Whether you’re making renovations to the home you’ve lived in for years, refinishing a fixer-upper or making improvements to a property you have just purchased, there are a few things you should keep in mind when starting out on a new home improvement project. Mary Lynn Stone, President of Century 21 New Millennium takes you through a few of the budgeting basics.
Have a Plan
“It’s always a good idea to have a home improvement plan,” remarks Stone. This includes any repairs you think your home could use in the future, from six months to six years. “Knowing that in three to five years it will be time for a new roof will help you decide if you really need, or can really afford, to install a luxury shower or a new patio right now,” says Stone.
Know the Value
If you have a home improvement plan, and it shows that yes, you can budget in the renovation you are planning—say, adding an extra bathroom downstairs—next, you should focus on the value of your home. “You will most likely recover at least two-thirds the cost of any upgrades on your home when you sell it,” says Stone,. “Knowing that might make your budget a bit more flexible.” However, also keep in mind that it is possible to add too much value; meaning if your home is suddenly worth more than every other home in your neighborhood—because you added a master suite, a pool, patio and outdoor kitchen—it might be harder to sell later on. “And if you are improving solely for the intent of resale, remember to keep all improvements neutral,” warns Stone.
Professional or DIY?
“Unless you have done the project you are planning before or have some professional training, don’t try and do a major project yourself,” warns Stone. While you may think it will ease your budget, if you make a mistake you could wing up spending a lot hiring someone to fix it. Budget a little snug for a professional? Consider hiring someone to do the bulk of the job and then finishing on your own, like getting a contractor to put up the walls of your new mudroom, and then caulking, painting and decorating yourself.
CENTURY 21 New Millennium. Smarter. Bolder. Faster.
CENTURY 21 New Millennium, www.c21nm.com, is a full service real estate brokerage company specializing in residential and luxury properties. The Virginia locations are in Alexandria, Centreville, Culpeper, Fredericksburg, Gainesville, McLean, Stafford, and Woodbridge. The Maryland offices are located in Annapolis, Dunkirk, La Plata, Lexington Park and Lusby. Its core services include: mortgage financing, investing, settlement services, property management, property insurance, global relocation assistance, and commercial real estate.