Ask the Expert: Should I renovate or buy new in Connecticut?

This is a question many buyers struggle with, whether to buy an older home and renovate, or buy a new home or something that’s already been renovated. We asked Douglas Elliman Connecticut agent Mar Jennings for his expert opinion. Here’s what he had to say.

Expert Advice

As a former SVP in banking, I get these types of questions often. It’s impossible to know what is best for you without knowing your debt comfort level (your mortgage broker will help you know what you qualify for), but if you’re looking for a deal, the best are often older homes in need of renovations or updates.

Most buyers can’t see potential and will pay top dollar for turnkey homes. But the best deals come by the way of fixer-uppers and homes that need TLC. It’s all about what you’re willing to take on (and your timeline). If the idea of renovations and turning something drab to fab doesn’t turn you off, then I say go for it! The best returns come from the transformations that unleash the potential in homes. These older—sometimes historical—homes can be rewarding both personally and financially. Giving a home a second chance will always win in my book, as older homes offer more details, millwork, and design opportunities than most cookie-cutter renovations or spec homes. Don’t get me wrong: there are breathtaking new (and newly renovated) homes that offer the magic of the mix, but you’re going to pay top dollar for these because the work is already done.

If renovations are not your thing, then a move-in-ready home is in order. Once you know the town you want to live in, it’s best to see everything available in your price point—including fixer-uppers. You’ll get a better understanding of value and demand. Knowledge is power.

Homes for Sale

Meet the Expert:
Mar Jennings HeadshotGrowing up in Westport, CT, and building his brand from his Westport home, Mar Jennings‘ intimate knowledge of Fairfield County—one of the most affluent parts of the country—gives him a professional edge. His varied background ranges from competitive US figure skater, to banker, Emmy® Nominated TV host, best-selling home and garden author, President of MARketing and Promotions for the Higgins Group, and Founder, President and Chief Creative Officer of S&J Multimedia LLC. As a lifestyle expert with a license to sell, he created a team of lifestyle realtors, and has helped change the way people buy and sell real estate in Fairfield County.

Find your perfect fixer upper or renovated home in Connecticut by searching all available properties currently on the market.

 

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