The top 3 things to look for before purchasing a home planned for renovations

The top 3 things to look for before purchasing a home planned for renovations

Purchasing a home can be an exciting time - whether it’s your first purchase or one of many, there are various reasons why you would be moving. One growingly popular reason is simply to invest in tomorrow's market at today’s price - which could leave you renovating, updating or curating a home for future buyers with aesthetic updates.

Whatever the case, if you’re buying a home strictly to renovate, there are a few tell-tale signs you should look for before placing your offer. Here are the top 3 things to look for before purchasing a home planned for renovations that you can do without an inspection.

One: Warranties

Once the offers in, its generally 1-3 days before you hear back from the sellers. The best thing to do is to be prepared for what comes back on the piece of paper. A lot of times, when it’s the family of the primary homeowner selling their house (which are often times the best ones to renovate - both cost and potential to update), they will strike out any warranties offered on the home. Since they aren’t primary homeowners or the primary resident of the house, they don’t know what type of problems or state of the house and its chattels are in. Warranties that are wiped from the offer can mean one of two things for the new home buyer - they can either risk the state of the house since renovating will remove a majority of the chattels to begin with or review the projected ROI and make decisions from there. Ask yourself, “is this risk worth the reward and do we have the budget for something that may surprise us?”

Two: Property survey

Property surveys are key to renovating houses, especially when an addition or backyard construction is planned for the home. Property surveys allow the new homeowner to be informed and liable for its property lines and what lies within them. They can also help speed up projects to your backyard, such as re-siding your home, adding a deck or fence, creating a backyard structure or new landscaping.

At Premier Fence, a Boyer-run business for over 90 years in the Kitchener-Waterloo region, they suggest that a property survey be the guideline of all outdoor work done on the house. “We see a lot of neighbour rivalry in our outdoor construction projects. It comes down to what land you own, where your property line cuts off, and ensuring that nothing obstructs or shadows your neighbour's backyard.”

Whether it’s a fence or deck or a tree that’s leaning the wrong way - property surveys can help you make informed decisions to keep your yard safe, your neighbours happy and the outdoors of your home the least of your renovation worries.

Three: Neighbors

Once you have your property survey in hand, it’s always good to 'scope out' the neighbours next to your new house. While noise by-laws vary from city to city, it’s good to assume that most people will be out of their homes during the majority of hours you’re under construction. If you’re in a more mature neighbourhood, it’s a good omen to give letters with notice of construction hours and length of the project before you get started. Here’s a template we use:

Hi neighbour,

My name is _________ and I am your new neighbor at ____________.

I am writing you to notify you that we will be starting renovations on ________ for the about project.

That being said, we will try our hardest to be respectful of the noise on weekends and evenings - but if you ever feel like there is an issue and/or complaint to be made - please do not hesitate to contact me phone or email.

We will work our hardest to respect noise levels and upkeep the beautiful surroundings here. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding for any potential inconvenience we may cause.

Hope to see you around the neighbourhood.


Whether it’s before buying your new home for renovation or after the deals have been finalized, it’s always good to look at the warranties and property surveys and consider neighbours before getting started. Looking for investment properties in Waterloo, ON? 

To learn more about how you can build an outdoor oasis, visit, or to get started on the house hunt for your next construction project, reach out to Mike Bolger + teamtoday!

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