You just bought yourself a fixer, now what?
After a week of negotiations, you found out that your offer was accepted and you will close in 30 days. The big question you have to ask yourself is, can you live in the property the way it is during the remodel? If you need a new kitchen, bathrooms, etc. most likely the answer is NO. It's very difficult to live without the use of your kitchen, not to mention all of the dust generated by demolition and construction. This means that you will have to stay in a short-term rental or current place of residence until everything is finished. It's all a matter of expense and up to you to determine, but based on our own personal experience, it's very difficult to live in those conditions and feel out of sorts for months.
Select a contractor
The best way to find a contractor is obtain referrals from friends, co-workers, drive around the neighborhood to see what contractors are doing projects in the area, or from us. Do your own research on the recommended contractors online, visit their websites to see their work samples, and read the reviews from past clients. Once you have two or three in mind, contact them to find out if they can take on another project and give them an idea of when the work would need to begin. You can't begin to do any work to the property until it officially closes and you are the new home owner. Instead of asking for an estimate, tell the contractor what your budget is. Our advise it to build a 20-30% buffer into the budget in your own mind for the unforeseen things that come up during any remodel.
Don't forget the things that matter later
Systems are key, such as air conditioning, heating, water heaters, electrical, plumbing, all will come back to haunt you later if you don't address them now. If you have current air conditioning unit that is 15 years old and isn't very energy efficient, you have some vents in every room, but could use more for example. The roof is the other big one not to overlook. If the roof is at the end of it's life and there have been leaks in the past, don't spend all that money on the remodel and when the next big rain hits you get a lovely leak that could have been prevented. Windows can be problematic as well if they are original to the home. Putting in the upfront expense of new energy efficient windows into the home will be the best decision you can make. As your realtors, we are here to help guide you and provide suggestions and referrals for your home.