In 2020 a record number of Americans were able to purchase their first home thanks to historically low interest and mortgage rates. Many of these newly purchased homes will have things the new homeowners want to change, and with the pandemic in full swing, there has never been a better time to take on a home renovation and remodeling on one’s own.
For first-time homebuyers, renovation and DIY projects can seem daunting but exciting. However, there are some trends and pitfalls that anyone taking on these projects themselves should look out for.
Spending Too Much
When purchasing a home, getting a great deal is important. However, buyers should be wary of home prices that seem too good to be true because it is often a sign that there is something wrong with the house.
Finding a home that is suspiciously under budget will leave you with plenty of money to begin renovating, but you’ll never know how serious the problem is until you’re in the thick of it. A plumbing project with a budget of $1,000 can quickly double or triple in cost if plumbers discover that old plumbing isn’t up to code and needs to be replaced. Then, all the benefits that careful financial planning bring fly out the window.
Even if a home does end up becoming a bit of a money pit, renovators can still save plenty of cash by going green. Salvaging and reusing as much material as possible is a great way for DIY renovators to go green. While corners should never be cut when doing renovations, keeping some of the original character can be a wonderful way to save some money while still putting your own spin on a new home.
Underestimating the Projects
Whether a buyer intends to move into their home after they renovate it or turn it into a rental property as a long-term investment, they should do their research. Renovators should look into not only how much projects will cost but how long they will take as well.
If a home has serious structural damage, a roof in need of serious repair, or requires a complete overhaul of the electrical or plumbing systems, buyers shouldn’t expect to be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor quickly after closing on a home. These repairs, depending on the size of the home and the severity of the damage, can take weeks or even months to complete.
Additionally, if the home will become a rental property, the buyer will need to ensure that they are in compliance with all local, state, and federal building codes before taking on any tenants. If an unexpected issue with a home’s foundation arises when the homeowner is living there, it is an inconvenience. If the same issue comes up when a renter is occupying the home, there could be legal ramifications and necessary compensation.
At the end of the day, purchasing a home is a huge investment no matter how you look at it. Wanting to save some money is all well and good, but buying a home in need of serious renovations before doing your homework can lead to a real financial headache. Homebuyers should be warned not to fall into these common DIY pitfalls.
Luke Smith is a writer and researcher turned blogger. Since finishing college he is trying his hand at being a freelance writer. He enjoys writing on a variety of topics but real estate topics are his favorite. When he isn't writing you can find him traveling, hiking, or gaming.