Doing Your Homework As a Home Improvement Buyer

I recently spoke with a potential client who had a hugely specified project he wanted to build, but an insufficient budget to do so. Here are some things he could have done to be a more prepared buyer:

Check out Remodeling Magazine — This is a well researched source where homeowners can go for solid answers about renovations. Prices will vary depending upon the age of the home, but it’s a great place to start your research. Start here before you hire an architect or designer to come up with a project design for you. The information is very good, and it’s FREE! Remodeling Magazine is another great place to go if you are planning a home renovation, or weighing renovating against moving. You can see what features your neighbors’ homes have and what yours might be missing. You can see what your home’s value is compared to your neighbors’ — and it may be a lot more than you think.

If you have lived in your home for more than 10 years, you probably have great home equity. Interest rates are very low now. Check out what a home equity loan (HELOC) or mortgage would look like for you. It could be your monthly mortgage payments wouldn’t go up, and they might even go down. Take that money and renovate to maintain or grow your home’s value! For more information, see or talk to your home mortgage professional.