For the rest of time, the debate between buying a home versus renting will never be solved. This is because everyone has a unique set of circumstances and as a result, makes the decision a personal one. But let’s say that you do decide to buy a house. Do you know all of the costs associated with it?
Sure you have the mortgage payment  and taxes and you can’t forget about maintenance and fixing things as they break. One often overlooked cost is keeping your house up to date.
What is Keeping Your House Up to Date?
When I talk about keeping your house up to date, I am not necessarily saying you need to buy stainless steel appliances since they are the “hot” item today. What I am saying is that you need to keep your house current by making your house new again along the way.
For example, if you haven’t painted your bedroom in 15 years, chances are it is time for a new coat of paint. If the deck out back has seen better days, it might be time to replace it with a new deck.
What Happens if You Don’t Keep Your House Up to Date?
While to some this might seem like a waste of time, it will come back to haunt you if you neglect your house. One of two things is going to happen:
- When you sell, you won’t get top dollar for the house because you have shown that you neglected improving your house.
- You will have a huge home improvement bill because you will be doing everything at once.
My parents fall into the second category. In my 35 years, there were no updates done to their house. The carpet downstairs was the same red, orange and brown 1970’s carpet. The kitchen floor was still a green and yellow check linoleum floor. They are now getting around to updating their house.
They have replaced all of the windows, updated the downstairs and are now starting to work on the kitchen. Understand that I not putting them down for not updating along the way. In fact, I am not saying there is a right or wrong way to go about updating your house. What I am saying though is that if you want to get top dollar when you sell, you are going to have to spend the money and update your house.
Spread Out Projects Over Time to Manage the Cost
Since most people can’t afford a $20,000 remodel of their house, it makes the most sense to tackle projects along the way. You can budget for home remodeling projects and update a room at a time.
This is the approach my wife and I took. When we married, I moved into her house. It was built in the early 1980’s but hasn’t been updated since. We have slowly updated the house, room by room and are now almost done. All we have left is the carpeting to replace and that will be done before the year is over.
Make sure you are updating your house or have a plan to update your house before you sell. If you don’t update, you are leaving money on the table. Don’t do that. Plan for and budget for updating your house along the way so that when it does come time to sell (or have your next of kin sell) your home, top dollar can be made from the sale.
What updates have you made to your house?
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