By Viktor Chong
Congratulations on that new home. It could either be your first one or perhaps one in your portfolio of properties. It is usual for homebuyers to be passionate about renovating and decorating their homes the moment they get the keys. This could relate to expanding, remodelling or another form of improvement projects.
But hold your horses, as rushing towards an endeavour can be a problem, both financially and mentally. Homebuyers who renovate on the whims of their emotion often regret their decision. Reversing the process or re-renovating is not cheap either.
Stop, breathe, think
Buying a home is bound to have an enormous impact on your life, if not your financial status. A home renovation, depending on its scale, can be yet another big and stressful project, what with all the decisions to make and contractors to deal with.
Understandably, some buyers want to jump into the renovation quickly as they do not want to live in a construction zone or pay rent and a mortgage at the same time.
While this may make some economic sense upfront, the renovation you perform to your home should be planned for the long term. Take a well-deserved break to gather yourself before heading over to step two.
Stay awhile and listen
Everyone has an ideal vision of how they want their home to look like. However, your dream home of today may not be the dream home you envision tomorrow. You may want a private library at the corner of the house, only to discover later that the particular spot is exposed to direct sunlight.
Until you have lived there, it is difficult to know exactly how you will use your home. Perhaps, you may want to stay there for a period of six months to one year before committing to a plan.
Let the home speak to you. Ultimately, it is the day-to-day experience that will inform your home improvement decisions, instead of those early notions which are buoyed by emotions.
Once you have a clear picture of what you want, then the planning phase can begin. Everyone has a dream home, but it is time for us to be rooted in reality. Hence, a budget is necessary to ensure that you do not overstep your boundaries and cause financial difficulties.
Renovation, no matter how large or small, should be taken with care. That means speaking to architects, designers and contractors to get their take on your ideas and options, which is a time-consuming process. Listen to them as they may suggest cheaper recommendations or uncover opportunities to realise your goals.
The parting note is never to rush into a renovation project. Long term renovations are not something we want to do on a flash basis, as it requires meticulous planning and prior thought to avoid regrets later.