Before you Purchase a Home, Make Sure You Understand your Options

Middleburg Eccentric Many homeowners are disappointed each year after purchasing a home with plans of a future renovation. Unfortunately, when it’s time to take the next step, they learn of limitations that thwart their plans. Perhaps they wanted to add onto the new home, but learn of HOA or property restrictions. Or they wanted to add a second story, but find the structure won’t support it. Or the estimated cost is more than they anticipated.  A purchase consultation is the perfect way to evaluate the home before your purchase.

Stay & Remodel or Buy & Remodel

We often find ourselves helping house hunters decide whether to stay in their existing home and remodel or buy something new and remodel.  The answer isn’t always black and white and often requires a thorough review of the pros, cons, and costs (obvious and hidden) associated with each situation.  The review usually starts with, “Why?” What’s not working in your current home that has you considering a change? While remodeling can address many challenges, it obviously can’t help with things like wanting more property or improving proximity to things important to your way of life. Your decision may also factor in costs for deferred maintenance required before moving; social and emotional ties; a discussion on “overinvesting” and much, much more.  We can help to guide you through this process.

What Will Remodeling Cost?

Most homes can be remodeled within the existing rooms and footprint with minimal complication. Presuming the home’s systems are up to date, the structure is sound and you don’t discover signs of water damage or other needed repairs, the budget is largely driven by the features, finishes and level of service you desire.  A pull-and-replace kitchen or bath are perfect examples of these projects. While industry research can provide relatively reliable ballparks, it doesn’t hurt to meet with a remodeler in advance to confirm the numbers apply locally and there are no extenuating circumstances.

Once you venture outside the existing framework and configuration, things get a bit trickier. Moving walls, additions and second stories are all examples.  As we hate to be the bearer of bad news when something is not possible or costs significantly more than expected, we always advise purchasers to consult with an experienced design build firm to get guidance on feasibility and pricing. With reliable information in hand, you can evaluate whether the home can be modified to meet your family’s needs and if the additional renovation costs fall within your budget.

The Important Stuff First

We understand that transforming a house into a home can be a significant investment of time and money. If needed, we can talk through your priorities and develop a phased renovation plan that addresses the most important items first. If you’re renovating a new purchase, we can help you decide which renovations need to be made before you move into the home and which ones can wait until after. The nice thing is, with the big picture in mind, we can likely find efficiencies for future phases and avoid rework.

We can schedule an appointment to view a home you’re considering or your current to offer you a thorough remodeling analysis. We will let you know if certain things can or cannot be made to happen with the home. A purchase consultation is designed to give you every available option before you sign a contract and find yourself stuck with a home that cannot be remodeled in the ways you want.

Tim Burch is a Vice President of BOWA, an award-winning design and construction firm specializing in renovations ranging from master suites and kitchens to whole-house remodels. A Northern Virginia native and third-generation builder, Tim enjoys calling on his 30 years of design build experience to solve clients’ home-related challenges. He is the Construction Advisor for The Mosby Heritage Area Association and sits on the Board of Building Appeals for Fauquier County. Prior to joining BOWA, Tim was the Lead Project Manager of Construction for the Emmy Award winning construction reality television show, Extreme Makeover Home Edition on ABC Television. For more information on Tim and the BOWA team, visit or call 540-687-6771.