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What Mistakes Should New Home Buyers Look Out For? 

Utopia Management’s business development manager, Pete Evering, was recently featured in a new article published by GOBankingRates that tackles some of the most costly remodel mistakes that new homeowners make.

New homeowners are faced with many challenges that they may not have expected. When first buying a home, it is always smart to do as much research as possible. Expect the unexpected, and try to be prepared for the multitude of expenses that can present themselves.

Of course, one of the first mistakes that new homeowners make is hiring an unlicensed contractor to work on their property. Performing work without a license may violate laws and regulations in certain jurisdictions and also expose the homeowner to all kinds of liability. Unlicensed operations are more likely to be uninsured and any costly injuries or damages that occur on a property can end up in the homeowner’s hands, falling on their responsibility (or lack thereof). Hiring people to renovate a home, who are not licensed and not running a legitimate business, could result in a home improvement scam.

Unlicensed work is also less likely to be performed correctly, which can expose new homeowners to problems in the months and years after the work is completed. This opens up a new level of liability, as anyone who comes into a home is at risk of getting hurt because of work that wasn’t performed properly, inspected, and sanctioned by the regulatory entities designed to prevent such problems.

Another common mistake that new homeowners make is getting overzealous with the renovations they choose to perform. New projects are often exciting with the promise of immense improvement to the home’s living experience and value. In the early stages of renovation, especially right after purchasing a home, it can be lots of fun to plan. However, as things start to get rolling, the expenses of such renovations easily stack up.

Imagine the shock of removing walls or ceilings only to find an alarming amount of black mold, or a colony of termites. In most situations, the only appropriate course of action is performing the necessary repairs to remedy current damage and mitigate further damage. These expenses are as common as they are unforeseen, so homeowners should always be sure to keep plenty of money on the side in case they run into one of these obstacles.

Keeping with the more conservative approach to home ownership, new homeowners should think long-term when it comes to renovating their home. There should be a different level of scrutiny when it comes to renovating an investment property versus renovating a home that you plan to spend the rest of your days living in. One of these (the investment) should receive only renovations that offer the largest potential for return on investment (ROI) as possible. Spending on extra luxuries might seem like a smart move, but there are numerous ways to invest in a home that offer much more bang-for-buck, including new coats of paint, new flooring, new hardware and fixtures, and new kitchens/bathrooms. These renovation investments are the most likely to give new homeowners the maximum return when it comes time to sell. But if it’s someone’s dream home and they intend to live there for a very long time, why not go ahead and splurge on the fancy wine cellar? It just might be the best decision of their life!

Elly Johnson stands at the forefront of content research and online branding at Utopia Management. As the Content Marketing Manager, she delves deep into understanding local real estate and rental markets, fueled by her passion for travel and keen research skills. Elly is dedicated to empowering individuals with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about where to reside. A proud alumna of the University of South Florida, located in the vibrant heart of Tampa Bay, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Her academic background and extensive travel experiences uniquely position her to provide insights that resonate with diverse audiences.

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