Chris Lorenzen's Blog
Moving into a new home is an exciting time. As you look at each potential house you imagine yourself living your life there. Eating pancakes at the breakfast bar with your spouse, watching you children run around the large backyard, turning a spare bedroom into your own personal space. The expenses that come with a move, however, aren’t quite as exciting. If you’ve stretched your dollar a little further than you would have liked but still want to turn your house into a home try these renovations that can fit any budget.
In the kitchen
Pick up some peel and stick vinyl from your home improvement store to add a new backsplash to your kitchen walls without the fuss of tiling. Upgrade your kitchen faucet to something sleek and modern or to a different finish that suits your taste. Install new drawer pulls to cabinets to add your own style to the room.
The Front Door
When you move you’ll have lots of people stopping by to visit and admire your new abode. Make a great first impression by updating the front of your home. Paint the front door a bright, friendly color; yellow and red are two classic options. Installing a kick plate to the bottom of your door not only protects your door from everyday wear but also gives your door a more luxe look. Placing vibrant greenery and blooms by the front door, both inside and outside, makes any home feel more welcoming.
Bring new life to old furniture.
You don’t need to rush out and buy all new furniture for your new home. Instead, alter pieces you already own. Give your worn-out sofa and arm chairs a modern update with slipcovers. Buy a colorful ottoman and some throw pillows to give your living room a whole new feel. Adding wallpaper or an accent color to the back of a bookcase gives the piece some flair for little effort. Artfully arrange books and knick knacks without overcrowding to bring a designer’s touch to the room.
Tiny Changes, Big Impact
Sometimes it’s the small things that make the biggest difference when updating a home. Swap out old, basic switch and outlet plates for ones with more style. With options spanning the ornate to imitation stone, you’re guaranteed to find a style that suits your decor. Add bold new house numbers in a bright color or arranged in a unique way. The more creative you get, the bigger an impact you’ll make. Install new light bulbs designed to bring a bright but friendly warm light to make each room feel more inviting.
Even if your budget is tighter than you would like there are still small home improvements you can make your new house feel a lot more like your home. Sometimes all it takes is a dose of your favorite color or the simple act of putting your own personal stamp on the place.
Once you’re ready to buy a home, you probably have a pretty good idea of what you want. Should you buy a new construction home, or look for an existing one? Builders may refer to existing homes as “used.” This term makes them sound much less appealing. Truthfully, there are many advantages to both new and existing houses.
Benefits Of New Homes
One of the most visible benefits of buying a new home is that it is untouched. The home is clean, and everything is sparkly new. You know that nothing in the house needs to be repaired. That is one of the most significant incentives to buy a new construction home. Having no repairs offsets some of the typical costs that homeowners incur once they buy.
Latest Technology And Amenities
One of the other benefits of new homes is that they are not dated. You’ll have access to all of the latest technologies and amenities in a new construction home. The home will be energy efficient which will save you some money on utilities. You’ll have all of the technological comforts that you need in order to keep your devices charged and your in-home entertainment on point.
You May Be Able To Select Features
If you do buy a new construction, often, you’ll have the option to choose the details of the home. Some key features, colors, and styles will be in your control, so you can’t complain about them once you move in!
There may be less competition for a new home. This is because most new homes are present in neighborhoods that are just being built. All the home on the street are most likely vacant, so people looking for new construction have a lot to choose from in one area.
The Cons To New Construction
Although buying new construction sounds fantastic, there are a few drawbacks. First, you’re pretty much relegated to one location- wherever the new homes are being built which is generally on a new street full of new homes. The area is essential especially when it comes to your home’s value increasing over time. Many times, new construction homes are built by the same construction company. All of the houses on the street look the same, and there may be little differentiation between them other than the color. If you’re someone who likes variety, this is something to consider.
Keep in mind that you can always buy an existing home that may be less expensive than new construction and do whatever it takes to make it your own. This is a practical option for many people. Your options may be a bit fewer if you do decide to look for new construction homes, so it’s good to go into the home buying process with an open mind as to all the possibilities that are available.
Buying a home is a big change. New surroundings, new town and sometimes even a new state. And these things take time to get used to.
But there’s one thing you want to adjust to as quickly as possible - your new budget.
You already know that with a move comes lots of expenses and fees. However, there are a lot of long-term changes you might not realize to take into consideration until they show up in your mailbox.
One is your mortgage payment over the years. Okay, I know you know that your mortgage payment has changed. But what you should consider is how to plan to make that payment each and every month. Sometimes life happens and we don’t have a great month and sometimes we have a string of not so good months. It’s best to come up with a plan now to prepare yourself if anything should happen
It’s recommended to keep three months worth of living expenses saved and put to the side for emergencies. Perhaps you already have money set aside and need to increase this amount to reflect your new lifestyle. And if you don’t have any set-aside, it’s wise to start a savings plan now. Even if you are only able to put aside a small amount each month, your total will grow over time as you stick to the plan.
Home insurance, property taxes, and homeowner association fees/dues. If this is your first time owning a home these will all be new expenses for you and ones you don’t want to catch you by surprise. And if it’s not they are certain expenses you will need to account for. Be sure to add these to your budgeting software of choice ASAP.
Seasonal budget changes. Throughout the seasons you may find significant changes to your expenses. If you have moved to a larger home you will probably find you have higher utility bills, especially in those months where you need to run the furnace or A.C. However, there are also yard maintenance costs to take into consideration. Does your new home have a pool, lots of landscaping or a snowy climate? Ease upfront costs by estimating expenses and create an account to put money aside each month to spread these costs throughout the year.
Another account to consider building up throughout the year is for emergency repairs and renovation projects. Replacing appliances, a roof, porch or pool lining are not expenses we typically expect and can easily shell out for. At least, not without some planning ahead of time. Setting up an account to add money to each month for these specific costs can help ease your mind and feel on top of things.