Buying your first home is a huge step for anyone, and it can be tempting to jump right in and start making it your own. You should definitely capitalize on your enthusiasm and strike while the iron is hot, but do so in a meaningful way! Here are a few common mistakes you can avoid with a little planning.
Focusing Solely on Cosmetics
If you spent time watching HGTV before buying your house, the first thing you probably want to do is replace old appliances with stainless steel and swap out dated countertops for shiny new granite.
Making those cosmetic improvements is great, but don’t let them come at the expense of larger, structural issues that might be lurking deeper in your home. Your home inspection should have flagged most of them, and it’s important to address them before moving on to more fun purchases.
Speaking of structural issues, once you’ve determined what needs to be fixed, you need to figure out whether it’s something you can comfortably tackle yourself or whether you need to get a handyman involved.
The answer will depend on your ability level and the amount of time you have to devote to home improvement projects. It’s important to be honest with yourself here — you don’t want to get in over your head, but you don’t want to spend unnecessary money on a handyman either.
When in doubt, consult friends and family for a second opinion, especially if they are homeowners themselves.
Rushing into Remodeling
Regardless of whether your home needs a little work or a lot of it, you’ll want to wait at least a few months before you start any major projects. Your mind may change over time as you adjust to the house and get a full understanding of how everything works.
Again, this is frustrating when you want to dive in and get right to work, but you do not want to make changes only to realize you want something else instead.
The break will also allow you to get a better handle on your finances. Once you have a few months of a mortgage payment and utilities under your belt, you will have a better idea of how much you can spend on renovations.