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Home Renovation Tips

Here are some tips to help you with your home renovation:
  • If you plan to stay in your current home 3 years or less, a basement remodel probably isn’t going to be worth the cost. A less expensive remodel, such as updating your light fixtures or bathroom hardware, would be less expensive and be attractive to potential buyers. 
  • Make sure financially there is a good reason to remodel or renovate and be sure the home improvement cost will be recouped in the eventual sale of the house. A kitchen remodel may increase home value more than a basement refinishing, for example. 
  • Be prepared to walk away from a home if you are moving. This mindset gives you more bargaining power and reduces your stress. 
  • Great ideas for how to renovate are all around you and include visiting new construction model homes, talking to neighbors about their home renovations, looking online, talking to your REALTOR®, and talking with contractors. 
  • Be prepared that many projects will involve a lot of dust, machinery, and foot traffic through your house. A contractor can help you plan the order in which projects are started to minimize one project causing damage to another recently completed project. 
  • Use the online resources available to help you plan and even design your renovation project. Take advantage of looking at Pinterest, using online design software, and even getting ideas from your local hardware store. 
  • When calculating the overall cost of the project, look at how much you will pay per month for various financing options and try to select the lowest overall option. 
  • While there are free videos on how to do just about any project, don’t be overconfident in your DIY abilities, especially if plumbing and electrical work are required. 
  • Failure to obtain and post the proper work permits can be very costly and may even cause liability issues on resale. Make sure you follow the rules to be sure your project meets building codes if you are completing work without a contractor. 
  • Projects that do not include detailed timelines and scope can take much longer than anticipated and can increase in cost for unexpected occurrences such as finding mold or water damage when starting a basement renovation. 
  • Having some cash available to pay for the project lowers the amount of money you may need to borrow and can save you money in the long run. 
  • To gain an idea of the equity you may have in your home, take the price your home could sell for minus the amount of your home mortgage loan – this amount is the equity you have. 
  • Keep in mind that generally you need to keep 20% available equity in your home to avoid private mortgage insurance as a home loan stipulation. 
  • If you have an outstanding home loan balance of $100,000 and your home is worth $200,000 and your mortgage interest rate is higher than the current market rate, it might make the most sense to refinance your home mortgage at the lower rate and for $150,000 – for example. This gives you $50,000 for your home renovation.

Talk to us

To apply for a mortgage or get answers to questions, call our Mortgage Specialists at 317-558-6420 or 866-367-8600 or email us at

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