There’s nothing like a new home renovation to awaken the inner Bob Vila in all of us, but whether you’re attempting big-ticket projects or just updating some small fixtures and decor, it’s important to keep your goals in mind. If you’re renovating with resale in mind, get the advice of a real estate professional before making any high-end upgrades. And if you’re considering taking out a loan, don’t forget that you’ll be paying back thousands of dollars in interest. It’s always a better idea to pay cash, even for small home improvements.
Be sure to get a detailed description of the work to be performed and any materials to be used, and make it clear that you will provide any items not included in the contract. Also, include the approximate dates when the performance of the home improvement will begin and be substantially completed. A contract should also contain any warranties provided by the contractor for the materials and workmanship.
Another mistake homeowners often make is improving their homes well above the average for neighboring houses. While a nicely updated property will appeal to some buyers, it’s unlikely that the extra costs will be recouped at sale time.