Do you have a renovation/improvement/maintenance plan? You should...

Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Results Realty

Yep... another plan. 

But, as a home owner, there are a lot of things to keep up with.  Air filter changes, painting and gutter cleaning.  Those are just some of the tasks that we need to schedule... and then there is caulking, raking, trimming shrubs and fertilizing the lawn.  That isn't even including things like updating the amenities inyour home... 

Sure, every once in a while we think it might be nice to redo the kitchen or the bathroom.  Maybe there is a thought about expanding the garage, building a deck or opening up a wall.  It could be adding a skylight or getting new windows... even adding insulation. 

The point is that there are a LOT of things that we, as home owners, need to keep up with... or that we want to change.  And a great tool for that is a longer term plan for the changes we want to make, and how they can be included in the maintenance and upkeep that we need to do anyway. 

After all, if the plan is to add a new master suite, do we want to paint the house before we tear off the siding?  If we are going to replace the roof, maybe that would also be a good time to install the skylights we've been thinking about.  And, of course, caulking and then tearing out the windows to install new energy efficient units would be kind of pointless. 

So, here is an idea...  Sit down and list out all of the things you'd like to do to your home.  Whether it is getting new appliances, remodeling the bathrooms, painting the bedrooms or adding new landscaping, list out everything you can think of... get the whole family involved. 

Then comes the hard part...  Group together the various items to make a plan.  Try to put them into groups that are both achievable (don't bite off too much at once) and related (sealing the crawlspace and replacing the windows aren't a good match...). 

Prioritize the groupings.  If the house is ready to be painted, maybe the kitchen remodel should be put a little lower on the list.  If the stove doesn't make heat, perhaps the windows need to move down the list a notch. 

Cost out the various projects.  This is very important... but at the same time, some things are going to change.  While you want to know what it will cost to put a dry creekbed in the back yard, if you aren't going to do it for a few years, having a "down to the penny" estimate probably isn't terribly important.  But, if you have windows with rotted wood, knowing almost exactly what it may cost IS important... you don't want to tear out all of the windows and find out that you can't afford to replace them until next week...

As items come up for completion, be sure that the new items are going to be available.  I have been halfway through a project and found that the item I was building around was out of stock... 

the bottom line...

Do a little homework.  It can actually be a lot of fun.  If you have kids, they might really get into "designing" their own rooms.  And there is something more important.  You might find that it is cheaper and/or easier to find a home that is ready to go...  In my own household, we want more space...  As I am costing out another garage, and my wife is dreaming of a new master suite, we are thinking that maybe a new house would be better.  But... we REALLY like where we are.  We'll see what the winning plan is.  Will we buy a new house or do a big remodel?  I don't know. 

You'd think as a real estate agent that I would always say "buy a new house", but I know that reality needs a voice, too.  I don't like to move...  I shouldn't expect that you want to pack all of your stuff and move it, either.  On the flip side, I know that if you sink too much money into your home, you will never see it come back out... especially in the short term. 

Balance YOUR options. 

If you need to move... we can talk about it.

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  1. Morris Childs 09/20/2009 01:52 PM
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Bill Risser
Fidelity National Title - Saint Petersburg, FL
Fidelity National Title - Tampa District

Lane - Wow, do I need to sit down and do this!  Most importantly, you say to prioritize and then attack the list one item at a time...  A little perseverance will go a long way!

Sep 20, 2009 12:12 PM #1
Thom Abbott |770.713.1505 | Intown Atlanta GA Condo Living - Atlanta, GA
Midtown Atlanta GA Condos For Sale

Lane...and if you do those plans yourself, it's VERY important to complete a project before you start another. I've got several of those in my house that have never been 100% finished.....UGH!

One of these days.....

Sep 20, 2009 12:56 PM #2
Morris Childs
PEP source - Spartanburg, SC

Lane: This is a really great blog post. Good job.

Sep 20, 2009 01:51 PM #3
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

Bill - Negotiating our plan right now... I don't know why my wife doesn't agree that a 40x50 workshop isn't more important than redoing a silly bathroom.  How much time do we spend i there?

Thom - I can see a few of my unfinished projects from my chair... 


Sep 22, 2009 04:18 PM #4
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