Searching for a house is an extensive process that leads to the biggest financial commitment of most people’s lives. That’s why it can be disappointing to find a home that is perfect — except for one problem (or two, or three).
Don’t let a house that needs work scare you away. With the help of a mortgage loan that covers improvements, you can make an OK house into your dream home.
Here are four remodeling projects that are worth the money.
Update the kitchen
The kitchen is where your family begins and ends its day, so it should be comfortable and beautiful — not a rundown area you avoid.
“The kitchen serves as the heart and hearth of your home,” HomeAdvisor says. “It's where you prepare your meals and it's where all of your parties gather. Is it any wonder that kitchen remodels are so popular and have the largest payoff in terms of boosting a home's resale value?”
Your remodel can be as simple as replacing cupboards or as extensive as gutting the entire room and starting over. Use an online calculator to estimate how much it will cost to make the kitchen what you want. From there, explore options in showrooms, on websites and by noting things you love in other people’s kitchens.
The old floors may be damaged or just plain ugly, and replacing them will both freshen your house’s look and allow you to install something durable. Go with traditional hardwood or tile, or pick one of the many patterns in vinyl flooring (including ones that look like hardwood or tile), or choose something else entirely.
“Flooring plays a major role in the look, feel and functionality of your home,” hgtv.com says. “From classic hardwood to trendy concrete, explore flooring surfaces to find the best option for your lifestyle and budget.”
Depending on your comfort level with home improvement, you can install flooring yourself or hire a professional.
Create outdoor living space
Fix a run-down yard by turning it into an expansion of the comfort you find inside. Create anything from a living room-type area to a yoga garden to a relaxing space with fire pits and grills.
“The latest landscape trends reflect the desire to bring the indoors outside — to create comfortable landscapes that are both functional and beautiful,” the National Association of Landscape Professionals says. “ … As more and more homeowners entertain outdoors and make the most of time spent outside, landscapes have become extensions of interior spaces, complete with furniture and appliances.”
Alternatively, stick to upgrades such as beautiful lawns, sheds for storage and pergolas in a seating area.
Prepare for harsh weather
When something goes wrong outside your house during winter months, you have to stand in the cold to fix the damage. Take advantage of the warm season to inspect the exterior of your new house and remodel it for chilly days.
An important consideration is your roof, as a shoddy roof will quickly turn your home into a disaster zone during a storm.
“It’s hard to overstate the importance of a sound roof,” bobvila.com says. “ … Most projects are purely elective, after all, but reroofing isn’t a choice — it’s an essential step toward protecting the structural integrity, outward condition and long-term health of your biggest investment.”
Additionally, check rain gutters, exterior walls and air conditioners. Upgrade or replace your furnace or water heater, so you’re not left with cold air and cold water on a freezing day.
Include the cost in your mortgage
Doing these projects is worth the cost, but cost still matters. That’s where a home loan that lets you add money for improvements comes in.
Eaton Federal offers a Purchase + Improvements Program, with an option to put as little as 5 percent down, a quick process, less paperwork and a lower cost than comparable loans. For more information, call (866) 699-3372, or apply online at eatonfed.com.