First-time home buyers are understandably anxious about remodeling that fixer upper they just got at a great price. But before you take a sledgehammer to the walls or making your big-ticket purchases at a local appliance or furniture store, you should consider these common remodeling mistakes that first-time homeowners make.
Failing to consider ROI
Some home improvements will get you a better return on your investment than others. And if you pour too much money into your fixer-upper, you run the risk of putting your home too far out of line with the housing market in your area and you’ll have a difficult time selling your home unless you’re willing to take a huge loss.
Filling the new home with cheap furniture
Assuming you’re upsizing from an apartment or smaller rental, you won’t have enough larger furnishings to fill your new home. The solution is not to run out and purchase everything you need for your new home in a single day. Unless you have a vast budget (unlikely since you’ve just purchased a home) you’re probably going to resort to cheap particle board furniture that’s just going to break apart in a year or two anyways. Instead, give yourself to purchase one higher-quality piece at a time. Eventually you’ll grow into your new home.
Renovating without research
Before jumping into renovations you need to carefully research various projects, what they entail, what they’re likely to cost, and what kinds of things can go wrong with those projects. Then you’ll need to set a budget and bring in an architect to do up the blueprints before work can begin.
Going with the lowest bid
Of course you’ll want to keep costs down but it’s a mistake to automatically go with the lowest bid for the sole reason of it being the lowest bid. The lowest bid might be the best or the contractor may be planning to cut corners, use inferior materials, or drive up the actual cost after securing your business with the low ball offer.
Not holding onto paperwork
You’ll have a better chance of getting a return on your investment if you can save any receipts or contracts to show future prospective buyers what work and money went into the home between the time you purchased it and the time you put it back on the market. Storing the hard copies is a good idea but scanning them and storing them digitally in at least a couple of different places is even better.
Not living in your home first
Without spending at least six months to a year in your new home, you won’t have an adequate understanding of how your home needs to change in order to better meet your needs. So live in your home as it is first. Keep a running list of things you think need to be changed. Maybe you’ll grow to hate your baseboard radiators and decide to invest in some baseboard radiator covers. Maybe you’ll realize there’s a strange cabinet that you just can’t use for anything and you want a whole new layout. You won’t know how to best spend your remodeling budget until you’ve lived in your home awhile.