BE­FORE YOU START

The Wharf - - Property -

Credit cards are con­ve­nient but ex­pen­sive for larger projects. They are fine for small jobs such as re­dec­o­rat­ing – es­pe­cially if you pay off the amount in full.

If you lend to mem­bers of your fam­ily, it’s best to cre­ate a re­pay­ment sched­ule at the start to avoid ar­gu­ments later on.

Equally, it’s eas­ier to bor­row from par­ents or oth­ers if you of­fer them a clear and reg­u­lar stream of re­pay­ments.

Al­ways check the cost of bank loans be­fore un­der­tak­ing costly up­grades. They are al­most al­ways more af­ford­able than credit cards.

Up­grad­ing the elec­tron­ics in your home does not count as a real home im­prove­ment be­cause you can gen­er­ally take them if you leave. And the av­er­age life­span of new gad­gets is low.

Don’t over-im­prove un­less you in­tend to stay – sub­se­quent pur­chasers prob­a­bly won’t ap­pre­ci­ate top grade ev­ery­thing – or pay for it...

IF you raid rainy-day funds, be sure to put the cash back as soon as pos­si­ble.

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