Financing Your Spring Remodeling Project
Words of wisdom to pursue projects that require a firm handle on your personal finances
While winter technically doesn’t end until March 20, that’s not stopping people in Denver from starting to “think spring!” The Colorado Home & Garden Show recently took place at the Colorado Convention Center, leaving people inspired to start planning their spring remodeling projects.
Some say, figuring out what you want to do is the easy part. Determining what it’s going to cost and how much you can afford is the next, more difficult step. The average kitchen remodel can cost more than $60,000 these days. Bathroom makeovers run around $16,000, and outdoor remodels, like a new deck, can set you back around $10,000.
Whether it’s a landscaping, gardening or home remodel you are dreaming of, there are some wise steps to follow before undertaking such a costly project.
DETERMINE HOW YOU WILL PAY FOR IT
Refinancing your mortgage to pull out some equity or opening a home equity line of credit are popular ways to fund home improvement projects, but keep in mind the interest payments you’ll be making for years to come.
Of course, the most prudent way to fund a remodel is by saving up ahead of time and having the cash on hand. Find ways to cut back and start putting money aside each month now, earmarked for your remodel. Go without that daily latte or refrain from eating out. The good thing about putting your remodel on hold while you save up the money – besides saving on interest payments – is you’ll have more time to plan your project and shop for deals.
CREATE A BUDGET
No matter how you pay for it, be sure to put together a budget. First, consider how much you are comfortable spending on the project. Next, interview several designers or contractors to get a ballpark figure for how much your project will cost. Finally, it’s a good idea to build in at least 10 percent above the total cost for cushion. Costs have a way of creeping up during a remodel and it’s far too easy to find yourself overspending.
FIND WAYS TO SAVE
There are ways to cut back if you’re flexible enough. Without getting in over your head, can you do some of the remodeling yourself? Perhaps you could do the demolition and painting? How about going middle-of-the-road with appliances rather than top of the line?
Owning a home is one of the most important investments you’ll ever make and improving on that investment can reap dividends. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy the benefits of your beautiful new remodel for years to come.
Shelley Ford is a financial advisor with the Global Wealth Management Division of Morgan Stanley in Denver.