculiar red kitchen. The icing on the cake? The home was priced way below budget. When adding the estimated total cost of renovations to the listing price the figure was still way under budget – granted most of the labor cost would be offset by my buyer’s hard work. I will have to wait and see as no decisions have been made yet, but it left a lasting impression on me about distressed properties. Not only can they be a place you really feel is your home, with your personal must haves, they can also be a really solid investment for both you and the property.

Renovations and rehabs are certainly not for everyone. They are time consuming, they can end up costing a fortune, and they can make you regret ever thinking one was a good idea. But when that work is done and your home is exactly how you want it, with extra money in your pocket, that run down, dirty, red kitchen property will be a home again. There are countless tv shows out now with famous faces that feature these types of projects –  Nicole Curtis on Rehab Addict, Jonathan and Drew on Property Brothers, Flipping Virgins with Egypt Sherrod…the list can go on and on. There is tons of inspiration and education out there. Just look at Pinterest! Make sure you have a few hours if you go on Pinterest for DIY ideas, you may be on there for hours – I know from experience.

If you are ambitious enough and not scared away by homes in desperate need of a family to love them then you may find great pride in the challenge. It can really be a great investment and you just might learn a thing or two about yourself. 🙂

Erin Miller is a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with HUNT Real Estate ERA in Saratoga Springs, NY. In the past Erin has worked in the field of marketing, focusing in social media and internet marketing. She also holds excellent customer service skills and enjoys working in the community. Erin is looking forward to blending real estate and her other skills to provide a great experience for future clients. Visit her website


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