Whether you own a newly-built home, a condo, or fixer-upper, home ownership comes with the home-improvement itch that most of us would rather avoid. If your house requires you to do a bit of maintenance and repair, use these tips to turn your dwelling place into a beautiful abode.
1. Only select improvements that add value to your property
If you are fortunate enough to have a big budget for home improvements, there are ways you can turn simple renovations into valuable additions that offer a good return on investment. The kitchen and bathroom are good places to start, but even something as simple as installing a sprinkler system can add value to your home.
2. Tackle the most urgent projects first
Whether you plan to renovate through the cold season, some home improvements are more urgent than others, so in order to save money and prevent damage, schedule the quickest projects first so that you can spare enough time to deal with the more complicated tasks.
3. DIY or Not?
Even the most enthusiastic homeowner needs help with some of the more involved home improvement projects. Learn what your limits are so you don’t start a project and then stall at some point along the road. If you’re a beginner, start with small projects and as you continue to gain experience, you can then move on to larger home fixes.
4. Get the right tools
Even the simplest home improvement project can get complicated if you don’t have the right tools. Stock your universal toolbox with these essential items:
• Screwdriver set
• Tape measure
• Adjustable wrench
• Electric drill
• Utility knife, and
5. Find cash for your home improvement
There are a number of different tax breaks that you can get for home repairs but you need to learn more about home improvement financing so you can minimize the overall cost. Here are some of the ways you can raise funds for expensive projects:
• Use existing cash reserves. Cash is ideal for these types of projects because then you won’t accrue debt, but with the average kitchen remodeling costing over $50,000, it’s no secret you need another source of money.
• Use low-interest credit cards to fund smaller projects. This should be easy to do if you have decent credit: you will get multiple offers for 0% interest on some cards, and these types of offers are great for funding projects under $15,000 because you can pay off the loan within the offer timeline.
• Take out a personal or unsecured loan -this would have to be for medium-sized projects. Fortunately, you don’t need any collateral because your home is not at risk even if you default, and you can get higher loan amounts than you could get with your card. The downside is interest rates tend to be higher than they are on other types of loans.
• Secure a loan with your home. If the project costs upwards of $50,000 and you have equity in your home, it would make sense to take a loan that is tied to your property. Home equity loans and cash-out refinances are offering the best rates we’ve seen in a long time (30-year fixed mortgage is at 4.06%).