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By: Kevin Ahern on February 18th, 2016

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How to Plan Future Improvement Costs When Buying a Home


One of the reasons that buying a home is so stressful, particularly for first time homebuyers, is because of the unknown costs of future home improvements. Knowing how to accurately judge the approximate costs of future home repairs can help you decide whether or not the home you want to buy is a good investment for you.

Get an Inspection

Most potential home buyers get a home inspection after the purchase enters into escrow. Home inspections can be costly, but an inspection from a capable and thorough inspector is worthwhile. Your home inspector will check all the major systems of the home, including the roof, electrical panel, plumbing fixtures, walls, windows and doors.

Your home inspector will generate a report that will include all findings and recommendations for repair. The recommendations may be leveled according to severity, so you can determine which repairs are critical and which repairs are not.


Make a list that prioritizes which repairs will need to be done right away, and which ones can wait. Electrical and structural work are safety issues and therefore should be done before moving in. Next on your list of priorities should include repairs to major systems that may be very important to your enjoyment of the home. For example, deck repairs and chimney repairs might fall into this category. Though these repairs are not critical, you might enjoy your time in your new home far less if they're not completed in a timely manner.

Finally, at the bottom of your priority list will be all repairs that are not critical for living in the home and not critical for your enjoyment of the property. As your prioritize these items, establish a timeline for completion of non-critical items that can be repaired after moving in.

Walk Through with a Contractor

Once you have a report with repair recommendations, and you know which repairs must be addressed immediately upon buying the home and which ones can wait, contact a contractor to get a quote for any work that needs to be done. Walk through the home with the contractor and discuss each repair that to be made.

With this all done, you'll know approximately how much money that you can plan to spend on repairs in the first year in your new home. If you're on a tight budget and concerned about your ability to afford repair costs, walk through the home with several contractors to get a more accurate estimate for the price of repairs.

For more information about the cost of repairs for a home in New Haven, contact Litchfield Builders. We'll help you decide which repairs are crucial and how much you can expect to spend.Request a free construction consultation