Flip it or flop it? Here are 7 tips to help you check if you’re ready to renovate
Insights Team, November 18, 2019

If you’re anything like us here at Leadhome you’ll be up to date with all the home renovation trends. It also means you’re glued to HGTV watching Christina buy a burned-out home and turn it into a gold mine. We know what you’re thinking: “It looks so easy – I could do that!” But could you? 

Taking on a renovation to update your home or getting into the business of flipping houses, is no easy task. Even the amateurs aren’t that wet behind the ears. So, want to know if you’ll be up to the task? Well, we have 7 tips from the pros for you to figure out if you’re a future flipper or a sure flopper.

1. First timer or seasoned DIYer

Have you ever taken on a do-it-yourself project? If the answer is no, consider starting small. For your first DIY-project, maybe build a side table or a coffee table and see how it pans out. Give yourself ample time to execute the project.

2. Failing to plan is planning to fail

For any structural changes, you will need to get permission. Start with planning for this. Is it a freehold, sectional title or a cluster home? The type of permission you may need will depend on the type of property you are renovating. If you live in a complex you may need to get permission from your body corporate. 

Commission an architect or a designer to draw up the designs. Plot out exactly what you want to do, builders need a blueprint of what success looks like to you.

3. It’s all about that budget

Do you have capital available, or are you thinking of refinancing your home? This is important to think about. Both situations have their pros and cons. 

Utilising your savings can be tricky because unforeseen expenses will occur. This can be detrimental to your budget if there is no breathing room. A lack of funds could force you to stop building until you get more capital.

Refinancing your existing home loan, or your paid-up home means adding more debt to your name. Here you need to ask yourself: 

1. How much will the renovations increase my home’s value?

2. Am I renovating to sell or to live in the place?

Regardless of where the capital comes from, be realistic and conservative with your budget. And make sure you keep an eye on each expenditure as you go.

4. Goedkoop is duurkoop (Buying cheap is buying expensive)

This Dutch saying rings true with just about anything: buying a car, a fridge and even when renovating a house. Here are some big elements you can’t be slacking on when it comes to renovating a home: 

  • A contractor/builder, plumber, electrician: Don’t hire your uncle’s cousin’s friend because he built a few outdoor toilets once. Check references and don’t skimp on quality. 
  • Choosing “fancy” over quality: Be realistic of what you can afford, don’t opt for those 24 karat gold window frames because you think they are on fleek. Expensive doesn’t always equal quality.
  • Shopping around: Don’t take the first deal you see, take some time, compare prices, and look for the best quality in a product but also price.
  • Quality control: Always make sure you have quality inspectors doing checks before, during and after the build. Skimping on this could cost you thousands in rebuilds and fines.

5. Not asking enough or the right questions

So, you have a great contractor, designer, plumber and electrician on your team but that doesn’t mean you should become a pushover. It’s your project and you learn on the job. Ask ALL the questions. By understanding why someone is doing something will help you to not get ripped off. If it looks fishy, do an online search on it and ask the right questions to get the right answers. 

6. Just wing it!

We know DIY means do-it-yourself, but that doesn’t mean you should throw the instruction booklet out the window (if you know what we mean). This comes back to hiring the right people for the right job and not planning. A go-with-the-flow approach will not only cost you time, mistakes, and disasters but could also completely ruin your budget. 

Make sure you have proper timelines in place and include milestones along the way, like when kitchen cupboards will go in. Always share this with your building team and keep it in line of sight so it’s a constant reminder. And remember this one key thing: Measure, and measure again and if you have to do it a third time, do it.

7. It’s a trap!

Like every other DIYer, you turned to YouTube for some inspiration and came across a few tutorial videos. STOP. DANGER. GEVAAR. INGOZI. Only turn to YouTube for inspiration and references of what you would like to see, and for thrifty how-tos without breaking the bank.

Feeling a little overwhelmed, need to take a breather? The renovation game is dicey and going into it conservatively and prepared is your first step in the direction of success. Now go search for that renovator’s dream on Leadhome.co.za and let’s help you get flipping. 

Insights Team
We're the "thinking arm" of Leadhome, combining expertise in data analysis, modelling, sociology, geography, and philosophy to interrogate current trends in the South African residential property market. Proudly contemplative since 2015.

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