CLOSE

When it comes to renovating your new home, it can be difficult to decide what to do first.

Melissa Perlman and Mark Burns closed on their beach cottage in Delray Beach, Florida, nearly two weeks ago.

The first project they tackled was landscaping. The home, built in 1956, was recently renovated.

“It was move-in ready and pretty perfect in our eyes,” says Perlman, president and founder of BlueIvy Communications, a public relations agency. “We live on a semi-active road, so our landscaper put in Colusa plants that will grow and eventually provide more privacy in our front yard.”

Before writing up a to-do list, take a good look at your budget, one expert advises. “Don’t spend too much money on over-improvements,” says Artur Muller, founder and CEO of Amluxe Realty in Lighthouse Point, Florida. “Create a maximum budget for renovations, which will keep your spending in line with comparable