Get ready to remodel
Planning a home renovation is an exciting time, but that exhilaration can quickly fade once unexpected events and budget-breaking issues start cropping up. Planning and preparation can make all the difference in managing a rewarding project that meets expectations. Here are five key things to know before kicking off your remodel.
Stay or Go?
One of the first questions you’ll want to answer is whether to move out during the renovation or live on site. One obvious advantage of staying home? You’ll save money on rent elsewhere, plus being able to closely monitor ongoing work and quickly answer questions from workers can add more peace of mind. Just keep in mind the dust and grime, frequent noise and potential safety hazards that are part of the stay-at-home deal.
Stick to a schedule.
When you’ve nailed down exactly what you want, plan accordingly by developing and adhering to a reasonable timeline for the work needed. Various projects can take from weeks to months, and, when you’re willingly shelling out money to contractors and adding daily disruption to your life, setting expectations and creating a firm schedule can save you some avoidable headaches down the road.
A proper plan
The foundation of any renovation project is a clear idea of what you want and need. Tap into a number of different sources for design ideas, then develop a functional vision for how it will play out. Answer questions like how the remodel will affect other rooms and areas, along with consideration for how to balance your personal enjoyment of these changes with appeal to potential buyers down the road.
Funding the fixer upper
Even the most limited home renovations cost money. While saving up before spending for remodeling projects is the ideal, for many of us, borrowing is going to be a necessity. Options include taking out a personal loan; exploring a home equity line of credit (HELOC) or home equity loan, government loan programs, refinancing your current mortgage; or in cases of minor renovations, using credit cards.
The right remodel
When looking for a contractor to carry out your renovation, it’s important that this person checks off several boxes. Make sure that you identify someone with whom you can communicate effectively — compatibility is key. Ask for a detailed written proposal with a set timeline. Early on, cover items such as the time of day work will be conducted and access to your property. Also, plan on being flexible with them to cover the unexpected.
Get the best return on your investment.
Most home remodeling projects are planned with aesthetic appeal in mind. But just as important is creating a real investment, with improvements that help you command a higher price when it’s time to sell. Homeadvisor.com rates these renovations as delivering the biggest bang for your buck:
• Create a more open floor plan to increase light and space.
• Elevate curb appeal with improvements to paint, pave¬ment, landscaping and decks.
• Convert extra space into a home office.
• Smart updates to kitchens and bathrooms are what most buyers are looking for.
How to finance your renovation.
Consideration of a home remodel also means figuring out where the money is coming from to fund it. When it’s time to make a decision, American Airlines Federal Credit Union recommends a number of excellent borrowing options to fit your needs.
A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) is a popular loan option with an adjustable interest rate that is secured by your home’s equity and is tapped into when needed. With mortgage rates at historic lows, a cash-out refinance is also a strong option, particularly if you can benefit from spreading out your repayment term while locking in a lower rate. For more information, visit AACreditUnion.org/borrowing/home-loans.