Buy, build or renovate? How to find your next dream home


Improving New Orleans is part of this construction company's blueprints

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NEW ORLEANS – If you’ve been sitting home watching DIY shows, maybe you’re ready for a change. If so, Robert Wolfe Construction can help you navigate the options in creating your next nest.

Building a dream home takes work and lots of decision making. As the head of Robert Wolfe Construction, Robert Wolfe is a realtor, a developer, a builder and an expert in managing people, budgets and expectations.

“Our company can come in and assist people in looking at the options and questioning them to find out what their true goals are,” says Wolfe.

Once you have your vision in place, it’s time to nail down your budget. RWC can help with that too, and Wolfe says taking the time to analyze a project is key to success.

“If you use your planning period properly, your execution is quicker and your costs are controlled,” says Wolfe.

So don’t rush into a deal, and before you sign the dotted line and finalize a purchase, remember to check the flood zone.

“If your structure is built below the base flood elevation, you could have to elevate. And that throws a whole ‘nother set of numbers into the cost of a project than if you were to build new,” warns Wolfe.

WGNO’s Stephanie Oswald spoke with him on location at one historic renovation where elevation was part of the plan. It was a former culinary institute, turned into a private home, and law offices. The ground floor became the second floor, and the area that was once a large industrial size kitchen, is now a glamorous pool area, complete with waterfall.

RWC specializes in historic renovations, which can often be tricky and require extra research. For owners, renovating an historic home can lead to state and federal tax credits, but you have to make sure you’re following all the rules, including proper permitting.

The company has also handled massive commercial projects in the area. Whatever the project, Wolfe says his greatest satisfaction comes when his company can improve a community with a project.

“You know I’ve always said, I want to make the world a little bit better wherever I am,” he says.

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