It's a Great Deal....Only A Few Thing I Would Change

August 18, 2011

Often times an older home seems like a great deal. You walk in look around and see just a few "little" things you think you want to change. Some costs are bigger than others, but they all add up. Sometimes, when we don't do the math, we just see the deal and get blindsided by the numbers later. It's pretty typical in an old, out dated home to see six areas that we want to change right off the bat. Bathrooms, kitchens, light fixtures, landscaping, painting and flooring. Bathrooms - You walk into an outdated bathroom and say, "well, we can change out the tiles." A typical bathroom remodel for a bathroom can be anywhere from $5000 - $10,000 or more. Prices can go up from there easily if your toilets and tubs are pink, baby blue, or goldenrod. Kitchen Cabinets and Counter Tops - You walk into an outdated kitchen and say, "The layout is okay, but I don't like the cabinets and this counter top needs to go." In a 10x10 kitchen the cabinets and counter tops alone can vary from $10,000 - $25,000 or more depending on style and materials. Lighting Fixtures - You walk into every room and say, "wow I hate that outdated brass lighting, I really like the new brushed nickel look, and nicer fixtures." If you were to pull out the main lights and fans in a home you are looking at anywhere from a $2000-$5000 or more expense in replacing all your lighting. Landscaping - You walk up to the front of the house and you say, "This has potential, we just need to plant some grass, and some flowers and a few nice shrubs. Maybe fix the pavers." Landscaping can add $2000 or more depending on how elaborate you get with your "freshen up" of the landscape. Carpet - You walk into certain rooms and see old worn multicolored carpet and you say, "Yikes this carpet has got to go!" Then becomes the question, how much, and what do we replace it with. New carpet per room including pulling up old carpet can start from about $1000 per 12x12 room and go up from there. Putting down hardwood can start around $1700 or so per 12x12 room and go up from there. Painting - You walk into a room with huge floral wallpaper and say, "Well that has to come down." On a do it yourself budget to remove wallpaper in a 12x15 room it will cost about $100 a day of work for materials and equipment rental. If you pay a professional, an easy removal could cost about $250 - $450 per 12x15 room. And if there are complications it could cost $500-$1000. Paint - if you do it yourself, it could costs about $80- $100 per room for primer, paint, brushes, trays rollers etc., or about $200-$400 per room if you pay a professional. As you walk through a bargain home envisioning all the possibilities, ask yourself, are you really a DIY'er or are you going to end up hiring someone to do the work for you? Some people convince themselves that if people can do it on HGTV they can too. And when faced with the reality of the skill and time it takes to complete a project they realize it's more than they really wanted to do. After all on TV it looks like it only takes about a half hour. Start adding up the prices to just these "small" projects and the value of a new home starts to make sense. Wouldn't it be nice to just walk into a new home that already has all the details you want, and begin your life? Image source: ©
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