Renovating your home is not a luxury: it is a fact of life! Whether you are considering selling your home, want to increase your home’s value for your children, or you are just bored, renovating your house is a fun project you can start today.
First, you will need to define the parameters of your project and your ultimate goals. Then, you can concentrate on creating a realistic budget with a structured plan to execute it. Focus on introducing green elements into your home early on in the renovation process, and reap the rewards for the rest of your life!
Here are four home renovation tips for renovators on a shoestring budget.
Define Your “Why”
If you are investing more than a couple hundred in a home renovation, it is probably safe to assume that you are not doing so on a whim.
So why are you undertaking a home renovation? Are you trying to improve your chances of selling your house? Are you trying to increase your return on investment upon sale?
Sometimes, renovations are necessary. Some homeowners might find that their home’s insulation becomes less efficacious over time. Some homes require renovations for safety reasons, like unsafe electrical wiring. Even outdated pipes can affect the quality of life for tenants of the home.
And some craftier homeowners find themselves in the middle: they see that work needs to be done on their home and take that opportunity to undertake other renovations, either for personal enjoyment or financial gain.
Of course, your “why” will inform your budget, your timetable, and the effort you are willing to expend.
Define Your Budget
After you find your “why,” it comes time to define your “how much?” In addition to outlining your overall budget, you want to make sure you are being specific about where the money is going and how much you are willing to allot to each facet of your home renovation project.
You will also have to decide where the money is coming from. Part of this process is deciding how you will handle unforeseen expenses, like emergencies or acts of nature.
You can save up for your home renovation over time, which is financially responsible and a totally viable option for most families. However, this method can extend your timeline by a lot if you let it.
If your renovation needs are more urgent or you are just impatient to get started, you can look into a reverse mortgage. A reverse mortgage essentially allows homeowners to cash in a little early on their investment in their home.
“A reverse mortgage only works if you are mortgaging your primary residence, but you do not need to pay it off until the last homeowner dies or sells” says All Reverse Mortgage CEO Michael Branson. “It must be your primary residence (that means that you, as the borrower, must live in the home for as long as you have the loan).”
The best part? “Borrowers never have to make a monthly payment on reverse mortgage loans” says Branson. If you are planning on remaining in your home for the long haul, a reverse mortgage may be a viable financing option for your home renovation project.
In lieu of adding expansions on your house, think about how you can make changes to your existing space without necessarily “adding” more room to it.
The truth is, larger is not always better! Larger homes are naturally less cost effective, but they are harder to make energy efficient, too.
If you are planning on raising a family in your renovated home or would like to build a home which does appeal to families, you should prioritize keeping as much free landscaping in your yard as possible. Large yards are advantageous both for keeping children occupied and for keeping your costs of homeownership down.
So before you start building “out” into your free space, consider how you might instead build “up” in your home.
If you are interested in selling your home one day, being able to claim your home as “eco-friendly” will certainly be a selling point down the line. Sustainable living is a growing trend that shows no signs of passing any time soon, so you are wise to invest in it.
Going green is so simple, it’s hard to believe it has taken us so long to catch up to existing technology! You can decrease your energy costs just by swapping out your windows for energy efficient models.
In fact, it may even be more cost effective to add eco-friendly touches than to expect yourself to build a brand, spankin’ new green house from the ground up.