(BPT) Whether it’s transforming a fixer-upper into your dream home or just giving a makeover to your kitchen or bathroom, home improvement projects are on the minds of many new homeowners across the country.
While many things about renovating your home are flexible, your budget might not be. In general, not a single floor board is laid, or a new countertop installed without money, which is why every home renovation project should begin with careful financial planning.
To help homeowners with their renovation projects, Marcus by Goldman Sachs(R) is sharing budget-friendly home renovation tips.
There are several ways to finance larger projects and it’s important to explore your options to find the one that’s right for you. Below are five important tips to keep in mind when deciding how to fund your next home project.
- 1. Shop around. The better you plan, the better chance you’ll save money. Before anything gets torn out or installed, you should spend time consulting with contractors and getting estimates. Look at the work they’ve done to see if they would be a good fit. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions to make sure you’re working with the right people and paying the right price.
- 2. Consider financing options. There are several options when financing a home improvement project and it is important to choose the right fit for you. Home equity loans and home equity lines of credit (HELOC) require you to borrow against the value of your home, with home equity loans offering a lump sum while home equity lines of credit provide you with a credit line you can borrow against. An unsecured home improvement loan can be used based on your creditworthiness and ability to pay, not tied to a piece of collateral.
- 3. Create a budget. Because of the nature of remodels, things often end up costing more than you might think. No matter how big or how small the project, you need to have a solid sense of what your “all in” budget number is. This should not only account for hard and soft costs for things like labor, materials and designers, it should also account for contingency costs. Experts typically recommend budgeting an additional 15 to 20 percent for unexpected scenarios that might arise. A thoughtful budget will help keep your priorities in front of you and prevent you from spending more than you want.
- 4. Remember, this is an investment! Not all home renovations will pay off in the long term. It’s important to consider cost vs. value before you start making changes, especially for homeowners looking to sell in the near future. If you plan on putting your house on the market sooner rather than later, be sure to keep track of the top home features to get the best return on your investment.
- 5. Work with a designer. This might sound like a luxury or an added expense, but in many cases, a designer could actually help save money by finding deals or providing suggestions for less expensive alternatives, such as using quartz or white concrete instead of marble. Above all, their expertise can help avoid costly mistakes that can often arise when people try to cut corners on their own.
With these tips, you should be better prepared to finance your home improvement project. When you’re ready to start, you shouldn’t have to wait weeks for a home appraisal to get your renovation project underway. You could see your home improvement loan options from Marcus by Goldman Sachs in as little as five minutes and once approved, most people see the funds in their bank accounts in as little as four days. With Marcus you could be one step closer to your dream home.