So, you sit down to watch TV and a home renovation show comes on. You think to yourself “Well, THAT looks easy”! The next thing you know, you’re looking around your home to see what renovations can be done.  Just remember that TV shows don’t show you the whole picture: planning, strategizing, hidden costs, unpredicted surprises, and all the other complications that can arise when you upgrade your home.

When you think about what renovations need to be done, it can seem a little overwhelming.  This feeling is quite normal, but remember that some projects are more essential than others, and not all renovations have to be done at the same time.  There are some upgrades that are necessary to the functionality of your home, and there are others that you just want to do to improve your house and its value.

No matter the reason for the renovations, whether you plan to keep your house or sell it, it’s imperative to create a budget and stick to it.  There will always be unexpected expenses, and things are usually more complicated than anticipated. So, when you plan your budget, add a cushion for these expenses.

Keeping Your Home

When you initially purchase your home, you might not think of all of the expenses that usually go along with the purchase.  Things such as upgrades, improvements, maintenance, and ongoing repairs are costs that new homeowners might not consider. The most important thing you can do as a homeowner is plan and budget ahead for projects such as updates and renovations. Whatever project you decide to tackle, you need to figure out the cost of the project; but keep in mind that even small renovations can be more complex than you might think.

“Knowing that remodeling upgrades can increase your home’s value and efficiency, it’s fairly common for renovation costs to get out of control,” says Steve Zitman, Founder and CEO of Unique Builders & Development, Inc. And remember that the project will always take longer than expected and it will cost more than you anticipated. Issues, such as unexpected materials or damages, might arise mid-project that can quickly add to the cost of the renovations. If you have a contractor, he might find dry rot, rotting wood, or corroded pipes that need to be replaced, which adds additional costs to your project.

Selling Your Home

If you’re planning to sell your home, one of the best things you can do is to look at your home as if you were a buyer. What upgrades would you like to see? What renovations can be done to make the home more functional?  Upgraded homes tend to sell more quickly and for more money than fixer-uppers. When you first purchase your home, you normally budget for such things as emergencies and repairs, but you should also budget for future upgrades to make your home more luxurious.

If you’re selling your home, it’s a good idea to make a list of all projects that need to be done prior to listing your home.  See what is most important and complete that project first. Once you get through your list, your home is ready for a new homeowner. Just keep in mind the costs, materials, labor, and equipment needed for each project. You might also need to ensure that you don’t need any type of permits for the renovations you’ll be doing.

As the old saying goes…”Prepare for the worst, but hope for the best”. If you create a budget, add a cushion for unexpected expenses, and stick to it, you will have a home that’s either ready for you to keep and enjoy, or sell to someone who’s looking for their dream home.

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