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Remodeling in a Recession

It’s true that right now may not be the best time to sell your home. With real estate values dropping, many homeowners who want to sell won’t be able to sell their home for what they thought they may have been able to a few years ago.

However, if you aren’t trying to sell your home right now, and have been putting off a remodeling job this might just be the best time to tackle the project. Why you ask?

Just as the cost of homes is dropping, the cost of remodeling is dropping- including building materials and contractor’s fees. And while it may be difficult to think about spending money on your home when the values are falling- taking advantage of lower remodeling costs could be a great investment if you are not planning on selling your home anytime soon.

As disclosed in a study by HousingEconomics.com, the number of building permits in the United States has decreased in 2008 by 41% from 2007. This means less people are building, which can be good for a consumer trying to get competitive pricing from a contractor.

Not only can your contractor charge less for materials (because they are paying less) but they are also willing to charge less for labor in order to secure more work.

Even DIYers can save money on renovations right now just by saving on materials. For example, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), framing lumber prices are the lowest they have been in 4 years.

The trick, of course, if you do have a home sale anywhere in your future, is to assess the current value of your home and the value that your remodel will add to your home. When you sell, you will only recoup some of the value in your resale so you want to make sure you are not investing too much more than what you may get in return. For a good idea of national remodeling costs and recouped costs, visit Remodeling magazine’s cost vs. recoup report. Note: If you do hire a contractor, make sure they have insurance to cover them in case they are injured on your property.

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