How to Plan a Successful Renovation Journey
Welcome to the start of your Renovation Journey! If you’re reading this, you may have some interest in making a change to your current home, buying a fixer-upper, or building an entirely new home. In any case, you have come to the right place. At Great Midwest Bank, we offer common sense lending to ensure you get the perfect personalized loan to help you along the Renovation Journey (or Construction Detour, if your renovation is a hefty one!).
A major renovation is a major commitment. It takes careful planning and a little bit of time, but it also pays off big time in the end. We are committed to helping you through the entire process, from start to finish, to ensure your Renovation Journey is hassle-free.
If you’re still on the fence about undertaking a major renovation, here’s a few reasons that will hopefully push you over the edge and get you started on your Journey!
- Increase your comfort within your home – whether that be for cosmetic enjoyment, efficiency reasons, or functionality expansion.
- Increase the value of your home, in case you are planning to resell your home sometime in the future.
- Get your home ready to sell in the very near future.
- Solve safety issues that may exist if you bought an older home.
When it’s all said and done, we hope you will be as excited and inspired to start your Renovation Journey as we are to help you through it. Our expert loan officers are always ready to answer your call, answer any questions you may have, and help you take the first step towards improving or building your home.
The best way to kick off your Renovation Journey or home construction is to plan it!
Sounds obvious, right?
One of the most common things we hear from friends, family, and customers that have taken on renovations in the past is that they went over their budget due to unexpected obstacles and unforeseen costs.
We’re here with some helpful tips to take out any of the guesswork that comes with setting your Renovation Journey budget so you can plan for success.
Apply for a Pre-Approval
A renovation loan, like any other loan, should start with a pre-approval. The online pre-approval is simple and can take as little as 20 minutes. If you would rather have the help of a professional while filling out your pre-approval application, no problem! Our loan officers are experts on the matter and can help you through the process right from the beginning.
When you start your Renovation Journey by applying for a major renovation loan or construction loan with Great Midwest Bank, you get the expertise of our Loan Officers as well as the seasoned practices of a bank that has been helping local Wisconsin homeowners just like you since 1935. We have established strong connections with local contractors and builders and can help connect you with the right professionals for your renovation or construction.
But wait, it gets better! Our common-sense lending philosophy allows us to consider a variety of factors, as every renovation is different than the next, and a customized approach is often in order. This approach allows us to keep the renovation process as simple as possible, depending on the scale of your project. We are able to provide you with personalized loan products to help you start, navigate, and successfully complete your Renovation Journey.
Determine Your Budget
Having a price range or budget in mind before you start a pre-approval is extremely helpful, but your pre-approval will help you get comfortable with a monthly payment, no different than a purchase or refinance. Once you determine that figure, along with any additional cash you have add to the mix, we can help you back into your budget.
Plan Within Your Budget with the Help of the Experts
Our Loan Officers can help talk you through the renovation or construction plans you have and ballpark what your project may cost. We understand the importance of making this part of the process simple and convenient but thorough enough to put your mind at ease when you head out to talk to a builder or contractor. Loan Officers can also offer insight on improvements that offer the best return on your investment based on past experience and appraisal reports.
Think of us as your renovation partner, not just your lender! We can talk you through points that might be overlooked such as the resale value your renovations can provide, the value of other homes in your neighborhood based on appraisals from other transactions, and upgrades that make the most sense for the home value range in your area.
Now that you have made it through the planning process, you’re ready to kick off demo and get those renovations underway! Now it’s time to hire the right contractor, which can be a make-or-break for your renovation. Your loan submission often requires a contract, plans and specifications, depending on the scope of your renovations. Below are some helpful tips to guide you through the process so it feels less like blind dating and more like a healthy commitment.
Speed Dating, Sort Of
Finding the one perfect contractor begins with sorting through your options. Word of mouth (ask your Loan Officer!) and even Facebook can be particularly helpful for recommendations to start narrowing down the search, and it’s important to take time to meet with each potential candidate, preferably in person. Start with your budget and plan and ask them about their experience with projects similar to yours. Make sure they are a licensed, bonded and insured. If a contractor doesn’t have that paperwork readily available, look elsewhere. In addition, if you don’t receive a timely, written bid, move on.
With a shortage of tradespeople, you’ll likely find that most contractors have scheduling that is backed up. We’ve heard of customers waiting six to twelve months to get work completed, so hiring the right contractor may require some patience.
Write It Down
You’ve interviewed a few contractors and finally felt like you have met the one; Congrats! Although you have done your homework and trust your soon-to-be-contractor, it’s important to have a contract in place to protect yourself. A detailed contract should include timelines, total cost, change order pricing, payment plan details, a license number, project description, parties involved, and specifics on which party is responsible for permits and inspections.