Thursday, 26 January 2012 09:59
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.