Advice for home owners: Home remodels might not bring in the expected increase in value.
Safest advice is to clean the house, paint, replace the carpet and fix-ups needed repairs such as leaky faucets. The risk with majore updates is that If you update one area of the home, the rest will look outdated.
Advice for buyers: Loan approval amount is not egual to home ownership cost. There are costs such utilities, security and HOA, to name a few, that come on top of principal, taxes and insurance. All these will reduce your monthly disposable income. Think about the lifestyle you wish to maintain once you purchase your home. Many buyers streatch their budget to make home payments and give up simple pleasures such as family vacations. Set a conservative budget even if approved for a higher loan to make sure you can afford the lifestyle you desire for you and your family.