One Bite at a Time

Posted July 16th, 2010
by Staff (no comments)

If you’re anything like the overwhelming majority of us, your first home probably isn’t a ready made mansion with all of the furnishings you could ever dream about. More likely, your first home, like ours, is a modest house with a few issues that need addressing. A house with promise, as some people call it. And there’s nothing wrong with that. If you’re just buying your first home, welcome to the world of property taxes, homeowners insurance, escrows, and best of all, home maintenance.

If you’re anything like us, the little dings and bruises your house needs really didn’t seem like such a big deal when you were buying the house. You were just excited to be buying your first home. But that paint job the house kind of needs, the dripping faucet, and the bathroom makeover that really should have been done sometime 20 years ago have a way of becoming a much bigger deal once the papers are signed and you’re in the house.

In fact, the to do list can get overwhelming to the point that you might find yourself wishing you had just stayed in an apartment, where everything that needed to be fixed was someone else’s problem. But don’t let it get the better of you. Take a deep breath, you’re going to be OK.

One wise man (or wise guy, we’re still trying to figure out which) once said that you eat an elephant the same way you eat a cheeseburger: one bite at a time. We’d like to suggest that you tackle your household projects the same way. One at a time.

If you look at a fix it up home in its entirety, it can seem like you face a daunting task, but the reality is that you face a lot of much smaller tasks. You’re not going to get the house completely fixed overnight. You might not have it completely fixed before you move on at all. But you can improve your house one project at a time.

Whether you’re a do it yourselfer, or you pay to have most of the work done for you, you can improve both the livability and value of your home with each and every home improvement. Your best bet, unless you plan on flipping the house quickly, is to prioritize your projects in terms of which ones makes the house most comfortable to live in.

Focus on those things which affect you the most first. Everybody’s different in this respect, and that’s OK. You don’t have to have the same priorities as everyone else. List all of the projects you know need to be done, then list them in order from most to least important.

When picking the project you’re going to work on next, choose the project closest to the top of the list that you can afford. Remember, one bite at a time, and you’ll slowly build your home’s value.

Photo via mini true

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