To buy a house pre or post renovation?

Having spent more time at home than ever before in the last year and a half, you might feel like it’s time to move, relocate or upgrade to a new house. In this case, you might be asking yourself if you should go for a new, completely renovated house or instead, opt for a property which needs work and choose to renovate it yourself. What are the pros and cons of each route, and most importantly, which option suits your situation best?

There are several key things you might want to take into consideration whilst weighing up this decision. For example, how specific you are about the house you are looking for, what is available on the market in the area you are searching, budget constraints and timeline limitations. These considerations have to be made according to your specific lifestyle and needs. It is also important to think beyond the present moment, meaning to consider how your needs might change in the future as your situation and lifestyle evolve.

The 3 most important things to consider when making the decision whether to buy a home pre or post renovation.

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1. Consider the costs in both options

Provided it is all you want it to be, purchasing a home that’s already renovated, would be an easier choice than purchasing one that needs renovation. This is since buying a house that requires no new work, would involve no extra work from you, no hassle, no risks of things going wrong and no delays or unforeseen costs. However in this case, it is expected to be more expensive outright. Since you are paying not only for all the work that’s been done on the house, but also a premium for the seller, sort of their profit for doing all the renovations.  

Although remodelling or renovating a house can sometimes require you to take on a considerable project, this option does give you more flexibility with what you want to create, and potentially the budget. You gain the freedom to choose what to renovate, which spaces to remodel, therefore saving money on your renovations through making the necessary decisions. Check out our past post called Estimating the cost of renovating your home to help orientate yourself through this process.

It is best to avoid a situation where you are doing both, i.e. having to make changes and renovations on a newly renovated house, because you may not be satisfied with the design of a particular space, even if brand new. For example, if you aren’t happy with the kitchen space, despite it being new, you might decide to get new fittings for the space. In this case, you would be paying extra on top of someone else’s added value or profits to the space in order to change this.

2. Consider the added value you could bring to your house

If you buy an already renovated house, there would be little additional value that you could bring to the house yourself. This means that when you are selling or renting in the future, you are only benefitting from the general real estate price (if they are increasing that is). You are not benefitting from any work you have done that has raised the value of the property from when you bought it.

In the case of buying a house and renovating it yourself, it is possible to renovate in such a way that the value of the property is increased and you can therefore make your money back when you eventually sell or rent out your house. This is the major benefit of creating the added value yourself.

3. Consider the style of the house, and the work required

Buying a house that needs renovation allows you to make the spaces better and more aligned with your personal style and specific needs. It allows you to model the house in a way that it accommodates your lifestyle and that of your family. Unless you find the perfect house that has everything exactly how you would want it, an already renovated house is unlikely to offer you that level of customisation. The design could be a standard one, the flow might not be comfortable for you and the fixtures and fittings could clash with your own taste.

When considering to buy an existing house that you plan to renovate, make sure that before you commit to it, you have checked that the major changes you have in mind are feasible. Some changes could be hindered or not feasible at all due to structural reasons, foundations, fire codes, any protected status the house falls under, permit requirements … etc. Being aware of the age and construction method used to build the house is also crucial as this might involve significant changes needing to be made to the house. Therefore, make your decision while taking into consideration feasibility, budget, timeline and remember to account for a contingency.

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While buying a house that is ready to move into could be easy and hassle free, renovating your own home may well give you a significant sense of accomplishment. Whichever option you choose, make sure to assess all the investments (financial, time, efforts…) that would be involved in the project before making any commitments. This means, when deciding whether to renovate or to buy an already renovated house you should consider the costs, timeline, as well as the entire process of both in order to see which suits you better. In the case that you decide to renovate yourself, consider things like the restrictions in place, the local building laws of the location and the time you would have to spend on the project, just to name a few. At the end of the day, what is most important is to make the right choice for you, whichever option that might be. Do your research in depth to fully consider your options. And if you get overwhelmed, get in touch with a friend who might have gone through this experience before, or even a professional!

If you are considering building a new home or renovating your own and need help to decide what is best suited to you and to create your ideal project, get in touch with us. We would be happy to help with any questions you may have.

Home Office Furniture For a Healthier Lifestyle.

Having lived through a pandemic for over a year now, most of us have gotten used to working from home. At this stage, we all know what works for us, especially the importance of good furniture and its direct impact on our well-being. Covid-19 has also forced us all to take a hard look at our work dynamic, triggering a fundamental debate which questions whether we can work exclusively online or if we need a physical workplace. Either way, the trend of working from home is sure to continue to at least some degree. Obviously, this leads to a whole new set of considerations when it comes to defining the workplace.

With the notion in mind that working from home could well become part of the ‘new normal’ in working lifestyle, we need to turn our attention to the physical and mental environment at home.  As many of us already know, it is crucial to create a happy and healthy home office. This therefore includes creating the appropriate set-up for your home office and giving importance to both your physical and mental well-being. A decent workplace is critical in order to restore productivity in work from home situations. A proper setup ensures improved productivity and concentration levels whereas, in contrast, an improper set up can adversely affect health and work life. According to a study by UpRight and Ernst & Young, up to 75% of members of the study were more productive when practicing better posture, which was attributed to having better ergonomic furniture1.

The advantages of carefully choosing the right furniture for an office space are not limited to the home environment. If you are an employer, you may want to re-consider the furniture you have in your current office in order to better cater to the working needs and well-being of your employees. Doing so could be a positive way to welcome them back as they begin to return to the physical space.

Creating your ideal office setup. Read on to learn what factors you should take into consideration to ensure a positive and holistic working-from-home environment.

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General Set-up

Trying to figure out where to position your working table, chair, and other work furniture and equipment is one of the first things you need to consider whilst composing your home office. If you live by yourself and you don’t have much space, your living/dining area could be an easy place to convert into your home office. However if there are other people in the house, you would need to ensure fewer potential distractions. Therefore, if possible, try and select a room that is more private than a living or dining room and that others might frequent less. Aim to set up against a calm background such as a wall, since while working from home you may be required to attend quite a few video conferences!

Try to set up in a well-lit room. Having a window on the side of your workplace will ensure good natural light for your space, without disturbing your screen visibility. Daylight will not only light up your space but it also helps significantly in making you feel more energetic and motivated. Otherwise, ensure you have additional overhead lights in the room or use table lamps. For more detailed advice on this, check out our article called 5 tips for improving your lighting when working from home’.

It can also be very beneficial to add indoor house plants to your office space. Plants can boost your productivity, reduce tension, elevate concentration, improve the ambience, and enhance creativity. They have also been proven to improve your mental and physical well-being. Plants will add colour and vibrance, inevitably making your workplace far more aesthetically pleasing and cheerful. To learn out more about the benefits of incorporating plants into your workplace and get suggestions for office-suitable plant species check out our previous two articles called ‘The benefits of introducing plants into the workplace‘ and ‘Choose the perfect-fit plants for your office space’. Here you can discover how choosing the perfect indoor plants for your home office is dependent on your space availability, space function, personal preferences, maintenance requirements and other requirements.

Home office furniture ideas to improve the comfort, efficiency and health of your workspace.

Disclaimer: the photographs shown below are just some of many options available on the market. Featuring these products does not constitute a recommendation or an endorsement of any way. AKKA Architects has no affiliation to any of the brands shown.

1. Comfort & Posture

While selecting your furniture for your home office, try to incorporate as much room for adjustment and movement as possible. For instance, opt for a sit-stand desk, that you can adjust the height of, or a computer monitor arm that lets you adjust the position of the screen to your eye level. If you are working on your dining table for example, and have no space to place a desk, there are furniture solutions that you can add on top of any table surface to transform it into a standing desk. Healthy posture can also be encouraged by opting for a comfortable chair for your home office. A chair with a good quality backrest and adjustable height, arm rests and lumbar support would be best. Incorporating this kind of furniture would help in reducing backache problems which you might otherwise face. Make choices about your home office furniture with the long-term in mind, as it has a significant impact for your physical well-being. 

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2. Efficiency & Space

If you have limited space and/or prefer working in your living/dining space, you should opt for furniture that can be tidied up easily and has efficient storage possibilities. This will allow you to swiftly regain your dining table to eat dinner on with your family, or to simply reclaim your home space over the weekend without the constant reminder of work. Choosing furniture that you are able to fold up and store easily when you are done working may be a functional option if this applies to you. Consider volume and weight, lightweight items are that much easier to manipulate. This will ensure that your multifunctional space operates well and that there isn’t constant clutter around your home / home office.

3. Fitness & Health

While working from home, you might also miss out on exercise. The day goes by before you know it, and if you do take a break, time is often highjacked by little house chores here and there. Also since you are working from home, the walk/travel to and from your office is eliminated and with it the exercise that it provided (even if it was only a 10min walk!). In this case, it is imperative that when you work long hours, you incorporate some movement into your day. If you are limited on time, why not choose to multitask and exercise while you work? You could try an exercise ball as a chair or a treadmill under your desk. Doing things like walking during a call could mimic a sort of ‘virtual walking meeting’ and would subtly improve your physical health without requiring any additional time!

There are many other home office furniture ideas to consider beyond those mentioned above, including innovative solutions for storage and smart designs for adapting to small spaces! Flexibility, movement, and multi-functionality are the most important things to consider. In fact, the ideas mentioned above can even be included in collaborative workplaces. If you are an employer looking to improve the office space for your employees once they return to work, try and incorporate ergonomic, good quality furniture. This will not only ensure the well-being of your employees, but also provide playful solutions that allows them to vary their work dynamics. Office furniture plays an important role in creating an efficient, positive and healthy work environment for those using the space.

A major portion of our adult life is spent working. Considering the time and effort that goes into your typical working week, a good working set up is absolutely necessary. Especially in the light of the recent pandemic, in which working from home and staying safe is of utmost importance. But this should not come at the cost of your health and well-being. Whether your challenges are due to limited space, distractions at home, or anything else; investing in the creation of a good home office will undoubtably improve your working life!

If you are considering creating or improving your working from home set up, and would like help, ideas or advice, get in touch! We would be happy to help with any questions you may have.

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“We would like to express our gratitude for the time you invested in helping us get to a clear picture.  Anna and I really appreciated the call we had with you, your responsiveness, and the great empathy that you exhibited throughout – we certainly felt very “well taken care of” when engaging with you.  On the practical side, we especially appreciated that there was the option to obtain robust bottom-up cost estimates for the construction itself (not every design architect offers this).”

-Private Client of AKKA

 

 

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