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Owning your first home is such an exciting thing. Regardless of how long you’ve been a first-time homeowner, you likely already have a list of home improvement items in mind for the future. Before you take out a home improvement loan, start calling contractors, or contemplate what type of loan you might need, there are a few things to consider when finishing off that first-time homeowner home improvement list.

If you’re a first-time homeowner looking to make some renovations to your home, read on for some important things to consider.

Researching Hired Help and Contractors

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The best way to hire a contractor for your home renovation is to do your research. It’s a great idea to ask family and friends for recommendations on whom they’ve used. Another good option is a quick Google search on home improvement work listing sites like Angie’s List or HomeAdvisor. When doing this research, be sure to look at reviews.

When hiring a contractor, ask to see a portfolio of their work. Consider asking for recommendations, too. If you’re concerned about hiring the wrong person for the job, you can go even further. Thanks to the internet, it’s possible to look up someone’s criminal record and public information online. Searching for mugshots online is a great way to buy yourself peace of mind. While extensive background checks will cost money, it might be worth it if you’re concerned about dishonest contractors.

Funding Home Improvement Projects

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Depending on the extent of your project, you may need to apply for a new loan to see you through. Most contractors will ask for a lump sum deposit before they begin work. Consider your home’s value, what renovation you’re hoping to do, and what you could afford for a monthly payment on any home improvement loan, you might need to get the work done. If you’re uncertain of how home improvement loans work, consult a licensed financial advisor, or do some homework on online lenders.

You’ll want to explore different options when it comes to home improvement cash. Consider unsecured loans, home equity loans, and other ways to fund your project before making a final decision. It’s always a good idea to explore options the same way you should request three bids on the work you’re having done. It’s important to do this for the best financial outcome. Your good credit depends on this, so if you aren’t sure that you can afford it, it’s better to wait before tackling cosmetic upgrades to your home.

Having Fun in the Meantime

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While waiting for word back on your home renovation loan, be sure to take time out for breaks and fun. It can’t be all work and no play. In the middle of a global pandemic, with social restrictions and shutdowns making things hard on everyone, consider activities you can do in your area safely. Search for things to do outside of downtown San Francisco or ways to have fun outside in Oregon, and come up with a plan to carve out time for fun and relaxation. If leaving the house isn’t an option, think about home renovations you could do on your own, like turning your backyard into an oasis for lounging or that pick up game of volleyball with loved ones.

In the end, how you go about your renovations and home improvements is entirely up to you. In doing your research on contractors and considering what you can afford for a home improvement loan monthly payment, you’ll be in a better position when it’s time to collect bids for that perfect remodel you’ve been dreaming about. Trust your instincts as you travel down the home improvement path the same way you did when you first bought your home, and remember to have fun along the way.