Spring is here! The sun is shining, the weather keeps improving, and with it often comes that urge for a thorough spring clean. With a more stable climate, and Christmas holidays looming in the not too distant future, October is a very popular time of year for home improvements and renovations.

And let’s be honest, we’ve all watched a few episodes of The Block and to produce a whole room in just one week looks easy, right?

Wrong. Before you get in your car and race down to your local Bunnings or Masters, before you call in the chippy to add that second level, or the bulldozer to dig the family pool you’ve been promising since summer 2010 – here are some quick pointers to make sure your spring spruce up runs on time, and most importantly, to budget.

Determine what work needs to be done
Take the time to walk around your home or investment property and decide what “needs to be done now” in terms of property maintenance and security, and what would be a “nice to do”. If you have big plans that will require council permission, make sure you ask the experts for input and advice. Use this time to plan what schedule you would like the work to follow, and if you are using multiple tradespeople, what order you need them to work to so that the process is as efficient as possible.

Remember, little things can make a big difference. It’s important to decide early if you are after a full blown renovation, or just a simple tidy up. Sometimes doing something quick and easy like changing a light fixture or painting the walls can breathe a big burst of fresh air into your home.

Set a budget, then add a little buffer
If you’ve never renovated before, it can be difficult to know where to start with estimating your budget. Step one – ask a lots of questions. Use tradie’s expertise to anticipate costs for all facets of the renovation or landscaping. If you’re just doing something small like a paint job, or some planting, think about the costs of materials, and time investment. Write all this down in a clear budget – there are loads of free templates online. Once you agree to your expenditure, it will provide clarity and ensure things don’t spiral out of control.

It’s also wise to allow a 10-15% buffer either side of your total projected costs – as a ‘just in case’. With unpredictable weather, or other commitments, it pays to cover yourself should things push out.

Secure financing, if you need to
Once you set your budget, you will know how much money you need to spend to get set for spring. There are loads of ways you can finance your renovations: dip into your savings (or the bank of mum and dad), take out a home equity loan, redraw from or refinance your current mortgage, use your credit card or take out a personal loan.

Which option is right for you will depend on your individual circumstances, and what you want to achieve. That’s where we come in. Please get in touch with us on the details below and we will help you determine which option best suits your needs and serviceability. Once this is done, you are one step closer to calling in the builders and making your renovation dream a reality.

Track your spending
So you have made a budget, and you have organised the funds. Now, you need to stick to it. We suggest you use a simple spreadsheet to track your expenditure. Remember, your budget needs constant attention. Make sure you continually assess what has been spent on all aspects of the project. Using the spreadsheet will allow you to easily and quickly see when and where costs are starting to blow out – so you can jump on the front foot.

Enjoy it
The sun is out, you’re investing in your home or investment property, it’s an exciting time and we wish you well! Remember, good planning and sticking to your budget will help to make this an enjoyable and successful experience.

If you’re planning to renovate or spruce up your home this spring, we can help with finance options! For more information, contact us today.

Element Finance, Mortgage Broker for Fremantle, Joondalup & Perth
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