The True Cost of Renovations vs. Selling As-Is in San Antonio: A Comparative Analysis

Thinking of selling your house but it needs some repairs?  Once you’ve lived in a house for several years or maybe you inherited a fixer-upper, whatever the case, if you’ve decided to sell you’re likely asking yourself this question: to renovate or to sell as-is? 


As property values fluctuate and buyer preferences evolve, understanding the true cost implications of renovations versus selling a home in its current state in San Antonio is key. This decision not only affects how much money you can make from the sale but also determines how quickly a property might sell in the current real estate market. 


The choice between investing in home improvements or embracing the “sell as-is” route can impact a homeowner’s financial trajectory and overall selling experience.


This article dives deep into the actual costs of both choices, offering homeowners a roadmap for navigating all of the factors that go into making this decision.

Understanding the Concept of 'Selling As-Is'

understanding selling a house as-is in san antonio

“Selling as-is” is a term that’s become increasingly common among San Antonio homeowners, but what does it really mean? When a homeowner chooses to sell their property “as-is,” they’re offering the property in its current condition, with no intentions of making any repairs or improvements before the sale. This means that what the buyer sees is essentially what they get.


From a legal standpoint, selling a property “as-is” in San Antonio—and, indeed, in many parts of the U.S.—still requires the seller to disclose any known defects or issues with the property.


It’s a protection mechanism for the buyer, ensuring they enter the transaction with eyes wide open, aware of any significant issues that the property might have. It doesn’t mean the seller doesn’t have the responsibility to be honest and upfront.

For the buyer, purchasing an “as-is” property can be both an opportunity and a challenge.  As a result, many buyers will often insist on conducting thorough inspections, even when purchasing an “as-is” property in San Antonio, to gauge the scope of potential repairs and their associated costs.

The Real Cost of Common Home Renovations in San Antonio

When weighing the decision between renovating or selling your home “as-is,” it’s essential to get a clear picture of what potential renovations might cost. San Antonio, like many cities, has specific market nuances that can influence these costs. Let’s delve into the average expenses for some of the most common home renovations:

cost of home renovations in san antonio

Kitchen Remodel

Average Cost: A minor kitchen remodel in San Antonio can range from $10,000 to $15,000. However, a major kitchen overhaul, with high-end appliances, custom cabinetry, and granite or quartz countertops, can skyrocket to anywhere between $50,000 to $70,000 or more.

Timeframe: Typically, a minor kitchen renovation might take 4-6 weeks, while a major remodel can extend to 10-12 weeks or longer.

Bathroom Upgrade

Average Cost: A basic bathroom renovation can start at around $5,000 to $7,000. If you’re considering a complete transformation with luxury fixtures, custom tiling, and maybe even expanding the space, you’re looking at costs upwards of $20,000 to $30,000.


Timeframe: Bathroom upgrades can span from 2 weeks for minor changes to 8-10 weeks for a complete transformation.

Roof Repairs

Average Cost: In San Antonio, roof repairs can vary significantly based on the size of the house and the type of roofing material. On average, homeowners might spend between $5,000 to $10,000 for roof replacements. Simple repairs, such as patching leaks, might cost a few hundred dollars.


Timeframe: Minor roof repairs can be done in a day or two, while a full roof replacement typically takes about a week, weather permitting.

Considering Overruns and Unexpected Expenses:

It’s a well-known fact that renovation projects often encounter unforeseen challenges. These might be hidden issues uncovered during the renovation, like plumbing problems behind walls during a bathroom upgrade, or structural issues when opening up a kitchen space. Such unexpected situations can lead to cost overruns of 10-20%, or even more in extreme cases. 


It’s always wise for homeowners to set aside an additional contingency budget to cover these unforeseen expenses. Not only do these surprises impact the budget, but they can also extend the project’s timeline, causing further inconveniences.

Selling As-Is: The Financial and Time-Saving Benefits

Deciding between selling a house as-is versus making updates and repairs can be tough, and while renovations might seem like a promising way to add value to your property, there’s a growing appeal to the simplicity and straightforwardness of selling a home “as-is.” Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits associated with this approach:

Faster Home-Selling Process:

Speed: Selling “as-is” often translates to a faster sale. Without the need to wait for renovations or repairs, listings can go live sooner, attracting potential buyers looking for homes they can customize according to their preferences.

Simplified Transactions: Direct cash home buyers, such as Capstone Homebuyers, often seek out “as-is” properties, facilitating more straightforward and efficient transactions without the typical hiccups or contingencies that can delay traditional sales.

Avoidance of Upfront Costs:

Immediate Savings: By choosing to sell as-is, homeowners can sidestep the large upfront expenses that come with repairs and renovations. This means no out-of-pocket costs for materials, labor, permits, or any unforeseen expenses that inevitably pop up during renovation projects.

Preserved Home Equity: Every dollar spent on renovations is a dollar taken from the potential equity earned from the property sale. Selling as-is allows homeowners to retain more of their property’s intrinsic value.

Emotional Benefits of a Hassle-Free Selling Process:

Reduced Stress: The home renovation process can be stressful, from managing contractors to living in a construction zone. Selling as-is eliminates these stressors, offering homeowners a more peaceful transition.

Certainty: Knowing that your home will sell in its current condition without the uncertainties of the renovation outcomes (which might not always result in making more money) provides a clear, predictable pathway to closing the sale.

Empowerment in Decision Making: The choice to sell as-is can be empowering for homeowners. It gives them control over the process, allowing them to decide what’s best for their unique circumstances without the pressures of market trends or aesthetic standards.

In essence, selling a home as-is in San Antonio isn’t just about financial prudence. It’s about understanding the value of time, the peace of a straightforward process, and the freedom from renovation hassles. For many, these benefits outweigh the potential gains of a renovated property sale, making “as-is” an attractive option for San Antonio homeowners.

Hidden Costs of Renovating Before Selling

saving money by selling house as-is

Homeowners often start renovation projects with the best of intentions, hoping to increase the market value of their property. However, many fail to recognize the of hidden costs and potential pitfalls that can come with making repairs to a house.


Beyond the clear-cut expenses of materials and labor, let’s discuss some less obvious costs and risks of renovating before selling:

Delays and Their Associated Costs:

Extended Mortgage Payments

Every additional month spent on renovations is another month of mortgage payments. If you plan on clearing your mortgage with the proceeds of the sale, these additional payments can be a significant setback.

Ongoing Property Taxes

Renovation delays can also result in a few extra months of property tax payments. In areas with higher property tax rates like Texas, this can amount to a substantial unplanned expense.

Utility Costs

With contractors working on the house, expect higher utility bills due to the use of electrical tools, lights left on for longer durations, and more.

Stress and Disruptions:

Living Amidst Chaos

Renovations can turn a home into a construction zone, causing disruptions to daily life. The noise, dust, and general upheaval can be a major source of stress, especially if you’re still living on the property.

Coordinating with Contractors

 Managing contractors, ensuring that work is up to standard, and handling any disputes that arise can be mentally taxing and time-consuming.

Unexpected Setbacks

Almost every renovation encounters unexpected issues, from discovering mold behind walls to realizing that certain ordered materials are out of stock. These setbacks can be both frustrating and costly.

Risk of Over-Improving:

Surpassing Neighborhood Standards

 A fully renovated, state-of-the-art kitchen might sound appealing, but if it’s significantly fancier than what’s standard in your neighborhood, you risk not recouping the investment. Buyers often shop in specific neighborhoods based on budget ranges, and an over-improved home might price itself out of its most likely market.

Personal Tastes vs. General Appeal

There’s a danger in making renovations too tailored to personal tastes. What seems like a dream upgrade to one homeowner might be viewed as too eccentric or specific by potential buyers, potentially making the house harder to sell.

Market Dynamics

There’s always a chance that by the time the renovations are complete, market dynamics might have shifted. If you’ve made specific upgrades based on current trends, they might not hold the same appeal several months down the line, especially in fast-changing markets.

In the end, while renovations can indeed add value to a property, it’s crucial for homeowners to be fully aware of the hidden costs and risks. Sometimes, the smarter financial and emotional decision might be to sell as-is, saving time, money, and potential headaches.

The Impact of Market Conditions on Home Values in San Antonio

So far in 2023, San Antonio, like many other Texas cities, is experiencing a relatively balanced market. This means that there is a fairly equal number of buyers and sellers. However, homes in prime conditions tend to sell faster and sometimes even above the asking price, though that is becoming rarer with every day that goes by.


The sharp rise in property values over the last 2-3 years has stopped. Houses are sitting on the market longer than they have since 2020. Because of this, the rise of “selling as-is” has increased and is becoming more common.


For homes in areas with slower sales or for properties with significant repair needs, selling as-is could be a quicker and more hassle-free route. While there’s also a consensus that renovations can yield a higher sales price, they often come with increased selling times, potentially leading to carrying costs like extended mortgage payments and property taxes.

advantages of selling as-is in San Antonio

To Renovate or Sell As-Is Conclusion

The decision between undertaking renovations and selling a property as-is can be a tough one to make in some situations and easier in others. On the one hand, renovations can enhance property value, potentially yielding a higher sales price. On the other, selling as-is offers a quicker, often less stressful path to sale, especially beneficial in a balanced market like San Antonio’s.


Ultimately, homeowners need to assess their personal situation, financial goals, and risk tolerance. Whether you’re leaning towards sprucing up your property or embracing the ease of selling as-is, the most important thing is to make an informed decision that aligns with your unique circumstances. Remember, every house and every situation is different. If you want to see what your house in San Antonio would sell for “as-is”, contact Capstone Homebuyers. We’ll explain our cash offer process in detail and you can make a more informed decision with your house sale.

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