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What to Think about When Remodeling

When your current home isn’t fitting your needs anymore, the decision to move to a new home or to renovate your existing home is a difficult one. If you do decide to remodel, here are a few things to consider: 

What’s your time horizon for staying?
If you’re planning on staying less than 5 years

  • Be budget conscious.
  • Talk to a real estate agent to find out what is in style and appropriate for your house’s price range.
  • Sometimes a full remodel isn’t needed just  a few key changes can make all the difference.

If you are planning to say longer than 5 years

  • Do the projects that will bring you the most value to you living there.
  • This could be things like screened porches, outdoor living areas, basement refinishes.
  • Keep resale in mind but make sure it fits with your style and what makes you happy.

What home improvement projects are worth the value?

  • Kitchens and bathrooms typically recoup the most value on the money spent.
  • Master suite renovations and basement finishes typically recoup a lesser percentage of the money spent but add more enjoyment to your use of the home.

How do you select a contractor?

  • Talk to friends and co-workers and ask if they’ve had any experiences with contractors – both positive and negative.
  • Check with your local hardware store. The employees often know which contractors will do a good job, and which should be avoided.
  • Before you find a contractor, choose which products you’ll want to use. If you want to use a certain sink and faucet, make sure potential contractors know that, because they’ll be able to give you more accurate estimates.

What if you decide to do the work yourself?

  • Be realistic with what you can handle. Removing a wall and retiling the floor involve two completely different skill sets, so know what you can and should handle on your own.
  • Take classes at your local hardware store. They offer many home improvement sessions for free and most are in the evenings or weekends.

How should I pay for the renovations?

  • There’s no simple answer to that question. It depends on your financial situation and the nature of the work involved.
  • If it’s a small project (for example, a new bathroom sink) and you have plenty of cash on hand to meet your other needs, paying cash may be a good idea.
  • If you’re planning a large project that may have a significant effect on the value of your home, refinancing will allow you to spread the cost across the life of your mortgage.
  • If it’s a smaller project, or you’re planning to move in a fairly short time, you may be better off with another type of credit, such as a home equity loan.

Posted: 1/26/2012 with 0 comments

Categories: Homeownership

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