A Heart-to-Heart from GPS CEO & Principal Broker By Vanessa Saunders
Hello, neighbors and future homeowners!
Throughout my journey in the world of real estate, a recurring question often echoes in our conversations: “Vanessa, can you recommend a good contractor?” Whether you’re settling into a new home, preparing your long-lived residence for a refreshing makeover, or eyeing the market for a sale, finding the right person to handle those significant changes can be quite the quest.
Here’s the thing—home improvements aren’t merely about aesthetic upgrades or adding value for a potential sale. They’re about creating a space where memories flourish, families grow, and lives are built. And who you bring into this journey plays an immense role.
**Addressing the Elephant in the Room: The Spike in Contractor Fraud**
I recently stumbled upon a statistic that, frankly, sent shockwaves through me. The Federal Trade Commission revealed that contractor fraud cases have alarmingly jumped from 7,000 in 2018 to 16,486 in 2022. The heightened vulnerability during the pandemic era further exacerbated this situation.
This isn’t just a number on paper; it’s a dent in the trust homeowners place in the contracting sphere and, by extension, in professionals like me.
**The Ins and Outs of Licensing and Insurance**
Contractor selection has evolved into a more intricate process today. Yes, licensing remains paramount. But there’s also the vital aspect of insurance to consider. Given unforeseen mishaps, whether that’s damage or accidents, having an insured contractor is an absolute non-negotiable.
I have to be candid: I’ve been taken aback by the shifts in some of the contractors I previously held in high regard. Their fees now seem to skyrocket without justification, and what’s even more concerning is that some have started jobs but left them unfinished. It’s not just about the inconvenience for the homeowner, but it leaves me with mud on my face! This change is precisely why I’ve pivoted towards recommending exclusively insured companies. The age-old “jack of all trades, master of none” adage no longer finds a place in today’s scenario.
**Wise Choices in Changing Times**
As you charter this terrain, here are a few cornerstones to anchor your decisions:
1. **Licensing and Insurance are Key**: Before entrusting someone with your precious abode, ensure they are both licensed and insured. This isn’t just for peace of mind but for actual tangible protection.
2. **Value Personal Recommendations**: While the digital age offers many reviews, there’s something to be said about the authenticity of firsthand recommendations. Trusted peers or past clients are often your best bet.
3. **Stay Vigilant and Updated**: The contracting world is ever-evolving. It’s essential to keep revisiting and updating your list of contractors to ensure they match your current standards.
It’s a tad melancholic that our times necessitate discussions like these. But armed with information and a keen eye, we can together make decisions that stand the test of time. Here’s to creating homes that echo with laughter, love, and cherished memories!
Stay safe and empowered! And just a friendly tip: When it comes to home renovations, always pick a contractor who can nail it, not just hammer it home! 🛠️