3 Reasons Renovating Can Be a Better Solution Than Buying a New Home

Benefits of RenovatingWhen you add a new member to your family, grow older, or otherwise look at the housing market, it may become tempting to choose buying a new home and selling the old one. Keep in mind that your home is an investment; the more that you invest into it, the more valuable it will be. That value comes from what the actual home has to offer. Renovations could mean energy savings, greater comfort, and more versatility with your space. These are all qualities that you would look for in a new home to purchase, but renovations could provide them for you at a far lower cost.

Saving Money

Renovations, when they’re properly handled, cost less than buying new. While you may consider the actual cost of a new home as being your primary expense, remember that you will need to pay legal fees, moving costs, and more for the relocation to be complete. In addition to that, you may also need to pay higher rates for taking out a home loan if necessary. Instead, you can get a low interest loan to renovate your home. Your actual loan amount should be lower as well. Anything you invest into the home renovation has the opportunity to provide you with a valuable return on your investment.

Less Stress

Buying a new home, selling the old one, and moving are all exhausting processes. Moving alone will mean getting all of your property to your new location, changing insurance, putting your children in a new school, updating all of your friends and family on your new location, and more.

A renovation, on the other hand, is just a matter of contacting a contractor. In most cases, you can just choose to renovate small parts of the home at a time, instead of all at once. That means more control over your costs, and less stress for everyone involved.

The Feeling of Home Ownership

Renovating Vs. New HomeFinally, nothing can replace the feeling of being in a home that you’ve built up for your own family. The changes that you make could be personalized touches, such as adding another bedroom by finishing the basement, or completely changing the kitchen, but every update will have you in mind. Renovations will add to the value of your property once they are completed, and they will give you exactly what you want.

If you purchase a new home, there may be parts of it that don’t offer the same flexibility, convenience, or value as parts of the old home. After renovations, this will be especially true. If you need a home office space, for example, it’s far easier to simply renovate your existing home than to find a house which has an office or study. You end up saving far more money in the short and long term, and you ultimately get the hose you wanted to move into anyway. When you compare all of the pros and cons of renovation versus moving, you’ll find much of what you want is already under your feet.

How You Can Save Money on Energy Bills by Renovating Your Home

Renovate to Save MoneyRenovating a home provides an aesthetic upgrade in most cases, but it can also provide you with a reduced utility bill if you plan it properly. Some areas of the renovation, such as new insulation, provide obvious benefits. Other upgrades, such as changes to flooring, or adding windows, may not be as obvious, but they can all have a combined benefit on your monthly utility bill.

When planning a budget for these renovations, you should account for expected savings in the future. If a certain renovation or treatment adds $1,000 to your bill, but could ultimately save you $5,000 over the course of ten years, then it’s worth considering. This will especially be true of any renovations that involve your heating and cooling bills, as gas and electricity prices could always go up in the future, but your initial renovation costs will remain a one-time, flat expenditure.

Updating Your Windows

Within the past two decades, there’s been a greater focus on getting windows up to date. EnergyStar rated windows became available on the market fairly recently, and replacement windows are often marketed as being a great way to cut down on insulation costs. The reason for emphasis on windows is that many homeowners simply do not know that older windows can cost them a great deal of money in lost heat or cooling. Newer windows come with their own ratings of energy conservation, and continue to provide the great styles that homeowners want for visual appeal.

Re-Doing Your Roof

The roof can be the most expensive part of the renovation, but it is always worth exploring if you’re looking at ways to save money. A well constructed roof that is properly maintained is the cornerstone of your home’s insulation. Depending on the roofing system and the materials used, it may need to be heavily repaired or even replaced at different lengths of time. Have an inspection performed of the roof whenever renovations are being considered. Some roofing can stay effective with minimal work for decades, or even centuries, while others may benefit greatly from a complete change in roofing system.

Solar options are also worth considering when roofing and costs are concerned. There is an increasing demand for solar options that can help to cut down on heating, cooling, and water boiling costs. Solar panels are becoming more affordable for the consumer market, so if your contractor is knowledgeable on the subject, it may be something to look into.

Flooring and Energy

Redo FlooringWhile flooring is not often considered to be a cost saving decision, there are actually interesting benefits to choosing the right material. Carpeting, for example, is better at retaining heat and providing insulation than other types of flooring on their own. Polished surfaces, on the other hand, increase the natural light available in the home, which can cut down on electricity charges. Some types of flooring even come with their own heating system beneath the tiles or panels. While a heated floor may consume more energy on its own, it can also help to control environmental temperatures without turning up the entire home’s heating.

How Utilizing Your Entire Floor Plan Can Make the Entire Family Happy

Utilize Floor PlanThe average home tends to have space that is just going unused. Whether it’s the basement, parts of the kitchen, closets that are used for long term storage, or empty bedrooms when children move out, a home is actually an ever changing opportunity to get the most out of the space you have. By making the most out of your entire floor plan, you can add more personal space for every member of the home, more entertainment space for times when the family wants to be together, and more room to entertain guests.

Basement Finishing

One area of the home that never gets enough attention is the basement. A finished basement can be used for a variety of different applications. From bedrooms, to entertainment rooms, to your own office, a finished basement is both inexpensive to put together and rather valuable to potential home buyers. Your finished basement could provide a nice area for entertaining guests, or for children to spend time with their friends. Finishing the basement could also keep your heating costs lower, thanks to improvements in insulation.

Expanding Your Kitchen

The kitchen’s already one of the most valuable areas for a remodel, but removing a wall could make it even more attractive and functional. Most kitchens have a wall between that area of the home and a dining room or living room. By removing that wall and adding a counter as a barrier, you “open up” your kitchen to make it more inviting. You also make it easier to get in and out of, and another area of the home where you can entertain guests without making them feel secluded from the rest of the home.

Adding a Bathroom

Adding a BathroomIf your home only has one bathroom, and there’s more than two people living in it, then you probably need another bathroom. More bathrooms means more privacy, and less time waiting in line in the morning. Adding a bathroom to a home that only has one can provide anywhere from an 80% to a 150% return on your investment, because more bathrooms are simply more convenient. If you have teenagers in your home, another bathroom is practically a necessity. They need their time, and so do you.

Merging or Creating Rooms

As mentioned earlier, you can remove a wall to open your kitchen, but adding walls can also have benefits. You can use a wall to divide a master bedroom to give an additional child his or her own space, or you can merge rooms whenever a child leaves the home to create a master bedroom. You can also add or remove walls to add walk in closet space whenever it’s needed. The use of proper wall design in the home can help to add comfort, change the flow of the home, and provide additional room definition wherever and whenever necessary. If you have a lot of unnecessary walls in your home, and they aren’t bearing any weight, removing them may be a good way to make the house more comfortable for everyone.

How to Pick a Good Home Renovation Company

Picking a Renovation CompanyPicking the right renovation contractor for the job is essential; they will be responsible for helping to control your budget, and providing you with the product that you are paying for. You also need a contractor that is insured, because any damage that is caused to your home could end up costing you thousands of dollars in repair expenses otherwise. Whether you’re just doing a renovation to one room of the home, or you’re giving the entire house a makeover, you’ll need to work with a contractor that you can trust. As a new homeowner, where do you begin the search? The answer is usually with the advice of others.

References

If you know someone in the area who has had work done to their home, whether they are a family member, friend, or co-worker, then they might be the right place to start your search. You can ask them about what type of work they needed, how much it cost them total, and how long the job took to complete. You can also ask them about the quality of the work. In some cases, you’ll be invited to go to the home to inspect it for yourself. This can inform you of what to expect from the contractor, should you decide to choose one based on a reference. It can also give you valuable information to use during a contractor estimate comparison.

In addition, you can request references from a contractor in the area. At least three will be a good number to stick with. Contractors who have done great work in the past should be more than happy to refer you to previously satisfied customers. Those that have something to hide, like poor work, will instead be dodgy. Never accept excuses in lieu of references.

Make it Official

The contractor you choose for renovations needs to be insured, as previously mentioned, but they also need to be licensed. Your city should have a Contractors Licensing Board, where you can check up on credentials of a contractor that you’re interested in working with. There should be proof of certification, along with Liability Insurance proof. Contractors that don’t have these aren’t worth the risk.

Furthermore, the company in question should have a clean record with the Better Business Bureau. This organization keeps records of companies that have had consumer complaints filed against them. If the renovation company has any red flags, that’s your sign to look elsewhere.

Estimates

Renovation EstimatesFinally, estimates are an important part of finding the right contractor. They will tell you the cost, the time frame for the project, and what the contractor will actually be able to do. If you hire a specialist for the renovation task you need, such as a contractor that specializes in window treatments, you can sometimes get both a better price and better service than if you could a more generalized contractor. Go over all of your options carefully with your budget in mind, and you’ll have no trouble finding the right contractor for the job.

5 Home Renovations That Can Increase Your Property Value

Home Renovation Increase Property ValueHome renovations are an effective way to make your living space more livable, but they also have the benefit of increasing the value of a home as well. While nearly any reasonable renovation project you have in mind could increase your property value, keep in mind that some improvements provide a stronger return than others. Also, remember that a renovation with the intent of increasing value should be done with the “buyer’s perspective” in mind. This will cover:

  • Does the renovation add functionality
  • Does it fit with the look of the home?
  • Is it something you would look for in a home you are purchasing yourself?
  • Is it easy to maintain?

Some improvements, like a jacuzzi for example, are great for you as a homeowner, but could be seen as unnecessary by potential buyers. The same is true of swimming pools, larger closet space, and other improvements. Instead, we’ll be focusing on five different renovations that are proven performers.

Kitchen Remodeling

Kitchens are considered to be one of the most important parts of the home, and this is also where you can see some of the greatest returns on your investment. You may be able to recoup anywhere from 60% to 120% of the cost of your kitchen remodel at sale. As long as the kitchen itself is a perfect fit for the home, an update will make the home both more valuable and easier to sell.

Bathroom Remodeling

The second most requested area of the home for remodeling, bathrooms are actually inexpensive to remodel when the design is handled properly. Most bathrooms are small, requiring only enough space for the toilet, shower, tub, and storage. You can completely redo the look of the bathroom, but rearranging the placement of fixtures could get expensive. If your home only has one bathroom, adding another will give you an extremely generous return on your investment.

Finishing a Basement

The basement is often underutilized for the amount of square footage it offers. By finishing your basement, you’re adding more space for an extra bedroom, an entertainment room, a study, or a home office. To get the best ROI, you should try to keep it as generalized as possible so that the potential buyers project their own use for the space. The cost of basement remodeling is actually quite reasonable as well.

Renovation Increase Home ValueAdding Energy Efficiency

Home buyers love new windows, new roofing, or updated electrical systems. Lower energy costs are appealing on the market, and they keep your own expenses low until you decide to sell. You can replace outdated HVAC setups with newer designs as well for a nice return on your investment.

Every Day Maintenance

While technically not a full remodel, keeping your home in good condition, performing much needed repairs, and general maintenance all make for a much more valuable home. The less work that needs to be done, the more attractive it will be to buyers. This is more of a project to carry out over years, or even decades, but the costs for doing so are actually low, and the pay off will be competitiveness on the market.