Have you switched from selling to remodeling your home?

The silver lining in residential real estate appears to be home remodeling.

As some home builders across metro Atlanta sat idle this summer, many home remodelers were busier than ever, AJC staffer Michelle Shaw reports.

The deteriorating housing market, and the credit crunch that started it all, left many homeowners who had wanted to trade up looking for a way to make their old spaces new.

But some remodelers have doubts that their good fortune will hold up in these tough times.

Do you think they will? Are you remodeling or thinking about doing it? Have you given up trying to sell?

If you’re a building trades worker or employer, have you switched from new construction to the remodeling game?

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10 comments Add your comment

RH

October 21st, 2010
11:07 am

Bought a foreclosure and have been doing some remodeling / updates – but slowly. With the uncertainty of future home values, you have to make very wise decisions and their are so many things to think about.

I would think those remodel contractors are right to be cautiously optimistic.

Light

October 21st, 2010
11:30 am

Let God will be done thru this blog http://lightoftheearth.blogspot.com/

TnGelding

October 21st, 2010
4:14 pm

Why put money into a place that just lost at least 25% of its value? Throwing good money after bad. Just try to keep what you have clean and well maintained.

no deal

October 21st, 2010
5:51 pm

my house has been on the market for a year and half with only 1 low ball offer and I’ve cut the price 4 times. I may walk from the mortgage if I don’t sell it soon.

With What?

October 22nd, 2010
10:22 am

Can’t sell the one I have. Can’t afford a bigger one.

Taxes are going up. Insurance is going up and my paycheck is shrinking.

Have no money left over to hire anyone to remodel. I am slowly redoing my kitchen. Tile floor in 2007, paint and new countertop in 2010. Cabinets may be refaced in 2012 or 2013!

remodeling guy

October 22nd, 2010
10:37 am

At this point, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to remodeling. We bought a house three years ago in a transitional neighborhood just as the market was beginning to tank. We bought something we could afford to both buy and remodel. For us, the remodeling was not so much to create some enormous resale value, but to create an environment we would be comfortable living in and enjoy looking at for years to come.

We didn’t go overboard with our selections, we sought value and bargains at every turn, and as a result, we have a home we enjoy. The bonus is that our improvements will protect us against SOME of the loss of value we might otherwise have experienced. We just look at the improvements as a “cost of living” expense.

Where remodelers are concerned, however, they are right to be cautious. I can’t imagine many everyday homeowners paying top dollar for improvements in this market. Many, like me, are likely acting as their own general contractors and finding hungry subs who are willing to negotiate rock bottom prices yet possess exemplary referral histories.

HD

October 22nd, 2010
11:05 am

Just do your homework before hiring a general contractor. Mine has turned out to be a nightmare and we are several months behind. I am having to constantly ask him when things are going to get done. And I was thinking from the start that a general contractor would ease my worries and he would be telling me what’s going on and generally be proactive.
Oh well, lesson learned and I won’t make that mistake again.

Snoopermom

October 22nd, 2010
11:22 am

Just got thru with room additions/remodel. Elderly Mom moving in with me sometime next year and couldn’t sell my house to buy a larger one. Remodel was the answer. Contractor was great. Now if we will only be able to sell Mom’s house …

matt

October 22nd, 2010
11:22 am

Its totally worth it to have your place professionally repainted (or repainting yourself). Having minor repairs done make living in your house or condo that you are “stuck with” much more bearable. Half of the joy of buying a new home is the “newness” so refreshing a home you are stuck with is definitely worth spending a few grand. Its a bad idea to look at current numbers and thinking “whelp, thats what its worth”, we are in an extraordinary bad market, but it is wrong to assume that it will be like this forever. The market WILL rebound. Do you have the intestinal fortitude and financial reserves to wait it out is the only real question.

S

October 22nd, 2010
3:06 pm

We had new siding, gutters, the works on the outside, installed in 2009. After years of thinking about it we did it. It was so worth it, looks like a brand new house and every time we look at it we think, yep, we made the right decision and worth every cent we paid. Now to redo and finish some projects on the inside. We are doing this for our own enjoyment and not because we are selling or even thinking of selling. Housing will come back, all be it, at a very slow pace. In the mean time, we are enjoying our property no need to look else where.