Purchasing a home is no walk in the park- from filling out forms, to making appointments and meeting deadlines, the process requires serious dedication and attention. But once the purchase process is complete, homebuyers are faced with the question of what and how much to remodel. Home remodeling plans could be simple, such as replacing faucets or lighting fixtures, or even painting, to something much more complicated such as room additions or roofing.
DIY vs. Hiring a Professional: How to Decide
A simple way to decide is to calculate how much you can earn working at your job and compare that to how much you would pay a professional to do the remodeling. More than likely, the cost of researching how to do a project, purchasing materials, planning, setting up, and actually completing the project will take much longer for you than for a professional. And so the DIY project would end up costing you more than hiring a professional.
Tips on Hiring a Contractor
So if you’ve decided to hire a contractor, be sure to do the following before signing a home remodeling contract.
- Request multiple bids. Sure Aunt Sally may have gotten a great deal on a paint job, but is her contractor right for your remodel job? Take into account a contractor’s experience, availability, planned duration of a project, and price. Ask for the price to be broken down into the cost of materials, labor, and other miscellaneous expenses.
- Check their insurance, especially if they have employees. Always request an updated Certificate of Insurance and contact the insurance company directly to verify a policy’s status. Depending on how expensive or lengthy the project, homeowners should ask to be listed as an Additional Insured to increase their own protection in case of a claim. Also, be sure to visit cslb.ca.gov to check the status of their contractor’s license.
- Ask for references or client reviews. And don’t just take a contractor’s word for it. Contact the past client yourself and verify the review’s authenticity.
- Request a contract in writing. The home remodeling contract should list every step in the process, include a payment schedule, and detail the cost of supplies, labor, and other miscellaneous costs. You don’t want any hidden fees or surprises at the end of a project.
DIY Remodeling Tips
In our digital age, the Internet is bursting with creative and money-saving DIY home remodeling tips. YouTube is a gold mine of DIY videos, with bathroom, kitchen, and closet renovation tips. The DIY Network app contains a plethora of episodes and clips from TV shows like Kitchen Crashers and Renovation Realties.
One approach to deciding what to remodel is to consider your overall budget.
Improvements ranging between $100 and $200 could include:
- Planting a tree, shrubs, or flowers
- Removing a popcorn ceiling
- Replacing lighting fixtures
Improvements ranging between $200 and $400 could include:
- Replacing drapery and curtains
- Adding shelving to a storage space
- Purchase new household decorations (such as sculptures, art, mirrors, candles, photo frames)
Improvements ranging between $400 and $1000 could include:
- Replacing the microwave or a stained sink
- Replace worn out rugs or carpets
- Purchase an eco-friendly tankless water heater
Home Remodeling Trends to Consider
With so many directions to go in remodeling your home, we’ve found a few trends you may want to consider in the design phase.
- Voice-activated assistants: Technology is advancing at breakneck speeds so why not consider your options? From Amazon’s Alexa to Google’s Home, a digitally-connected home is the future.
- Mix white with off–white: Most of us stay away from painting our bedroom walls white to avoid feeling like we’re in a hospital room. But a recent trend combines white with off-white and really comes off feeling much more refreshing and balanced. Consider changing out your linens and curtains to mix and match creamy tones with white.
- Satin brass finishes: This year, it is out with the polished brass faucets and in with the satin brass finish.
- Embrace Greenery: Pantone has declared this revitalizing color to be the color of the year. If you’re remodeling then you’re definitely in the mood for a “fresh and zesty yellow-green shade.”
Obtaining a Cash-Out Refinance or Equity Loan to Finance Your Remodeling
Founder and CEO of Transparent Mortgage, Beau Hodson, says “It can make sense to finance your project by taking out funds on a new mortgage or a home equity loan. With today’s low rates, it is attractive for homeowners to do this and lock something in for the long term with the expectation that their home’s increase in value will more than offset the borrowing costs.
Conventional lending guidelines allow us to lend up to 80% of the appraised value for owner occupied residences. This also allows the homeowner to leverage the additional tax deduction for their interest payments.
In some cases we are able to get the client the cash and a lower rate or payment than they are currently paying!”
Bottom Line: When considering a remodeling or home improvement project, check with your mortgage broker or lender to see what options may be available here.
If you have any questions about obtaining a cash-out refinance or equity loan, fill out the form below and Beau Hodson will give you a call!