Mortgages and design, how to manage your first property development project

Managing one’s first property development project can be a real challenge, especially since few industries have seen as much instability and uncertainty during the current economic climate. With property values on the decline, is there any good news for people who want to invest in real estate? Believe it or not, there is.

Despite the economic climate, property development projects can still be a sound investment, whether it’s looking for America houses to buy, renovating a home or simply putting a house on the market. In fact, the first property development project that most people have is their very first home. Here are some things to keep in mind to make managing such a project a little easier.

Start with your own house

All homeowners are property developers, whether they realize it or not. So, many people are actually managing their first property development projects already! To help keep the project focused, begin by making a list of everything that is good about the house and what things must change. How will these changes affect the house as a whole? Consider the costs and what value such changes would add to the house.

Part of any property management project involves how much value is gained for the money spent, or a return on investment. If starting with one’s own home, length of residence will influence how much money will be spent, the quality of materials used and the labor that is invested into the project. A good rule of thumb is to invest in better materials if the goal is to stay for at least ten years. Using pricier materials for any shorter duration involves too much financial risk, so instead, the focus should be on good quality but cheaper upgrades.

Homeowners that are renovating their home as an investment should always consider the ceiling price of their home. Generally, spending money on things that will improve the value may not always pay back, because every property has a ceiling price. The ceiling price is based on a home’s age, size and location. Often, one’s mortgage is based on this value.

The key to investing in home renovations and improvements is to keep the mortgage payments in mind as well as any future sale price. It is never a good idea to spend more on the property than what one could possibly gain in the future when selling it.

What projects to focus on

When updating the design of the kitchen, bathroom or backyard, it is easy to get carried away and neglect other aspects of the property, such as replacing bathroom fixtures when there is a leak in the roof causing water damage to the structure. This is where many first-time homeowners and investors get into trouble. It is essential to make necessary repairs to the home before any vanity upgrades; otherwise, one may end up spending more money than planned and hurt the overall value of the home.

Instead of renovating rooms and areas that don’t need to be fixed right away, it is a good idea to address problems that could cause long-term damage to the property first. Once those are taken care of, adding additional space or rooms should be next on the list, followed only by design changes that update the look and feel of the home.

About Luke Ford

Raised a Seventh-Day Adventist at Avondale College in Australia, Luke Ford moved to California in 1977. He graduated from Placer High School in 1984, reported the news at KAHI/KHYL radio for three years, attended Sierra College and UCLA, was largely bedridden by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for six years, and converted to Judaism in 1993. From 1997-2007, Luke made his living from blogging. Living by Beverly Hills (, he now teaches the Alexander Technique (moving the way the body likes to move). Lessons cost $100 each and last about 45 minutes. In 2011, Luke completed a three-year teaching course at the Alexander Training Institute of Los Angeles. His personal Alexander Technique website is Luke is the author of five books, including: » The Producers: Profiles in Frustration » Yesterday’s News Tomorrow: Inside American Jewish Journalism
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