There are obviously a lot of expenses when it comes to buying a new home and making the upgrades you want. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or have purchased homes in the past, it’s easy to spend unnecessarily on things that add up to a large sum of money. Here are some areas that homeowners may waste money on their homes.

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  1. Renovation projects with a low return on investment (ROI). If the main goal of your homeownership is to maximize the value growth of the house, you will want to avoid projects with a low ROI. Creating an open floor plan, putting in a swimming pool, or extending one room just to lose space in another (especially if it’s a bedroom being sacrificed) are a few examples of renovations that aren’t likely to help your home sell. That is not to say you shouldn’t do them or that they “waste money”  – just be aware that they aren’t going to drastically increase the value of the house. Kitchen and bathroom renovations, as well as an upgraded outdoor living space, are all examples of projects that typically offer a positive ROI.
  2. Overpaying on utilities. Mortgage payments are only part of the monthly cost of owning a home. The utility bill can often come as a surprise for homeowners, especially if the house is a bit older and basking in our South Florida heat. To make sure you are minimizing your utility payments, you can have your utility company perform an energy assessment. This comprehensive analysis will give you insight into whether improving your home’s insulation or replacing some drafty windows will create a significant impact on your monthly bill.
  3. Forgetting warranties and insurance. Often, a new house will come with some sort of warranty to cover some replacements or repairs. If an appliance breaks or some other issue occurs, be sure to check with your policyholder for your home insurance and warranty to see if the repairs are covered, so that you don’t have to spend the money out-of-pocket.
  4. Excess maintenance services. If you have the money to hire a lot of help there is no reason not to do so. However, if you are trying to save money, avoid hiring companies like lawn care, home cleaners, or pool cleaning services. Unless your property is quite large, it is likely that the time spent mowing or the money spent on pool chemicals is significantly less expensive than paying others to do it.
  5. Calling in contractors for small ticket items. YouTube is an extremely useful tool these days. When it comes to small home fixes–like a clogged P trap in your sink, an AC unit in need of cleaning, or a toilet that won’t stop running after you flush–it’s a good idea to see if you can find an instructional video to help you do it yourself instead of calling in a contractor. Regardless of how simple the fix is, contractors often charge a flat rate to come out to your house which is much more expensive than doing it yourself.
  6. Going over budget on furnishings. Furnishing a home is important, but it is also necessary to set a budget and stick to it so that you do not end up with more monthly debt payments than you can handle–especially considering that you have to adapt your budget to include your mortgage and insurance payments. If you are eager for some new-looking furniture, consider giving your old pieces some DIY love with a new stain, coat of paint, or another creative upgrade.

Another way to save money on renovations is to hire local professionals who can both design and install your new kitchen or bathroom. Contractors who focus on a specific type of renovation can save you time and money, as well as offer suggestions on how to cut costs without sacrificing the aesthetics you are hoping for. West Coast Design Build Florida has worked with hundreds of Sarasota area residents to transform their home and not waste money – how can we help you?