In Cambridge like many of the areas finer locations there is much activity with multi offers, fewer contingencies that make it difficult to compete to do your due diligence.
My suggestion is to learn as much about the process and your expectations as to what you expect the final project to look like once done.
ie: kitchen & bath renovation costs - low end - middle - or high end
roof replacement about 200 per sq - that's stripped and re-roof
Window replacement - Harvey - Anderson - Marvin (250 up plus install)
Flooring - wood - carpet - tile (new wood floors about $6 installed and finished) carpet 25+ depending on quality, tile 2 on up depending on quality plus install
Electric - update - new 2500 - 5000
HVAC - oil - gas - a/c? 3000 - 20000
Cabinets - home depot, ikea , semi custom, custom
Plumber and Plumbing fixtures
Appliances - 3500 - 25000
redo floor plan?
Architect 3000+ - surveyor 1000 est - builder (cost plus or fixed amount with allowances)
Only you know what you expect in quality, your expectations and pocket book.
Hope this gives you some food for thought.
This is a courtesy we provide to our clients. Our renovation work (Apollo Development) includes renovation estimates and consulting for our seller and buyer clients, and a number of our buyers and seller have chosen to have us perform the actual renovations/modernizations/enlargements of their new homes.
If this interests you, i can e mail you more information, or we can chat by phone.
Tom von Zabern
Great question but that sounds like you need 2 professionals to help with that process. The first person is a local Realtor that knows the market and second a good contractor that will know how to renovate the home to your level of finishes. Please let me know how I can help.