If you are considering home improvements for the new year, you’re not alone- nearly a third of Americans plan home improvements within the next five years. January is the perfect time really; between setting a budget for the new year, filing your tax returns or thinking of how to spend that cost of living increase, you have a great opportunity to plan for everything from a growing family to medically necessary improvements. Whether you’re an empty-nester or a home with a changing family, there are lots of options to ponder in order to get the most for your money.
Home Improvement Considerations
The first thing you should consider is how long you plan to live in your current home. If you are clearly outgrowing your home, or considering down-sizing, renovations may not be the best option for you. If your home is in fairly good condition, but just needs a little TLC, its probably a good idea to spend as little as possible to prepare to sell your home. Most people want a home that is move-in ready, and you might get significantly less for your fixer-upper. Plan accordingly; don’t overspend on a home you plan to sell within the next few years but do prepare for things that need attention.
Home Improvement Musts versus Wants
It is always a good idea to do non-cosmetic repairs such as roof work, fixing or replacing worn out appliances, HVAC, plumbing or electrical work, or anything that might not be up to code or pass an inspection. Just keep in mind extensive renovations won’t pay off if you’re selling soon, and it’s best to speak with a local real estate professional before starting a project that you may only recoup 50-70 percent of the cost when selling. A professional will certainly advise you to address anything that could be an issue during inspection. Does your home have cracks in the ceilings, walls or floors? Are their cracks in the brick facade or do you have any doors or windows that stick? If you answered yes to these questions, you may want to have a Clean Bill of Health Check on your home to determine if you have foundation damage that you will need to repair before putting your home on the market.
Home Improvement Renovation for Lifestyle
If you plan to stay put for five years or more, it makes sense to renovate, especially if you love your neighborhood and school system. While it is always a good idea to keep resale value in mind, you also want to consider your family’s quality of life. If there is something about your house that really annoys you and you’ve always wished was different, that is a good place to start. If your master bath isn’t big enough, has a poor layout, or needs major replacements, start with that. Maybe your kitchen isn’t crowd-friendly, and your kids are getting older and want to invite their friends over constantly, that’s the place to start. Regardless of what you choose, make it fit into your life and the life of your family.
If you’re getting older, maybe it’s time to update for ease of living. Approximately 46% of homeowners renovate in anticipation of age-related issues. Whether you want to add pull out shelves in the kitchen, install a smart thermostat, smart lighting or replace cabinets with drawers, contemplate what you may need most. If you are self-employed and work from home, maybe it’s time to update your home office. Check with your accountant or tax professional to see if these updates are tax deductible.
Home Improvement for Energy Efficiency
Another thing to consider is energy-efficient improvements. Maybe it is time to replace your windows and doors to stop those ever-present drafts, or time to finally put in those solar panels you’ve been thinking about for years. If you need to replace your HVAC system, water heater, insulation or roof, these items may come with a tax incentive in your area. Depending on what you choose, you might also want to consider a home equity line of credit.
No matter what you choose, consult professionals to make the most educated decision, and get more than one estimate before choosing a contractor. After all, money doesn’t grow on trees and we all want to most bang for our buck this year and every year! Oklahoma Foundation Repair offers flexible appointment scheduling during the week to make it easy to employ our services. Additionally, we provide no obligation detailed estimates at no cost. Give us a call at (405) 441-1643 or go online to schedule an estimate appointment.