I always tell my clients to live in a home one year before renovating. You learn a lot about a house by living, feeling and observing through all seasons. You may realize things you were sure had to be changed are actually that way for a reason. Conversely, you may discover necessary projects that would have been impossible to complete had you spent your renovating budget immediately.
I moved into a new home a year ago, then promptly did everything I tell my clients not to do. I added gas lines for a BBQ grill and kitchen stove. I added a water line for the refrigerator so it could make ice because, you know, the recipe for homemade ice is just too hard. I installed a security system. I put in reverse osmosis and a water softener. I added a new window, which required knocking out a wall and redoing siding. These may already sound like quite a lot of renovations, but they all pale in comparison to the addition of “The Mainland”.
That’s right, I didn’t think “an island” in my kitchen was enough. My counter addition is so large, it’s a mainland. It is literally the size of a king-size bed. My family joked that is was far more than an island, and ever since, we have referred to it as The Mainland. I’m not sure I feel regret over The Mainland, but it is a constant reminder that I certainly don’t follow my own advice!
I still think my original advice is the correct path. Unless there are pertinent maintenance issues, take a year to relax into your new home before renovating. Besides getting to know your house, use that time to plan and prepare for big projects. Most importantly, decide whether you really want to do everything you originally considered. You will most likely save money and avoid stress in the long run. Otherwise, you might end up with a continent in your kitchen.
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About Sue Saunders
Sue was born in Victoria and grew up in a large family, which moved throughout BC. By the time she was 22 she had 4 children, was divorced and living on welfare. The move to Calgary in 1976 was an excellent decision. Sue loved the sun, vibrancy and potential – Calgary has become home!
After 20 years of food sales Sue took the Real Estate Course and became a REALTOR® in March, 1997.
Residential Real Estate – Starting with nothing but the course, business experience and a drive to succeed Sue has built a business. In a very determined move she has achieved what only 10% of all REALTORS® do – she is still in business!!
Weddings – In July 1999 Sue was appointed a Marriage Commissioner by the Province of Alberta and still loves performing ceremonies. Meeting lots of great people and traveling to different locations she has done over 1000 weddings now!
Sue is proud of her 6 children and 13 grandchildren! She loves spending time with them and many years ago started a “Wednesday Night Dinner”. The tradition continues and anywhere from 9 – 23 attend these scrumptious, fun filled, crazy, family nights!
She loves golf, reading, games, social activities and embraces change, technology and challenge. Sue works Real Estate and weddings like everything else with humour, tenacity, skill and enthusiasm. Always finding balance between work, family and home – call for YOUR Marriage Commissioner or REALTOR®!!