Home Renovation Projects with the Biggest Impact

July 7, 2017

For your VA clients looking to renovate a home, whether it’s a new purchase or their current home, the VA Renovation Loan can be a great way to borrow affordable funds to pay for the work. This program allows homeowners with up to $35,000 for projects that add value to the home and are not structural in nature. For a purchase transaction it is still possible to obtain 100% financing, and buy a home and cover the cost of repairs with zero down payment.

The VA Renovation Loan can be ideal for buying a fixer upper, bringing an older home up to date, or making changes to a property so that it meets the needs of the owners. When faced with the $35,000 limitation or a smaller budget it is crucial to homeowners that they focus on the projects that will have the biggest impact. It can be tough to decide what to prioritize and what to put on hold, to potentially complete at a later date.

When working with clients wrestling with these decisions here is some information that they may find helpful.

First, they can help define what is most important by thinking through these questions:

  • What parts of the home are the most often used? Where do family members spend most of their time? Guests?
  • What are the favorite features of the house as it is currently? Maybe the view from the kitchen, fireplace in the living room, or spa tub in the master bath.
  • What are the most common sources of frustration in the home? That could be something like a paint color they dislike, a cramped laundry room, or insufficient insulation that leaves the home too cold in cooler weather or too hot when temperatures rise.
  • When looking at images of other homes (such as in home décor magazines or on websites like Pinterest, domino, or houzz) what features, styles, or elements are most desirable.

The next step is to create a list of projects the homeowners would love to take on. In this exercise the sky is the limit. Even if floor to ceiling shiplap in every room is clearly not going to be part of the final plan, if everyone in the household loves the idea, add it to the list. Other items might be new kitchen appliances, repairing siding, installing hard wood floors, or upgrading the cabinets and countertops in the guest bathroom.

Looking at the list of projects, with the answers to the questions in step one in mind, it’s time to narrow down to the highest priority items. It might be helpful to talk to a general contractor at this point to learn what the ballpark cost would be for the various updates. Budget will be a key favor in the decision making process. Perhaps your clients most want to renovate their kitchen, but doing so would take all the funds available. They may decide they can make a larger impact by tackling the next 4 or 5 projects on the list rather than just one that is more costly.

Here are a few relatively low cost improvements that can make a big difference:

A fresh coat of paint can really transform a home. Walls and trim begin to show wear over time as they are scuffed, bumped into, and come into contact with the sticky little hands of children. Repainting can make them look almost new again, making the entire home feel bright and clean.It’s also possible to use paint to quickly and inexpensively transform the look of a home. If starting to feel overwhelmed by being surrounded by bright and bold colors, switching to a white or neutral can provide a sense of calm and openness. When bored with colors that feel too plain, a few pops of color can add some excitement.

Outdoor Living Space
Adding a deck or patio can provide the perfect spot for relaxing or entertaining outdoors. With areas for seating and dining this can quickly become the favorite “room” in the home, particularly during the times of year when temperatures are moderate.

Updated Appliances
Today’s homeowners tend to live busy lives and rely on modern conveniences more than ever before. By replacing older units and upgrading to newer versions it’s possible to take advantage of new features that make life easier. New models are often more energy efficient meaning they get the job done faster and cost less to power. In addition there are some unique features available such as refrigerators that will keep track of the grocery list, and clothes dryers that eliminate the need to iron.

With some creativity, a vision, and a VA Renovation Loan it’s possible to turn any home into a dream home!

For more information on the VA Renovation Loan visit afrwholesale.com.

Photography by [Breadmaker] © shutterstock.com

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