What to Consider Before Starting Renovations on Your Fixer-Upper

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Written By Guest Blogger: Rose Morrison

Fixing up an older home can bring it back to life. Here are a few considerations before diving into your remodeling project.

Know How Much You Can Handle

Keep in mind that remodels take time and money. Consider how large of a project you want to tackle. Suppose you’re looking for a minor renovation. Stick with cosmetic projects, like pulling up carpets, painting and changing fixtures.

If you’re willing to take on larger projects, these not only require a longer timeline and a higher budget, but more knowledge. So, if you’re busy with work, have a lower budget or don’t want your life disrupted for long, then a major renovation may not be the best idea.

Prepare Your Finances 

Fixing up a home costs money. You’ll want to research the costs for renovations and budget accordingly. 

There are multiple ways to finance your renovation. If you have a lower budget, you could use a low-interest credit card with a cashback feature, or you could take out a home equity loan. 


Hire Professionals 

Taking on a fixer-upper on your own can be a lot of work. Even if you’re handy, it can consume your time and mistakes can lead to costly repairs. For example, older buildings usually have outdated electrical systems, which can be dangerous to handle. 

Consider hiring someone to rewire while the cables are exposed if you’re doing a complete renovation. Make sure to account for contractors’ costs within your overall budget. Also, ensure you set up a formal contract with them. 


Know Any Local Permit Requirements

Not getting the proper permits can delay your project and lead to fines. Before starting a renovation, read the building department section on your municipality’s website. Keep in mind that permits take time to get and may have fees. You could get the license the same day for minor projects like plumbing. However, if you’re altering the structure, the process could take several weeks. You may need multiple permits to complete multiple projects.

If there is a homeowner’s association (HOA) in your neighborhood, you’ll need to see if there are any architectural standards. Learn about any rules or regulations the HOA has, as many have rules about changing the exterior or even paint colors.


Choose Projects With a High ROI

Fixer-upper projects require a higher initial investment. Consider how you can get long-term value. Find updates that provide value to the property. Use the Remodeling Magazine’s cost vs. value tool to compare the renovation price against the average value. This tool allows you to view national averages or different geographic areas.


Here are a few projects that pay off the most:

New Roof ーCost Recouped = 107%

New Wood Flooring ー Cost Recouped = 106%

HVAC Replacement ー Cost Recouped = 85%

New Vinyl Siding ー Cost Recouped = 63%

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Categories: DIY, Home Improvement, Home Selling, How to, Real Estate Tips, Shorewest Tips

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