Remodeling for resale vs. impressing your friends

 

It's one more area where we can show our sophistication and good taste. We can, and often do decorate to impress and make a statement about how successful we are.

It's an ego thing. It makes us feel good to show our financial success.

And in one way it's often men who go over the top the most. We can argue about it if you want.

They want imported everything including granite or marble, architectural designs, custom finishes and expensive kitchens and baths, along with lots of garage space for luxury cars.

But some luxury cars hold their value far batter than houses do.

A good many sports stars have bankrupted themselves buying this stuff.

A really unique house may only appeal to one person, the person who remodeled it or built it.

There are several problems when a house like this goes to resale.

1. The really expensive finishes and decorating are too individual to work well at resale. The owner might like orange granite, but no one else does.

2. The costs of certain types of décor can never be recovered at resale. It's something the owner wanted that no one else wants or will pay for.

3. The house may be over improved for the values in the neighborhood. For example fashionable granite that has gone into kitchens all over the country. The stuff costs several thousand dollars to install but houses no longer sell for enough money to recoup the cost.

4. Custom paint is a turn off to buyers when houses go to resale. It's ALWAYS the wrong color. The wrong color, meaning any color that is not neutral, just won't sell.

5. The décor that the owner has spent so much time and money on does not appeal to buyers. Often it might even turn them off and they run from the property to the next one. Decorating styles can really be a disadvantage at resale.

6. Custom houses usually only appeal to the owner/ builder. No one else wants the floor plan that has all the kids sleeping in a one-room dorm or the workshop in the bedroom wing. A poorly done remodel can mess up a perfectly good house plan, too.

7. It can be very difficult to sell a house in an area if it is very different from the other houses in the neighborhood. In the southeast for example, most buyers prefer traditional exteriors. A hard contemporary or mid century modern may take way longer to sell than something more traditional. It's the reason neighborhoods have architectural review boards. They don't want anything really different.

So if you expect to have to resell your home any time in the near future control your spending. Only spring for the expensive stuff that will move with you when you go. The house may still represent something important for your ego without being so individual you can't sell it. Resale means you want to appeal to as many buyers as you can so you can sell a house quick.

That means the property has to be sort of average.

It might be more fun to impress your friends with great food and a feeling of simple luxury. 5 stars for comfort can trump the most outrageous décor with your friends and guests.

by: Paula Stone

http://www.articlecity.com/articles/home_improvement/article_4809.shtml

One smart update can upgrade your entire home

 

(BPT) – If your home is 10 years old or older, your garage door is probably a plain-Jane raised-panel steel door that adds little or nothing to the overall design of your house.

So why not make an improvement? In the last decade, the garage door industry has generated stunning new designs that can transform the curb appeal of your home from boring to exciting.

Large area = big impact

When something consumes such a large part of the front of the house, it should not be generic; it should be special. It should improve the looks of the house, not detract from it, right?

A better-looking garage door can actually parlay into a more-valuable home. One nationwide study of real estate professionals by StrataMark revealed that an attractive new garage door can add as much as 4 percent to the home's selling price. That adds $10,000 to the value of a $250,000 home, which means that a new garage door can easily pay for itself.

Two new designs that dazzle

Two new garage door designs that are hot right now: woodgrain prints and carriage house styles.

A woodgrain print is a steel garage door that looks so much like wood, you need to thump on it to realize it's actually durable steel. This technological breakthrough by steel coating companies brings big benefits for garage door buyers.

"The rich wood-look of these doors is gorgeous," says Long. "Plus, since they're made of steel, they're incredibly durable and require almost no maintenance."

The other popular new design is the carriage house style. These attractive doors open just like your old door, but they look like the side-hinged, swing-out doors of the charming carriage houses of yesteryear.

Quick design tips

Since both of these new designs come in dozens of attractive styles, here are a few tips to select the one that integrates best with the personality of your home. Design experts advise you to select a door that matches with three exterior features of your home: colors, lines, and shapes.

The color of your garage door should complement the overall house color as well as the window trim colors. Then look at the lines on your home exterior. Are they horizontal, vertical, diagonal, or curved? Today's garage door styles can provide excellent matches for any of these architectural features.

Finally, consider the shapes of elements on your home, particularly the window panes. Are they arched, square, or small rectangles? Matching the panes on the house with the garage is not that difficult, given the wide variety of garage door window designs now available.

Cool choosing tools

Thanks to new technology, you don't need to guess at the right door design. Most garage door manufacturers now offer door designer tools on their websites. Many door dealers also have similar software on a computer tablet they bring to your home. You just upload a photo of your own home and drop in any of hundreds of door designs to see exactly how it would look on your home.

A good starting place is GarageWowNow.com, a non-commercial website that features dozens of garage door photos from many manufacturers. It also includes a find-a-dealer function that helps you find qualified dealers in your area.

Your new garage door is not only a perfect home improvement project, it's a smart investment. Celebrity designer Chayse Dacoda says, "You are investing in the single largest moving part on your home, which is going to affect its appearance for at least the next 20 years."

 

Smooth moves: Tips to take the hassle out of moving day

 

Select super supplies

It's no secret that high-caliber products produce the best results, so be sure to select good quality supplies to save you time and money during the moving process. When it comes to your valuables and your memories, don't take risks – start with new, clean and sturdy boxes rather than relying on old, reused boxes. Make sure you have a variety of sizes on-hand.

When sealing boxes, something as simple – and frustrating – as losing the tape end on your packaging tape can waste time and cause unneeded stress. Choose a quality packaging tape, which offers Frustration Free technology. This makes it easy to start with every use and ensures you never lose the tape end. Packaging tape is available in clear, as well as a variety of fun prints, meaning it's also great for organizing. Use it to color-code your boxes, assigning a different print to each room.

Smooth%20moves%3A%20Tips%20to%20take%20the%20hassle%20out%20of%20moving%20dayOrganize, don't agonize

Packing isn't just about putting your belongings in boxes and heading on your way. Getting organized at both ends of your move will save you, and anyone helping you, time and hassle once everything arrives to its new destination. 

Before you pack, think about the must-have items you need to function on a daily basis to ensure you have them within reach. And, create a survival kit of items you'll need for your first night – this way, you won't be forced to unpack everything at once.

On top of your physical belongings, don't forget to organize the things that make your home and life function. Fill out change of address forms early, and keep track of any important bills or paperwork that can't be lost. Know who to contact to turn off utilities at your old location and how to turn them on when you move into your new place.

If you already know how you'd like furniture arranged at your new place, create diagrams and written instructions for those helping you unpack. Foresight here will help get your home looking "homey" much faster and prevent helpers from guessing where each item should go.

Have help on hand

While relocating is exciting, it also means a lot of heavy lifting. There's no need to go it alone. Recruit friends and family to help with packing and unloading on moving day – often the promise of pizza and snacks is the only reward necessary for a hard day's work. If you want professional assistance, hire a reputable moving company.

Make it easier on helpers by packing boxes smartly. Large boxes with heavy items are difficult to move and have a much greater chance of being dropped, damaging the valuables inside. Instead of cramming many items into one box, pack heavier items, like books, CDs and dishes, in small boxes; light items, like pillows, drapes, clothes and linens, in bigger ones. For extra protection for easy-to-break belongings, have some Bubble Wrap cushioning nearby. Bubble Wrap comes in an array of sizes and formats to help safeguard delicate items. Wrap items bubble-side in for best results.

Finally, for ease of organization, clearly label boxes so you know where they go when you arrive. And, consider keeping a detailed list of contents to help keep track of your belongings.

While no move will ever be completely stress-free, organization, some assistance and the right tools can help alleviate many common moving frustrations. 

How to get your offers accepted to buy properties

 

The biggest challenge facing most real estate investors is making acceptable offers, especially when buying properties is the basic foundation of real estate investing.

Unless you buy properties, you cannot make any money.

Here is how to make offers that get accepted.

The offer you make depends on the type of property you are buying.

1) Buying from motivated sellers

If you buy houses from motivated sellers, it is necessary to have the following pieces of information:

a) Market Value

Do your due diligence to find out conservatively how much the house would be worth in perfect condition. You must have this information before you can make any offer.

b) Mortgage balance

You must get this information before you can make an offer. A seller who is not willing to disclose this information is not motivated enough. Move on to a motivated seller.

The mortgage balance must allow you to buy the house and still leave you with a profit. It must allow you to make a profit and own it free and clear.

c) Repairs needed

It is possible to estimate repair costs with the information provided by the seller.

You must know how much you need to fix up the house before you can make an offer. Of course, I like to see the house and do my own repair estimates.

d) Asking price

If the owner is asking for too much money given the above 3 pieces of information, the deal might never happen.

A good asking price must take into account the market value, mortgage balance and repairs. You can then make an offer based on the asking price. Make an offer if the mortgage balance allows you to make a profit.

Even though it is necessary to consider the seller's needs, no offer can be too low. If they are facing foreclosure, then they probably need some money to move, or their asking price might be just enough to get away from the property.

If the mortgage balance is too high compared to the value of the house, it does not make sense to make an offer. Move on to the next deal.

There is no bad offer, except the one you have not made. Always make the offers that make sense to you. You'll be surprised how many get accepted.

2) Buying foreclosed properties

The asking price and repairs are the only important considerations to make in this case. Banks selling these properties are willing to negotiate.

Most REOs are listed below market value. Depending on your exit strategy, if the numbers are close to making sense, by all means make an offer.

Lastly, remember to make your offer lower than the asking price.

by: Simon Macharia 
http://www.articlecity.com/articles/home_improvement/article_6984.shtml