Most of us have big hopes for the future of new homes that we move into. It is not always the case, of course, as sometimes we are well aware that this will have to do until something better comes along. Sometimes we move into a rented property for a short-term job and know that we are never going to revisit that one-year contract once those months are up. But when you buy a home, you are of course going to have one eye on your long-term plans. There can still be a little hesitation when someone asks you if this really is your forever home.
But it is fair to say that when you know, you know. And this is not a step to be taken lightly. Fully committing to turning your house into your forever home is going to require a lot of work, and likely require a lot of money too. But the good news is that you have decided that the house you are living in is worth the time and effort it takes to truly become yours. Here are a few tips to help you get your home to where you want it to be.
Start By Making A List
No big project ever got anywhere without a list and turning your house into your forever home is going to be a multi-layered process. So, if you are going to embark on this journey, you should sit down and start thinking about which of those layers you would like to address first. What are the issues that have been really bothering you over the last couple of years? Have you been thinking about fixing up your bathroom? Has your kitchen never really made you happy? Or are there more pressing issues, such as replacing a boiler that is nearing the end of its warranty? Making a list may not seem like the most essential thing to do, but if you do not have a clear order of preference for your home improvement projects, you run the risk of starting too many at one time. And when that happens, you run the risk of running out of time, or more importantly, running out money. That brings us to our next point.
You Need To Budget Carefully
Anyone who has ever made any improvements to their home knows that costs can add up very quickly. With the current increasing cost of living, everyone needs to think twice when they are committing to large expenses. So, once you know what you want to work on in your home, the next step should be drawing up a budget. Go through each item on your list and think about what you will need to pay for. If you are going to make these alterations yourself, you will need to pay for materials, potential equipment hire or new equipment, not to mention the cost of running it all. If you are going to bring on contractors, then you will need to start getting quotes as soon as possible.
Look For Contractors Who You Can Work With
While there may be some changes that you can make to your home without bringing in some professionals, it is generally a good idea to defer to the experts once you start getting more than one power tool involved. There are a lot of contractors and building firms out there, so it is important to do your research before you commit to anything. Good reviews and customer feedback are one of the easiest ways to check that you are going to be hiring someone who knows what they are doing, but you should also look for experience, specifically in the areas that you want them to work in. It is also important to look for transparency on pricing and schedule. If you feel like someone is telling you what you want to hear, it will be worth getting quotes from a couple of other companies to check whether what they are pitching is feasible.
Have A Finance Plan In Place
Once you know how much you are going to be spending on your home improvements, the next step is to figure out how you are going to pay for it. If you are thinking of taking out a loan, you need to ensure that you can afford the interest rates and the repayment schedule. It is always important to do as much research as you can to ensure that you are using a reputable loan provider, and that the rates that you are being offered are in line with what others would give to you. You could also consider equity release, if you are aged 55 or over. Equity release allows you to free up money from your property that is tax-free as a lifetime mortgage that will let you keep ownership of the home. If you are wondering how long does equity release take, look at this equity release guide from Retirement Solutions. Being more informed can help you achieve your goals.
Think About What Issues You May Be Facing In Future
If you are turning your house into your forever home, then you will want to think carefully about what kind of problems you may be dealing with in the years to come. One of the least drastic examples of this is: are you going to want to have space for your children and grandchildren to come and stay in the future? If you currently work in an office, would you like to have a proper home office set-up in case you decide to start spending more time at home? But you also need to consider more serious factors that we are all having to think about. The rising cost of energy has made all of us aware of how well insulated our properties are, and your forever home should be as energy efficient as possible. You should also consider that extreme weather events, such as last year’s record heatwave and increased flooding, are going to become more frequent. How can you best protect your home from these events, and can you install air-conditioning to keep everyone cool during the summer?
Know When To Stop, Or At Least Pause
As important as it is that your home feel like your forever home, there are always going to be more things that you can do. It is important that you know when to hit the pause button on any more alterations or extensions. Working on a long-term project like this can be stressful, and you don’t want your home to become something that you are worrying about instead of somewhere that is your safe haven. A lot of people have been having a hard time with their mental health so try to avoid putting too much pressure on yourself. You also need to consider the stress that major home improvement projects can have on your family, especially if they have to compromise their workstations for it. You may also want to consider the neighbours. A kindly worded request and a detailed schedule can go a long way towards keeping the good relationships going, but if you keep going month after month with no end in sight, you will run the risk of souring things.