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There’s just something about a newly-renovated property, whether it’s gleaming marble countertops afresh, a glass-walled extension or a sparkling new pool. Before you go ahead and put in a rush offer on a home just because it’s been newly renovated, however, it pays to ask a few questions. After all, beauty, as the saying goes, is only skin deep.

Who did the renovations?
Find out just what renovation company is responsible for the new changes. Check out their credentials and whether they’re accredited. Look through their portfolio and online reviews. Renovation companies must also be licensed by their municipality. Contact the municipality to confirm the license and whether any complaints have been lodged. Some people, yes, even owners of luxury properties, aren’t invested in hiring a quality company, especially if they’re just renovating to sell.

Did they get proper permits?
Nothing is worse than finding out you actually don’t have a permit for that new in-law suite or third-storey extension. Basic things like aesthetic upgrades likely don’t require permits, but anything structural, electrical or plumbing-related will. Make sure you have proof of permits for any recent renovations to avoid a nasty surprise. This will also ensure that everything was done to code, which keeps you and your family safe.

Are there any warranties?
Depending on the nature of the renovation, certain items should come with warranties if they were replaced and these should be transferred to the buyer in case of a malfunction or breakage. If the seller is resistant to this, be wary.

Do the “renovations” seem like they might be hiding anything?
Unfortunately, certain sellers might be tempted to renovate to hide damage. Take a close look at any newly-renovated properties with your agent in tow to investigate. Could that new basement guest suite be hiding prior water damage? Why did the kitchen cabinets have to be replaced? A skeptical eye can be helpful in the long run.

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