Is It the Right Time for a Home Addition?
A Santa Monica home addition means more space for the residents, solving a lot of problems for residents who feel like they're constantly competing with each other. Whether it's nasty fights for the bathroom or just a general feeling of claustrophobia, an extra room can have a ripple effect on everyone's quality of life. But additions are more than just a fulfilled dream of a more comfortable home. Before committing to the time commitment (and the expense) of an addition, homeowners should keep the following in mind.
Plenty of homes have rooms or spaces that are routinely underutilized. Basements, attics, even the opening under the stairs can give homeowners a canvas to work with before they result to calling a contractor. Consider what it would cost to redo one of these spaces or to insulate the garage. Compare this to the costs of adding a new room to the home, and homeowners will likely see they have more practical options than a home addition.
Understand the Solution
Home additions normally start as the final answer to a complicated problem. For example, if the home is starting to run out of storage space, many owners will consider expanding their home rather than having a garage sale. These ideas may start off as mere fantasies at first, but given enough time, they can morph into an unnecessary plan of action.
Before taking the next step, homeowners should really consider what they've done to fix the problems on their own. For example, maybe everyone was given a bathroom schedule to stick to in the morning, but the enforcement of those rules was lax enough that the schedule fell apart quickly. If children can't play in their rooms because it's too cluttered, parents can consider cleaning out the clutter and creating a 'playroom space' within the room. In other words, owners may need to try (and commit to) several correction strategies before they can really declare an addition to be the only answer.
Construction means disrupting everyone's habits—often more drastically and for far longer than they realize. Constructing a home addition may seem great in theory, until residents realize that they can't access entire areas in the home for months at a time. While the pay-off is usually worth the effort, owners should anticipate how everyone will react to the stress of the transition. For example, if someone is about to enter their busiest months at work or school, it may be worth delaying construction.
How to Pay
There are a few things to consider when it comes to how to pay for the addition:
- Credit score: Personal loans are usually how people pay off home additions. Homeowners will need a strong amount of collateral and a strong credit score for the best rates. Experts recommend listing labor as an asset if homeowners are planning to work on the home themselves.
- 203k loan: In certain neighborhoods, homeowners may be eligible for this government-backed loan. It offers better rates in exchange for motivated homeowners willing to invest in their property (and, in turn, their larger community).
Homeowners will also need to research the laws of their neighborhood. Under some community (or HOA) laws, constructions may be highly regulated. Homeowners may need to hire certain contractors or be subjected to constant inspections throughout the process. These restrictions can significantly can add to the total stress and expense.
Once a homeowner has definitively decided on their addition, they're free to start making the more glamorous plans of what it will look like and how it can be best used to improve the daily routine. One of the best parts of owning a property is the ability to adapt it to those who use it.