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Home Renovations in the Fall and Return on Investment

Home Renovations in the Fall and Return on Investment

Fall is a great time to consider home renovations.  Why? The real estate market tends to slow down as the cooler months come in. And thanks to our amiable fall weather, renovating and making home improvements in the Fall is feasible.

Consider making renovations during the fall, even though there’s a bit of a scramble to get things finished in time for the holidays. But with that being said, if you’re working to get your house spic-and-span to get it on the market for the spring, it isn’t a bad idea to let the builders in during this time. Especially as most projects have a deadline before the holidays, making builders and contractors a little more open for scheduling. If you’re considering new construction, building an addition, or a kitchen renovation project, Fall might be the perfect time.

If you are considering making home improvements, one of the primary considerations will be the potential return on investment.

Let’s Talk Return on Investment

Remodeling and renovation projects are two great ways to improve the living quality in your home. They also help improve price, comfort, and value of your home! Who doesn’t like the sound of that?

Here are some common types of home renovations that will give you an idea of what sorts of updates people might be interested in.

Home Improvements

So, it’s pretty easy to see that painting is the most common renovation project. What’s fortunate about that is painting is relatively easy to do, fairly inexpensive, and it’s something you can do yourself.

In the Southeast, flooring renovations are also very common.  Buyers love hardwood floors or even bamboo.

What Should You Spend?

What you might not like the sound of is the organization or financial burden of actually getting a head start on these projects. It can be disconcerting to think about much much money you’re going to put into a project, for sure. But, where there’s a will there’s a way!

It’s important to recognize why and what you’re spending your money on, too. It makes a little more sense to shell out some money if you’re prepping to sell. The average price of improvements people make on their homes before selling hits almost $6,000.   We have worked with clients that spent a lot more than this.  Planning to prepare your budget around a similar number will save you from overspending on renovations, or not doing enough.  Staying ahead of the curve while you are living in your home and improving it along the way, makes putting your house on the market to sell that much easier.

Average amount of money spent on renovation projects

If your home renovations are planned with the intent to sell at a later date, it’s best to focus on what you can do to simply update the look of your home instead. Aesthetic updates are least likely to thin out your wallet, with the average price lingering just under $3,000. While this is a huge motivator for most people to jump on the update wagon, thinking about what you’re renovating your home for, how much the ROI will be, and what’s in your budget will lead you to more satisfaction.

Not to mention, bang for your buck. By sticking with your budget, you won’t over spend and you’ll see the best results for your renovations.

Real Estate Experts

Real Estate ExpertsA trusted real estate professional will be able to walk through your home, and make suggestions as to what kind of improvements would increase your home’s value. They’ll be able to help you decide which projects are worth your time, budget, and attention. With our expert staging advice, collective real estate knowledge and history in the area, Real Estate Experts can help you discover the best renovations to make on your home.

If you would like more information about major or minor home improvements and their expected ROI, contact us today at 919-928-5131 or send us an email to  [email protected]. Visit us online at realestateexperts.net.

Ready to Sell Your House? Consider The Best Home Improvements For Resale

Ready to Sell Your House? Consider The Best Home Improvements For Resale

best home improvements for resale

Owning a home is one of the biggest investments you will ever make.  When we work with buyers, we are not only trying to help you find a home you love, we want to make sure you are making a good investment as well.  The same thinking should be applied to when making home improvements.  We love it when our clients ask our opinion on the best home improvement for resale.  It is always important to not only do something you will want to live with, but keeping an eye upgrades that will help sell your house.

Here are 7 home renovations to consider that will give you a good return on investment and won’t cost you an arm and a leg. You’ll be glad you made these home updates when it comes time to sell your home.

1. Don’t let your utility bills soar — Increase the Energy Efficiency of Your Home

You can get an energy audit to check out how sustainable your home is. A lot of utility companies will offer them, so why not take advantage of the service?

Electricity prices can be high, and utility prices a turnoff for potential buyers. Even though in comparison, North Carolina’s residential electricity rates aren’t in the top ten highest… there’s always a way to make a home more attractive to a potential buyer. Help them out by considering appliances that save energy.

Buyers in all price ranges look at utility costs.  This is something buyers factor into their monthly payments.  Making such improvements as adding additional insulation; getting a high efficiency furnace when it is time to replace your HVAC system; installing LED lights throughout your home; and getting Energy Star appliances are just a few types of home improvements that are good for you the home owner but are also great upgrades to sell your house.

2. Renovating Your Kitchen With Give You The Greatest Bang For Your Buck

The kitchen is a serious selling point for potential buyers. Gone are the days of simplistic kitchens with generic countertops, bland cabinets, and out of date appliances. Hey, a double oven is a beautiful thing and stainless steel is drool-worthy.  If you have space for an island, buyers love these too.

Buyers like kitchens that are open to a living area and buyers in all price ranges like granite and stainless steel appliances.

Consider checking out some of the latest kitchen trends (is granite out as a countertop?) to make sure your house will have some allure in the kitchen. Updating your kitchen can add some value to your home, and bump up the price before you sell.

Besides, who doesn’t love a beautiful backsplash?

3. Ask Siri

Smart technology has been making its way into homes for a while now. If you’re about to put your home on the market, it’s a great idea to look into what sorts of smart updates you can make.

Replacing your thermostat? Kill two birds with one stone by installing a smart thermostat that saves energy. Lights, doors, security systems, and home assistants like Siri or Amazon’s Alexa give your home a high-tech feel that appeals to a generation who grew up with smart phones.

4. Remodel Your Bathroom

updatesBathrooms are a source of serious return on investment, they are second best to kitchens.  If you update your bathroom while you’re getting ready to list your house, there’s a great chance your investment will pay off.  New lighting, fixtures, vanity tops and cool mirrors all count. Sufficient storage space is important as well.  If you can afford to upgrade your tile, that counts too but you might just need to work with what  you have.  That is ok too.

Consider the condition of your shower, too. It’s tough to get rid of lime stains and mold. If you can refinish your shower and tub, it’s probably best to do so.

Bathtubs, showers and vanity tops can be reglazed!  This is a great way to save money and have things look really fresh.  If you want to know more about this, just give us a call or shoot us an email.  We are happy to explain this and share picture.

Alternatively, consider remodeling your bathroom with a theme. This year, the “Mediterranean” theme has gone viral.

5. Pay Attention to the Attic

home updatesHere’s a surprising little statistic: fiberglass attic insulation comes with over 100% ROI. Who knew, right? This update not only lowers your heating and electricity bills, but it also gives your attic a refined look. Face it, sometimes we neglect our attics. This means insulation might show wear and tear, which is something a lot of potential buyers might see as a turnoff.

While you’re up there, can you install solar vents? They’re less expensive than installing an attic ceiling fan, and worth the consideration to improve house circulation.

6. Boost Yard Beauty

Curb appeal is huge. If you’ve got a beautiful garden, stunning lawn, and new coat of paint on your home, you bet it’s going to attract more people! It pays off to consider updating the exterior of your house before you’re ready to sell. You can’t make a first impression twice!

Teaming up with a professional landscaping service will make your home look picture perfect from the road. What’s more? It’s know to boost your home’s worth up to 17%.

7.  The Very Biggest Bang For Your Buck is Paint and Carpet

Modern paint colors and new carpet go such a long way.  These are two of the best home improvements for resale.  Don’t use too many colors in your house and make sure the color palate all works together.  Today, the hottest colors are in the gray family and those colors that work with gray.  Many people don’t know about Greige.  What is this?  It is a color that depending on the light can look towards the grays or the tans.  They are wonderful colors because they are versatile.

Real Estate Experts

Unsure of what updates to make before selling your home? Or, alternatively, do you need a hand finding the best contractors for the jobs? Real Estate Experts is here to help. Visit us online.  Call us today at 919-928-5131or e-mail us at  [email protected] for additional information.

 

Do Your Windows Have Moisture or Are They Foggy? — Learn What To Do About Windows With Broken Seals?

Do Your Windows Have Moisture or Are They Foggy? — Learn What To Do About Windows With Broken Seals?

Whether you’re selling your home or buying one, there’s a good chance a home inspection needs to occur. Typically, the buyer requests the home inspection. It is very common to find windows in the home with broken seals.

The home inspection phase is critical. There are a variety of common home inspection issues you might run across, but they’re not necessarily deal breakers. The good news is many issues in home inspections can be sorted out beforehand, or even remedied before the buyer sees the issues. Getting your home inspected before listing it for sale can be the best preventative medicine in many cases.  See our related post on the benefits of getting a pre-sale home inspection.

However, it’s important to know what you can deal with, what you want to walk away from, and how to go about deciding either factor. During home inspections, it is fairly normal to see loose outlet receptacles, a double tapped circuit breaker, deteriorated caulk and grout, as well as broken window seals.

Broken Window Seals

broken window seals

Courtesy of Randr Glass , broken seal replacement

When you’re looking at houses, you might run across properties where the windows are hazy, or even foggy. Failed window seals aren’t signals something is wrong with the structure; fortunately, they are a cosmetic issue above all else. While you might not be very concerned about the window panes, there’s good reason to ask for the glass to be replaced.

Most window seals will last 10-15 years, but many fail thanks to age. There are a variety of other reasons window seals can fail, too. Other reasons might include movement, deteriorating framework, pressure washing, things hitting the windows, and pressure changes due to the weather.

When the window seals are broken, there are several signs. If you can see fogging between the panes, you have reason to believe the seal in the window is broken. They might have water droplets between the panes as well.  This is also an indication that the window seal is broken.

Concerned About Broken Window Seals?

As a buyer, there are many ways you can remedy broken window seals, especially with the help of your realtor or buyer’s agent. The real estate professional can advise you on how to proceed. This includes negotiation with the seller regarding who will pay for window repairs.

Even though foggy windows aren’t eye-catching in a good way, they’re not going to harm the utility of your windows. They’re also not related to structural issues in your home, and they shouldn’t affect your utility bills. Which is to say, don’t worry about broken window seals running up your heating bill in the winter. This cosmetic issue can be fixed.

Here’s a quick run down of questions to ask regarding the windows with broken seals. These questions can help you determine who will fix the windows as well as the cost.

  • Are the windows under warranty?
  • What is the size of the window pane?
  • Are they double panes?
  • Location of the window: is it first floor, second floor?
  • How easy is it to reach said window?

he best situation for everyone is if the windows and/or glass is under warranty.  We just had 19 windows replaced under the window warranty at a minimal expense to our client.  If there is no warranty, you should have a reputable glass company like Tarheel Glass or Rice’s Glass come measure the windows and give you a quote for the cost to replace the glass.  This quote should be given to the seller with the buyer’s request for repairs.  When having glass replaced, make sure that the new glass has solid rather than hollow spacers.  This is the new manufacturing standard and the glass should hold up longer.

Real Estate Experts

If you’re considering selling or  renting your home we are happy to do a walk through to let you know what you need to do to get ready for the market.  Real Estate Experts’ home sales and  property management teams can help you assess necessary repairs.

If you have any questions about your windows, or broken seals on windows in a potential home, we can help you assess what your options are. As always, feel free to reach out to us at 919-813-6449 or send us an email to  [email protected] to find out more about living in the Triangle, and visit realestateexperts.net to view current homes for sale in the area.

 

All About Stone Veneer

All About Stone Veneer

Stone can be stunning, whether you find it in your living room on your fire place, or as part of the exterior for your home. But stone, much like brick, can be very expensive. They’re solid materials, giving your home a truly sturdy exterior. Not to mention, stone and brick add to curb appeal and naturally, increase the aesthetics of your home.

stone veneerWith time, both brick and stone can change colors, wear with the weather, and even break down. They’re not waterproof, and occasionally drainage can present a problem with stone exteriors.

Real stone truly is beautiful, but the drawbacks make it a difficult material. Fortunately, alternatives are becoming more available. Meet stone veneer: manufactured to look like real stone without the drawbacks.

About Stone Panels

stone veneerThis siding material is becoming increasingly popular. Combining all the aesthetic perks of stone, with none of the drawbacks? Sign us up. The convenience of this material has helped boost its popularity, and thanks to its versatility that popularity is only going to increase.

Although stone panels (veneers, siding, or otherwise) are man-made, they look authentic. These panels, veneers, or sidings are made in a similar fashion, using natural materials, aggregates, cements, and iron-oxide pigments. To create the right design, the mixture of ingredients are set in a mold designed after natural stones. Essentially, you can dictate what color you’d like, the shape, and the overall look of your stone panel. Convenience, accessibility, versatility, and the same stunning look make stone panels, veneers, or otherwise a good option.

Benefits of Stone Veneer or Panels

As you can guess, there are benefits of using stone veneer, or stone panels on both the exterior and on the interior of your home.

Convenience can truly be a big factor here. Stone veneers or panels are much lighter than natural stone material. Brick is heavy, too. Being able to move panels around and install them quickly. Some stone needs further support, and it makes the installation time even longer. With stone veneer or panels, the extra support isn’t necessary.

Price is a benefit, too. Brick and stone are expensive, making this lighter alternative more and more attractive. It can run about $3-$4 per square foot, which is less expensive than natural stone which can run upwards of $8 per square foot. Also, with stone or brick you have to pay an additional fee for the grout and mortar. You may also be charged an installation fee from the contractor who would be installing the brick or stone on or in your home.

With brick and stone, there is necessary regular maintenance. However, with stone veneer or panels there isn’t any need for regular maintenance. Durability, convenience, and price are all benefits you’ll get with stone veneer. What’s more? There’s real stone used in this siding, giving it the same look and feel.

“It’s a durable, long-lasting product, but there are still things to watch out for,” says Lesh, executive director of the American Society of Home Inspectors. “It has to be installed the correct way, and among subcontractors—of even some big builders—unfortunately this isn’t always the case.”

Stone Exteriors Do Need Double-Checking

Although stone veneer is durable and has many pros, Lesh’s words are a good reminder that regular care and proper attention should be paid to your home. Because stone veneer is porous, it can be subject to problems like water damage and mold from bad installation. This is why it’s very important to have a reputable contractor or knowledgeable installation. Water damage can be prevented. If you’d like to have your siding looked at, please feel free to get in touch with Real Estate Experts. We have good relationships with local contractors and builders who can help answer all your questions about exterior siding, stone veneer, and installation.

Which is Right For You?

Adding stone veneer to the outside of your home, or installing it above a fireplace can really update a house. Thanks to how lightweight stone veneer is, it can be installed just about anywhere. Giving your home, living room, or bonus room a rustic update might be just the ticket to attract the perfect buyer.

Unsure of what updates to make before selling your home? Real Estate Experts are here to help. Visit us online.  Call us today at 919-813-6449 or e-mail us at  [email protected] for additional information.

 

 

Need to finish your home improvements?

Need to finish your home improvements?

Tackle them with a remodeling plan…

Remodeling and renovation projects are two great ways to improve the living quality in your home. They also help improve price, comfort, and value of your home! Who doesn’t like the sound of that?

What you might not like the sound of is the organization or financial burden of actually getting a head start on these projects. It can be disconcerting to think about much much money you’re going to put into a project, for sure. But, where there’s a will there’s a way!

The best way to begin tackling a remodeling or home improvement project is with your budget. This financial plan is important because it’s the deciding factor on what materials you choose, how in depth the project is, and it can help you set the boundaries for your project and design. When you’re factoring in everything you want to accomplish in your remodeling, it’s important to include these outlines and potential costs:remodeling plan

  • Size of project or project location ex. Square footage of bathroom, or counter tops
  • Materials of project ex. Granite for counter-tops, stainless steel for appliances
  • Open space in the project area
  • Existing furniture or objects in the project area
  • Already implemented plumping or electrical wiring because they can affect any additions to the project area

So, let’s discuss some ways to tackle renovation and remodeling projects on a budget, and get those projects finished!

Remodeling Your Bathrooms

HomeAdvisor offers a tool that can estimate local remodeling costs. Here’s an overview of bathroom remodeling in the 27514 area code of North Carolina.

Courtesy of HomeAdvisor

Step one: create both your financial plan and design plan. Even if you’re not hiring a designer, you’ll still need a plan to accomplish your remodeling projects. However when it comes to getting a return on your investments, fewer renovations are better (in many cases, not just bathrooms!).Consider remodeling the fixtures, flooring, plumbing, and electrical. While plumbing and electrical may be more expensive than simply remodeling the fixtures or flooring, they may provide resale value later on.

Hiring a contractor to help with the remodeling is beneficial because you can get materials through them, at lesser costs. Upgrading fixtures in your bathroom like a sink, faucet, toilet, or tub helps modernize bathrooms. You can update them to match the style of the house, or create a private oasis tucked into your home. One concept to consider as you’re remodeling is “going green”. Are there facets of your bathroom you can exchange for “green” ones? For example, you could install a new toilet that uses less water when flushed in order to conserve water.

Flooring, however, will be largely subject to your budget. One thing to keep in mind while looking at flooring is the square footage of your bathroom. Knowing the square footage of your bathroom can help you pick and choose which fixtures to splurge on and what materials to choose for your flooring. This is important, too, if you’re expanding the bathroom.

 

Remodeling Your Kitchen

Updated kitchens are incredible. They’re personalized, they’re efficient, and overall they pull a house theme together. Besides, remodeling your kitchen adds value to your home, if you’re preparing to sell. Let’s look at remodeling costs for kitchens in North Carolina’s 27514 area code.

remodeling plan

Courtesy of HomeAdvisor

Of course, the cost of your kitchen remodeling depends on what your project details are. In your remodeling plan, be sure to include what you’re going to update or remodel, like the cabinets, counter-tops, fixtures, and appliances. Armed with your budget, you’ll be able to pick the best materials for your project.

If finding new cabinets you adore and can afford within your budget is difficult, you can work with what you’ve got. Refinishing your cabinets and repainting them is a great way to update your kitchen without shelling out a lot of money. Appliances, on the other hand, are more expensive. One way to diminish the cost of new kitchen appliances is to opt for freestanding appliances instead of built-in. However, built-in appliances can help maximize smaller spaces to improve functionality, so they may provide good resale value with the home.

Counter-top material options are seemingly endless, but don’t worry. We make sense of what’s in for the kitchen by going over all the latest options like concrete, soapstone, and granite.

Real Estate Experts

Unsure of what updates to make before selling your home? Or, alternatively, do you need a hand finding the best contractors for the jobs? Real Estate Experts are here to help. Visit us online.  Call us today at 919-813-6449 or e-mail us at  [email protected] for additional information.

Is Granite Out? Find Out What’s In

Is Granite Out? Find Out What’s In

There’s no denying that granite is a phenomenal countertop material. It’s pretty, durable, and affordable at a $75 average per square foot. Granite’s 30-year run on top as the preferred type of countertop isn’t necessarily coming to an end, but there are a variety of different materials being used for countertops now too. Home owners and buyers are looking towards more modern designs that use these different materials to create an updated kitchen. According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, quartz is the leading competitor.

Quartz

Is Granite Out?
The durability of this material is impeccable. Resistant to scratches, chips, and stains, quartz overtakes granite in durability. Quartz can also defend itself from heat, which means it’s OK to put that pan on the countertop after pulling it off the stove. Granite and marble are porous materials. While granite and marble need yearly sealing treatments to keep the countertops in good condition, quartz needs nothing of the sort. Engineered quartz comes in uniform designs because as it is engineered, there’s no one-of-a-kind slabs to choose from. But don’t worry, because quartz comes in many different colors and designs.

It’s also very affordable. Granite costs $75 on average per square foot, while marble costs $85 on average per square foot. Quartz is right in between at $80 on average per square foot.

Stainless Steel

Is Granite Out?This material is very functional and efficient in the kitchen. Heat resistant, rust resistant, and stain resistant, stainless steel as a countertop material can be very efficient. Another unique feature of stainless steel is that it won’t let bacteria harbor on its surface. The material is easy to clean, however it has it’s drawbacks.

Stainless steel will scratch easy. Choosing a brushed stainless finish will help in the battle against visible scratches, but it’s a good idea to use a cutting board during food prep.

SoapstoneIs Granite Out?

This attractive material is non-porous, resistant to stains, and it comes in a variety of colors. What more could you want out of a countertop material? The natural quarried stone doesn’t need sealing treatments like granite or marble which makes it low-maintenance, too.

Unfortunately, soapstone is soft so it’s likely to scratch easily. It also comes in smaller slabs than granite, marble, or quartz. This means that the seams of the slabs may be visible in the countertops.

Wood

Is Granite Out?Natural wood is becoming a commonality in homes. It’s beautiful, unique, and adds warmth to any home. Used for butcher blocks and custom made furniture, wood creates a beautiful and tasteful environment. Wood countertops are stunning, but their downside is that they damage easily. Heat and moisture will injure your wooden countertops which must be sealed monthly. The upside? Wood countertops can be refinished if damage occurs to them.

ConcreteIs Granite Out?

Concrete countertops aren’t new to the market, but their updates are. While they used to chip and crack easily, concrete countertops now prove to be less prone to damage. Heat resistant and naturally very strong, there are advantages to this material. Slabs of concrete can also be sealed to prevent staining. They’re also available in a variety of colors to suit your kitchen design.

Which is Right for You?

Choosing a material to remodel your kitchen countertops with can help your kitchen look more upscale. While choosing the material is important, it’s also important to figure out if you’re remodeling for yourself. Or, on the other hand, are you remodeling for a potential buyer? If you’re remodeling for the latter situation, try one of these different countertop materials to modernize your kitchen.

Unsure of what updates to make before selling your home? Real Estate Experts are here to help. Visit us online.  Call us today at 919-813-6449 or e-mail us at  [email protected] for additional information.

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