Whether it’s done by a pro or you decide to DIY, the best way to protect your home renovation is to always expect the unexpected. When renovating my friends’ 1980s beach condo, I encountered some pressing issues that I knew I had to share with all you fellow DIYers out there. Projects rarely start and end without hiccups, and they’re usually out of your control; but what you can control is how you prepare for them.
Depending on your neighborhood, there may be HOA restrictions to be aware of. Often times, exterior modifications must be approved by the HOA board. In my beach condo renovation, the condo is grouped with other condos, leaving exterior modifications absolutely prohibited. Thankfully, all the planned renovations were interior updates, and none required structural changes.
But, I still wasn’t out of the woods. I had to be mindful of the noise ordinances that restricted the times I could work on the condo. The last thing I wanted to do was upset or inconvenience the neighbors, or cause issues for the HOA board or the condo’s owners. Protect your home renovation process by double-checking the HOA rules or noise ordinances in your area just to refresh your memory; if you have questions, ask for clarification prior to taking on any renovation projects. (PS: It may be a nice gesture to give the surrounding neighbors a head’s up of your plans!)
Especially with HOAs, there may be restrictions on how you handle construction debris. With the beach condo, the community dumpster rules specifically state that no construction debris is allowed. The beach condo is only 490 square feet and when we started tearing stuff out, the space got really small really fast. This required us to haul countless trips to the city dump ourselves, which was quite a distance away and ate into working time.
To protect your home renovation project from needless stress, find out if you can have a temporary dumpster outside your home, and be clear about when it will arrive and when it will leave. If you’re not in an HOA, you still might have restrictions. For example, my neighborhood allows for what we call “big trash pickup,” but there are rules for how many days the trash can sit on the curb. If you’re unsure of what the rules are, a quick search or phone call to your town’s municipal office can help.
If you’ve ever watched a renovation show on HGTV, you know that hidden problems are common to renovations. Even if things look completely normal from the outside, you just never know what’s going on inside walls and underneath floors. When we installed our new vinyl plank flooring in our home, we found that the floors were in such bad shape, part of the subfloor needed to be replaced. At the condo, when we removed the toilet to replace the flooring, we discovered the drywall was damaged; when we removed the trim, there was mold!
While neither situation was disastrous, these surprises added extra time, money, and effort before we could continue with the projects. Protect your home renovation by setting aside a little extra money in an “emergency fund” for these kinds of unexpected surprises.
(READ MORE: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting a DIY Renovation)
Tight Time Frames
Unless DIYs are your full time job, you’re likely fitting in your projects after work or on weekends. Setting realistic time frames (note I didn’t say “expected” time frames!) is an easy way to protect your home renovation because it can cushion you against projects taking longer than you’d like. You never know when supplies may take longer to receive, what unexpected issues may arise, or how many trips you’ll need to take to the home improvement store. All of these things take away from actual working time, and when you’re already working on tight HOA-regulated work times or client schedules, they can greatly impact how long a project will take. Overcalculating your project’s duration can help save you frustration and panic down the road.
Protect Your Home Renovation with Homes.com
The most crucial way to protect your home renovation is to have a clear plan. Map out the steps that you need to take, the projects you plan to complete, tools you’ll need, and supplies to complete the job. Do your research and if you’re not sure, ask the opinion of a professional. Homes.com has a library of resources to help you with your home projects, so take a look around and be sure to check back for more tips, tricks and insights!
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Brooke has a lifestyle blog called Cribbs Style and currently lives in Charleston, SC. This wife, mom of two almost tweens, and mom of three fur children enjoys all things DIY and organizing. When she’s not helping others tackle the chaos of life, she’s either working out, at the beach, or just enjoying time with family and friends.
Curb appeal should always be front of mind when you plan to sell your home and want to attract buyers, but it’s just as desirable when you want to boost your real estate’s resale value in general. It also makes your home a more appealing place in which to live in the interim, which is why you may want to consider these smart exterior home remodel projects in the future.
Ideas for Exterior Home Remodel Projects
No matter how beautifully you decorate the inside of your home, the outside offers up the first impression to visitors, and these exterior home remodel ideas can be great investments for you as a homeowner—whether you’re planning to sell your house now or not.
From adding texture to the exterior of your home to swapping out old windows for more contemporary ones to fixing up your front door, a home exterior makeover can be a smart way to make a lasting impact in a short amount of time.
Replace Your Front Door With An Inviting Style
Psychologists say that it takes just seven seconds to make a first impression, meaning your front door is one of the first parts of your house that a guest or potential buyer will see—the catalyst for making a snap decision on how they feel about the home in general. Thus, the front door should be one of the first places you focus your energy when tackling exterior renovations of your property.
combining cedar shingles and shiplap in the same color .
You can also mix and match levels of gloss, or shapes and lengths of bricks and stone.
For a baseline cost, installed vinyl siding can range in price from $6,116 and $16,143, with the average cost being $10,956. Your costs will depend on the thickness of the siding, how much added style you want as you mix and match textures, the size of your house, how standard the shape of your house is or isn’t, and any added details like moldings, trim, soffits, corners, or vents. If there’s old siding that needs to be removed first, you’ll also want to factor in the additional cost of labor (or consider doing it yourself).
Upgrading the Windows
credit card debt can be tricky to pay off. That’s because most credit card companies charge compound interest, which means you’re paying interest on the accrued interest, with the interest continually calculated and added to your balance. To make matters worse, the interest may typically be compounded daily.
Even if you make minimum payments, the interest just keeps compounding. In fact, it keeps doing so until the balance is paid off completely. If you miss a payment, the situation gets worse, with late fees and penalties often added on.
If you’d like to calculate what you’d actually pay on your remodeling debt, use our credit card interest calculator.
If you decide that it won’t make sense to use a credit card to pay for your remodeling, then consider comparing and contrasting home equity lines of credit versus personal loans. Under certain circumstances, a home equity line of credit (HELOC) may make sense; for example, if you have significant equity in your home, plan to borrow a large amount of money and/or want the potential tax benefits.
Benefits of choosing a personal loan include:
• You won’t tie up any equity in your home. • Fees are likely to be less, and maybe you won’t have to pay any fees at all (like at SoFi). • Application and approval processes are typically faster than with a HELOC.
With a home improvement loan from SoFi (not a HELOC; rather, a personal loan for home improvement purposes), you can benefit from:
• a quick process, one that typically takes seven days from online approval to funding • fixed payments, which makes budgeting easier • not having your home equity tied up • no fees, no surprises, no catches
Considering exterior home remodel projects can be a way to increase your house’s curb appeal, while also adding value; they also are often the quickest way to turn a real estate investment into long-term value. Exterior home projects can be as simple as adding a fresh coat of paint to your existing front door or as complex as replacing all the windows in your house to be both contemporary and more energy efficient.
At the very least, tackling these smart exterior home remodel ideas should help you down the line when you decide to sell your house.
To get started, you can find your personal loan rate in just two minutes. Then, when you’re ready, you can quickly and easily apply.
Ready to get started? You can quickly and easily apply for your personal loan online.
SoFi Loan Products SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp (dba SoFi), a lender licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Financing Law, license # 6054612; NMLS # 1121636 . For additional product-specific legal and licensing information, see SoFi.com/legal. External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement. Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances. PL18214
DIY (do it yourself) is a common approach to home repairs for a variety of reasons, from budget to perceived simplicity. For those preparing to sell their home, pinching pennies can be a common motivation for tackling fixes without professional involvement. In some cases, DIY solutions are a great way to save time and money with very little risk, but at times, neglecting the abilities of a pro can cause costly problems.
Hire a Professional for These Home Repairs
Not all home repairs are made equal. Basic home projects, like putting up wallpaper, are relatively low risk and don’t pose the potential for big problems down the line. However, more substantial projects can require a level of expertise above and beyond what the average homeowner can accomplish. When not handled properly, these kinds of DIY fixes can result in serious damage that could cost a small fortune to fix. That’s why we created a list of projects that should be handled by the professionals, rather than doing it yourself.
1. Electrical Work
Dealing with any notable wiring issues throughout a home is best left in the hands of an electrician. While something simple, like replacing a lightbulb, is certainly possible without a pro, anything larger requires someone trained in electrical systems.
Accessing electrical boxes, installing new lighting fixtures, replacing wiring, adding new wiring, or anything else more complicated has the potential to harm both you and your property without proper oversight. Accidents with electrical work can cause electrocution or start fires, putting both your health and your home at risk. Without the expertise of an electrician, there’s no way to know whether the tutorials you’re reading or viewing online are appropriate for your property.
Plumbing, like electrical work, can be tricky to get right for those without formal training. It’s not unusual for DIY home repairs to cause burst pipes or leaks, opening the door for potential water damage to your home. When these leaks or broken pipes are found within walls or difficult to detect it can become a serious issue.
Before trying to do something like replacing a pipe or installing new fixtures, contact a plumber to make sure your repairs are appropriate and up to code. It’s cheaper to hire a professional for small tasks from the start than to bring in a plumber once a problem arises. Installing a new faucet is much cheaper than to both install a new faucet and fix the problems caused by a DIY installation gone awry.
3. Full Bathroom Remodels
Bathroom remodeling projects often seem easy, but can actually entail much more than you may think. Oftentimes, these projects can require elements of other kinds of home repairs, like plumbing and electrical work.
Tackling a bathroom from top to bottom can be an excellent way to boost your home’s value before listing it, but approaching a remodel in the wrong way can be disastrous. An error in plumbing, cabinet and counter installation, wiring, or anything else could be more costly than beneficial. When you want your bathroom to look – and function – it’s very best, you will want help from a licensed contractor or remodeler who can adhere to building codes and prevent major problems.
4. Foundation and Crawl Space Repairs
Little foundation fixes or crawl space repairs may look simple on the surface, but these kinds of projects can be serious endeavors and require the training and tools the average homeowner doesn’t have. This is particularly true with foundation repairs, especially if you live in an area with a wet climate like Seattle, WA. Failing to address signs of foundation damage can threaten the stability of your entire home. Additionally, an improper DIY home repair can yield more costly treatments down the road and leave room for much more serious damage.
Identifying and fixing foundation problems can require anything from construction equipment to hydraulic lifts. Instead of taking the easy way out, partner with a professional to make sure these serious repairs are made the right way.
5. Roof Replacement or Repairs
Roofing is both challenging and potentially dangerous, making this a poor choice for a DIY project. Replacing shingles or repairing structural issues can be tempting – roofing prices can be steep – but these kinds of tasks are easy to do incorrectly. When shingles aren’t placed properly, insulation is lacking, chimneys aren’t adequately navigated, and safety precautions aren’t taken, big problems can happen.
Climbing around on the top of your house with tools and heavy materials is a home repair project best left for a professional. The risk for improper insulation, wrong shingle placement, or even slips and falls makes roofing jobs far too challenging for a standard homeowner. Also, having a professional step in for a big project like this will ensure everything is done well and in a timely manner.
6. Replacing Siding
The siding on your home looks deceptively simple, but replacing a whole house worth of siding can be a seriously challenging home repair. This task can take days on end, and placing siding straight and even is a much harder project than it may appear to be on the surface.
It’s also important to remember that siding is more than an aesthetic feature. Siding that’s installed incorrectly can cause water and weather damage, driving increased temperature control costs, the likelihood of pest damage, and potential structural issues. Simply put, if you are planning to replace your siding to increase your home value, make sure a professional is involved in the process.
There’s a lot to be said for the peace of mind that comes from partnering with an electrician, plumber, roofer, remodeling company, or contractor. Before charging ahead with a DIY home repair, make sure you understand the scope of the repairs you are trying to make, any risks, and the potential value of professional involvement.
This story originally appeared on The Penny Hoarder.
Home improvement projects have a way of increasing in priority when you’re always in the house.
The leaky kitchen faucet never really bothered you until you had to turn your kitchen table into a desk, forcing you to listen to the dribble. All. Day. Long.
Or maybe you discovered your cozy home isn’t quite big enough to also house an office, gym, and school, so you need to rethink your space.
Whatever the reason and whatever the size of the project, you need to make a change — but how are you going to pay for it?
Considering the eye-popping price tag — the average cost for just a garage door replacement is $3,695 and a minor kitchen remodel surpasses $23,000 — you might not know where to start for financing your home improvement projects.
But whether the price tag is a few hundred dollars or into higher multiples of digits, we’re here to help you decide the best way to finance your project — without winding up in debt long after the last coat of paint has dried.
7 Ways to Finance Home Improvements
Listening to financial experts talk about how to pay for your home improvement is a good idea, but what do they know about the real-life leaking roof you’re living with?
Well, Jill Emanuel is the lead financial coach at Fiscal Fitness Phoenix. She works with plenty of clients as they choose financing for their home renovations.
But she’s also a homeowner who needed to replace her entire air-conditioning system and ductwork this past spring — and in Arizona, air conditioning is not optional.
She spoke with us about how to decide which options are best for a home renovation — as well as her personal experience financing her own project.
Wait, Should You Even Be Doing This Project?
First thing’s first: What’s your reason for doing this home project?
Is the repair necessary (like replacing a dead refrigerator) or a nice-to-have (like adding a backsplash)? “Or is it that they’re just bored right now and staring at the thing that doesn’t look the way that they want it?” Emanuel asked.
Doing this assessment can help you prioritize projects. Here’s what else to consider before you start a project.
Consider ways you could save by doing some (or all) of the home improvement project yourself. But beware: You could end up living with — or paying someone to fix — a half-finished repair or poorly executed project if you overestimate your DIY abilities.
Many home-improvement retailers offer free classes that can help you save on at least part of a project by teaching you how to do smaller projects, like patching and painting plaster.
By creating a home improvement budget before you start anything, you can avoid letting projects grow out of control, both physically and fiscally.
Do Your Research
If you have the money already on hand for a smaller project — replacing a faucet, for instance — the research process may only take a few days as you compare prices and ask your plumber for an estimate if you don’t want to do it yourself.
For larger projects — like renovating a bathroom — doing the research could take months. Emanuel recommended checking out home-improvement blogs and podcasts, watching YouTube tutorials and getting recommendations from family and friends as part of the process.
When you’re ready to get an estimate, request quotes from at least three sources. When Emanuel was ready to replace her air-conditioning system and ductwork, she said she ended up getting five estimates.
“The first three that we got were all over the place — the lowest was around $14,000 and the highest was around $30,000,” she said. “And they were all recommending different things.”
Before you invite anyone out for an estimate, decide ahead of time that you aren’t going to sign anything that day. It’s the job of the salesperson to try to close the deal on the spot, but when you’re considering projects that can climb into the thousands of dollars, it’s not the time for a rushed decision.
If a salesperson pressures you to sign — saying the deal they’re offering is only good for today, for instance — stand firm. There’s a good chance you can ask for the same “deal” if you call them back a few weeks later (especially if it’s at the end of the month when they need to meet their sales quotas).
After the initial research phase, it’s time to think about financing your project. Here are seven to consider, including the pros and cons of each.
1. Pay Cash
If you have the cash to spend on a project, this one probably seems like an easy choice.
But how much should you shell out for a renovation — and when should you hang onto the cash instead?
Right now, most financial advisers say hold onto your cash, given the current economic uncertainty.
If you do use cash, ideally, you should put off the project until you can pay for it in full — you can often get a discount from a contractor by paying for the project in cash.
That’s Emanuel’s advice to her clients, but she noted that she found out firsthand that sometimes a project can’t be put off until you’re financially prepared.
“We could have waited until we had all the money to pay cash for [the air conditioner],” she said. “But that would likely be a year down the road, and when we had inspections done on our AC, they said it probably won’t make it through the summer.”
2. Dip Into Your Savings
Gathering the cash for a specific project is ideal, but what about dipping into your savings?
Again, in an ideal world, you should have a specific savings account for the inevitable home repairs and projects.
“If we can be in the habit of putting even a couple hundred dollars in the savings every single month, label that account for home repairs and projects,” Emanuel said.
Financial experts recommend that you set aside 1% to 3% of your home’s value every year for home maintenance. So for a $250,000 home, you should save at least $2,500 every year.
But what if you haven’t set up a separate account and all of your savings is piled into one account?
You’ll have to figure how much you need to set aside for an emergency fund. The general rule of thumb touted by many personal finance professionals is to have between three to six months’ worth of living expenses stored up in your emergency fund.
Once you figure out the amount that you feel comfortable with for an emergency fund and have accounted for other savings goals, you can consider using the remaining funds in the account for your home improvement project.
Emanuel noted that some home projects might be considered emergencies — like, say, not having air conditioning in Arizona in June.
Her family considered tapping their emergency savings for the project, “but we didn’t love the idea of draining that much money from our savings, which I think is very true for most people right now.”
3. Apply for a HELOC
Regardless of whether you have the cash, you potentially have another source for funding: the equity in your home. There are three options: a home equity line of credit (HELOC), a home equity loan, and cash-out refinancing.
And if you’re like a growing number of Americans, you may have built up a sizable nest egg in your home. Home equity climbed from $7 trillion in 2011 to $15.5 trillion in 2018, according to Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.
So which form of financing should you choose?
A HELOC is more like applying for a credit card — you’ll receive a line of credit that you can use at your discretion.
If your project is an ongoing one — or you want to pay for it in phases — a HELOC may be the better choice, according to Emanuel.
“Maybe they want to be able to pull out $5,000, get some of the work done, and pay down some of the balance,” she said. “Then they go to the next part — they pull out $10,000.
“Or there are multiple contractors that they’re going to have to access the line of credit for at different periods of time. It can work pretty well for that.”
You can typically get a much better interest rate on equity lines of credit compared with credit cards, but they’re adjustable rates — which means your interest rate could increase suddenly.
But beware of what you’re signing up for, Emanuel warns. An interest-only HELOC could offer an enticing monthly payment during the draw period — that’s when you can withdraw funds and make interest-only payments.
Terms vary by lender and loan, but the typical draw period is 10 years, with the repayment period lasting 15 to 20 years.
But you won’t make any progress paying off the original balance until the repayment period, which could be years after you’ve completed your home improvement project.
“It looks really great when you’re thinking gosh we have this big project and we don’t have a lot of cash on hand,” Emanuel said. “But the balance never goes down.”
4. Use a Home Equity Loan
Another choice for tapping the money you have invested in your home is a home equity loan, also known as a second mortgage.
For home equity loans, the lender gives you your money all at once, and you repay it at a fixed interest rate over a set period of time.
For any loan that uses your home equity as collateral, be aware that the lender can potentially take your house if you default on the loan.
If you get a quote for a home improvement project that you want to accept and pay for upfront, a home equity loan could be the way to get a large lump sum at once.
But be careful — if you end up depositing the money into a general savings account, your loan could trickle away quickly if you dip into the funds to pay other expenses like credit card debt or personal expenses.
Emanuel said she and her family weighed the pros and cons of a HELOC and home equity loan, but weren’t fans of the interest rates they’d be tying themselves to for years.
5. Use Cash-Out Refinancing
In a cash-out refinance, you’re replacing your existing mortgage with a new one for a larger amount. You can withdraw the difference between your new mortgage and the old one — lenders typically limit the loan amount to 80% of your home’s value.
If you can snag a substantially lower interest rate than your current mortgage rate, the savings could potentially allow you to get the money you need for the renovation, enjoy lower monthly payments and still be on track to pay off your mortgage in the same timeframe as your old mortgage.
But you’ll need to factor in all the fees associated with refinancing — like closing costs, appraisals, and title searches — before deciding if you’ll save on this option.
The option is best for those who want to stay in their home for several years to recoup the costs.
And you’ll need the discipline to spend the money on only a project that adds value to your home — think completely renovating a kitchen or adding square footage to the home — to make a cash-out option worth tapping the equity in your home.
6. Apply for a Home Improvement Personal Loan
Personal loans — marketed as “home improvement personal loans” — are another loan option to consider.
The good news is that it’s typically a lot easier and faster to get a personal loan compared to a home equity loan — there’s a lot less paperwork involved because it’s an unsecured loan. If you apply for an online personal loan, you could potentially be approved and have the money in your account in less than a week.
But to qualify for the low interest rates that online banks advertise, you’ll need a credit score of 600 or better. And you may not be able to borrow nearly as much with a personal loan compared with home-equity lending options if you have substantial equity in your home.
If you have less than stellar credit, you could be facing double-digit interest rates on the loan, so read the terms and conditions carefully before you sign.
7. Accept a 0% Financing Offer
So what did Emanuel end up choosing to finance her air conditioner replacement project?
“The last option was that we could get financing through the company that was going to install the AC units,” she said, adding that big-box retailers like Lowe’s and Home Depot often run specials for similar offers for financing projects.
“They had a partnership with Wells Fargo that was doing 18 months of 0% financing for home improvements. Ultimately, that’s the route we took.”
And while her family is enjoying their air-conditioned comfort without paying any immediate interest, she warned that this is not the best option for everyone.
That’s because the 0% financing offers aren’t actually interest-free — they’re interest deferred, meaning you’re still accruing the interest. But that interest will be waived so long as you pay the full amount by the introductory period’s deadline.
Zero-interest credit card offers are another financing option — you can use the card like a HELOC. But pay off the balance by the end of the introductory period or face sky-high interest rates.
“That’s where, really, people can get into a lot of trouble — they feel very optimistic going into the project,” she said. “They’re thinking: We have all the time in the world, we’ll be able to get it paid off — they look at the minimum payment, and they feel like this is something they can afford.”
But if you lose your job, a financial emergency arises, or you simply don’t pay off the amount aggressively enough, you’ll be facing a hefty new balance when the deadline arrives.
“A personal loan would have been better, even if it was a 10% loan,” she said. “They still would have come out ahead than having all that back interest applied at the end.”
How much extra could it potentially cost? Emanuel checked her own statement after four months into her 0% interest introductory period.
“In just those four months, $1,500 worth of interest has already accrued,” she said. “If we were not to get it all paid off within those 18 months, we would have over $3,000 worth of interest.”
She considers the statement just another reminder to pay off the balance well before her introductory offer ends.
Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.
Taking on do-it-yourself (DIY) home projects is incredibly satisfying, if not empowering. But, some projects are better left to professionals, as they can potentially impact the integrity, safety, and resale value of your home. If you’re a homeowner, check out this list of the best and worst projects for DIY so you can decide which route is best for next project!
Replacing flooring yourself can be tricky, especially if you’re a DIY newbie. There are a wide variety of flooring choices, but what’s most important is how they are installed. Something like luxury vinyl plank flooring is very forgiving for a person new to DIY, but anything that needs to be glued down — like some wood, linoleum, or tile options — may be better left to a professional installation. The last thing you’d want is to have uneven flooring or inadequate protection from elements like heat, cold, moisture, and even insects. This also includes installing carpet, as there are special tools and techniques that keep carpets tight and secure.
Best: Paint Projects
No “best and worst projects for DIY list” would be complete without mentioning painting. Perhaps the most popular choice for DIYers, painting your space is a budget-friendly project, especially given how impactful it is. Paint protects your space indoors, and can shield your home’s exterior from the elements. But, even though it’s a simpler DIY, doing it wrong could negatively effect your home’s look, and even it’s sale value. Follow these tips for a smooth paint process:
Make sure you know what sheen of paint works best for the area you’re focusing on. For example, painting your bathroom will require a sheen and paint formulation meant for high moisture.
Have the right supplies! Using the wrong kind of brush or roller can make or break your paint project. Don’t hesitate to ask a professional or the person at the paint counter at your local home store for their advice.
Grab a friend to help (but don’t forget to wear your masks)! It’ll go by much faster with a trusted companion working alongside you!
Worst: Porches and decks
Lots of thought and planning is required for a successful porch or deck build — after all, the last thing that you want is for the structure to collapse and cause injury. Equally important is how it’s attached to your home, and making sure it’s structurally sound so it won’t damage your property. This is why a building permit is usually required to construct them. To maintain this high level of integrity calls for at least a basic knowledge of construction skills and materials, plus access to the heavy-duty tools required to do the job. For those reasons and their major implications for safety, we definitely recommend a professional for porches and decks if you’re newer to DIY.
Best: Backsplash Tile
Adding or changing backsplash tile is the perfect beginner DIY project, because it’s a simpler way to learn the ins and outs of tile work. Usually, areas with backsplash are smaller compared to shower walls or floors, and can be a little more forgiving if you make a mistake. To make DIY backsplash even easier, there peel-and-stick tile options are available that require no thin set or grout. Some don’t even require a tile saw to cut the product. Easy peasy!
Worst: Electrical Work
Basic electrical work, like swapping out ceiling fans or lights, is doable for most new DIYers. On the other hand, rewiring your lights completely or adding new electrical systems to your home are complex tasks and are definitely something to leave in the hands of a licensed electrician. Wiring fixtures can mean the difference between safety and peace of mind, and an electrical fire that damages the home or worse, causes injury or death. If you’ve got your eyes on a more extensive electrical project, let the pros handle it!
(READ MORE: It’s Electric! What You Need to Know About Electrical Panels)
Worst: Structural Changes
Any time you want to add on to your home or open up a room, this is definitely something to hand over to a professional. Depending on your project, you’ll need proper permitting and inspections to ensure the space is up to code. Even if you want to remove a wall from within your home (they make it look so simple on HGTV, don’t they?), you need to know if it’s load bearing (meaning, the weight of the floor above it or the roof line, is literally resting on that wall). Remove a load bearing wall and your home could potentially collapse, so this is something best left for a professional.
Best AND Worst: Roof repairs
It’s helpful to know how to fix minor roof damage and proper safety protocols for working on your roof. Not fixing your roof correctly could not only compromise it’s integrity, but also put the inside of your home in danger of extensive damage. Issues like a loose shingles are relatively simple fixes that you can typically DIY; plus, this type of proactive maintenance can extend the life of the roof. But, for issues like extensive leaks, major storm damage or structural sagging, a roofing expert should be your go-to. They can diagnose the issue, give options for safe and sturdy repair, and provide you with a ballpark cost estimate so you aren’t caught off guard (something we can’t promise if you try to DIY it!).
The Bottom Line
Even though a professional might be a better option for your home project, it doesn’t mean the project is impossible for you to DIY. It just means that you need to take extra caution and care to understand the project scope and what the implications are if something goes wrong. If you’re not sure about something, it’s always better to invest the money to have projects done correctly so mistakes or overlooked issues don’t end up costing you even more later. While DIY is meant to be rewarding, protecting your investment should always be your number one priority.
For more DIY tips, be sure to subscribe to Homes.com’s bi-monthly newsletter and check back here for all things DIY-related!
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Brooke has a lifestyle blog called Cribbs Style and currently lives in Charleston, SC. This wife, mom of two almost tweens, and mom of three fur children enjoys all things DIY and organizing. When she’s not helping others tackle the chaos of life, she’s either working out, at the beach, or just enjoying time with family and friends.
It doesn’t matter how perfect your home is—if your listing photos don’t stand out, potential buyers won’t come by to take a look. In our series “Lessons From Listing Photos,” we dissect the smart updates sellers have made to their homes, and how their listing pictures highlight the home’s best assets.
All over the country, housing markets go through boom and bust, even in normal times. But during a pandemic, you might expect that real estate would slow down, and that many buyers would hold their ground—and their cash, waiting for a moment with more economic stability.
However, last summer, when COVID-19 cases were surging and social restrictions made house hunting especially challenging in certain areas, home prices hit record highs.
In July 2020, the median home price hit a new all-time high of $349,000, according to realtor.com® data. Why? We chalk it up to a low inventory of homes, historically low mortgage interest rates, and people’s desire to own property in less crowded, less expensive locations.
In the suburban areas of Dallas, as in other suburbs around the country, home prices continued to grow as mortgage rates dropped, and city dwellers began to dream of the beauty of a little space.
That may help explain why this three-bedroom, two-bathroom home just outside the city was such a success when it hit the market in July 2020.
It took a mere five days for a buyer to come calling, and the sellers made a profit of nearly $200,000. They purchased the house in 2016 for $596,000, and just four years later, sold it for $779,000.
Of course, a popular housing market isn’t the only reason that this home sold so fast. We’re pretty sure the stylish home improvements, staging, and compelling listing photos had a lot to do with it, too.
Profits like that pique our interest, so we had to take a closer look at the interior changes that were made.
We asked our panel of design and real estate experts to pinpoint what you can glean for your own home projects from the updates the sellers made, as shown in these before and after photos.
“This room transformation is all about the magic of staging,” says Danny Davis, the owner/broker of San Diego Brokerage in Encinitas, CA.
“New shutters have been added to the windows, and the room has been painted, but beyond those smart upgrades, no major changes have been made to this lovely living room.”
Jonathan Spears, founder of Spears Group with Scenic Sotheby’s International Realty, says the new furniture makes a world of difference.
“The low-profile furniture upgrades are thoughtfully arranged to create a welcoming space,” he says, “allowing for a more comfortable atmosphere.”
As you can see, the color palette—seen in the wall paint, furniture, and accessories—has also been updated.
“They’ve used color in a really smart way,” says Nicole Michael, founder of the Los Angeles and Orange County-based interior design firm Nicole Michael Designs.
“These neutral colors, like the gray sofa, are far more in style than the colors used in the before photos, as are the pops of ginger-colored accents. Adding in pops of color to the bookcases makes them stand out as the great feature they are.”
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This kitchen update demonstrates that you don’t need to undergo a major renovation to make a strong impact.
“The cabinets, countertops, appliances, and even the under-cabinet lighting have all remained the same,” says Davis.
“Keeping the existing cabinets and appliances saved thousands of dollars,” says Michael.
“The use of aged brass finishes for the lighting, cabinet hardware, and faucet are right on trend. When you have the same color/material traveling through a room, it unifies a space and instantly elevates it.”
She adds that the new, lighter flooring makes the room feel much larger than it did before.
Davis also approves of the new banquette seating in the breakfast nook, which he says provides extra seating and storage.
“The result is a spacious, modern, light, bright kitchen that any home buyer could easily imagine themselves in,” he says.
Most of the home received merely cosmetic updates, and it’s likely that every penny saved was poured into the more substantial expansion of this bathroom.
“The bathroom has literally gone from eyesore to selling point,” says John Atamian, a Glendale-based real estate agent.
“And while this extensive renovation is somewhat costly, these upgrades will more than pay for themselves in value added.”
“So many elements in the before photo—the plastic laminate countertop, single-lever faucet, and molded sink—look like a rental apartment, not a single-family home. The after photo, on the other hand, has the spa feeling that home buyers absolutely love,” says Michael.
The experts agreed that the black and white color choices make the room feel crisp and clean, exactly the kind of vibe every bathroom needs.
Davis focused on the change he thinks made the biggest impact.
“Here is one absolute truth I have learned from my many years in real estate: Couples do not want to share a bathroom sink, and dual vanities are high on most home buyers’ lists for that reason,” he says.
While both iterations of this bedroom look cozy and comfortable, the after photo cultivates a more modern vibe, with boho-Scandinavian furnishings. The area rug, bench, and nightstands are all pieces we’d expect to see in current design magazines.
Michael got into more details, explaining the the new gray walls appeal to more buyers. She also says the headboard—which is now the same color as the walls—blends into the room to make the space feel larger.
The sellers pulled a similar trick by changing the fan from wood-toned to white.
“Home buyers want the functionality of ceiling fans, but they don’t necessarily like the look of them,” she says.
So why do all these changes—both big and small—draw in so many more potential buyers? Davis summed it up best.
“A home buyer needs to imagine themselves living in a home when they view it, and ultimately, they want to believe their life will be better if they buy this home,” he says. “Adding glamour, light, and modern flair to a room will have a potential home buyer swooning.”
Maybe you’ve decided it’s time to leave your condo in New York City for a more spacious house in Dallas now that you can work from home. Or, maybe your family is growing and you’re looking for a house with a larger yard or in a different school district. Whatever your reason is, you’ve decided it’s time to sell your current home. Whether this is your first time or you have experience, selling your home can be a big task. So, unless you’re in a major time-crunch or on a tight budget, it’s best to put a little work into your home before listing it for sale so you can sell your home quickly, and possibly for more money.
From installing new flooring to making eco-friendly upgrades, there’s a lot of home improvements you can – and should – do to make your home stand out when it hits the market. But with so many potential home upgrades, it may feel overwhelming to know where to start. Luckily, we’ve listed out the top 7 home projects to consider if you’re selling your home this year.
1) Update your flooring
If the floors in your home are worn out or outdated, it can be a huge turnoff to potential buyers. Even if you’ve grown used to the stains on the carpet or you no longer notice the divet in the kitchen floor, you’ll want to have your flooring updated before listing your home for sale.
There are many types of flooring and the right choice will depend on your home. However, you can never go wrong with hardwood. In fact, hardwood is the most popular and valuable type of flooring to potential homebuyers in the US. Laminate and ceramic are also great flooring options to consider. To be sure you’re choosing the right type and style for your home, it’s best to talk with a flooring professional in your area.
2) Freshen up your paint
Are your walls scuffed, scraped, or just an unappealing color? A fresh coat of paint is a simple yet effective home update, allowing you to maximize the look and feel of your space in next to no time. As people tour your home, online or virtually, they’ll notice the small details. You won’t want a poor paint job or an outdated, dark orange kitchen wall to be an influencing factor on their decision. Instead, opt for neutral paint colors to appeal to a wide range of buyers.
Keep in mind that painting isn’t just for the inside, either. A fresh coat of exterior paint can do wonders for your home’s appearance and curb appeal. If you’re crunched for time or this home project is too big of an undertaking, hire a professional painter so that your home is looking its best when it hits the housing market.
3) Give your kitchen a face-lift
The kitchen is the heart of the home and it’s often one of the top priorities for buyers. So a kitchen in need of a lot of work can be all it takes to turn a buyer off for good. With stylish, designer kitchens as one of the major home design trends this year, you’ll want to prioritize this home project to help your house stand out against the competition.
If a complete remodel doesn’t fit within your budget, don’t worry. Upgrading your kitchen doesn’t mean you need to go all out and buy brand new appliances – a few little cosmetic touches can go a long way. Things like new cabinet faces, drawer pulls or, if necessary, a new counter, can completely turn a kitchen around. Even adding a new backsplash or going bold with contrast cabinetry can make all the difference. If you’re not sure which upgrades are necessary, consider speaking with a contractor or real estate professional about current trends in your area.
4) Enhance your landscaping: curb appeal is key
Many homebuyers want the complete package – inside and out. A beautiful home is only made better by a beautiful yard, so if your property is a little bland on the outside, the right finishing touches can spark buyer interest. That’s why landscaping is one of the most important home projects to complete before you sell your house.
Landscaping can be comprehensive – things like koi ponds and expansive patios – but can also be straightforward and simple. Planting shrubs along a sidewalk, adding a small flower garden, or even putting fresh mulch around trees can be affordable and easy ways to create eye-catching curb appeal. Whether you want to completely upgrade your outdoor space with an intricate landscape design, or your front yard just needs a well-manicured lawn with some fresh flowers, a landscaper can help you tackle this home project.
5) Replace your windows
Depending on the age and condition of your home, it might be time to replace your windows. Even if you’ve only lived in your home for 5 years, you should ask yourself how long the previous owners were living there and if they ever had them replaced? If your windows have minor damages, then they may just need a simple repair. But if the frames are worn, there’s leaking when it rains, it’s difficult to open or close, or there’s just visible damage – you’ll want to hire a professional to replace them.
6) Repair your garage door
Does your garage door squeak and squeal, or is it full of dings and scrapes? Then this is one of the home projects you’ll want to stop pushing off. If your garage door no longer looks or acts up to par, then a replacement is probably necessary – especially if it’s seen years of use with little to no maintenance. Potential homebuyers will notice these issues and may request that you repair them as part of the purchase agreement. That’s why it’s a good idea to get ahead of home projects like this before listing your home. And even if your garage door is functioning as it should, this can be a great cosmetic update to freshen up your home’s exterior.
7) “Green” home projects for an eco-friendly home
These days many buyers are looking for homes with eco-friendly features so taking the time to add some “green” upgrades to your home can be well worth it. And, luckily, there’s a handful of ways you can make your home more green. If your budget allows, then installing solar panels is the ultimate eco-friendly upgrade you could make. Solar panels can reduce the overall cost of electricity and energy bills, are a more environmentally-friendly energy solution, and can even increase the value of your home. And if you live in a city like San Diego or Honolulu where it’s become a popular home feature, you’ll want to invest in this eco-friendly upgrade.
If you’re unable to take on a larger home project like this, consider investing in other eco-friendly and energy-saving features like a smart thermostat, an ENERGY STAR certified washer and dryer, or installing a high-efficiency faucet aerator in your shower and on your taps.
Think two seasoned certified financial planners would have an easy time buying a house? Tony and Barbara Matheson would beg to differ.
In fall 2019, these empty nesters found themselves itching to downsize from their large rental in the ultraexpensive San Francisco Bay Area. Hoping to buy a reasonably priced house within walking distance of restaurants and other amenities, they set their sights on Sacramento, CA. Armed with a healthy income, solid credit history, and a deep knowledge of personal finances—plus they’d owned property before—they figured they would sail through the home-buying process.
Six months and three lost bidding wars later, they realized that Sacramento’s real estate market was far more cutthroat than they’d imagined.
In March, the Mathesons finally purchased a three-bedroom, one-bathroom 1926 Tudor on a tree-lined street. With the closing papers signed, they figured they were home-free—but COVID-19 was about to throw another curveball into the picture.
Here Tony shares their story, and his hard-won lessons for aspiring first-time home buyers and others who want to learn what buying real estate is really like today.
Location: Sacramento, CA House specs: 1,225 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms List price: $550,000 Price paid: $580,000
Why did you decide to move?
We’d been living in the Bay Area and were looking to downsize since both of our kids had moved out. We wanted to be near downtown Sacramento, close to restaurants, bars, museums, and coffee shops.
I’d think home buying would be a breeze for two finance pros. How did it go?
I was really surprised by how tough the market was. After five months touring homes, we made an offer on our first house. This house went into a bidding war; we had to raise our bid five times before tapping out.
Next, we fell in love with a second home. This time, we offered the sellers $30,000 over the asking price. The sellers had so many other bids, they never even bothered to counter our offer.
We found a third home, and once again bid over the asking price. But after five tries, we lost out again. It was heartbreaking.
How awful! Why do you think these homes sold to other buyers?
We came prepared with what most consider strong financials for making an offer on a single-family home: great credit scores, a significant down payment, pre-approval for a mortgage. We offered good earnest money and 15-day escrow, didn’t include an appraisal contingency, and probably had a few other bonuses to the seller that I’ve forgotten. So we were doing everything “right.”
What we were finding is that we were up against some other buyers who were making all-cash offers, sometimes $50,000 above the asking price. How does anyone compete with that?
So how did you finally get an offer accepted?
We were extremely fortunate that we had a great real estate agent who was able to find a home that hadn’t been listed yet. We could negotiate one on one with the seller without having to compete against multiple offers.
The sellers had planned to invest $30,000 to $40,000 on home improvements before putting it on the market. We offered to buy the house as is, without the improvements. After going back and forth a few times, the sellers took our offer.
What did you like about this house?
We knew within 5 seconds of walking into the house that this was the one. It was the perfect neighborhood. We were close to everything, within walking distance to plenty of bars and restaurants. The outdoor area is gorgeous. Beautiful trees surround our house, and the house is the perfect size for us.
So once your offer was accepted, what happened next?
The sellers weren’t prepared to move immediately. They needed time to prepare. So we rented the house back to the sellers for a month after closing. We closed on Valentine’s Day, but we didn’t move in until mid-March.
Little did we know what was about to happen.
March is when the coronavirus really hit. What was it like moving during that time?
It was difficult and terrifying in the beginning. We moved in ourselves without hiring movers. Then, after we moved in, it was quite an adjustment. Simple things like calling an electrician or completing other minor home projects were enormously difficult.
Did you make any renovations to your home?
We put $10,000 to $12,000 into the house so far. The major issue after moving in was electricity—it needed to be completely reconfigured. For example, the second bedroom, which became my office, only had two plugs. Between my monitors for work, computers, Peloton, cellphones, and other devices, I needed 12 plugs. We also wanted to put in a tankless water heater for more space, and install a security system.
How did quarantine affect these repairs?
It was horrible. We couldn’t get anyone to come out to do any work for at least three months. For the first month, no one was booking. Then, when we could finally get through, the businesses were overwhelmed with requests.
What was it like when you finally settled in?
It was exhilarating, exciting, and weird. Exhilarating because we got the house we wanted. Exciting because we were beginning a new phase in our lives. And weird because we moved in at the beginning of the pandemic. We wanted to have a housewarming party, but of course, we couldn’t.
What is your advice for aspiring home buyers?
Even if your finances are completely buttoned up, be prepared that buying a house may be a difficult and even painful process.
Emotionally it does get hard. As much as you try not to get attached to a house during the negotiation process, you can’t help it. And there is a competitive drive that kicks in when you are in a bidding war with others. It’s draining.
Still, in the end, knowing that you’ve overcome challenges along the way just makes you more appreciative of the reward at the end. We have a place to call home amidst all this craziness. It’s all worth it.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected every facet of our lives—even, apparently, the colors we should paint our walls. As proof, look no further than the colors of the year for 2021.
The time has arrived when paint companies start rolling out their top hues that embody the era’s zeitgeist. And, with 2020 being unlike anything we’ve experienced in our lives thus far, it’s no surprise that COVID-19 has had a palpable impact on which colors are predicted to dominate fashion and home decor next year.
So far, many of the prevailing shades are warm and comforting, and tie back to nature—which makes sense, given that many of us have been cooped up at home and craving more time outdoors, says Debra Kling of the eponymous color consultancy.
So if you’re craving some color therapy in the form of a fresh coat of paint on your deck or in your home office or beyond, check out which color(s) of the year have been announced so far below.
Sherwin-Williams 2021 Color of the Year: Urbane Bronze
Urbane Bronze is the oh, so sophisticated pick of the year from one of the biggest paint companies, Sherwin-Williams. And a dose of this earthy shade is just what the doctor ordered as it “encourages you to create a sanctuary space for mindful reflection and renewal,” says Sue Wadden, the company’s director of color marketing.
And if you’re tired of those same cold grays slapped all over builder homes and new-construction condos, you’re not alone. This pivot to a warmer, more natural version is a welcome surprise across the board.
“We in the design community are just so done with cool, icy grays—and Urbane Bronze, which is actually a deep taupe that combines brown and gray, is a warm color that can both cheer and ground us,” says Kling.
Interior designer Ana Cummings agrees, and says the comfort of this rich and glamorous shade speaks to achievement, longevity, endurance, and standing tall through the storm.
PPG 2021 Color Palette of the Year: Be Well
Yup—PPG’s color of the year is actually a trio: Transcend, a subtle sandy hue; Big Cypress, which is tinged with ginger, and one from under the turquoise sea, Misty Aqua.
This grouping also feels extremely of the moment, given the fraught times in which we’re living.
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“Our global color stylists were drawn to these colors as they evoke feelings of compassion and comfort, which resonates and represents the shifting mood of society,” says Amy Donato, PPG’s senior color marketing manager.
Misty Aqua gets big raves from the design world, in part because it adds a playful, vibrant element, while the warm pink undertones of Transcend and Big Cypress are soothing and speak to positivity.
“Misty Aqua is lively and refreshing, and it fits with the trend of blues and greens that most people have been choosing over the last few years—and it would be perfect in a coastal home in Florida or California, or in a bedroom, sunroom, or home office,” says Amy Bly, the design genius at Great Impressions Home Staging and Interiors.
PPG suggests trying these shades with the 60-30-10 design rule, which means 60% of the room is painted in a dominant color, 30% in the secondary one, and 10% as an accent. The Be Well collection pairs nicely with greenery and blond or natural brown wood tones, too.
Behr 2021 Color Trends Palette
Not content with just a few shades, Behr has thrown wide its design doors and embraced 21 colors in a special collection for the coming year. This company’s shades also mirror our nation’s plight and encourage us to view our home as a place of refuge and rejuvenation.
The Behr collection is “a new, elevated articulation of comfort that goes beyond traditional beige, gray, and green hues, and embraces color in a way that can redefine and enhance any type of space,” says Erika Woelfel, the company’s vice president of color.
From quiet neutrals to bolder hues, Behr’s 21-color salute has been sorted into six accessible themes that touch on optimism, calm, and quiet, with shades for each that are made for mixing and matching.
For example, the theme Casual Comfort might live well in an updated farmhouse with the modern neutrals Almond Wisp and Sierra. Or if your rooms are craving a more moody design, look to the Quiet Haven combo of Royal Orchard, a forest green, and Broadway, a mysterious steely gray.
HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams 2021 Color of the Year: Passionate
This next paint brand went in the opposite direction with its color of year, choosing a deep-red tone called Passionate. Available only at Lowe’s, this color acknowledges that even though homeowners have been holed up for many months because of COVID-19, they still want (and deserve) to push the envelope a bit when it comes to interior paint shades.
Because of the constant state of chaos and uncertainty in our country right now, “consumers are eager to streamline and simplify their lives and homes—but that doesn’t mean we need to forgo having fun with color,” says Ashley Banbury, the company’s senior color designer.
Valspar 2021 Colors of the Year
As with other paint companies this year, no single color rose to the top of the heap at Valspar. Instead, the company has put together a pretty paint palette of 12 shades that evokes mindfulness and well-being. With these simple yet contemplative hues, homeowners can create a sense of calm.
To craft this special dozen, Valspar took note of web searches and upticks on key words such as “meditation” and “home improvement” early in 2020 as a reaction to the stress related to the global pandemic.
“These lifestyle changes coupled with a surge in DIY home activity helped guide our selection of a range of colors that can not only transform your space but also elevate your mood,” says Sue Kim, Valspar’s color marketing manager.
The result? Colors like this fresh and natural shade, Garden Flower, above, that would feel right at home in a bedroom or bath.
Or consider taking these hues outside to enhance your curb appeal this season. We love Maple Leaf for a front porch, especially when flanked with natural plantings and dark rattan seating.
Benjamin Moore 2021 Color of the Year: Aegean Teal
Soothing and harmonious, just like the warm, blue-green waters of a far-off locale you’re dying to visit—that’s the vibe channeled by Benjamin Moore’s 2021 color of the year, Aegean Teal. This paint company has selected a classic shade that can stand on its own or play nicely with others as we settle in for a long winter’s (coronavirus-induced) nap at home.
“Amid uncertainty, people yearn for stability—and the colors we surround ourselves with can have a powerful impact on our emotions and well-being,” says Andrea Magno, Benjamin Moore’s director of color marketing and development.
And in case you’re hoping to pair this on-trend teal with other hues in your home projects, Benjamin Moore has also released a dozen complementary shades in its Color Trends 2021 palette, including Atrium White, a rusty red called Amazon Soil, and Kingsport Gray, a tone that’s equal parts mocha and cocoa.
According to Magno, Aegean Teal and its corresponding group of 12 hues are both modern and time-tested, making them ideal for paint upgrades that “celebrate the connections and real moments that take place within the home.”
Pantone 2021 Colors of the Year: Ultimate Gray + Illuminating
Since 2020 was a complete wash and much of 2021 is likely to be challenging, color giant Pantone has picked not just one, but two colors of the year: Ultimate Gray and a cheerful yellow called Illuminating. The selections are meant to ground us while also encouraging folks to look forward to a brighter future.
According to Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, the marriage of these two hues is one that’s “practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic.”
Using gray as the base or dominant color with contrasting pops of yellow for accent, homeowners hoping to rehab their abodes this winter can’t miss with this invigorating palette. Because let’s face it, don’t we all need a little more sunshine in our lives right about now?
Prepare yourself by knowing the less-obvious costs of owning a home. Insurance, maintenance and more add up faster than you think.
Buyers too often focus on a home’s list price or mortgage payment to determine what they can afford. However, the numerous less-obvious costs associated with homeownership can affect the monthly bottom line.
To help home buyers budget more accurately, Zillow and Thumbtack identified several common but often overlooked home expenses and calculated what homeowners around the country could expect to pay for them. The analysis also included utility cost estimates from UtilityScore.
While each extra expense might seem small, they cost U.S. homeowners, on average, $9,080 a year, according to the report.
Nationally, homeowners pay an average of $6,059 a year in unavoidable costs, which include homeowners insurance, property taxes and utilities. Since nearly half (47 percent) of home shoppers today are first-time buyers, many of these extra costs may come as a surprise.
San Francisco homeowners pay the most of the metros analyzed ($13,019 on average), primarily due to the market’s high home values and property taxes. Indianapolis homeowners pay the least ($4,699).
Nearly all homeowners (96 percent) have made some kind of improvement to their homes, according to the 2016 Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends. While many complete these projects themselves, those who pay professionals can expect to spend an average of $3,021 for the six most common hired home projects requested by Thumbtack users: carpet cleaning, yard work, gutter cleaning, HVAC maintenance, house cleaning and pressure washing.
Labor costs can vary significantly by region, with Seattle homeowners paying as much as $4,052 a year on average for those six projects, while San Antonio homeowners pay an average of $1,962.
More than a third of buyers go over budget on a home purchase. In addition to the mortgage, the price includes estimated property taxes, insurance, PMI, utilities, taxes, HOA fees and closing costs.
Curious how much these hidden homeownership costs are in your area? Here’s a breakdown of the metros analyzed in the report: