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5 ways to tell it's time to remodel

Ginger Dean

February 4, 2016

By: Ginger Dean, Home Finance Specialist

In: Finance and LegalGeneral Remodeling

Wondering when the right time is to remodel your home? The short answer it's time to remodel if your home is losing its functionality and you've got some funds to fix it.

The longer answer is a little more complicated. Ask yourself the following questions to figure out whether you can wait a little longer and save a little more money, or if you need to remodel right away.

Do you need more space?

Whether it's floor space in the living room or more cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom, "more space" is a common request for remodelers. However, whether this makes or breaks your remodeling timeline is up to you. Can you go another few months sharing a cramped bathroom? Do you have a new family member on the way and no extra bedroom? You should also consider how extensive and expensive such a project will be. It could be a matter of just replacing some living room furniture to open up the space or it could be adding on a whole room. What do you have the time and money to complete, and how does that match up with your desire for the extra space?

Are you losing functionality?

If the dishwasher is broken, the oven won't preheat, or the shower heads don't work, you may be in a "this needed to be fixed yesterday" mindset. Appliances can be tough to live without, but can also be worth waiting for a sale to replace. Check out your local big box store to see when they'll next be reducing prices (new stock coming in or a holiday coming up can be good signs a sale is on the horizon) and see if the money saved would be worth the hassle of living without. If it's not, check around for scratch and dent sales on big ticket items.

Any smaller items like faucets and shower heads can usually replaced on the cheap, or even fixed with a good cleaner to get rid of any mineral buildup that's accumulated inside.

Does your space feel out of date?

If old wallpaper and lived-in furniture have got you down, then it could be time to spruce things up and make them feel new again. Make a list of everything you'd like to replace. What would make you really enjoy the space?

Start with your favorite room and set a budget with a timeline, or pick something (like a dated paint color) that carries throughout the house and tackle it all in one go.

Are you planning to sell your home?

A few key upgrades could mean the difference between your home languishing on the market for months or selling quickly. Of course you don't need to spend a ton of money and completely gut rooms, but adding a fresh coat of paint, updating the exterior landscaping, and adding value to the kitchen or bathroom will all help get your home sold sooner than later. Figure out a good budget and then tackle the things that will make the biggest impact.

Is now the right time to refinance?

If interest rates on refinancing are low and you can afford the monthly debt payment, then it may be the time to take on some of the bigger projects on your remodeling list.

Talk to your bank and discuss the different financing options such as a Home Equity Line of Credit, refinancing your existing mortgage, or taking out a loan or line of credit. This will help you determine the best option for your needs.

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