By Rick Cochran, PBA Director of Communication & Membership Services
We all watched the shows on television where the couple are searching for their new home. You know, one of them professes to be barista “artist” while the other is a professional dog walker and their budget is $650,000. The want list for their first home includes all brand new granite, five bedrooms, a crafting room, a home theater, and an outside entertainment area that could double as an in-law quarters. Everything MUST be perfect!
Now welcome to the real world.
We all know that home buying is a matter of compromising. You aren’t going to get everything you, but over time that want list can become a reality. But the key phrase there is over time.
It’s important to make your home your own. Personalizing is an important way to make that happen. But overspending on personalization could lead to problems down the road. Are those brand new cabinets more important than jeopardizing your status as a homeowner?
Rather than attacking the whole house, start going room by room and adding the small personal touches that will make it feel like home. Hang photos, update the paint color, add some fresh window treatments, or install a new light fixture. These small changes will make a big impact on the feel of your home – and not so much on your wallet.
Repairs may be inevitable but don’t trick yourself into a “necessary repair” when it is actually just a fun improvement. This could have tax implications for you so know what you are doing before you get started. So don’t confuse a repair with an improvement.
Of course there will be needed repairs as time goes on. Don’t ignore a leak or a crack. Check it out and if it means spending money on that instead of a new patio door because you want a view – be smart and go for the repair. Remember your home is an investment that needs to be safe and secure. The view can come later.
Your home is your sanctuary – make it your own. But take it slow and steady and always be smart with your money.