Buying your first home can be an equally exciting and stressful time. While you’ve just put down a huge down payment and you’re getting your finances in order, it’s also the time to get inspired about how you want your new home to look and feel. While you should use this energy to spring into action and start working on your new home, here’s how to do it without going broke in the process.
Budget, budget, budget
While you’re likely sick of looking at spreadsheets, we are going to ask you to create just one more. Now you’ll need to create a budget for home renovations, decorating and of course maintenance. While you can’t know everything needed from here on out, it’s important to have some extra money in the bank for when renovation projects take a turn for the worse, which they inevitably always do (depending on the size of the project).
You’ll need to factor in first and foremost maintenance costs, as well as larger renovation projects you have in mind and of course money for decorating.
While you’re also likely sick of planning and just want to tackle the home reno projects that you’re most looking forward to, with any home makeover there is always a best order to do things. For example, if you’re looking to put in new carpet or redo the floorboards and you’re also going to repaint, then it’s best to do the painting first while you don’t care about getting a few drops here and there on a newly furnished floor.
Create a list. Write down all the projects you want to do within the first year of your homeownership and then re-list by priority so that you have an active to-do list in the correct order.
Take it slow
Though you may want to jump the gun and get started as soon as possible, if money is tight now that you’re a new homeowner you may want to first think about paying off as much as you can while you’re accruing larger amounts of interest. By waiting a year or two to begin any major renovation projects and saving up to pay for them while also putting as much into your mortgage as possible you’re giving yourself a much better footing to own your home outright as soon as possible.
It’s also a good idea to live in your home for a little while before starting any renovations to truly figure out what your home most lacks and which projects should take precedence.
Purchase to last
When making over your new home you’ll need to not only think about the way you want your home to look and feel now but also how you’ll need it to be in the next 5 to 10 years. If you’re a growing family you’ll want to take that into consideration before making any major renovation plans. When choosing new furniture, pick classic pieces that will withstand the test of time. Choose practical items with character that won’t go out of style in a year or even a month from now. This will not only save you money in the long run but it will also ensure you have quality pieces that last.
*This article was contributed.