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Fixer-Upper Home Renovation Tips

Home Improvement to Raise Equity in Budget Houses Requires Prioritizing

© 2014 by Tricia Borren; all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without written permission.

A remodeled bathroom; photo courtesy Michelle Rebecca

Buying a fixer upper is smart if you have the time and energy to invest sweat equity in the home. You’ll enjoy a lower monthly mortgage note, and your equity will grow quickly as you make important updates and repairs to the home.

If you’ve recently made the investment in a handyman’s special, here are some tips to help you get the house in great condition in 2014.

Renovation Prioritization According to Needs and Wants

You want to refinish the aging hardwood floors, but you need to take care of that plumbing leak. As you go through the home and build your to-do list, it’s important to put everything in a “need” or “want” column.

The needs are repairs that may lead to structural damage or fires if they aren’t addressed quickly, like faulty bathroom lighting.

The wants are items like refinishing the floors and replacing damaged trim. If there are any safety concerns, like damaged Stair Parts or areas of mold, then those should be placed at the top of the want list.

Work One Room or Project at a Time

Once you address the most pressing concerns, you’re ready to start working on the cosmetics and fine details. If you need new windows or doors, it’s easier to replace them all at once.

Otherwise, try to work through one room at a time. Many people start with the living room because it’s the room they spend the most time in. However, there’s something to be said for waking up and falling asleep in a bedroom that’s completely finished.

Remember the Fine Details

It’s the little details that can make a big difference. Matching hardware in the kitchen, beautifully finished wood trim in the hallway, and crown molding in the living room will make the house more impressive.

Lighting, trim, doors, and hardware are some of the most important finishing touches, so take your time and choose accessories that will look great. As you’re planning the renovations and going through the process, pay attention to the fine details and remember that presentation is everything.

Handling the Finances

Paying for the home remodel can be costly, so it’s important to determine how you’ll cover the costs ahead of time. If the home has equity, then a second mortgage is an option.

With a credit card from a home improvement chain, you may be able to get interest-free financing for a full year. You can also simply space out the renovations. Do one or two large projects or room renovations a year to spread out the cost.

If you’ve bought a fixer upper, then you may be anxious to get it finished. It’s easy to become overwhelmed when you have so many projects that need to be done, but it’s easier when you follow these tips.

Make a detailed list of what needs to be done, work through the list one major project or room at a time, and remember to focus on those important finishing touches as you work.

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