Love it or list it, trying to improve your housing situation is going to be a hassle
Martin Pelletier: Personal experiences with renovations, home buying differ drastically from what governments and central bankers are telling us
After being locked down in our home for so long, my wife and I decided to have some fun and do our own version of Love it or List it. If you’re not familiar with that television show, it entails doing a home renovation while concurrently looking at houses for sale, with the ultimate decision being made to love the renovation and stay put or list your home and buy a different one.
Many could find this stressing, especially in the middle of COVID-19, but I’ve found it to be quite an informative process, because what I’m experiencing in person differs so drastically from what our governments and central bankers are telling us.
From a “loving it” perspective, besides the materially higher hardwood costs, it was a real pain in the butt trying to secure enough hardwood to complete our project. Thankfully, we had a crafty contractor and only needed a small amount of new wood for a few carpeted rooms while the rest was just refinished.
Our bathrooms on the other hand were a different story, since delivery times were a minimum of six to 12 weeks for toilets, vanities, etc. We went from store to store trying to find something we liked that was in stock, and, if it wasn’t, begging the manager to let us buy the last remaining floor model. We also had to be just as careful in lining up the project materials (availability of tiles, PVC pipes, sealants etc) to match the estimated install time.
There’s a real risk of selling and then being stuck with little or no replacement options. A few attractive homes hit the market, but they sold before we even had a chance to look at them in person.
Unfortunately, this situation is not going to be resolved any time soon. Seasonally adjusted real residential construction investment just had its fifth consecutive monthly decrease and is now down a whopping 22.1 per cent from April, according to Statistics Canada and Better Dwelling.
People have simply had enough of COVID-19 and their spending patterns have returned to pre-pandemic levels and then some. We’re clearly not the only ones making large purchases. But global just-in-time inventory supply channels are nowhere close to recovering, and they won’t catch up for quite some time since the virus continues to stick around.