New, Remodeled, or Renovated – Which Home Is Best for You?
When it comes to home buying choices, you have a lot of options. You can purchase something brand new, pre-owned, or go with a fixer-upper. Your decision should be based on your personal preferences, your budget, your timeframe, and your ability and desire to take on remodeling projects. You may find that while there are some redesign elements you’re comfortable managing on your own, others should be handled by a pro.
Loan Compass can help you find the right financing solutions for whatever path you choose to take.
New or Recently Remodeled
Some families want to move into a house that’s brand new, known as “new construction.” Others are looking for pre-owned houses that are recently remodeled, or in like-new condition and require little to no effort beyond personal decorating touches. These can be good choices if you have young kids, work full-time, own a business, or simply don’t have the skills or desire to take on major renovation projects. Moving into something in tip-top shape means you’re less likely to need major repairs in the near future. A pristine condition house is likely to cost you a little more, though, so keep that in mind when you’re crunching your numbers.
Fixer-upper homes span the range in terms of just how much work they need to have done. Maybe you just need a new roof and can factor the price of hiring a pro into your overall buying budget. Perhaps you want new flooring in main living areas, but you’re comfortable tackling the project on your own and have the skills and know-how to do it well. However, if a house needs major structural renovations throughout, you’ll want to consider the time, money, and manpower it will take, and factor that into your overall housing budget. You’ll also need to decide what you can do on your own, and what it’s smart to hire a contractor to handle.
DIY Home Remodeling
According to Family Handyman, the most common DIY home renovation projects are fairly straightforward and are typically affordable and easy enough to do on your own over a weekend. These include basics like painting or wallpapering, changing out light fixtures and hardware, and adding wainscoting or crown molding. Those with a little extra know-how may feel comfortable installing tile, carpet, or other flooring, changing out a sink or tub, pouring a concrete pad, or even building a deck or porch. If you’ve got an advanced level of contracting experience, you might consider taking on a bigger DIY project like converting a basement into a living space, installing siding, or replacing windows or drywall.
When to Hire a Pro
If you don’t have the training, experience, and access to the right equipment, you should leave large and complex projects to professionals. These usually include anything having to do with your home’s foundation, roof, or major electrical or plumbing systems. Building additions should also be left to a general contractor, particularly in an environment where you’ll need to check for underground utility lines and pull building permits. Always look for licensed, bonded, and insured service providers, and get more than one estimate in writing before making a choice. You can do a lot of research online to find the best provider. For example, search, “roofing companies near me.”
Financing Home Improvement Projects
You may be comfortable paying for small-scale projects out-of-pocket, but if you’re taking on something significant, you might need to think about financing options. Consider a home equity line of credit or a personal low-interest loan. Depending on the circumstances, and how long you’ve been in your house, you may benefit from refinancing your property and cashing out a portion of your equity to reinvest back into the home via improvements. Some contracting supply stores also offer credit card options, but they often have low limits and high interest, so if you explore this route, proceed with caution. If you decide to apply for a card, ask about incentives – some stores offer a discount on the first purchase charged to the account.
Boosting Appraised Value
Many home remodeling efforts can add to the overall value of your home, and you may be able to recoup some of your investment costs when it’s time to sell. Keep receipts for all expenditures, regardless of whether you do them yourself or hire an expert. Take before-and-after pictures of all projects and upgrades to demonstrate the work that’s been done. If you’re making renovations with home value in mind, consider the types of improvements that provide the greatest return on investment – according to HGTV, bathroom and kitchen repairs are at the top of that list.
Remodeling a home or making renovations can add to your family’s enjoyment of the property, allow you to personalize a home so it suits your needs, and it can even add to its appraisal price. Factor in your time, money, and talent before deciding on an approach that’s right for you, and use caution in all you do. It’s better to pay a little more to hire a pro than to inadvertently hurt yourself or do structural damage that will cost even more to be redone or repaired.
A good loan officer or mortgage broker will be able to evaluate your financial situation and decide which loan is most appropriate for whether you plan to remodel your new home or not. Loan Compass can help you navigate the home loan process and find a trusted mortgage broker.
Guest post by Suzie Wilson