Lynn D'Avolio
J. Barrett & Company | 801-597-2857 | lynn1@soldbylynn.com


Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 1/15/2019

Home improvements are a vital part to keeping your home up-to-date with the times and also to ensure that it doesn’t lose value when it comes time to sell.

To save money, many homeowners take the do-it-yourself route and use the tools at their disposal to upgrade their homes. Sites like YouTube have made it easier than ever to follow step-by-step tutorials that show you how to make substantial repairs and upgrades to your home without having to pay a professional.

The down side, however, is that when you choose to DIY, you take on the risk of going over budget by making mistakes. You also risk stretching out your project weeks or months longer than necessary due to a lack of time to work on it.

In today’s post, we’re going to talk about how you can stay on budget and on track to finish your home improvement project without bringing in the professionals.

Making a timeline

Let’s start with the big picture for your home renovations. When deciding which improvements to make, it’s important to know your limits in terms of the work you can do.

Set a reasonable number of hours you can work on your projects per week. Go easy on yourself. Most of us are already tired when we get home from work and probably won’t be able to start tackling big projects in the evenings. Rather, try to give yourself one weekend day to work on your projects and one weekend day to relax.

The most important aspect of creating your timeline is to try and keep your schedule open. So, write down the time you want to work on your home in your calendar, planner, or whichever app or tool you use to plan your time.

This will help you to avoid creating conflicting events and obligations, and help you stay on track to finishing your improvement projects.

If you’re looking for an evening activity related to your home improvement projects, it’s a good idea to start watching some video tutorials of people doing the same renovations as you. This will help you avoid mistakes and look out for common obstacles that you’ll face along the way.

Budgeting your improvement

You’ll want to save up for your project in advance, if possible, to avoid accumulating credit card debt. Your home improvement project should, in effect, gain you money by increasing the value of your home, not make you lose money on credit card interest payments.

Budgeting in itself is an art that few of us are taught in school. Fortunately, there are several free budgeting apps available. Or, you can simply draw one up yourself.

The key to creating a home improvement budget is to know how much of your monthly savings you can devote to this project without having to dip into other funds. To do this, you’ll need a clear understanding of where your income goes.  

Once you have a budget and a timeline for your home improvement project, you’re ready to begin. Just make sure you check in on your timeline and your budget throughout the length of the project to make sure you’re meeting your goals and aren’t overspending.




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Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 4/11/2017

The process of buying a house can be long and difficult. Whether you’re coming from an apartment or another home, you’ll want to time your purchase and move-in so you’re not paying for two homes at once.

What’s more, there are several steps required in the homebuying process, all of which you’ll have to give yourself enough time to complete.

In this article, we’re going to talk about the timeline leading up to buying a home. We’ll discuss how to figure out the amount of time you’ll need, and give you some advice on how to be ready sooner.

Prerequisites to buying a home

Before you consider purchasing a home, you’ll need to make sure your personal and financial life are ready for this commitment. Depending on what type of loan you are hoping to get, this could include saving as much as 20% of the cost of the home for a down payment.

Buying a home also usually requires good credit. If you have some issues with your credit history, you’ll want to take time to improve your score so that you can get a better interest rate on your mortgage.

Once you’ve settled on moving and have a general location, it’s a good idea to get pre approved for a loan.

Preapproval

Getting pre-approved for a loan is beneficial for a few reasons. First, it will let sellers know you’re a serious contender for buying their home.

Second, it gives you one fewer thing to worry about when it comes time to make an offer on a home that you’re interested in.

And, finally, pre-approval gives you a ballpark figure of the type of homes you can look at, saving you time when you’re shopping around for a home by avoiding properties that are over-budget.

The pre-approval process ranges from lender to lender. It can take as little as three days if you provide all the necessary information immediately. However, in some instances it can take weeks, especially if there are problems with the documents you provided to the lender.

Time before closing

If you’ve spent a few weeks viewing homes and considering your mortgage options, you’re likely getting ready to make an offer on a home. On average, this can take anywhere from 30-60 days.

The “contract to close” period can vary based on the type of loan you’re receiving and the underwriting process involved in that loan. USDA-guaranteed loans, for example, require added underwriting and processing time.

How to close sooner

So your lease ends in a few months and you want to make sure you’ll be in your new home before you have to move out. There are a few ways you can save time when buying a home.

First, make sure you provide your lender with everything they need to pre-approve you for a loan. Getting pre-approved quickly will save you a lot of time that is otherwise wasted while sitting around waiting for pre-approval.

Next, work with a real estate agent to find homes within your budget that are ready for move-in. Finally, be reasonable with your offer. Sellers, too, are typically on a timeline and will want to work with someone who is going to do their part to make the process as efficient as possible. 




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