For all of 2010, I found that apartment that needed renovations were
difficult to sell.
Far more so than I had seen in the past.
Certainly, I do not think that buyers
a lack of vision any more than in the past.
Unfortunately for many buyers, they cannot see past what’s right in front of them- scuff marks, old details, other minutiae that subconsciously detract from a buyer’s perception of a property.
This is why staging is so valuable for sellers.
If all buyers had vision, interior decorators and designers would have an even more difficult row to hoe.
I continuously reach out to my contractor friends to see how this business is.
You might be wondering if now is the time to get that kitchen redone, do the job you’ve been putting off, etc.
What Stephen Manahan of High Touch Construction told me is that he is finally getting the jobs that his clients put off last year.
“We are finding that people have pushed their renovation projects back from last year to this year,” he told me.
“What would have happened last year is now coming through to fruition, especially full-gut renovations in the City.”
New confidence in the economy and for a person’s future earnings- owners and
translates to the willingness to take on large-cost renovations.
That said, clients of mine are seeing hungry contractors for these big jobs.
A job one client bid out last year and shelved he is seeing 20-30% lower bid numbers this year.
Conversations with other contractors confirm this.
One contractor has had to lay off some of his employees recently, though he expects to hire them back soon.
Another contractor is pitching lots of business but is losing to bids that he knows are too low to make any money.
What’s my advice?
If you are unsure of what things should cost, hire an owner’s rep on an hourly rate to discuss the costs of a job.
Sometimes an owner’s rep will ballpark the cost of a job for free- but I would recommend that in choosing finishes, materials etc- the money you’ll save by hiring an owner’s rep comes from their ability to buy things wholesale, ensure that the bidding process between contractors is fair and transparent, and that ultimately the job is done correctly.
I think that the time to consider doing a large-scale renovation is now, before the economy gets much stronger.