When we purchase a home, we are always eager to make it our own. Whether we have longed to paint our interior a certain color or change from carpet to hardwood flooring, or add that backyard patio and firepit, many people are ready to put their stamp on their home to say this is me and this is where I live.
So ready in fact, you may be about to make some costly mistakes.
You have to rein it in and be smart. Especially new homeowners, when your exuberance, eagerness (and sometimes ignorance) could convince you to make one of these mistakes:
#1 Going With the Lowest Bid
So you’ve decided to tackle your first project which is going to require some professional help, and you’ve tried to do your part and sought out three bids for a project. So why not go with the lowest price? Well, if you’ve been around housing and construction long enough you may have heard horror stories of the “two week job” that due to “complications and unforeseen circumstances” (and additional costs!) has turned into the six month project that seem like its never going to stop. The take away is how do we prevent this and make sure we get what we are bargaining for? Review all bids to make sure they are for the same “Project Scope” or more plainly put, that they are for the same work, same materials, if you specified certain brands of materials that all the bids are for the same product. Don’t be shy to look for reviews or testimonials of past clients.
#2 Making Improvements Without Checking Their Return On Investment
You’ve followed the “Homework” of researching the contractor you’ve decided to work with for your project, but have you thought about the added value your project will have on your home? Now, not all projects need to be scrutinized to the Nth degree, but some projects, particularly larger, more expensive ones may be worthy of looking at the dollars and cents. Just because you might personally value an upgrade, doesn’t mean the market will. If you are going to live in your home for a long time it may not matter to you if it costs more than it would add in market value. However if you are only planning to live there a short time, or had to sell and move next year, the ROI may carry heavier weight. What to do? Before you put on your nailbag and hammer, talk to your favorite Realtor about how much value it might add to your home. We have a good pulse on the market, and what features can help sell, or sink your home’s sale-ability, and what kind of Moola an improvement may eventually deliver.
#3 Doing this when you should have done that
Many people opt to get Inspections when they purchase a home, and rightfully so. Most homeowners aren’t experts in the mechanics and proper operations of every component of a home, which is why it is of the utmost importance that we us an inspection report like a to-do list. Small problems can turn into big problems in short order if not addressed in a timely manner. Something as simple sounding as re-sealing roof jacks, which usually comes with a relatively palatable price, can create a mess of water damage and expense if not if addressed before the rain comes. Although we may have been overly eager to make an aesthetic change to suit our desire in how our home looks, it is important not to overlook items, big or small that can turn into bigger problems down the road.
Homeownership isn’t and shouldn’t be all cautionary, there are few things as satisfying as closing escrow and receiving keys to your new home, after all it has been dubbed “the American Dream” for a long time. It is always important, but even more-so as a new homeowner to be educated about your home and real estate. After all it is most often one of the largest purchases an individual ever makes. Your dedicated, experienced Realtor is the best resource for information and real-world experience, and most are willing to freely share their knowledge with you!
Warren Bullock is the Listing Manager of the Chari Bullock Real Estate Team and American Homes And Land Real Estate in Paradise. EMAIL; Warren@ChariBullock.com 530-413-0041