Tina McManus' Blog
Many hopeful homebuyers seek to save money by buying a fixer-upper and doing most of the renovations themselves. This is a proven method for those who have a knack for home improvement and aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.
However, estimating the cost of a remodel can be difficult. There are many costs you may not be aware of, and others that are easy to go over budget on.
In this article, we’re going to talk about the cost of an average remodel, and some lesser-known costs that you might be forgetting to factor into your budget.
Average remodeling costs
As you might guess, the cost of a remodel can vary greatly. Things like the size of the home, the number of rooms you’re remodeling, and the type of repairs you’ll be making all factor into the equation.
Some repairs can be quite costly. Septic system replacements can cost several thousands of dollars depending on the type of system you need. And, if you’re buying an old home, you’ll need to look out for expensive fixes like asbestos removal and foundation damage.
According to one report, most Americans spent between $17,000 and $61,000 on their remodel, with the average renovation cost being around $37,000.
If you’re hiring a contractor for the bulk of your remodel, expect them to charge between 10% and 15% of the total cost.
Lesser known costs of a home renovation
Remodeling a home isn’t as simple as looking up a contractor and telling them to give you the bill once it’s finished, and that’s probably a good thing because odds are you would be shocked by the cost.
First, you’ll pay a contractor to do a walkthrough and estimate costs. Next, you’ll need to get any permits that are required for your renovations.
If you plan on doing the renovations yourself, there are a few costs you’ll need to consider. First, understand that you likely won’t be able to take advantage of all of the discounts that contractors can, meaning your building materials may be more expensive than expected. Similarly, the cost of tools for the project adds up quickly. And, when you make mistakes--we all do, we’re only human--you’ll be paying for it out of pocket.
Knowing your long term goals
An important consideration for a remodel is to look toward the future. Do you want to sell your home within the next few years? If so, you might consider going with less expensive materials--such as generic kitchen cabinets rather than custom-built--to save money while still increasing the value of the home.
However, if you plan on being in this home for decades or more, it may be worth the extra money now to make sure you are happy with your home for years to come.
Remodeling a home can be a memorable and rewarding endeavor. You get the chance to take a house that you see potential in and make it truly your own. Now that you know the costs, you’ll be better prepared for planning your home renovation.
Refinancing your home can have many benefits. First, you’ll be able to take out money to address immediate needs in your home like improvement projects. These things can only benefit your home’s value in the long term. Before you take the leap to refinance your home, you should be sure that you’re actually ready to take this step. Knowing what you’re in for allows the entire process to go more smoothly. Read on for tip to understand more about the refinancing process and what you’ll need.
Know Your Finances
Just like when you initially purchase a home, refinancing your home will require you to have your finances in order. Take a look at your budget and needs and determine if it makes sense for you to refinance your home. For example, your employment status or distance from life goals like retirement could have a factor on the term of the loan you’re willing to take out. A 15-year mortgage may make more sense than a 30-year mortgage, but your monthly payments will also be a bit higher. You need to take all of this into consideration before you refinance.
Your credit score will also be a factor in refinancing your home just as it was when you initially bought your house. Check your score and see if any red flags pop up. Getting these corrected earlier rather than later can help you to get a better rate on the loan. There are plenty of free services that exist online that allow you to check your credit score.
Know The Value Of Your Home
If you know the value of your home and understand how much equity you’ve built up in the house, it will give you a better idea of your refinancing options. You can’t get more than 70% of what your home is currently worth as a cash-out refinance. If you owe more than your home is worth, you might be in a tighter financial situation than you realize. You can do plenty of things to increase the value of your home; it will just take some time. You may even consider selling your house, making a move, and starting from scratch. Financially, this could be the best option, and you could also end up with a better interest rate.
Getting your finances in order and the simple act of preparing for a home refinance could give you some insight into your financial picture after being a homeowner for some time.
Stay out of debt. Don’t open new accounts. Pay down any debt you may have. That is the standard advice for people who are trying to get in good financial standing before buying a home or refinancing a home.
Do some research and find the best home loan refinance rates around. Then, look into your own finances and decide what’s best for you regarding refinancing your home loan.
After moving one of two things can happen when it comes to being organized. The first is that you have no idea where to even begin. The second? You realize you have way too much stuff and nowhere to put it.
This is where hiring a professional organizer comes in. Like absolute magicians, they can all of your stuff, factor in your lifestyle and create a system that keeps your organized and tidy.
When working with a professional organizer there are some things you should know beforehand.
The first being that, while their skills at creating systems to keep your home and clutter managed ca feel magical… they aren’t magicians. What I mean by this is that, once they finish the project it’s on you to maintain all their hard work and your investment.
And while a great organizer will design a system that works best for you that doesn’t mean it will just naturally happen. You need to be prepared, and willing, to make changes in your daily behaviors and habits.
Be prepared to get really vulnerable. Aka they are going to need to see your cluttery mess in all its glory so that they can design the best system to handle it. They need an accurate portrayal of what your daily struggle truly looks like. You will also need to be honest about your day to day behaviors, even if it’s embarrassing and a little painful to admit out loud.
Here’s the thing if you tidy up beforehand or aren’t completely your organizer won’t be able to create a system that truly works for you. It will be for the person who is just a little bit tidier and doesn’t have those embarrassing behaviors. And this person just doesn’t exist in your day to day reality!
Take their organizational style into account. Some organizers are working in the trenches with you side by side. And others go at it solo and bring you in after to show off their hard work and educate you on what steps need to be taken to maintain it.
Have a budget and list of prioritized “zones” to tackle beforehand. Know how much of your organizer's time you’re able to invest in. This will help you to formulate a plan of action and decide which rooms have the loudest cry for help.
Again, perhaps the most important piece is that you be committed to maintaining your new orderliness. Even when it gets hard and you slip up. This is going to take time and practice. So be patient with yourself and recognize that it’s all a work in progress. There will be backslides and that’s okay, it’s a part of the process. What’s important is that you take note of what happened, adjust your plan of action and keep moving forward.
One of the most used rooms in the house is the bathroom. You do spend a lot of time in there. You want your bathroom to be an oasis of sorts. Making changes and renovations to your bathroom will not only make you happy but make potential buyers for your home happy as well. Below, you’ll find some trends to keep your bathroom stylish and a place that everyone wants to spend (at least some) time in.
Beware Of Design Trends
There’s a lot of trendy designs that just aren’t timeless. They don’t look very good in a bathroom after the initial install and tend to give the bathroom a drab feeling after awhile. Whether it’s a crazy color scheme or something bland that lacks texture, you need to think about the longevity of a look before you go after it in your bathroom. Some trends to look out for:
- Too much white
- Too little in the bathroom
- Funky color schemes
- Gigantic bathtubs
- Certain kinds of tile and finishes
- Hardware accents
Really, the bathroom needs to be about balance. There are trends that come and go. Some people are more receptive to certain designs than others. This is because their needs are suited. Take the his and her sink as an example. Many designers are shying away from this trend. For your routines and needs, this could be exactly what your bathroom needs. No hotlist can tell you what’s best for you.
Storage Is A Necessity
If you do only one thing in your bathroom, make sure that you have enough storage. There’s quite a bit that needs to go in the bathroom like toilet paper, towels, cleaners, medicines, as well as bath products like soap and shampoo.
Add Pops Of Color
If your bathroom has all white tile and you don’t have the time or the resources to actually change the tile, you should try and add pops of color where you can. It’s simple to do this with towels, floral rugs, curtains, and even bath accessories. You can really vary the color in the room and make it special. This is one renovation that doesn’t cost much to do but can make a big difference.
Remember What Sells
More neutral colors tend to sell better no matter what room of the house we’re talking about. It’s fine to mix neutral colors with pops of something bolder, but don’t go overboard. Remember that when someone goes to buy your home, they want to make it their own as well. They probably can’t achieve that with a lime green bathroom.
If you have plans to buy a house as quickly as possible, it is important to maintain flexibility. That way, you can adjust your homebuying timeline at a moment's notice.
Ultimately, there are many instances where you may need to modify your homebuying timeline, and these include:
1. You are struggling to identify your dream home.
It generally is beneficial to enter the housing market with homebuying criteria. These criteria can help you hone your house search and may be modified as you attend home showings and open house events.
Also, think about where you want to purchase a house. If you would prefer to own a home in a big city, you can tailor your house search accordingly. Or, if you want to live in a small town, you can focus exclusively on residences in areas that match or exceed your expectations.
Even with homebuying criteria in hand, however, changes to your homebuying timeline may be required. But if you remain patient and persistent throughout the homebuying journey, you can eventually discover your dream house.
2. Home sellers are rejecting your offers to purchase.
Once you find your dream residence, you may submit an offer to purchase it. Yet if your offer fails to hit the mark with a home seller, you are unlikely to receive an instant "Yes."
If you find that your offers to purchase houses are rejected time and time again, you may need to adjust your homebuying timeline. Furthermore, you may want to rethink your homebuying strategy.
To submit a competitive homebuying proposal, you should consider a house's condition and age, as well as the current state of the real estate market. This information can help you craft an offer to purchase that accounts for a variety of factors and likely will meet the needs of both you and a home seller.
If a home seller rejects your offer to purchase a house, there is no need to worry. Remember, the real estate market offers many opportunities, and homebuyers who are diligent can continue to search for the right house at the right price.
3. You have yet to find the right real estate agent.
A real estate agent may hold the key to a successful homebuying journey. He or she can help you set realistic homebuying expectations and ensure you can achieve the optimal results.
If you need to adjust your homebuying timeline, a real estate agent can help you do just that. Plus, a real estate agent will keep you up to date about new houses that become available in your preferred cities and towns and set up home showings. And if you decide to submit an offer to purchase a home, a real estate agent will help you put together an aggressive homebuying proposal.
Ready to streamline your home search? Reach out to a local real estate agent today, and you can get the help you need to pursue your ideal residence.