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Posted by: from Ottawa
2/21/2010 at 12:40:28 AM

Im trying to determine the cost effectiveness of buying a older home and renovating vs buying newer. If i could get a quick professional opinion on some numbers it would greatly help. All numbers given are rough for sake of estimating. Lets assume a 200k, 1500sq/ft bungalow that was sound structurally. How far would 200k to invest in reno's get me using a GC? Assuming top finishes and full reno of all living space (moving of walls), finishing basement or adding a loft? Just trying to get a handle on what a dollar buys you in the reno world using a general contractor. Thanks in advance for your time.

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Date/Time2/25/2010 at 12:08:37 PM

Hi Corey,

Great questions and good for you for asking them before you buy.

Here are some things that come to mind:

- Are you buying this house to live in or are you looking to renovate and sell?

- Does the neighbourhood that you are considering buying in have houses around the $350-400K range (ask your real estate agent for comparables)

- $200K can go a long way (I agree with Andrew's response) but the thing you need to look into before anything else is whether or not the market will give you a return on your investment (this where your real estate agent can help you)

- You can invest $400K into a property but if the market only bears $200K that is all your going to get out of it

We would be happy to meet with you to put specific numbers around your renovation questions at no charge.

Michael Blaufus

Bluefoot Developments Inc.

Where the 1st thing we build is trust !

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Shawn from Arrow Contracting in Vaughan
Date/Time2/27/2010 at 10:48:06 AM

Hi Corey,

This is Traci from Arrow Contracting. There are definately several factors to consider. I'm assuming you want to live in the home because you are deciding between buying old and new or newer. So for discussion purposes you have a $200k budget on a 1500 sqf bungalow. Assuming it is as you say structurally sound, it is definately do-able. The home would need to be professionally assessed prior to purchase so you know exactly what you are getting into. Obviously there are issues such as the old electrical, plumbing etc. which may need to be updated and is expensive but is definately not a deal breaker. You mentioned finishing the basment or adding a loft. Adding a loft is an addition....2 very different projects cost wise. You mentioned top of the line finishes. Depending on what you consider to be top of the line "the sky is the limit". There are permit costs and if you will be moving any load bearing walls, engineer costs. The bottom line is $200k is a fair budget and can go a long way. With out seeing the condition of the property and knowing what you want it is difficult to say for certain but you do need to be realistic with your wants. You should meet with GC's and find one you trust, you are comfortable with and most of all one who is experienced. Check their references, licence, insurance etc. Good luck.

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