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In 2020 Live…whilst you are living.

By Karen Nyenga – CEO of Fine & Country

Inspiration comes in all forms, from sounds, smells, images and of course one cannot discount that influence from the circles which we rove within or those we aspire to be a part of.  This phenomenon of inspiration can rear its ugly head if not contained in its initial stages or it can cause a complete transformation of what was imagined, to come into reality in an almost single, seamless swoop.

Let’s break this down so that we are all on one page.

Firstly, Wikipedia defines Inspiration as “ an unconscious burst of creativity in a literary, music or other artistic endeavor”, what they forgot to also add is that it comes in the form of unsolicited comments from a  collective of friends, relatives, colleagues, and passersby especially those who have “professional advice” for all circumstance. This brings in a host of problems, and as a new homeowner/s, an investor, or prime occupants in a home, you do not need that hassle nor need to heed each and every word of advice.

So why is this a pertinent discussion in relation to real estate?

Well, to many individuals a significant proportion of savings and indeed investment of some form is held in such assets as property. So, beyond the normal points of location, and specific property character offerings, if one is intentionally acquiring what we in the industry term as “In need of TLC”, “Fixer Upper” or “A home with great bones”  when we are marketing an instruction– one is set to do some or most likely major renovation work on the home. So considerations go beyond the price point paid at acquisition, the buyer has to consider the work that needs to be done to the property to either bring it back to its original stature (mostly applicable to stately homes of historical relevance) or to completely breathe in a new life and synthesize the old with the new, taking advantage of certain décor or functional designs in the original structure to work with the modern.

Couple getting advice from a real estate agent.

The design intent alone is not the only thing one should take into account, your agent should know a thing or two about the home, but should guide you to speak to qualified professionals prior to you putting in an irrevocable offer which will be presented to the vendor for consideration. This is to say, make an informed decision, taking into account all costs. So, the chosen home is priced at market value, one can negotiate for an agreeable discounted price,  or pay the full asking price depending on the value that the purchaser has placed on this property for themselves. There are transfer costs involved, which are those paid to legally change the name representing ownership of this property from the vendor to the purchaser, thus giving the purchaser the possession and occupation rights to the home and license to do a lot of work with no concern of eviction or legal dispute.

Notwithstanding the noted above, the vendor and purchaser agree to continue to engage in a transaction meaning an offer has been accepted and the agent can draw up contracts to convey this agreement. The purchaser has to consult extensively with architects, contractors, and interior specialists so that what they have envisioned can come to life. Also, it is imperative for old homes and homes which have been gutted by fire or some form of destruction, to be checked by structural engineers, electric and plumbing specialists, to ensure that any risk for recurrence is mitigated, and also to ensure that any substantial work needed to have the home functioning is done in an ordered manner and saves costs from being an afterthought – this may cover any building, electrical re-wiring, or plumbing by way of conversion of pipes from galvanized iron to PVC and the like.

Homes with the beautiful Oregon pine floors speak volumes of potential age of construction, one who acquires such needs to check foundations, the integrity of the floorboards, treat for termites or wood borers, guard against mold or rising damp, as well as consider the amount of traffic that shall be in this new home and if this flooring is still suitable for the use.

Insurance costs of the workmanship to be undertaken on this property, one wants to have that security that the work is done has a guarantee of longevity for a certain period all things being equal, with normal manipulation in use, you don’t want to feel as if you have paid twice over for the home and with every dollar outlay, the enjoyment of being in the space is continually eroded.

There are many other costs that people entering into a renovation job for the first time may not have thought through, or be aware of, but this, by all means, is not a deterrent – many a bargain and gem which when worked on expertly, have brought back the initial capital outlay and then some extra in the bank on re-sale. The key is to articulate what you are seeking to your agent that they comprehend the instructions, limit the number of sources of inspiration once you as the principal parties who are key to the outlaying of finances have agreed on the work to be done, where and how in consultation with your specialists.  Don’t be tempted to save money by doing it on your own if you do not possess the skills on the onset, some DIY projects end up in messy tears of just WHY!!!

Houses are meant to have some life lived within their walls, which makes these spaces home. Live while you are living, enjoy the comfort created with the knowledge that each valuable dollar went towards something that will have value retained and appreciated. Inspiration, a blessing or a curse? Depends on how you receive it – we just say that all projects need to have a specific workflow process tailormade to suit, and as a full-service agency, we are always happy to give of our service.

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