You may have a long list of changes that you’d like to make to your house, but it’s probably not possible to tackle them all at once. If you have a limited amount of money to work with, you’ll have to set priorities.
Are There Any Safety or Energy Efficiency Issues?
If your house has any areas that aren’t safe, those should be the first projects you take care of. A damaged floor, for instance, is a safety hazard. If a family member falls and gets hurt, that can lead to expensive medical bills and you may be unable to work while recovering. If a visitor gets hurt, your homeowners insurance rates can go up. If you don’t have enough coverage, you can get sued.
If your home isn’t energy efficient, you’re probably spending more than you should on utilities. Replacing windows or adding weather stripping may not be the most exciting home improvements, but they can save you money every month.
Which Room Do You Use the Most?
You may decide to focus your renovation dollars on an area that members of your family use on a daily basis. That may mean remodeling the kitchen, updating the living room or modernizing a bathroom.
Which Problems Do People Notice First?
Think about which changes would make a space more functional and improve its appearance the most. For instance, if the flooring in a room is an eyesore that catches people’s attention as soon as they walk through the door, that’s something you should make a top priority.
Which Renovations Will Give You the Greatest ROI?
When thinking about home improvements, it’s always important to consider the potential return on investment. Even if you don’t plan to sell your house in the near future, your circumstances may change, and you may decide to put it on the market sooner than you expect. Think about how the changes you’re considering would affect your home’s value and appeal to prospective buyers.
Kitchens and bathrooms are the areas that are generally most important to people searching for their next home. Replacing your kitchen counters, appliances and flooring can help you sell your house down the road. If your bathroom is dated and unattractive, installing a new toilet, vanity, tub and tile can modernize and transform the space.
What Can You Afford Right Now?
Homeowners often get into trouble when they take on renovation projects without enough money available to cover them or when they don’t leave room in their budget for unanticipated costs. Paying for home improvements with a high-interest credit card can cause you to spend far more than the actual cost of the project.
Figure out how much you can realistically afford to spend on home upgrades now and stick to your budget. It’s better to spread out projects over time than to wind up overwhelmed by debt.