Whether we're looking at homes or a condo to purchase, we all have the same expectations when we see the words "newly renovated" in a home listing. However, that doesn't mean our expectations will necessarily be met, as home sellers will do just about anything to attract more attention to their listings. This article will explore the many meanings behind "newly renovated" and help keep you on your guard against its use by unscrupulous homeowners.

Since there is no hard and fast rule as to what criteria a home has to meet before an owner can claim it's newly renovated, the term tends to be liberally applied to real estate as a way of suckering buyers into viewing the home. In many cases, "newly renovated" will only mean the floors in one room have been replaced within the last five years, or that there are a few new appliances in the kitchen. For a true renovation, look for homes that are "fully renovated."

Ideally what we want when we view a newly renovated home is for the kitchen and bathroom - the most difficult renovation projects - to be recently updated. Even if this is the case, however, you may find that the updates are not always in good taste. This is something you will have to find out when you visit the listing for your viewing. Most realtors will caution you against getting your hopes up for a full renovation until you've actually seen the house.

Something to keep in mind when you're looking at townhouses for sale is that if they have been recently updated, the renovations are likely confined to the aesthetics of the house. With an older home, the plumbing, wiring, and even the structure are likely to be an issue as well. Therefore you should never pass on a home inspection, even if the renovations make the home look like it was just built. There are often faults lurking beneath the beautified surface.

As a seller, it can be frustrating when you're trying to sell a home that you've worked hard to renovate top to bottom and other sellers are clogging up the listings with false renovations. To help set yourself apart from the fakers, include photos of the renovated interior of your home to prove that you have actually done the work. If renovations are confined to one room, such as the living room or kitchen, mention that in the listing so as not to mislead buyers.

What are the home renovations with the best ROI, or return on investment: Read here.

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