Hello Friends! Have you ever thought about doing a home renovation? Renovations can range from a simple cosmetic update to a complete gut job and rebuild. Knowing your personality, abilities, and financial situation can help to determine what kind of renovation (if any) is right for you.
Below are 10 questions to consider if you are house hunting or planning home improvement projects:
- Do you get excited about home improvement projects? Not just the planning and dreaming, but the actual work? If you’re not sure, start small. Grab a can of paint and a brush and transform something. Invite friends over and make a fun day out of it. Sometimes having someone with you who has done projects before can make you feel braver. And pay attention to how you feel both while working and when your project is completed. Do you find joy in creating? Does the process of transforming something fuel your soul, leaving you feeling energized and renewed? Or do you feel stressed and emotionally exhausted while completing projects? Pay attention to how the entire process makes you feel. We all feel stressed at times during renovations. It’s inevitable. Living amongst the chaos of a construction zone or addressing the surprises that always arise with these kinds of projects isn’t fun. But whether you are going to tackle a project yourself or pay a construction company to do the work, if you decided to take on a fixer upper you need to enjoy the transformation process.
- When you have free time, how do you like to spend it? After a long day’s work do you like to come home and relax while watching a movie or do you prefer to pick up a hammer or paint brush and work on your home? Many people love the idea of transforming their home, but not everyone actually likes doing the work themselves. And I get that. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s just very important to know before you go out and buy a fixer upper. I cannot stress this enough. Make sure you (and your partner) both want to actually do the work, and if you don’t want to do the repairs yourself be sure you are both prepared to pay someone else to do it. You will avoid a lot of stress and arguments if you figure this out before buying a home that needs work.
- Look at your bank account. Be realistic about your budget. Are you prepared financially for surprises? Always, always, always have money saved for surprises, especially in older houses. It is inevitable. Can you afford to pay someone else to do the work? If possible, interview more than one contractor for a quote. I always budget more than my contractor quotes me for a project. My husband and I do many of our home improvements ourselves and with the help of friends and family members, but some projects are worth paying an expert to complete. You don’t have to tackle every single project on your own, and you don’t have to pay a construction crew to do everything. Figure out where you can do the work yourself and where it makes more sense to pay someone else and budget accordingly.
- Are you handy? If not, do you have people in your life who are handy and are willing to help? Make sure everyone is on board with the work. Always communicate with friends and family and don’t just assume they will want to help.
- Do you have a flexible personality, or do you crave routine, order, and organization? How do you handle it when your routine is altered? If you need things to be clean, organized, and predictable, living in a fixer upper is not the right choice for you. Buying a home that needs work and having the improvements made before moving in may be more your style, or perhaps buying a home that is move in ready.
- Are you comfortable living in an “in-between” stage of projects? Because sometimes life happens and a project that was supposed to take a couple of weekends stretches into a couple of months…. or years. Can you deal with that? Or would it drive you crazy to have half finished projects in your home?
- Can you make decisions quickly? When dealing with construction there are so many little decisions that have to be made on the spot, and you have to be comfortable going with your instinct, or at least making a choice between two good options. Accept the fact that you will make mistakes. It happens. And it’s okay to change your mind down the road. (Just ask my husband how many times I’ve changed my mind about paint colors!) But if making decisions stresses you, consider buying a house that is move in ready.
- How is your communication with your spouse? Do you tend to agree about money? Time? Priorities? This is vital to the success of your home renovation. It is so important to respect your spouse’s personality when planning these kinds of projects. You might be fine with the mess of construction and having your nights and weekends revolve around house projects, but if your spouse isn’t on board don’t try to force them to take on a fixer upper.
- How busy is your life right now? Is your schedule flexible? Will a renovation take away time from other commitments? Be realistic. Don’t over commit yourself to a project that you really don’t have time to complete.
- What are your long term goals? To make a profit renovating and selling a house? To buy your forever home and fix it up for you and your family? It’s important to keep your goals in mind when deciding what changes to make to a home and how much money to invest. Research your local housing market and make careful decisions as to what to renovate in your home. Typically you don’t want to invest more money than you can realistically make back again if you choose to sell your home. This is partly why we’ve always bought houses below the market value. There is generally more room in the budget for improvements to be made and still make a profit.
Whew! That was a lot of information! What do you think, friends? Are you still dreaming of taking on a fixer upper? Or are you planning to buy a move in ready home and just enjoy reading about our old house adventures? Do you have any thoughts to add to my list? Connect with me on social media using the gray icons below if you have more questions you’d like me to answer! Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to get blog updates on our renovation series.
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Have a beautiful day!