Like anything else in life that is fresh and new, home additions can be incredibly exciting. Whether you live in a model or custom home, there is always more to be done. With this said, it will also be worthwhile to take certain factors into account before you go through with building your addition — there are financial, logistical and practical matters to consider.
Planning & Design
First, you must be specific about what you want in your home addition. You will need to have a good idea of the size and scale of your project for the next step. And, in any case, the remodeling process will go much more smoothly if you are specific about your wants and needs. Here are some suggestions:
- Your addition should add to and compliment your existing house, not contrast with it. Be consistent not only with size and color, but also with style and overall design.
- In determining size, it’s a good idea to envision what you will do with your addition once it is completed. Look around your existing rooms and survey their use of space and how they are furnished.
- Work with a professional architect/contractor. No matter what, there will usually be things you haven’t considered, and it never hurts to get professional advice.
Return on Investment
While no doubt a powerful, visceral experience, you should ultimately be getting the best bang for your buck from home remodeling. Economic conditions pose a major obstacle to getting a proper return on your investment. Unless you are completely willing to bear that cost, you should think twice about building a home addition.
Some things to consider here are:
- Comparable market values: This is often difficult to ascertain, as no two homes are exactly alike. Nevertheless, do your research and talk to your contractor. Keep in mind that your comparison should control for location and size. Do you know anyone in your area with a home addition of similar scale? How much did it raise the market value of their house?
- Funding: How you are going to fund your remodeling project is a huge factor to consider. This is important not only for you, but also for the future buyer of your home. How is the market looking right now — what is the prime rate, and what kind of home equity loans are available to you? How does your own mortgage compare to what is currently available?
- Your Mortgage Rate < Available Mortgage Rates – If you’re paying less interest on your mortgage, consider taking out a home equity loan (assuming your credit is good).
- Your Mortgage Rate > Available Mortgage Rates – If you’re paying more interest on your mortgage, you should definitely be considering refinancing.
Finally, how convenient will this project be for you? All people can be fickle, reneging on something they have already committed to. Don’t be insulted — we are all guilty of it! but make sure you have the time and patience that are necessary to see your project through from start to finish. If you have any big plans or don’t want too much disruption in your house, then you may want to hold off on your home addition (at least temporarily). Don’t worry, though. It will always be there when you want it!