Home! Step #4 was a steep one, wasn't it? Whew! But now you have finally made
it into the ranks of the 67 million U.S. homeowners. Congrats! Pat yourself on
In this final phase of the First Real Home
course we introduce you to the sometimes humbling, sometimes exciting, but always-in-your-face
Real Business of learning to be a successful homeowner-slash-money-manager. You'll
learn about cost-effective remodeling options and the smartest ways of working
with home improvement Contractors. Regular home maintenance - or fees for building
upkeep - will be a permanent part of your life now. The purpose of this course
segment is to get your newest life adventure safely off the ground and on the
Here's an outline of what's in store for you in this section:
Think & Do Reminder
Developing a Realistic Budget
Do You Qualify for Do-It-Yourself-ing?
Cost-Effective Cosmetic Changes
Hunting the Elusive 'Reputable Remodeler'
Consumer Protection Tip
Ways to Trim Remodeling Costs
Feeling Couch Potato
No Way, Jose!
So, you've finally gotten moved into your new
home. If you think the hard part's over and all you have to do now is flop back,
relax and watch the tube - think again. Any minute now the new homeowner "nesting
instinct" is going to kick-in. Like clockwork. It's a statistical fact. The
vast majority of new homeowners remodel within 18 months from the date of purchase,
almost as if they'd been given a post-hypnotic suggestion. They can't help themselves.
Studies strongly suggest that the desire
to personalize our territory, den, nest or castle may be anciently and indelibly
ingrained or built into our biological homebody patterning. Don't imagine you'll
be able to easily side-step your new homeowner instincts, because those urges
quite possibly may be locked into your DNA;) If you can accept the fact that
sooner or later you WILL feel the irresistible urge to remodel and, if you prepare
yourself properly for it, answering Nature's Nesting Call can be one of the most
satisfying pleasures of homeownership.
There IS a rational, sane and sensible way to explore, research and balance
the inevitable wishes, wants and needs of home improvement. If you methodically
follow these practical rules, you won't accidentally break the bank or succumb
to an impulsive or over-the-top home improvement that you can't afford, or whose
cost can't be recouped at re-sale.
The Rational Rules of Remodeling consist
of four straight-forward sets of logical questions and answers. We'll raise the
right questions and issues you should consider. The unique-to-your-situation answers
you arrive at will provide the perimeter, parameters and financial structure of
all of your home improvement objectives and needs, while you own this home.
We know. That sounds
like a dumb question. You just GOT here, right? But knowing how long you expect
to live in your home will affect how much money you should invest in it. If you're
going to stay in the house for more than ten years, you can and should spend as
much as you can afford to create the home of your dreams. However, if you expect
or plan to move in the near future, you should take care not to overbuild for
Check out the
real estate comparisons in your neighborhood and keep your investment in line
with the average home sales price, if selling is on your mind. You don't want
to invest thousands of dollars you won't be able to recoup at closing. Some remodeling
projects and home improvements are worth more than others. You may really want
to add a custom library in your home, but it may not raise your home's value.
Renovating a kitchen and bath are almost always good investments, provided you
don't go overboard. How much return you get on your home improvement dollar will
vary depending on your home, your neighborhood and the types of changes you make.
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