real estate

5 ways your house can make you go broke

Wallet buster: You cut corners on major renovations
Wallet buster: You cut corners on major renovations © Jo Ann Snover/

Think twice before hiring a handyman or a brother-in-law to tackle your remodeling project.

If you don't employ a licensed contractor and, in an attempt to save a few bucks, rely instead on someone less experienced, you might end up spending far more than what you budgeted. "If you use a licensed contractor, you're more likely to get a good quality job that's on budget," McGavic says.

An untrained professional could end up buying the wrong materials or installing things incorrectly, he says. Then you're stuck having to hire a professional anyway, just to fix what's broken.

One of the biggest mistakes McGavic sees is that people don't obtain the proper permits for their work. If you fail to obtain a building permit, your repairs could come under scrutiny when you try to sell your home.

"If you ever get caught, there's a fine. Plus, you have to pay for a permit. Plus, you'd have to pay for a contractor to fix it. That can be expensive," McGavic says.


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