You won't like our answer.

Carole Smith

As South Florida realtors, we are frequently asked “should I buy a move-in ready or a
fixer-upper home?”. You’ll hate the answer almost as much as the person asking.
It depends. If you need to be settled right away, have a fixed budget, and despise
delays and unexpected costs - find a move-in ready home and a can of paint if you want
to make it your own. If you have time, a flexible budget, custom wish list, and patience -
a fixer-upper is something you could explore. But be warned: if you choose to entertain
the latter, costs and delays have skyrocketed just like local home prices.

There are a few factors contributing to this increase in cost and duration. First, the cost
of construction materials increased by 25% in 2020, and while they have decreased
slightly in the past 12 months, they still cause sticker shock. Second, the supply chain
disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic (even now) have made it difficult for
contractors to obtain some of the materials they need. This has led to longer lead times
for materials and ongoing delays.

Finally, the labor shortage in the construction industry is also driving up renovation
costs. There are simply not enough skilled construction workers to meet the demand,
which is pushing up wages and contributing to higher renovation prices.

Given the current market conditions, we recommend that homebuyers carefully consider
their budget and timeline before embarking on a renovation project. Here are some tips
for those who are planning to renovate their homes in Miami:

Get multiple estimates and references from different contractors. This will help you to
ensure that you are getting a competitive price and a trustworthy partner.
Be prepared for unexpected costs. Even with the best planning, there is always the
possibility of unexpected costs arising during a renovation project. It is a good idea to
have a 30% contingency fund in place to cover these costs.
Communicate regularly with your contractor. It is important to stay in communication
with your contractor throughout the renovation process. This will help to avoid any
misunderstandings or surprises down the road.

Despite the increased cost and duration of home renovations in Miami, there are still
many benefits to renovating a home. A well-planned renovation can increase the value
of your home, as well as make it more comfortable and functional for your family. If you
can weather the frustrations inevitable when renovating, consider including homes that
need updating in your home search.


Carole and Cristina believe that our homes are an important part of our lives, giving us shelter, security, and a means of self-expression. Separate from the constraints of necessity, many homes are a microcosm for the things we hold most dear — family, memories, relaxation and sense of belonging.

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