You’ve done it: found what’s soon to become your family’s new home! It’s in a great neighborhood…reasonable commute…decent kitchen (size is right; definitely upgrade-able). All this and it fits the budget! Congrats! Looks like your housing hunt is over…
YET…before you sign on the dotted line, there should be one last check-off. Factor in all the costs that improving the house to your liking will entail. The cost of home improvements in can be light—but since that’s not always the case, there are areas where the possible impact on your bottom line can be meaningful. For instance:
Anyone who has had the experience of paying for new fencing—even for just a section in need of replacement—has learned to respect the fencing cost factor. Depending on the type and size (and whether you have a neighbor who’s willing to split the cost!), it will be fairly simple to go online to find a generic online calculator that will estimate an all-in price.
Although repairing split or broken concrete can sometimes be as easy pouring new concrete over the old, often the old has to be jackhammered and hauled away before new concrete can be poured. There are different types of concrete to choose, including coloring and texturing. This is one home improvement that can easily run to several thousand dollars, depending on the size of the renovation.
This one’s a sleeper: the home improvement involving a clogged or blocked drain (or any of a variety of other drainage issues). If drainage issues come up in the inspection report, the long-term health of the property calls for prompt remediation. Usually this is a minor expense, but in extreme instances, you could be looking at clogs that must be excavated to be removed, topography changes, installing new drains, re-sloping concrete, or other fixes.
If sick or otherwise damaged trees are on the property, you could be a storm or two away from a dangerous issue. If removing the tree or trees has been advised, it will be best to plan on acting promptly.
Window replacement, when called for, requires an estimate by a home improvement contractor experienced in the specialty. Depending on how many windows and the type of trim involved, it’s a home improvement project that usually runs in the hundreds of dollars per window. The good news: it also increases the value of the home.
If you’re considering a property with old wiring, ungrounded outlets, or other known electrical issues, a certified electrician’s estimate is your best bet to foresee the extent that re-wiring could be needed.
Home improvements can be immediately gratifying (such as a stunning kitchen remodel!)—or they can be the kind where peace of mind is the principal reward. Either way, after you’ve found a house that looks like a great find, it’s worth the effort to project the cost of improvements you will want to undertake during the first year.
If you’re looking to buy this fall, I’m here to help with a full portfolio of quality home improvement resources and referrals.