When you’re already established in your job or if you are thinking about starting your own family, investing in a home is a must. Along with your car, a house is one of the biggest investments that you will make in this lifetime – and it takes many years for even a small home purchase to be paid in full.
Fortunately, you can always rely on home loans to provide the financing that you need. Being a homeowner is a huge financial responsibility, although the rewards are well worth it in the end.
In the next sections, we will be looking at ways for you to add value to your home. Also, if you have just purchased or built a new home, what are the ways for you to save big in furnishing and decorating it? Find out here.
Adding Value to Your Home
First, let’s take a look at the ways that you can add value to your existing home. Whether your house was freshly built from the ground up or if you bought it finished but unused, there are ways for you to add value to it.
Some small renovations and home improvement projects can significantly increase the resale value of your home. Should you decide to move in the future or sell your existing home, these home improvement projects will up the property’s value in the market.
According to US News and World Report (Money), the following renovations bring the biggest return on investment for homeowners:
- Replacement of entry door: 96.6%
- Addition of wooden deck: 87.4%
- Addition of attic bedroom: 84.3%
- Kitchen remodeling (minor): 82.7%
- Purchasing of backup power generator: 67.5%
- Addition of a master suite: 67.5%
- Addition of bathroom: 60.1%
- Addition of sunroom: 51.7%
- Remodeling of home office: 48.9%
Even if you’re not considering a move anytime soon, does it pay to invest in these renovation projects? Definitely. It’s all about determining which home improvement or renovation projects will be worth it in the end. If you are welcoming a new member of the family, for example, an additional bathroom or an added bedroom for the kids are both practical and valuable projects that you can take on.
If you’re tired of staring at the same colored walls, even a simple repainting project will add great value to your home. If you don’t have the budget for minor or major renovations, you can simply replace old elements inside your home such as the doors, windows, sidings, kitchen fixtures, etc.
All in all, deciding which home improvement or renovation projects to take on has an impact on the overall value of your home so it is something that you should seriously consider.
Ways to Save Big Money on a Newly-Built House
Meanwhile, if you do have a newly-built home, the expenses, and the work does not end once the structure of the house is finished. You need to work doubly hard and invest on finishing and furnishing the house.
The good news is that there are many ways for you to save big on a newly-built house. Here are a few suggestions on how you can do just that:
Compare material and labor or service costs
Even if the contractor says that the house is ready to move into, you would still want to make some personal changes on the final look of the property. To make it truly a home of your own, you want to personally oversee the furnishing, choosing which material to use as a finishing on the floors, or even decide what color to paint your master bedroom or the kid’s bedrooms.
If you want to save money on these projects, you need to compare labor or service costs, as well as the expenses of buying materials. We will learn more about how you can save money on materials in the next bullet points.
In the meantime, how can you save money on labor costs? It all depends on the arrangement that you have with the contractors of the house. Did it stipulate in the contract that they would be doing all the finishing touches, or is that a separate project that you need to pay for as a homeowner?
If it’s not part of the deal, you can talk with other contractors who specialize in home finishing. These are experts in tile installation, painting, finishing and even interior decorating. Compare the costs offered by at least two contractors so that you would have options, and so that you won’t have to pay any more than the on-going rates.
For finishing, know where to source cheaper materials
What about saving money on materials? If you want to install tiles on the outdoor area, how can you get cheaper materials? Instead of having the contractor source the materials for you, you can do the job yourself. This will not just save you money in the long run, but you can also have the freedom to choose which materials you would like to include in the finishing touches for your newly-built home.
Consider using reclaimed or green/reusable materials
To save money on finishing a newly-built house, you can consider using reclaimed, eco-friendly or reusable materials. For instance, you can use scrap tile materials for the exterior of your garden – which can be sourced from salvage yards, junk yards or recycling areas.
Salvage yards are also a good source of used doors, windows and other home parts that will add a certain charm and character to your home. You can also visit demolition sites where you can collect old barn wood, used bricks, pieces of picket fences and similar materials which you can recycle to furnish your newly-built home.
Invest in energy efficient appliances
Before fully moving into your newly-built home, you must fill it with electrical and electronic appliances. If you are buying most of these brand new, make sure to check on the energy efficiency rating of each appliance.
As compared to the traditional items, these appliances will consume lesser electricity and reduce your utility bills in the long run. The extra investment that you will make buying appliances with high Energy Star ratings will be well worth it in the end.
Minimize the amenities in your garage
Unless you have a big family, do you really need a three-car garage? If your goal is to fully furnish your newly-built home without spending too much, the area where you can save money the most is your garage. There are some homeowners who get carried away buying customized tool cabinets for their garage, or using expensive material to cover the space.
Remember that the rest of your house is more important than your garage, so it’s not something that you should necessarily splurge in. As long as the space is secure and aptly protects your car from the harsh weather elements, you can buy relatively cheap materials for it.
Know which areas of home furnishing you should splurge in
If there’s one part of your house that you should be splurging in, it’s none other than the bedroom. You spend one-third of your life sleeping so the bedroom should be a peaceful oasis where you can get good quality rest. Invest in a good mattress, headboard, bed frame and high-quality sheets.
You should also see to it that the temperature inside the bedroom is very comfortable so that you won’t have any problems getting some shuteye at night.
Consider using vinyl flooring
If you don’t have the budget to furnish the whole house in just one go, take small steps – one at a time. For instance, you really want to have hardwood floors on your living room but you cannot afford it just yet. An easy-breezy solution would be to use vinyl flooring material instead. This can serve as a beautiful, temporary yet cheap solution for flooring material.
In the future, if you already have the budget to have hardwood floors installed, you can simply lay the material over the vinyl floors without any hassles.
Scour farmer’s markets and garage sales for bargains
An antique lamp, an old armoire which you can place in the bedroom, a chest which can be beautiful once restored – these are the treasures that you can find from farmer’s markets or neighbor’s garage sales. Scour these mini-stores for things that you can use to furnish the newly-built house with.
Get at least three price quotations for a project
Finally, no matter which finishing project it is that you are planning for your newly-built house, make sure to get at least three price quotations for it. There are some contractors that will give you price quotations for the labor only while others will include the price of materials in the quote.
Talk with two or three contractors so that you can have options and don’t immediately go with the one who will offer the lowest price – always check on what’s included as well as the Terms and Conditions of the contract.
Having a newly-built home is a very exciting stage in anybody’s life. By following these tips, you can save money on adding the finishing touches to your home, making it ready to move into in no time at all.