Home Improvements – Now and Later

Key Takeaways

  • Think about making your home improvements in terms of immediate, short term, and long term.
  • Planning, budgeting and financing your home improvements are three important steps in ensuring you are able to make the improvements you need to enjoy your home, as well as to get a better return on your money when you sell it.
  • You can do some improvements yourself to save some money, but leave the complex work to professionals who know the codes, regulations and can ensure the work is done right so you don’t run in to issues when you go to sell your home.

When you are thinking about doing home improvements, it’s about now versus later. In order to determine when to do these improvements, there are three things to keep in mind:

  1. Planning: Take a look at what you can do right now, some short term goals, and then your long term plan.image-1image-2
  2. Budgeting: This integrates with your plan in that your budget will be affected by your time-frame. You want to have a monthly budget for your immediate home repairs. Take a look at major improvements you might need to make in the short and long term so you can budget for those. In the long term, thinking about the sale of your home and what you might need to renovate or fix prior to putting your home on the market.image-3
  3. Financing: You may need to think about looking for financing if you have some major improvements in mind and no cash on hand. A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) can help you in one of two ways:
    • You can borrow against the current value of your home, which is determined by the difference between what your home could sell for today, and how much you still owe on your mortgage.
    • If your property does not appraise enough above what you currently owe on your mortgage, you can get the property appraised out to the future value of the home after the improvement is made, and get a refinance.


    Two ways of actually doing the home improvements are to hire professionals, or to do it yourself. If you want to do it yourself, you can:

    • Watch home improvement shows
    • Watch YouTube videos
    • Read internet blogs or books
    • Go to a home improvement clinic or take an online class

    You might even have some skills already that you can use to do repairs, painting, and other small things you can fix on your own without having to pay someone else and save some money there.image-5

    If you don’t have prior experience or skills, it’s best to hire professionals, especially in large renovation projects that require multiple skilled trades such as kitchen renovations or anything involving removing/relocating walls and other structural elements of your home. Professionals like architects and contractors can take care of permits and zoning, and ensure that repairs or additions are done to the current code standards so you don’t run in to issues down the road when you go to sell your home.

    Planning, budgeting and financing your home improvements will let you enjoy your home and get a return on your money when you sell the property.

    Until Next time, enjoy. Gary

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