Home Improvements – Creating A Budget

Can I get a shout out from some homeowners who wish they were renting?! Although home ownership is the traditional American dream, it does come with some serious care-taking. Jokes aside, there are MANY home improvements to complete as you live in your home. Home ownership is a blessing, but also a financial investment. It shouldn’t be without a budget! Here we will go over some ways to create a plan and budget for your home improvements.

How Long Do You Plan To Live There?

The home improvements you need to do (or want to do) should be dependent on how long you plan to live there. Although there is no fool-proof plan…you should have a goal. The improvements you need to budget for will be different for 5 years or 20 years. They will also vary depending on what you plan to do with the home when you leave. Will it be a rental property for you or will you be selling? The quality of the materials you choose and the amount you invest overall should be in line with your plan for the property.

Necessary VS. Unnecessary Home Improvements

There are improvements we need to do, and then those we want to do. Necessary home improvements tend to be along the lines of systems failing or something wearing out. Examples of this would be a leaky roof or an air conditioner that doesn’t cool down the property anymore. Unnecessary (but fun!) home improvements are those that fit your style or change the appearance of the home without adding value. This may include changing the paint in a room, replacing flooring you don’t care for or replacing a perfectly functioning porch. Some improvements fall into both categories, but it is important to know the difference

If you plan to sell in 3-5 years, make sure to do your research and find out what will and won’t increase your value. You will also want to know what will pass code in your area. Contact a Realtor for advice in this area.

Methods of Budgeting For Home Improvements

Once you settle on what you are doing, it is time to put pen to paper (or fingers to keys) and make a plan! I suggest making a list of the projects you have in the order you want to complete them. Here are a few ways to budget for these items:

  • Set aside a certain amount per month for the projects one by one and complete them as you can
  • Set aside a certain amount each month under “general home improvements” and use as needed
  • Complete a project and put it on a low interest credit card and then pay it off before moving to your next project

It is hard to be patient when it comes to home improvement projects! We want it done NOW! In order to conserve your cash, check in to see how much you can do yourself. There are online videos, tutorials and even workshops you can take for things like floor refinishing or tiling.

The most important take-away is that you do plan and budget for these expenses. Projects (sometimes expensive ones) sneak up on you if you aren’t planning for them!

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