Should You Add-on To A Smaller Home?

smallerhomeYou can’t go wrong buying the smallest house in a great neighborhood and making improvements to expand the property. By adding the square footage you need, you can bring your home up to the standards of other nearby homes, often at far less cost than if you’d purchased one of the larger homes.

The problem with adding on is that the home sits on an existing foundation. To add on, you’ll have to use an architectural plan and get the services of licensed professionals in order to create a seamless addition.

The changes have to make sense for your household, for the property and for the neighborhood. In other words, if adding on means you no longer have a back yard, and back yards are standard on your block, it might not be a great idea.

Before you begin, talk to your lender and ask about purchase and renovate loans such as the FHA 203K. Your lender will explain how you can qualify and what the requirements will be, such as how much work needs to completed before funds are released to you. Your home plus the improvements should appraise at about the same amount as other homes in the area.

You or your contractor should apply to the city for a building permit on any changes that alter the footprint of the home. If you’re planning to do the work yourself, and you aren’t licensed, your homeowner’s insurance won’t cover your work. Keep in mind that home improvement is about proportion and aesthetics as well as functionality.


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