So, you’ve decided to make improvements to your home. Good on you. You're about to embark on the proverbial journey of a lifetime.
But whether you’re knocking down some walls or updating a room, you're going to need to ask yourself some serious questions about your money.
How much is this going to set me back? What kind of suppliers should I contact? How do I make sure I don't get burned?
Here are some thoughts to get you started:
It's impossible to set a realistic budget until you get some detailed quotes to illuminate your path. Don't try to guesstimate. It never works. These things add up very quickly, leaving you out of cash before you can say 'hammer'.
There are some helpful budget calculators and cost guides available online. And you can always reach out to architects, designers, builders and engineers for some trustworthy and professional advice.
If, once you've looked over your quotes, you realise you can't quite stretch to what you'd planned, you'll need to make some decisions.
What are your must-haves, and what are you willing to live without?
Seek professional advice from your local real estate agent to help figure out where to save and where to splurge. You need to know what will add value to your home in the short and long term.
If there's one thing that’s certain in life, it's that home improvements can cost more than you think. Even with the most detailed plans and cost guide, the unexpected is likely to happen.
We recommend you add between 10% and 20% of your projected costs on to your budget. This buffer will help pay for unexpected costs, like unforeseen decorating issues or ground works. This is what's called a 'contingency', and every good home owner should have one.
Fixed price contracts are a winner. They incentivise the builder to get the work done in the time frame agreed and for a price that is agreed upon.
If you don't have enough equity in your home, or you don't have a redraw facility, then perhaps you could consider a Latitude Personal Loan.
This is a great way to get smaller home improvements underway, and you can apply for the loan once you have an estimated project cost. We offer personal loans from $3,000, and the funds are deposited as a lump sum directly into your account.
Apply for a Latitude home improvement loan today