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Home renovation: an expert guide

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You’re considering a home renovation. It’s a great idea to bring life back into an old house, save it from being demolished or renovate it on a tight budget. It could also be a great way to get onto desirable blocks or into top-quality schools in areas where house prices can be prohibitive.

Renovations can be a big undertaking. Before your enthusiasm takes over, prepare for the project in advance. This will help make the process easier and allow you to budget more accurately for your renovation costs. For everything you need before and after the work begins, check out our home renovation checklist.

How much does a typical home renovation cost? Our handy guide will help you determine the average cost of a house renovations in auckland.



1. You can determine the property’s maximum value by looking at the local home prices. You don’t want the most expensive house on the block, as the old saying goes.

2 Calculate the estimated cost of the work required to your home. Add these to the asking price or the price you offer and ensure that the average neighborhood comp is higher.

3 Set up a budget that includes a contingency of 15 to 20%.

4. Get expert advice before you buy. It is cheaper to hire a contractor to estimate the cost of the job than to jump into a project that you cannot afford.

Many properties that are ready for renovation are described as “fixer uppers”, “in need of updates”, or “handyman’s particular” in the realty listing details. This could be anything from a new kitchen or cosmetic repairs to larger issues such as repairing foundations and fixing water damage. Before you start looking for a house to buy, determine your budget and the extent of repairs that you are willing or unable to do.

Then you can start your search. You can then start your search by visiting real estate agents or online property databases like Zillow (opens in new window). Local auctions can also be a great way to get a bargain.

It is possible that you have seen potential in a house nearby that isn’t on the market. It’s rare, but not impossible, for people to consider selling if they receive a well-written letter from someone interested.


How can you avoid getting stuck in a money pit? To ensure that the property is in good condition before you buy it, get an inspection. A third-party inspector will conduct the inspection and provide a report detailing what repairs are required. From there, you can calculate the costs.

Before you make an offer, or even before you schedule a showing, there are some things you should be aware of.

1. The location is almost everything

We have already mentioned that it is a good idea to look for the worst house in the best street. This advice can be very helpful for anyone searching for a bargain on a renovation project. It doesn’t matter how beautiful the property is, it will only be as good the surrounding area. Make sure to check the schools, local amenities, and green space. Google Street View will allow you to get a sense of the area and highlight any problems.

2. Check out the street comps

Websites like Redfin allow you to see the prices of similar properties that have been sold (opens in a new tab). This will allow you to get an idea of the highest value of the property you are considering so that you can calculate your return on investment.

3. Be on the lookout for any damage that could be very costly.

A roof repair can cost you a few grand. If water has leaked through, missing shingles can also indicate trouble inside. Window renovations can add a lot to your budget. Be aware of condensation and rotting around windows frames. Double glazing can also be an option to reduce heat loss and run costs.

4. How do your neighbors’ houses look?

Are your plans in line with the rest? Are your neighbors making improvements that will work for you? Are the houses well-maintained, showing pride in their homes? Although it may not seem like your business, a street that is maintained by its residents will be more attractive in the long-term.

5. Is there enough space for an addition?

You might be able to modify the house to make it more suitable for your needs. It is possible to convert space like the garage or attic. If the pitch is available, a simple attic conversion can often be a cost-effective option to add space. Perhaps the backyard is big enough for an addition, but still enough space to enjoy. For an idea of what might be possible, take a look at nearby properties.

6. Is it going to need major remodeling?

You can do so many things to improve your home that it may not be the right property for you. Look for something closer to your needs in terms of layout and size.

7. Is it equipped with modern heating and electricity?

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a problem, but if the house needs complete rewiring or central heat/air installation, you’ll need to pay an additional $3,000-$6,000 per job for a typical three-bedroom home. Old-fashioned electricals can be identified by a black or fabric cable, an outdated fuse box and sockets.


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