On a sheet of clean paper, create a 3-column listing
of your Wishes, Wants and Needs for improving or repairing the house. The Needs
column should include only those repairs or non-negotiable "must-haves."
The Wants column should itemize your "wanna-have" items or features.
The Wish list can identify what you'd LOVE to include, in the event that money
were no object.
The final Wishes,
Wants & Needs list you develop will help a contractor determine what type
of project, or projects, you are planning. You may even be surprised how many
of your Wish List items make the cut into the final plan and Budget.
The list will also help keep you focused, just as it did in Step #3 when
you were house-hunting. You may need to do your renovations in stages, which you
can base on this list.
Which should come first, the
new furniture or new carpeting?
planning the actual look you'd like to create in your new home. Create an idea
scrapbook with magazine pictures of designs and products you'd like to include
in the project. You'll be doing this not only for yourselves, but for your future
remodeling Contractors reference. The Idea Book will help define the intent, scope
and price factors of your project. Take your time in this step. You will want
to consider all your options.
Determine how much you can afford, given the closing costs and your new
payments. Don't forget to factor in the new bills you've just acquired, like trash,
cable, utilities, homeowner's dues, etc. You'll be amazed how many new bills you'll
be looking at monthly, especially if this is your first home. We'll get into this
is greater detail in the upcoming section
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