One of the most challenging hurdles real estate investors face in building their business is accurately estimating the costs of rehab or renovation.
At the same time, homeowners are often left unsure how to budget for home improvement projects or repairs and don’t have an easy way to ensure a quote is on target after reaching out to contractors.
Homewyse aims to make the whole process a bit easier for contractors, investors, and homeowners by providing a platform that offers cost estimates on installation and materials for a wide variety of home remodeling, repair, and renovation jobs. Read on to see how it stacks up in this Homewyse Review.
Homewyse is an online reference platform for home repairs, maintenance, and renovations, providing cost estimates for a variety of materials as well as estimates for installation.
Investors and contractors can make use of the platform’s project calculators to help them estimate their project costs, while homeowners may find the platform useful when trying to budget for repairs or verifying an estimate from a handyman is on target.
For real estate investors, Homewyse can help take some of the guesswork out of estimating the cost versus value of renovations for prospective investment properties, including both the material cost and labor involved. Armed with these numbers, an investor should be able to better determine which properties are worth purchasing and which properties deserve a hard pass.
Another use for real estate professionals is the ability to use Homewyse to create professional project and labor cost lists, which can be used in presentations with potential investors.
The mission of Homewyse is to provide data that enables real estate professionals and contractors to put together a customized, detailed estimate for a number of home improvement projects, from roofing and painting to concrete and remodeling. The data provided includes costs for materials as well as installation.
At the same time, this type of data can be helpful to a homeowner who is hoping to find a benchmark for the materials and installation cost of any given home project.
The idea behind Homewyse is to take some of the guesswork out of creating proposals for renovations and repairs, whether you are facing a DIY project or needing to validate quotes you are receiving from contractors.
Finally, data from Homewyse can be used to determine a fair price for a given property based on the cost estimate of needed renovations.
Homewyse is more than just a database of home improvement costs. Homewyse uses a step-by-step process it calls "Lists," which is simply an easy way for the platform to itemize project features and the corresponding estimates. You can make a list for each project and keep them organized on the platform.
Organizing the numbers as Homewyse Lists also makes it easy to incorporate estimates into a full proposal if you are presenting a property to an investor for consideration.
The estimates used in Lists make use of the most recent U.S. average pricing data from the Homewyse.com platform but do allow for manual adjustments as needed. Lists can even be saved and then reused over and over for similar projects, edited to customize for any given job.
Lists can be saved on a free Homewyse account so they can be accessed at any time, from a variety of devices, including tablets and smartphones. You can use Lists for a variety of purposes, including jobs involving concrete, drywall installation, HVAC installation, exterior and interior painting, flooring, carpentry, kitchen remodeling, and bathroom remodeling, among others.
As a real estate professional, you could build a number of “standard” lists that can serve as masters or templates for a variety of projects that you can then customize for each of your projects.
Getting started is as easy as creating a free Lists Basic account on Homewyse and creating your first price list:
Check out this quick video below that talks about getting started with Homewyse Lists!
For the real estate professional, Homewyse offers a way to estimate the cost of contracting repair services, renovation, or other home improvement projects so you can estimate the maximum price you can pay for a property and still realize your desired profit.
Unless you have the skills and experience for a do-it-yourself project, you can use Homewyse’s data to compare with proposals you receive from professional contractors.
Through its Homewyse List feature, real estate professionals and contractors can create and save templates for future use so they can be recalled and customized for various properties and projects.
For the homeowner, Homewyse’s extensive database will provide the kind of sought-after metrics to determine a reasonable home improvement project cost.
Homewyse offers a lot of features directed at aiding contractors and real estate professionals. The platform offers several tutorial videos to help you understand how to use the platform. There are multiple ways to estimate renovation and home improvement costs.
The following questions and answers can help you make an informed decision as to whether Homewyse is a helpful tool for your business.
The Lists Basic version is free and will get you 1100+ pre-built cost items and the ability to start your own lists having 10 as the limit.
The Lists Pro version costs $8.25/month or $99/year, with this version you get a straight-up improvement from the Basic feature with many more new features and benefits like priority email support, unlimited saved Job Lists, and daily data backup.
Interestingly, Homewyse is operated by one person, owner Melvin Badgett. Mr. Badgett launched the concept in 2006 as a free platform. About six years later, he added some premium components and began offering a paid option alongside the original free service.
At the time he added the premium features, Mr. Badgett also formed an LLC known as Costwyse, which is the parent company now associated with the Homewyse website.
Yes, Homewyse can also be accessed through an app. Whether you are using a free or a paid account, you can save your project pricing lists and access them on the go from your iPhone or Android smartphone or tablet.
The Homewyse platform offers calculators to produce price estimate lists for various material and labor costs. These lists use Homewyse data to help the user calculate the necessary estimates.
Homewyse.com lists its price data sources at the bottom of each calculator page. Once a specific job or project is chosen from one of the calculator pages, the list of data sources can be found at the bottom of the page.
The platform states that it uses a number of factors to come up with its material estimates, including reputable industry publications, as well as operating experience, best practices, and even, simply, rule-of-thumb. Homewyse states that it periodically collects expense data on materials, equipment, and disposal for the purpose of updating the numbers used in the calculators.
Still, the company is quick to note that all of its estimates should be considered approximate cost ranges based on typical conditions. It cautions against using its estimates for anything but preliminary planning purposes and the figures should not take the place of actual quotes from qualified professionals.
Before making commitments or decisions, Homewyse recommends contacting reputable vendors who can provide accurate project assessments and quotes.
Homewyse uses the Unit Cost Method to calculate its estimates. According to the platform, this is the same method that all major construction organizations use as well and is considered an industry best practice.
As its name would imply, the unit cost method for estimating projects begins by dividing the job into individual components. The cost for each of the project’s components is first calculated, then all costs are added together to achieve the total construction cost of the project.
Homewyse notes that labor costs are often the biggest wildcard since they can vary greatly depending on the time of year, geographical region, and local supply and demand conditions. The platform bases its labor estimates on wage and overhead cost statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, along with other sources, as listed on the page for each calculator.
Homewyse is a useful tool, not only for homeowners hoping to get a handle on repair and maintenance costs but for real estate professionals and investors who seek to reduce their errors in estimating costs for renovations of potential investment properties, improve their profit margins and create comprehensive proposals for outside investors.
Here are three key ways real estate professionals can use Homewyse data:
Real estate professionals need to learn how much they should pay for an investment property and can make use of Homewyse to determine a Maximum Allowable Offer or MAO.
An MAO represents the absolute maximum you should spend on a property you may purchase, based on a budget that includes the cost of any necessary renovation. This is a calculation that can often be difficult to determine, especially for those new to investing. But Homewyse offers a good way to get a handle on the right numbers.
Using Homewyse to your advantage, you can help to reduce any errors in your estimates and improve your profit margins or ability to attract outside investors.
Rehab jobs are entirely different from simple repairs and maintenance. More extensive, rehab projects also often need to pass certain inspections or otherwise meet regulatory requirements. For real estate investors, the cost of a rehab project is key to determining whether or not a property is a wise purchase or not.
Estimating rehab costs accurately can mean the difference between making a profit or shouldering a loss. Unless you serve as your own contractor, Homewyse can be used to find a qualified professional because you will have accurate estimates of what you can expect the rehab, repair or landscaping project to cost.
While it’s best avoided, there are times in real estate investing when a property is held longer than expected. Holding costs, including maintenance and repair expenses, can cut into profit margins. If you must hold onto a property, you can use Homewyse to get a handle on your maintenance costs as a part of the overall holding expense.
There are a number of Homewyse reviews shared in online forums, some favorable and some unfavorable. The unfavorable reviews primarily complain that the estimates are too far off base.
No estimate is perfect; that’s why it’s called an “estimate.” But Homewyse offers a starting point in providing data for a long list of home improvement and renovation projects. While the best way to feel comfortable estimating home improvement projects is simply to dive in and get some experience, Homewyse can be a useful springboard, especially for real estate professionals new to investing.
There are a number of situations where real estate professionals need cost estimates for repairs, maintenance, and renovation. But it’s often a challenge to come up with the figures needed to determine value versus cost and estimate renovation projects or compare contractor bids.
It’s not surprising, then, that several platforms have sprung up as a means of creating and comparing cost estimates, including Homewyse.
However, few are as thorough as the Homewyse platform. Not only does it provide several calculators to fit your project needs, but the data is reviewed and updated on a regular basis. Homewyse offers a good option for plugging in numbers to get a project estimate or to provide numbers to outside investors for making decisions on potential investment properties.
Like any estimate, Homewyse is not going to be completely accurate 100 percent of the time. However, it offers a solid benchmark for a wide variety of home improvement and renovation costs and can serve as a useful tool for real estate professionals.
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