Tag Archives: home

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Remodeling Your Home

24 Aug

My husband and I are currently in contract for our first home. As exciting as it is, it is also incredibly nerve-wrecking to watch money being pulled out of your bank account,  schedule and attend meetings and fret over renovations that need to be made. We are hoping that this is a property we can fix-up and enjoy for at least the next few years.  We were also okay with moving into places that may need some work, which is the type of co-op we ended up choosing. I have a dream that this will end up as a money-maker, but I am realistic and also would just love to break even at the end of it all.

When purchasing a home that needs repairs, you definitely need to consider how much you want to spend before you put an offer down on the property. Here are some important questions to keep in mind to determine whether or not you want to even take on a remodel:

1. Is it worth it? 

  • Do I plan on staying in the property long-term or do I plan on flipping the property?
  • Is the house listed at a lower price than comps that have already been updated?
  • Will renovations have any impact on the resale value of the home? Or will I out-price myself?
  • How many things need to be renovated and at what cost? Are they expensive renovations or not?

2. Can I afford it?

  • Do I have the money on-hand after purchasing the home? Or do I plan on taking out an additional loan?
  • Do I need to put any of my purchases on credit?
  • Are these renovations going to be upscale, middle of the line or a homeowner’s special?
  • Are any of these renovations or updates that I can do myself or will I require contractors, permits, etc?

3. Can I Live With It?

  • Will I be able to live in my home while renovations take place? Or do I need to stay elsewhere?
  • Am I prepared to go without certain things on certain days?

As for us, we will be paying for our renovations out of our own pockets once all is said and done—we are not taking out any additional loans or putting anything on credit. For me, this is the only way to go.

How do you feel about the costs related to renovating your home? Are there any other considerations future homeowners should think about?

The Emotional Cost of Purchasing a Home – Part One

21 Jun

For many years, purchasing a home has been a dream of mine. Of course, my city is so expensive that I can’t afford to buy a house, but I can still purchase some entity nonetheless.

Aside from the financial drain, purchasing a home can take a huge emotional toll on someone as well. Being that this has been a huge dream of mine, I should have realized that no matter how logical I am, there will still be some emotions involved.

How Purchasing a Home Can Be Emotionally Draining

1. The Savings Hit – We have worked very hard to save our money over the years in order to have enough money to put down on something. We withstood the jokes about us being cheap and we annoyingly answered questions from people who couldn’t fathom the idea of getting rid of their cable like we did. The savings account we have almost feels like a blanket to me — we have all of this money just in case. At the same time, we were saving for a down payment in the first place. When you work so hard to save a large sum of money, it feels incredibly scary to all of a sudden have that money disappear. We are going to be putting down 20% so for us, that is a ton of money!

2. Never Quite Right – We have been looking at places for over a month now. We had a short list of things we were interested in finding in a place such as:

  • Two bedrooms, though if the space was large enough or a junior four, we would consider one bedroom
  • Private outdoor space such as a terrace
  • Lower maintenance costs, considering I’ve seen maintenance costs at over $1,000/month
  • Washer and dryer must be available on-site; does not have to be within the unit itself
  • Must cost $350,000 or less
  • Prefer that there is at least one thing that can be remodeled; do not want something that is completely new
  • Must allow cats

There are so many co-ops in my area and the fact that this is so hard to find has been driving me crazy. I don’t think we even have a large list of demands so I don’t know why this has been so difficult.

  1. We have looked at numerous two bedrooms and one or two junior fours. (A junior four is usually a larger one-bedroom apartment that may or may not have a second room.) Many of the two bedroom units that we can afford are small and because of the second bedroom, the price exceptionally higher. There are a couple we have been interested in but things seem to not be working out for us. One of the junior four units that needed work had a no pets policy and exceedingly high maintenance.
  2. The outdoor space is something that is actually at the top of my list in terms of purchasing a co-op. I would really, really like to have a terrace and would take a one-bedroom co-op in order to have one. Unfortunately, terrace units are much harder to come by and usually more expensive.
  3. Maintenance costs are additional costs on top of our mortgage. Some of them make purchasing a co-op for us prohibitively expensive, even if there is a tax deduction at the end of the year.
  4. We actually really like one particular co-op and this is the only reason we haven’t made an offer—it has no washing machine on-site. I can’t imagine owning my own place and having to drag my laundry out every weekend.
  5. Given that maintenance costs for the places we have been looking at run upwards of over $700/month, we must be able to keep our budget on the lower end.
  6. We consider this a starter home and would possibly like to make money off of it down the line. If I buy something that has been completely remodeled before I get there, what can I personally add?
  7. Many co-ops around here do not allow dogs but most of them will allow cats—however, we have come across some places we liked that have strict policies against pets.

I think the most emotionally draining part of the points above is that we have found places that we really liked that are just not working out for us. We have been talking about this two bedroom co-op since we saw it almost a month ago and it’s the one we keep coming back to—but without a washer and dryer on-site, there is no point for us. The realtor for the seller has been pretty annoying about it and we seem to not be able to get our minds off of this place.

Until next time…