Many people use the money saved from refinancing to get started on home remodeling projects. Sometimes with just a little effort and money invested, you can significantly increase the value of your home. Whether you are planning on selling your home or are just ready for a makeover, there are certain areas that you might want to tackle first.
1. Check your electricity. Homes built before the 1970s were not designed to handle the power voltage levels that are common in the average US household today. With more and more electronics and appliances demanding electrical service, it will pay to make sure your home is able to handle a minimum of 100 amps and up to 200 amps that is the standard in most new homes today. Check the wiring as well, aluminum wiring is a sign of an older house.
2. Check your plumbing. Older houses usually have either copper pipes or galvanized pipes. A galvanized pipe is a steel pipe with a protective coating of zinc that is intended to extend the life expectancy of the pipe. Galvanized pipes can last up to 50 years on average, but if you live in an area with an elevated amount of minerals in the water supply – the pipes can corrode easily. Have your pipes inspected and consider replacing them if the corrosion is extensive.
3. Remove old carpet. If you live in an older house you might be lucky enough to have wooden floors under the carpet that are in pretty good condition. Wooden floors appeal to many buyers, and spending the money to refinish them up will certainly impress buyers more than your old carpet.
4. Spruce up the kitchen. If your kitchen is looking a little dated, there are a few simple tricks that might help you update your look without a complete overhaul. Replacing cabinet hardware with stainless steel or nickel knobs is one way to start. If the cabinets are made of wood, try cleaning and repainting before you consider completely replacing them. In an older house, any color or pattern that may be on the countertop or walls should be updated if it makes the buyer aware of when the house was built.
5. Clean up the walls. Although wallpaper is making somewhat of a comeback in small quantities, wallpaper applied in the height of the 1980s is easy to spot. You can buy wallpaper that more easily takes paint at your local hardware store, but this may be more work than just taking down the existing wallpaper and re-painting. Also be sure to clean up door knobs, light switches, and electrical outlets. Replace any broken or chipped cover plates.
6. Update appliances. Unfortunately, houses built in the 1990s may be beginning to need new appliances and upgrades. Many air conditioners, furnaces, and water heaters have a life expectancy of 10-15 years. Although this may seem like more of an expense than you would like to pay, the new energy star appliances on the market now will save you considerably on your bills. Buying a home? Refinancing your mortgage? Need some spare cash to renovate your home? There are lots of reasons why you may need to talk to a mortgage broker about a mortgage. The biggest mistake you can make before you do is not doing proper research first.