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Old 02-17-2017, 08:15 AM
$ Saving HS Freshman
Join Date: Mar 2013
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Default Home improvement

As many of you know, we are diligently working to pay off debt right now. At the same time, we bought a house this past summer and while it's an awesome house, it is dated and there are upgrades we want to make. Part of us wants to finish off the one big student loan (~$31k) before we do anything, but part of us wants to start modernizing this house. Dave Ramsey is screaming in the back of my head, telling me to not do anything right now and finish off the debts and then move on. The living room alone would be pricey since we're looking at removing carpeting, adding tile by the front door, totally repainting, removing wallpaper, new blinds, lighting upgrades, etc. Priorities are the living room and dining room.

It probably makes sense to just hold off for now and wait until we have better free cash flow right?
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:32 AM
$ Saving College Sophomore
Join Date: Mar 2015
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If you can do most of the work yourself, room upgrades like this can be done pretty cheap, and no reason you couldn't both fix up the house and pay down the student loan.

We remodeled our first house very economically, one room at a time as we could afford it.
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Old 02-17-2017, 08:37 AM
$ Saving HS Freshman
Join Date: Mar 2013
Forum Posts: 123

We can do a few things on our own but luckily her step-father is a contractor and her mom has down a lot of interior design type work so it really is just the cost of goods which in and of itself can get expensive. I guess the first step will be to budget out how much we can expect it to be and go from there.
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Old 02-17-2017, 09:20 AM
$ Saving College Junior
Join Date: Nov 2016
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Personally I think you should get rid of the debt first.

We made the mistake of doing some kitchen and bathroom updates while we were still paying off debt. Since we obviously didn't want to incur any more debt, we went forward with a VERY TIGHT budget for the remodels. We couldn't afford complete makeovers, so we basically addressed what we felt needed to be addressed and left other things as is. We realize now that we should have waited and made sure we got everything done at once.
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:17 PM
Milly's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2017
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Default The Home Improvement Pitfall

It sounds like the improvements you are talking about are pretty helpful ones. You need to watch out though because getting carried away updating the kitchen and such can cause problems if the market tanks.

I have a friend who bought a home at the peak of the market. He and his wife are among the most intelligent people I know, so paying it off early was a no-brainier for them. They set a plan to pay it off in 10 years despite the high price tag. They stuck with the plan for a while, but as time went on, they made some trade-offs. Instead of paying the extra towards their mortgage, they started paying it into the house with kitchen remodeling and various flooring. 10 years later, when they would have been all paid off, they moved. In that amount of time, the housing market had dropped significantly and they were forced to sell for less than they still owed even with the updated kitchen. Had they stuck with the plan, they would have come out of the transaction with the entire sale price (minus fees) as liquid money for their down payment on the next home.

Moral of the story: If you pay off your home, you can always sell it for something. Stick to your payoff plan and get there as fast as you can because you never know what the market or your life has in store for you. If the market just goes up, you can always do the projects later. It won’t hurt you to focus on payoff first.

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Old Today, 06:58 PM
$ Saving Second Grader
Join Date: Feb 2017
Forum Posts: 11

I think this is an scenario we all have faced from time to time.
I put off some improvements/ remodel on my home waiting for the right time financially and time etc.
in the end I feel, I should have done it so much sooner. the satisfaction level with the improvement I don't think I can measure in money.
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