Maybe your garage is just fine, a place for your car to sit but not much more. One of the best ways to expand your home’s usefulness is to make sure you take full advantage of your home’s garage. A remodel project can feel ambitious, but if you plan it carefully, you can finance it in a way that doesn’t break the bank and see a return when you end up selling your Orlando, FL home down the line.
Step 1: Determine How Your Garage Could Be Better Used
The versatility of garages can be overlooked sometimes, leading them to become a disorganized dumping ground for items that don’t fit in the main home. This doesn’t have to be the story of your home though! Think of some of the ways a garage could benefit your family more:
- Organized space where stored items can easily be found and used.
- Open space for family gathering and semi-outdoor parties.
- Space for children to play and build imaginative forts.
- A bonus room for a family member who wants their own room.
- A bonus garage apartment for renting to get a little extra income.
- A great workshop for a creative or artist in the family.
All of these options can be done, maybe not at the same time, but you can make this space fit your desires. You just need to know how much it will cost.
Step 2: Evaluate Out-of-Pocket Costs and Financing
If you have cash reserves, your out-of-pocket costs will be more straightforward, but if you will need a loan, you want to assess the “real” cost with interest and make sure that your project makes sense at that price point. Many remodeling projects benefit from a short-term lending solution like a home equity line of credit, where you don’t have to know exactly how much you’ll spend and you can use your home’s value to secure the loan and get a lower interest rate. As long as you commit to paying off this line of credit as quickly as is feasible, you won’t pay a lot in interest, and if you happen to have a month where many of your needed supplies are on sale, you have the credit to buy them while the price is good, not wait until you’ve saved up money to buy them.
Step 3: Price Out All Parts of the Project
Speaking of supplies, make sure you get real-world estimates before you set your final budget, since prices do change and you want to have some solid numbers to make sure the budget is grounded in reality. Even so, most projects will be more successful if you leave at least 10-20% of your budget as wiggle room for unexpected costs.
Step 4: Create Check-Ins During the Project to Stay on Track
As your project progresses, evaluate how much has been spent at regular intervals. It’s easy to be blindsided by a project that has exceeded its budget if you haven’t been paying close attention. Don’t be afraid to alter your project if you realize that the original plan doesn’t fit your goals or your budget. Especially if you are focused on selling your home well, you don’t want to go wildly over budget just to increase your home’s value.