Ready to remodel your home? Let’s walk through some of the most important considerations before getting started. Together we’ll examine the actions you can take as a homeowner to make the process as smooth as possible. 

We begin at...

Planning 

It’s important to know why you’re remodeling as well as what you’re remodeling. Once you understand the mission of your project you can start breaking down the specifics of its execution. Typically, there’s two main reasons why people decided to remodel. 

Let’s review them…

To Suit A Personal Preference

One major reason behind remodeling projects rests in personal taste. Maybe you’re looking to build a home theatre or a backyard pool for the kids. 

There’s nothing wrong with this, but it’s important to take a few things into consideration before acting. 

It’s still wise to reflect on your project’s impact on your home value. While it isn’t a primary concern now, it will be if you choose to take your house to market. And that begs the question?

How long do you plan to stay in your home?

If you’re unsure or you could see yourself moving in only a couple years, it might be best to hold off on expensive personal projects. Like buying a flashy new car, a personal luxury can come with buyer’s remorse once you realize there won’t be a return on your investment.

But if you plan to stick around, and can afford it, go for it!

Another reason is...

To Increase Property Value

If you’re looking to sell your home, a remodeling project can boost your property’s value.

If you’re looking for the greatest bang for your buck, you might consider exterior projects. These include building a deck, replacing a garage door, making siding replacements, or reshingling your roof. In recent years, these options have shown great promise from a cost vs. value standpoint. [1]

However internal renovations shouldn't be overlooked. In fact, The National Association of Homebuilders conducted a national survey of over 3,000 respondents during the pandemic. They found that 85% of homebuyers had a kitchen layout preference. A significant percentage also saw kitchen features like a double-sink or central island as “must haves.” [2]

A trustworthy real estate agent may also be instrumental in helping you choose a remodeling project that’ll boost your home’s value.

Now you need to start...

Budgeting

So you’ve determined what remodeling project you’re interested in. Now it’s time to check the feasibility of completing it. Reference your monthly budget as you go through the steps below.

Do Your Research: Before speaking with a contractor, it can be beneficial to do your own research. Average project costs along with their associated labor and materials are visible online. This gets you thinking on what a contractor might charge and sets you up for the next step. 

Start Saving: The more you can pay for your project in cash the better. Begin allocating what you can from your budget to prepare for your remodeling.

Consider DIY: Can you step in and do it yourself (DIY)? Not all aspects of your project may require a great deal of technical skill. You might be able to save a pretty penny if you can do some of the simpler parts (ex: painting) yourself. 

Get Multiple Estimates: A contractor is going to provide an estimation for your project’s cost. Your earlier research will help curtail any price-gouging, but it doesn’t hurt to get multiple estimates. Make sure you find a contractor that’s trustworthy.  

Budget A Buffer: Remodeling projects are notorious for going over schedule and over budget.  Beef up your budget by expecting a 10-15% additional amount of expenses. 

Budgeting is very important. At Crafted Finance we specialize in helping homeowners avoid overspending on remodeling projects. Contact us here, if you’d like additional help.

We can also help you...

Explore Financing Options

After reviewing your budget, you’re going to have a more accurate assessment of what you can afford. If you can pay for everything in cash, that’s great. But often it’s necessary to explore other financing options for your remodeling project. Below are some alternatives worth exploring. 

Home Improvement Loans: A home improvement loan is a form of personal loan that’s unsecured. What this means is that your home will not be used as collateral. Instead, these loans are tied to factors like your income and credit score. The amount you can loan out, the payback period, and the minimum down payment required will vary accordingly.

Home Equity Line Of Credit: A home equity line of credit, or HELOC, is a secured loan. This time your home is used as a form of collateral. A HELOC lets you borrow money on an “as-needed” basis and often uses variable interest rates. But remember, variable interest rates are affected by market fluctuations and a secured loan puts your home at risk if you can’t pay.

Home Equity Loan: When someone says they’re taking out a “second mortgage” they are referring to a home equity loan. This allows the borrower (i.e. you ) to take out a loan and pay it back at a fixed interest rate. Like a HELOC, a home equity loan is secured. But unlike a HELOC, you’re borrowing money as a lump sum rather than on a flexible, “as-needed” basis.

Cash-Out Refinancing: This option has you exchanging your current mortgage for a new one. This will provide you with a lump sum of cash as your existing mortgage is paid off. However, this option involves lengthy proceedings like underwriting and appraisals. And, depending on the new mortgage terms, could end up costing you heavily in the long-run.

But as you're exploring financing, remember to...

Expect the Unexpected

Understanding basic macro-economic trends can keep you privy to potential increases in cost per your remodeling projects. Below are a few factors to consider.

Tariffs: This is a tax introduced by the government on the import/export of certain goods. And it can result in foreign goods becoming more expensive than domestic ones. If tariffs are placed on cheaper remodeling materials from foreign countries, costs could increase. For example, tariffs were applied to foreign aluminum and steel during the Trump administration. [3]

Labor: Remodeling is going to involve manual laborers. If remodeling/home building projects are in high-demand in your area, laborers will be able to charge more for their time. Higher costs can be exacerbated by fewer people entering into the skilled labor positions (ex: carpenters). In 2021, there is a shortage of such professionals. [4]

Home Material Prices: Natural disasters, factory shutdowns, and other forces can have a direct impact on home material prices. And if prices for things like dry-wall, copper, and steel rise, contractors will have to compensate. Pay particular attention to the cost of wood, as it was found that in 2019, 90% of U.S. homes were built using wood frames. [5]

All of these factors are subject to change at a moment’s notice. And remodeling in 2021 serves as a prime example. Right now, remodeling costs have skyrocketed.

The Bottom Line

Remodeling can be exciting, essential, and expensive. It’s best to have a clear picture of what you want done and how you’re going to pay for it. And it doesn’t hurt to keep your eyes on the economic forces that increase costs. 

At Crafted Finance we recognize the need to help our clients through this often uncertain process. We help you keep costs in mind and under control as you remodel for yourself or the marketplace. 

Reach out to us at 650-336-0598 for further guidance or fill out a contact card here, and we’ll reach out to you.

References

1.https://www.forbes.com/sites/brendarichardson/2020/01/14/10-home-improvement-projects-that-return-the-most-at-resale/?sh=f1f5a2562016

2.https://www.nahb.org/-/media/NAHB/news-and-economics/docs/housing-economics-plus/special-studies/2021/special-study-what-home-buyers-really-want-march-2021.pdf

3.https://www.brookings.edu/policy2020/votervital/did-trumps-tariffs-benefit-american-workers-and-national-security/

4.https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210318005265/en/U.S.-Skilled-Trades-Labor-Shortage-Heightens-as-In-Demand-Jobs-Remain-Unfilled-the-Longest

5.https://time.com/6046368/wood-steel-houses-fires/