Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Tips and Forget-Me-Nots

Some Tips and Forget-Me-Nots for Along the Way

  • Take your budget (what you know you can actually afford) and times is by 0.9. This lower amount should be your new budget. Try to stick with that number along the way as it is incredibly common to go over the budget! So when you DO go over the budget, it won't come as such a shock because you can still afford it. Plus, if you don't go over your budget then it'll be an even sweeter reward in the end.
  • Pick paint colors, lighting, interior/exterior/cabinet doors, flooring, etc. ahead of time so when you need it, you can easily go buy it and not have to stress over all the choices. It can be overwhelming (I'm speaking from our past situation.).
  • To add character to your new construction home, look for light fixtures at Habitat for Humanity or yard sales that you can buy and repaint. Same goes for furniture and even possibly, faucets or appliances.
  • Think about adding Sweat Equity into your home. Do all the painting (you'd be surprised at how much this can cost to have someone do it for you.), install your appliances, build your own deck, put in your hardwood or tile floors or even carpet. Do simple things that you'd be paying a Joe-Blow $20+ an hour like installing the interior doors, cabinet doors, outlet covers, light switch covers, knobs on cabinetry, etc.
  • USE YOUR RESOURCES! If you know a friend who is an electrician, see if you can pay him a half a day or a full day's pay to come "teach" you how to wire your home. Or hire them and you assist. Have that family member who is forever repainting something (i.e. my own Mom)? Ask them to come help paint with you when that time comes. Or if all else fails, ask them to babysit so YOU can go paint.
  • Spend the extra dollars to get good, quality materials. Don't be cheap and save $10. YOU WILL GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. This is my brother-in-law's number one rule. He build my sister's and his home but can't build ours since he is working a 9-5er these days.
  • When choosing flooring, interior finishes/colors, pick those "classic" looks. Something that will last through a few fads so you won't find yourself wanting to change it out 3 years later. Subway tiles are perfect for kitchens and bathrooms. White, easy to clean, and have never gone out of style. And hello??? Cheap. In price, not quality. Bonus: you can install them yourself. Google/youtube should become yours (and obviously OUR) best friend throughout this house building experience.
  • Try to have an idea of where you want your electrical outlets and how many you want way ahead of time. Perhaps make notes in pencil on your copy of the floor plan. Ever thought of outlets in the floor of the living room for end table lamps? You'd need to remember this WAY ahead of time. Want multiple outlets in one spot in bathrooms? Need to know early. You get my point.
  • Don't finance your appliances in with your mortgage. Finance them separately or make sure you've saved to pay for them outright. Why pay for 30 years what might last 10 years? Contractor tip. Good one!
  • Bay windows = hefty price tag.

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