By Marly Beste, RE/MAX Copywriter

We did it! We bought a house! After a frenzied home search, we actually ended up at the closing table, signed the paperwork and left with keys in our hands.

The fun was about to begin.

My husband and I knew renovations were in store. At the very least, we’d need to paint, do some updating and redesign some spaces. But this is our first house, so remodeling is new to us. We're complete novices.

But that hasn’t stopped us from tearing a few things down. In the first month of ownership, we’ve stripped wallpaper, removed two living room walls and demolished the brick fireplace.

And we still have a long way to go.

If you’re thinking about buying a home in need of TLC, here are some tips on whipping it into shape:

  • Capitalize on having an empty house. If possible, delay your move-in so you can begin the transformation without getting your things grimy (even if you have to live with your in-laws, like we did!).
  • Ask for help. We made an event out of it. When it was time to paint, we threw a “painting party.” Before friends arrived, we made a tray of tropical ham sandwiches, poured some drinks and queued up an island-inspired Pandora station. Everyone had a blast and the job got done.
  • Rely on expertise. The paint pros at your local hardware store are invaluable when the 5-gallon jug you just bought looks more purple than grey.
  • Work hard, but within reason. When you rush, it’s easy to make mistakes – and bad decisions that can compromise the overall design.
  • Get organized. Keep all your receipts in one place. Register new appliances and electronics and file for rebates within the first five days of your purchase. Don’t give in to the temptation to postpone these tasks in the chaos of moving; you could lose money down the road.

If you’re considering buying a home, contact your local RE/MAX agent for guidance on finding the right house – and exploring your options on making it even better.