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Home Improvement – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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Home improvement is a popular pastime among homeowners, who often turn to DIY projects in an effort to save money. It can be a rewarding experience, especially if the home renovation project ends up adding value to your house. However, it’s important to carefully consider the type of renovation you are doing before swinging a hammer or picking up your toolbox. It’s also a good idea to have a plan for paying for your home improvement project, because a home renovation without a budget can quickly turn into a disaster.

A few things are certain in life, and one of them is that you will likely have to do some kind of home improvement at some point. It could be as simple as slapping on a fresh coat of paint or power-washing your exterior, or it might involve tearing down walls and replacing floors. Then there are the bigger projects, like a new kitchen or bathroom, adding an extra bedroom and expanding your living space, or making other structural changes to increase the livability of your home.

These major projects can be expensive, and it’s not uncommon for homeowners to end up spending more than they originally intended. But even these larger projects don’t always increase your home’s value, and it’s critical to keep this in mind when planning a project.

According to our September survey, about three-fourths of homeowners say they have money set aside for home repairs/improvements. And while it’s great that so many people are prepared to tackle these types of projects, not everyone is able to do so. About 20% of those who have done a home renovation project in the past two years report having to make sacrifices or tap into savings, and another 12% have had to take on debt.

Keeping up with basic maintenance is the best way to maintain your home’s value and prevent costly repairs. It’s also an ideal time to do some of the more minor upgrades, such as refreshing shower areas and replacing vanities, or laying tile, adding fixtures and lighting. These projects may not add much to your home’s resale value, but they can still make a big difference in how comfortable you are while living in your house.

It’s not uncommon to get caught up in the excitement of a home renovation, and to begin dreaming about all of the potential improvements that you can make. But it’s important to be realistic about how much these projects will actually add to your home’s resale or rental value, and to plan accordingly. That way, you’ll avoid the risk of overspending and going into debt, which can hurt your chances of selling your house or having a positive return on investment when the project is complete.

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