With so many city apartment dwellers moving to the ’burbs, purchasing your first home is certainly trending. Getting to homeownership is a stressful process with so many details to attend to, but once the paperwork is completed and you are handed the keys to your new home, the promise of a new phase in your life begins.
Often turning the key in your home is filled with both euphoria and a sense of being overwhelmed by the daunting task of furnishing it and getting settled as quickly as possible. With Covid-19 and the Delta variant, many first-time homeowners are former urban apartment dwellers who fled the city for a more suburban lifestyle and have no idea how to move from a smaller space into a larger one. Not only are homeowners now responsible for the inside of their home but the outside, too.
Working with first-time homeowners can be challenging as they understandably want to get settled right away, which requires a list of priorities. More often than not, homeowners focus on the end part of what it takes to get settled rather than working through the steps that it takes to get to where they want to be in the process. Each step you take requires a certain amount of time in order to reach your overall goals.
Often the homes that are being purchased have not had a face-lift in years or are not quite to your taste. The following steps will help guide you through the process. (If your budget allows, use professional sources to work with you to achieve your goals.)
First, assess what the home needs in terms of repairs and cosmetic upgrades.
Complete necessary repairs first – for example, roofing, plumbing, boiler, hot water heater and check your heating and air conditioning. Install new windows. Then prioritize what you can or should work on and what is in the budget. I recommend if the floors are in bad shape or you want to change their color, have them sanded and refinished first. This is more easily done with the house empty before furniture is placed as you will need about one to two weeks blocked out to do this.
Next on my list is painting the home. Paint the home inside and out, repair any walls that have cracked or had previous water damage. Sometimes skim coating is needed to ensure a high level of interior finishing. If you want to add decorative molding or painted paneling, do it before you paint so you won’t have damaged walls.
Remodel the kitchen and bathrooms if they are in the budget and are needed. If you have to remodel bathrooms, do them one at a time. Renovating them all at once means you’d have to move out for an extended period of time.
I do recommend living in your home before undertaking a large remodeling project. This can give you time to see what you love about the home and what you would like to change about it to make it more functional. This also can help your architect, because you can give him or her some clear direction.
Selecting home furnishings takes time so that it is not thrown together in a hap- hazard way. Take whatever furnishings you have and use them until your new pieces come in. This gives you the time to really make your home personal and special. Lead times are currently long for the home furnishings industry, as with every other industry, as many goods are stuck in ports, awaiting workers to move them. Lately, we have been renting furniture for clients until their pieces come in, because moving from a small apartment to a larger home leaves a lot of empty spaces. It is better to get things you love then rush in and purchase anything that is available.
If you don’t have a clear idea of what you want to do in the spaces, I sometimes recommend that you paint everything a clean neutral color and go in later with more specific colors and wallpapers to coordinate with your furnishings. This creates a clean slate so that you can focus on your design elements.
Enjoy the process. Really prioritize and budget so you can clearly decide what can be done immediately or what should wait until you have more time to make clear decisions on furnishings.
For more, call 914-447-6904 or email Cami@camidesigns.com.