If you just bought a house — congrats! It’s always an incredibly exciting time when you make this first big step in life. But there are a lot of mistakes that first-time homebuyers often make during the flurry of new beginnings. Making it your own is important, but it’s also imperative to understand how long you should wait to renovate after buying a new home. In fact, this is one of the biggest blunders we often see. Despite the eagerness, it’s always a better decision to give it some time so you can learn more about your new home — what kinks it has, how the sun hits the property, how you want to utilize certain areas, and so on. This will let you get a clearer idea of the ins and outs it contains before making any major decisions that you may regret later. To help you steer clear of this common error, here are some tips on how long to hold off on a reno in your new home and why.
How Long Should You Wait?
Though you may be eager to have that picture-perfect home ASAP, the reality is this is never a good way to understand the nuances of it and what it really needs. Once you actually move in and get somewhat settled, you’d be surprised at how much your initial plans can change. That’s why we recommend living in your new home for at least six months before you begin any major renovations. If there are any minor problems that need immediate attention, of course, you should have them seen to as soon as possible. But when it comes to bigger overhauls, like a kitchen remodel or bathroom, it’s best to hold off. Here’s why:
You Can’t Predict How You’ll Use It
Even if you already have a good idea about how you want your new home to look like, it’s important to remember that those visions and ideas were made prior to you buying and living in it. Once you unpack and spend time in your new home, you may learn quickly that many of your former ideas just won’t work as well as you thought they would. For example, the idea of a formal dining room might be something you desire, however, after living in the home for a few months, you may realize that your family tends to enjoy eating meals in the kitchen instead. Ultimately, it will be your daily experiences with your new home that will help you better understand what home improvements are needed or not needed.
Give Yourself a Break!
Let’s be real — moving homes is a lot of work. From the initial get-go when you first made the decision, to drawing up to-do lists, to packing up your home, and enduring the mass chaos, it’s pretty exhausting overall. So once it’s finally done, and all you’re left with are empty boxes, why not give yourself a break? Dedicating all the time to finding the home, moving in and unpacking, in addition to juggling a full-time job, can wear on anyone. And throwing a big renovation project on top of everything will just add more chaos and stress to your plate. That’s why we always recommend for new buyers to slow down, avoid piling on the stress, and just plan some time to enjoy the new home for a while before getting into any major projects. This way you’ll be better equipped to focus on what’s next.
It Needs Careful Planning
Rushing through any home improvement reno, whether big or small, should always be avoided. Being too eager to get things done can equate to hiring unqualified contractors, which can leave you with poor workmanship. Planning and finding the right contractors takes time if you want to avoid overspending and have a good end product that you’re happy with. Home improvement should never be rushed.
Another common pitfall for first-time homebuyers who jump into renovations too soon is spending way over budget. When it comes to home renos, most jobs almost always end up taking more time and money to complete than initially thought. And being caught half-way through a project with little or no funds to spare can leave you in a serious bind when you’re already financially stretched from your new home purchase. Unless you have an abundance of money to throw around, holding off six months to a year can help you save up for what you need.
Don’t get caught in the trap that many first-time buyers do by jumping into home renovations too soon. Having time to test drive your new home and learn more about it will let you thoroughly and accurately design it to suit your needs and lifestyle better. Plus, you deserve to enjoy a little R&R after the gruelling moving process! So when you’re wondering how long you should wait to renovate after buying a new home, six months to a year is usually a good timeframe.