After multiple viewings, the all-important tennis ball test and a fraught pending period, you finally have the keys to your dream house. Well, except for the slightly outdated kitchen, that is. Oh, and those bizarre bathroom fixtures that definitely need to be ripped out. But before you start your home reno project, heed these words of advice from Million Dollar Listing’s Ryan Serhant.
The celebrity realtor is currently starring in Million Dollar Listing: Ryan’s Renovation, a new limited series on Bravo that showcases his family’s journey toward creating their dream home in New York City.
“You've got to have great patience,” Serhant tells us, adding that renovations can be really tough on a relationship. “If you’re married, you’re in this together.”
But his number one tip when it comes to home renovation? Work with the best people. “Do not underpay a contractor or a construction manager,” he warns. “Everyone tries to go with the lowest bid, and you end up really paying for it because they’ll either hit you with change orders or they’re going to do such a bad job and you're going to have to spend the next two years fixing everything, spending even more money than you would have otherwise.”
And if you think that your home reno will be the exception… think again. “There is no story where this doesn't happen,” Serhant stresses.
The TV personality and real estate agent also tells us that it’s important to budget out a home renovation before buying a home. As viewers of the show will find out, Serhant made this mistake himself. “Shame on me because I'm in this business. I should probably have spent more time really budgeting the renovation prior to buying a house. Because I ballparked it with a contractor and some people that I know that I do stuff with all the time...but once you start opening up walls and really see what you have to do, the cost just quadruples. And that's no fun. And that's what we went through. And that's why it's a TV show.” (Spoiler alert: Serhant ended up going $1 million over budget.)
So there you have it—hire the best people you can afford and create a budget for your reno before you put in your offer.