Consider the Cost of Home Improvement Before You Do it Yourself

Home improvement — whether it’s fixing a leaky faucet or upgrading a kitchen — is an essential part of homeownership. But it’s important to consider a renovation project’s impact on your wallet and property value before taking the plunge.

Fortunately, many home improvement projects are relatively inexpensive and can be completed by the homeowner themselves, saving them money and hassle. But for larger renovations or additions to a home, it’s often best to consult with an expert to ensure that the final result is both safe and functional.

According to a recent NerdWallet survey, about half of homeowners who took on major home improvement projects over the past two years were able to easily pay for them without tapping into savings or going into debt. That’s down from the 52% who said the same when we asked in 2020.

The slowdown in homeowner renovations is due to a combination of factors. Rising prices have squeezed household budgets, and some consumers are deferring or putting on hold larger-scale renovations like adding an extra bedroom or converting the garage into a primary suite.

Before you hire a contractor to complete a home improvement project, carefully consider how much it will cost and research your financing options. Pre-qualify with multiple lenders to compare rates and terms, and gather documentation before applying. A good place to start is with the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) lender list to find a loan program that may be available in your area.