1. Stay within our budget. Of course with the new much stricter rules in the area of what homeowners qualify for, your higher end price range is pretty much dictated by your income, debt and investments.
2. Location, location, location--no matter how much less the house may priced, ie. with that water tower in the back yard......the truth of the matter is, if you have to sell down the road, or very quickly, it most likely will be impossible to re-coup the hard-earned money that you have used to purchase this home, let alone what you have put into it. Making a profit is what we all want in the end. One rule of thumb for us that has worked is to buy in an area where the public schools Report Card is excellent. This not only entices many families with children to seek out the area for their children to attend the best schools, it has been a good sound investment to those like us, empty nesters. Good resale!!!
3. If contracting to build, before signing any contracts, we specifically state our selections, changes, etc. and never sign final paperwork until the home is completed to our satisfaction. Some builders
will try and strong arm you to sign, stating timing of your moving in may be affected, etc., the facts are this is our decision. They don't get paid until we release the money. We always check with our lawyer in these situations if necessary.
On to the fun stuff---Renovating!!
Our current house has a great floor plan for the kitchen, but it was a bit tired, and in need of updating. There are a few photos below from the renovation.....some before we took possession and some after ....they sure brought back memories!
BEFORE THE KITCHEN RENOVATION
|TV shelf and backsplash. (Photo from previous owner)|
Built-in oven and microwave cabinet.
|Two-tiered island with gas cooktop.|
|The gas range was in need of replacement. I like all of the burners to work!|
OUR KITCHEN RENOVATION PROJECT
|We had the walls, ceiling, pantries--inside and out and all woodwork including doors and trim painted. This gave everything a fresh new look and smell.|
|Two can lights were removed over the island and replaced with three pendants. We also had a matching chandelier installed above the kitchen table.|
|Demolition of the old island resulted in us being able to add an additional 2 feet to the length of the new island footprint giving us a great work/entertaining space.|
|I was able to re-design the kitchen valance that I had used in the Houston house and use the same carpet runner too! Recycle--re-purpose!|
|The extra length (2 ft.) added to the end of the island allows for more work space and entertaining area. Drapery on slider door is from Restoration Hardware, Textured Belgian Linen, color is straw. Rod is from Pottery Barn.|
|This is the final result of our kitchen renovation!|