Phoenix’s real estate market is still extremely competitive. With its unpredictable nature, some residents are turning to purchasing remodels or teardowns to secure land.  Also, unless you are purchasing a fully customized home, you might be making small renovations to your new home or looking to remodel a home. The main question you need to ask yourself is: “how much work am I willing to put into the home to make it up to my standards?”

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If you are looking to invest in and remodel a property that is not turn-key, here are five things to keep in mind:

1. Are you willing/able to take the time and effort needed to create your dream home?

Remodeling takes a lot of time, and you must be patient as contractors are coming through and tearing up your home. Also, if you are doing any DIY projects, keep in mind how to balance those with your work.

Costs tend to pop up as you are remodeling your home—ones that you may not have factored into your original budget. Make sure that you have enough extra funds to pay for anything that comes up.

If you don’t consider these things prior, you might find yourself extremely frustrated throughout the process.   

2. Have you exhausted all your options?

Check in with yourself and see if you are settling on a home because you are happy with the selling price/location. Renovations are expensive, so spending a little more on a house upfront might be your best bet. Also, ask yourself if you are willing to go outside of the city you are looking in to find something in your price range. Work with a trusted real estate agent to make sure you have reviewed all the potential homes in your requested price range/ideal location.

3. Have you consulted with a professional?

Before starting your transition to renovation, consult with a trusted contractor and get more information about what a remodel entails. They can provide you with realistic expectations on price and how long a job could take. Vet different contractors by researching reviews online and speaking with friends and family members for references.

4. Can your contractor come with you as you look at homes?

When viewing all your house options, have your contractor come with you so they can estimate the cost for remodels. This will help you determine what you should offer for the home. If you see there are a ton of renovations needed, you need to factor that into your offer, so you can stay within your budget.

5. Have you completed a home inspection before purchasing the home?

After your offer is accepted, complete a house inspection before your purchase is finalized. It can help you determine if there are hidden renovations you will need to complete, so you can renegotiate with the seller. This will help guide your contractor as they prepare to gather the materials needed to remodel your home.

Overall, work with a team of experts including your real estate agent and contractor to determine the level of renovations you are prepared for to get into a home. Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll set yourself up for success.


Rich La Rue is the Designated Broker for HomeSmart Phoenix, the flagship brokerage operation in the HomeSmart system. La Rue has more than 38 years of experience in real estate sales and management from real estate offices to regional and national operations. La Rue began his career in real estate in 1983 in Phoenix, Arizona as a sales associate. In 1986 he earned his Arizona Real Estate Broker’s License. He also holds a California Real Estate Broker’s license, GRI, CRS, and CRB designations as well as the e-PRO and the SFR certifications. For more information, visit