Equifax

Finance Blog

Stay financially savvy with the Equifax Advisor.

Sign up for our FREE Monthly Email Newsletter

 

Thank you for signing up for the FREE Equifax monthly newsletter

In addition to keeping in the financial know, you may be interested in checking your credit score and report.

Understand your credit. Help protect your identity.

Equifax Complete™ Premier Plan

  • Know What May Influence Your Credit Score and Be Alerted of Changes
    Credit score monitoring with custom alerts
    Important Disclosure: The Equifax credit score and 3-Bureau credit scores are based on an Equifax credit score model and are not the same scores used by 3rd parties to assess your creditworthiness.¹
  • Help Protect Your Identity
    Automatic fraud alerts encourages lenders to take extra steps to verify your identity²
  • Lock Your Credit
    The ability to lock and unlock your Equifax Credit Report³
Save 75% your first 30 days with the purchase of Equifax Complete™ Premier

$4.95 for the first 30 days, then $19.95 per month thereafter. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.4

¹The credit scores provided under the offers described here use the Equifax Credit Score, which is a proprietary credit model developed by Equifax. The Equifax Credit Score and 3-Bureau scores are each based on the Equifax Credit Score model, but calculated using the information in your Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit files. The Equifax Credit Score is intended for your own educational use. It is also commercially available to third parties along with numerous other credit scores and models in the marketplace. Please keep in mind third parties are likely to use a different score when evaluating your creditworthiness. Also, third parties will take into consideration items other than your credit score or information found in your credit file, such as your income.

²The Automatic Fraud Alert feature is made available to consumers by Equifax Information Services LLC and fulfilled on its behalf by Equifax Consumer Services LLC.

³Equifax Credit Report Control™ is only available while you have a current subscription to Equifax Complete Premier. Locking your credit file with Equifax Credit Report Control will prevent access to your Equifax credit file by certain third parties, such as credit grantors or other companies and agencies. Credit Report Control will not prevent access to your credit file at any other credit reporting agency, and will not prevent access to your Equifax credit file by companies like Equifax Personal Solutions which provide you with access to your credit report or credit score or monitor your credit file; Federal, state and local government agencies; companies reviewing your application for employment; companies that have a current account or relationship with you, and collection agencies acting on behalf of those whom you owe; for fraud detection and prevention purposes; and companies that wish to make pre-approved offers of credit or insurance to you. To opt out of such pre-approved offers, visit www.optoutprescreen.com/.

4We will require you to provide your payment information when you sign up and we will immediately charge your card $4.95. After that, we will charge the card $19.95 for each month you continue your subscription. You may cancel at any time; however, we do not provide partial month refunds.

Equifax® is a registered trademark and Equifax Complete™ Premier is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. © 2014, Equifax Inc., Atlanta, Georgia. All rights reserved.

How to Plan for Next Year's Home Improvement Projects

Written by Ilyce Glink on December 31, 2010 in Real Estate  |   9 comments

How to Plan for Next Year’s Home Improvement Projects Do you have a wish list of home-improvement projects? Have you thought about what you’ll be able to afford to do this year and how much it will cost? Over at my house, I’ve been making…


How to Plan for Next Year’s Home Improvement Projects

Do you have a wish list of home-improvement projects? Have you thought about what you’ll be able to afford to do this year and how much it will cost?

Over at my house, I’ve been making my list of home improvements and checking it twice. As we end the year, I thought I’d share a little bit about how I plan for upcoming home-improvement projects and offer a few suggestions on budgeting for these outsized expenses.

Next year, I’d really like to replace our carpet. When we bought this carpet, some twelve years ago, we never expected to keep it this long. It wasn’t expensive (we were out of money after building our home addition), and, sure enough, after about seven years it started to fray, so you can imagine what it looks like now.

I’ve also thought about repainting a few rooms that have big cracks, and redecorating my sons’ bathroom. Finally, I’d really like to put in a proper patio.

These are four projects that can be as big or small as you make them, so figuring out how much money you have available for home-improvement projects in the coming year is an important next step. It’s a process my husband calls “What’s the budget?”

I actually hate when he asks me this question, because it forces me to really think about what I want (everything!) and what I can afford to spend (not as much as I’d like!). And that’s the reality for most of us: we always could do more, but we’ll be happy with a little less.

Coming off several tough years in the economy, you might not have the financial resources to pull off even one home-improvement job in 2011—and that’s okay. I’ve put off my carpet project for about four years. With unemployment as high as it is, and a lot of economic uncertainty, you don’t want to go into debt for something that you can live without. That’s especially true if you wind up with a needed or necessary repair, like replacing a hot-water tank or fixing a leaky roof in the middle of winter.

Let’s pick a number. Say you have $5,000 to spend on home-improvement projects this year. And let’s say you have five projects on your list. If you prioritize your list and work your way from the top down, you might only have enough cash to accomplish one or two of your top projects.

At that point, you can go ahead and do those projects, or you can save up more money through the course of the year and do more. Or you can choose to complete three of the less-expensive projects and save a more expensive project for another year.

I can’t tell you which way to go, but keep this in mind: if you are planning on selling your home in 2011, the home-improvement projects you choose to complete should all relate to the salability of the property.

In other words, if the home-improvement project you choose won’t increase the value of the house or make it easier to sell, you should table that project and choose another.

As for me, I’ll let you know at the end of 2011 which home-improvement projects I was able to get done.

Ilyce R. Glink is the author of several books, including 100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask and Buy, Close, Move In!. She blogs about money and real estate at ThinkGlink.com and at the Home Equity blog for CBS MoneyWatch.

READ MORE:

Balancing What the Bank Says You Can Afford and What You Can Really Afford
Getting Rid of Debt before Buying a Home
How to Think about Debt When Buying a Home
Strategic Default: The Consequences of Not Paying Your Mortgage
4 Tips for Buying a HUD Home

9 comments

  1. ritesh says:

    good plan for home improvement thanks for this plan see the bathroom design ideas for bathrooms
    this site.

  2. Maggie West says:

    It's as if you read my mind on this one. I'm new to your site. But, we (me, my husband and mother-in-law) listen to you often. This year there are two home major (to us at any rate) improvements projects on our list. And it's sad, but I never asked the "how much?" question. Now that I know that one. What amount should be set aside for emergencies like water heaters and the like? We've been fortunate (other than unexpected car repairs last year). But you never know.

  3. starlite says:

    For carpet visit Dalton, Georgia. Besides learning the "lingo" of weight, yarn, twist, padding and installation options, you will save a great deal of money.

    This is a great home furnishing experience.

  4. Editor, Equifax Personal Finance Blog says:

    From an email comment:

    My general comment relates to advising home owners that investing in home improvements, beyond maintenance, should be tempered with knowledge of a realistic return on investment and current market, i.e., the best information regarding equity status for the individual home.
    My wife and I sold a home in NY State recently for personal reasons at a loss of more than $100k of equity relative to market value 2 years ago. We were fortunate to have had sufficient equity to walk away with some cash. However, this would not have been the case if we had invested in the improvements on our wish list at the time….

    My other comment was that sellers need to be realistic about the market when setting their asking price. We have moved to Virginia to be near family and are looking to buy a house in VA. Given the strong buyers market, limited recent/comparative sales, and no confirmation that the bottom of the market has passed, I have been considering the tax assessment information as one point of reference for determining offering prices. Municipalities here update "market value" assessments annually, but, the data used can be a year or more old. Based on my research for one subcommunity here, the only 2 comparable homes sold in March 2010 for 86 and 87% of the 2010 assessed value. Also, asking prices for foreclosures seem to be at or below 80% of assessed value. Hard to know details, but, given this and the assumption that we are not at the bottom of the market, I chose to begin offering price calculations at 80% of the assessed value. This pleases no one but me…. RE agents and owners are not impressed, but, I am holding out for that one reasonable or desperate seller. I am really trying to minimize our risk of loosing more equity on a house immediately after closing. There are numerous listings that note the asking price is below assessed value, clearly attempting to suggest that the house is offered at a price below market value – while the statement may be true, I consider this practice to be misleading and reflects a more blatant effort to prey on the uninformed buyer.

    I understand the limitations of using tax assessment information, but, find that most people don't – perhaps this is a good topic for a blog or article.

    Thanks for your insights and service.
    – Bill D.

  5. Ilyce Glink says:

    Maggie – Sorry for the delayed response. I just saw this.

    I think that you'll be safe if you give yourself a 15 to 25 percent cushion for the unexpected things that pop up. If you know your home pretty well, it's newer and you've already done a lot to it, then I'd go lower end with the reserve. But if it's an old house, and you don't really know what's behind the walls, then use the higher amount.

    Thanks for listening – and for reading the blog.

  6. MatthewWilliam says:

    Once you have been in a home for over five years, you really do start to see some wear and tear. If you’re the type of home owner that likes to entertain outside you should purchase top quality patio furniture that not only looks good, but is practical.

    landscape architect sydney

  7. Home Improvement - Home Remodeling says:

    Home improvement can focus on multiple areas for both indoor and outdoor renovations that benefit the home. Making them more up-to-date and energy efficient, expanding the square footage and remodeling those areas, we need home repair and replacement that can increase the home's value.

  8. stone supplier says:

    How to plan for upcoming home improvement projects?Great tips and ideas.Really informative post.

  9. Home Renovation Contractor in Toronto says:

    Planning is the key for a smooth future so reading your tips will be valuable for us thanks for sharing this.


Leave a Comment


Name :


Commenting guidelines

We welcome your interest and participation on this forum, but be aware that comments will be published at Equifax's sole discretion. Please don't use this blog to submit questions or concerns about your Equifax credit report or raise customer service issues. Instead, you should contact Equifax directly for all such matters and any attempts to do so in this forum will be promptly re-directed.

Some other factors to consider when commenting:
  1. Registration and privacy. While no registration is required to visit our forum, participants wishing to post a message must register by creating an account. All personal information provided by forum members incident to registration is governed by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
  2. All comments are anonymous. We'll delete your name, e-mail address, and any other identifying information, including details about your investments.
  3. We can't post or respond to every comment - As much as we'd like to, we can't post every comment, nor can we guarantee that we will respond to each individual message. All questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or similar customer service issues should be handled by contacting Equifax directly.
  4. Don't offer specific legal, tax or financial advice. All of the materials on this Site are for information, education, and noncommercial purposes only and this forum is not intended as a means of expressing views or ideas regarding any specific legal, tax, or investment advice. While offering general rules of thumb is both permitted and encouraged, recommending specific ideas or strategies regarding investments, taxes, and related matters is prohibited.
  5. Credit Repair. This blog is not intended as a venue for the discussion or exchange of ideas regarding credit repair or other strategies intended to assist visitors and community members improve or otherwise modify their credit histories, ratings or scores.
  6. Stay on topic. Your comment should be concise and pertain to the specific post in question.
  7. Be respectful of the community. The use of profanity, offensive language, spam, and personal attacks will not be tolerated and egregious or repeat offenders will be banned from future participation. We encourage disagreement and healthy debate, but please refrain from personal attacks on our WordPresss and contributors.
  8. Finally: Participation in this forum may be terminated by Equifax immediately and without notice for failure to comply with any guidelines or Terms of Use. As such, you should familiarize yourself with all pertinent requirements prior to submitting any response through the blog or otherwise. All opinions expressed in this forum are solely those of the individual submitting the comment, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.

Equifax maintains this interactive forum for education and information purposes in order to allow individuals to share their relevant knowledge and opinions with other members and visitors. We encourage you to participate in discussions about personal finance issues and other topics of interest to this community, but please read our commenting guidelines first. Equifax reserves the right to monitor postings to the forum and comments will be published at our discretion. Do you have questions or comments about your Equifax credit report or customer-service issues regarding an Equifax product? If so, please contact Equifax directly. All opinions and information expressed or shared in blog comments are solely those of the person submitting the comments, and don't necessarily represent the views of Equifax or its management.


Real Estate Archive