Although renovations are usually associated with older houses, buyers of new homes may face challenges, too. A lot of people buy a new house so they don’t have to worry about renovation projects. Now, it’s true that renovating a fixer-upper might be more costly over time than buying new, but new houses are hardly maintenance free. Too often, buyers of new houses believe that, just because the house is new, all they have to do is move in, close the front door, turn on the TV, and sign the checks for the mortgage each month. Click here to read more.. »
Before I proceed, let me say that no matter how smart you think you are, you aren’t as smart as you think. We didn’t know this house was a fixer-upper when we bought it. We had been led to believe by the home inspector that we hired—when hiring one was not as common as today—that we were buying a real charmer, a house into which the previous owner had put tender loving care from which we would benefit. Click here to read more.. »
I was dragged into homeownership kicking and screaming. My accountant stood over me, waving my 1981 federal return, telling me that if didn’t get some sort of big deduction, Uncle Sam could afford to take early retirement based on what I was paying the government in income taxes. Click here to read more.. »
What role does a contractor play in a homebuyer’s life that first year? If you can get one to return your phone calls, the contractor should be both teacher and hand-holder, very much like your real estate agent.
5Remodeling surveys by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University and by the National Association of Home Builders show that first-timers under the age of 35 spend $2,070 a year on renovation projects. The amount climbs to $4,820 for people making $120,000 or more. Click here to read more.. »
For example, homeowners in the Northeast tend to favor formal spaces more than their counterparts in California. There is a marked preference for a formal living room, even though it is hardly ever used and has evolved merely into a place that collects dust. That goes as well for the formal dining room, which is only used on holidays. Click here to read more.. »
Although resale might not be an issue here—extra space can mean a home office, a guest room, or a playroom for families not needing an extra bedroom—you will need to contact the local building official to see what kind of permits are needed. Changing the exterior of the house might require planning and zoning approvals. Don’t forget to bring your neighbors into the process at the start. Click here to read more.. »