Thinking About Buying A Fixer-Upper? Know These Top Resources To Make The Most Profit

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 24th, 2018

Thinking About Buying A Fixer-Upper? Know These Top Resources To Make The Most ProfitIf your financial situation is limited, yet you’re handy with a hammer and nails, then purchasing a fixer-upper home can be an attractive option. Fixer-uppers typically require a bevy of updates and repairs to bring the home up to current market conditions. Because of this, the listing price is often considerably less than a move-in ready home.  Your trusted real estate professional can help you find the best projects to buy and sell.

Getting Started

Fixer-uppers aren’t for everyone, but there are plenty of resources available if you plan to do most of the repair and upgrades yourself. Let’s take a look at a few top resources to tap into if you’re in the market for a fixer-upper or if you’ve already purchased one and you are ready to get started.

  • At Home: A Blog by Joanna Gaines: Chip and Joanna Gaines are well known HGTV personalities who’ve made it their mission to fix up homes. A visit to Joanna Gaines’ blog is a gateway to renovation and decorating tips, products and real-time photos of projects in action. It’s a great place to go for inspiration.
  • Hands-On Workshops: If there’s a Home Depot near your home, chances are you frequent it for many of your hardware needs. There’s another reason you should stop in: Hands-On Workshops. If you want guidance on things like installing bath vanities, tile backsplashes, hanging ceiling fans, or measuring and installing flooring, there’s likely an upcoming workshop at the store that can give you the know-how and confidence necessary to do it yourself.
  • Jeff Patterson’s Home Repair Tutor: This YouTube channel boasts almost 120,000 subscribers and its how-to videos have racked up more than 30.5 million views. Videos include everything from how to tile a shower floor to installing a motion sensor light switch. If you need detailed step-by-step instructions on how to perform a particular job, chances are good this channel has it.
  • The Craftsman Blog: Written by DIY fixer-upper and author Scott Sidler, this blog is packed with how-to advice for home improvement and restoration projects as well as general tips and information about repairs like painting, plastering and restoring windows. This is a blog for a DIY fixer-upper written by a DIY fixer-upper. 
  • Your local hardware store: The big box hardware stores are great for finding just about any sort of tool you’ll need and for hosting how-to workshops. Generally, however, it’s your local, smaller hardware store that can really give you some great one-on-one advice as it pertains to your projects. These stores are typically family owned, and part of the reason they’re able to stay in business is because of their high level of customer service. This often includes guiding you on certain projects.

A fixer-upper can seem like a daunting project when you are getting started. Knowing where to look for the right resources can make a big difference.  Your trusted real estate professional is available to assist you and offer additional advice on your new endeavor.

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Steps To Take To Prepare Your Home For Sale

Posted in Home Selling Tips by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 20th, 2018

Steps To Take To Prepare Your Home For SaleOnce you have decided that you want to put your home up for sale, you should start taking the steps necessary to get it ready to go on the market. While some homes may be almost picture perfect and ready for a showing, there are others that may need some work.

It is always a good idea to evaluate the condition of your home as soon as you know you will be selling. Use these steps to not only determine what you need to do but to also guide you through your home sale preparation. 

Tips To Prepare Your Home For Sale

 

  • Have a home inspection done. Many things can be identified that are cosmetic in nature just by taking a walk around the inside and outside of your home. Often times, the best way to detect underlying problems that you will need to fix before selling your home is to rely on a professional home inspector. This is a great way to know exactly what needs to be improved and to avoid uncovering any surprising, and potentially costly, repairs during the commission of the sale. 
  • Make all necessary repairs. Once you know what needs to be done around the home, you should start prioritizing and making the necessary repairs. Some of the repairs may be costly so creating a budget and a plan of action can help you stay organized and efficient as you make these necessary improvements. 
  • Clean up the yard. If your home has a yard, it should look clean and tidy. You do not need to have the whole yard professionally landscaped but mowing the lawn and removing any unsightly tree limbs or shrubbery will help with the curb appeal and first impression of your property.
  • Clean up the exterior and interior of the home. It is essential that your home is clean and tidy as well so that your real estate agent can take quality pictures that will appeal to the most buyers and for your home to be ready for showings. If you are residing in the property, you should remove any personal effects, such as photos. This can make it easier for potential buyers to imagine this space as their own. You will also want to make sure to avoid clutter including dirty dishes or laundry. The home should not look lived in because you want the viewers to be able to see themselves living in the property. 
  • Consider adding new paint. It is amazing how much of a difference a new coat of paint can do for a property. You may want to consider painting all of the interior rooms as well as the exterior of the home. Fresh paint is an easy way to present a clean, fresh face-lift for your property. Keep in mind that neutral tones in paint color will appeal to the most buyers. 

As you can see, there are quite a few things that need to happen before a property is ready to go on the market. Your trusted Real Estate Professional can guide you through this process and offer additional tips to help you achieve a successful home sale in your area. 

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Should You Improve Your Home Before Selling Or Not?

Posted in Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on March 7th, 2018

To Improve or Not to ImproveSelling your home is one of the most stressful things you’ll ever go through and one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make. However, there’s a lot more to selling your home than just sticking a sign out in the front yard. Most likely, your home will need a little work before it is perfect.

Therefore, you’ll have to decide whether you need to take care of home improvement issues yourself or, to sell with the expectation that the buyer will be the one to do so. We put together a few pros and cons to doing it each way to make your decision a little easier.

Do The Improvements Yourself

Choosing to complete needed improvements yourself means that you will likely get a higher sales price for your home. In addition, with less work to do, it opens up your home to more buyers than one that is a fixer-upper does. Selling will usually be faster and closing more likely to go smoothly.

On the other hand, chances are good that you will not get the full value you put into those improvements at the closing table. In addition, when you are moving, money may be tight making this an even more difficult proposition.

Sell It As A Fixer Upper

The main benefit of selling your home as a fixer-upper is that you will not have to put that money in up front. If you are in a difficult financial situation or selling your home at a loss, this may be necessary. Additionally, you aren’t the one that has to deal with the contractors and calling around to get quotes on all of the work.

One of the downfalls to selling your home as a fixer-upper is that you’ll likely get a lower price and some buyers won’t even come out and check out your house if they think there is too much work that needs to be done. Plus, depending on the type of work that needs to be done, you may wind up in a pickle during the inspection process. Certain problems can prevent lenders from closing on the deal. You often find the closing process is slower and fraught with more concerns.

The reality is, it really depends on whether doing the improvement yourself or selling it as a fixer-upper is the right choice. Discuss your concerns and speak honestly about your financial picture with your trusted real estate professional and perhaps you will have a better idea of which of these options is the smart choice for your situation.

 

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Looking for a Value-adding Upgrade? Why Residential Solar Panels Are Becoming a Popular Renovation

Posted in Around The Home by Michigan Real Estate Expert on October 2nd, 2014

Looking for a Value-adding Upgrade? Why Residential Solar Panels Are Becoming a Popular RenovationIf you’re looking for a home upgrade that can add resale value to your home while paying itself off over time, look no further than a solar panel setup. In the past few years, the cost of installing residential solar has declined while the efficiency of the panels has increased. This combination has made home solar one of the best investments that a homeowner can make – provided they live in an area that receives a good deal of sunshine.

Solar Adds Immense Value To Your Home

While solar panel installations are not inexpensive, in almost every case they add at least their total cost to the value of the home as soon as they are installed. If you decide to sell your home, it will be very attractive to those who are interested in leaving a lighter footprint or for anyone who was thinking of going solar after they bought their new home.

A Quality Install Will Pay For Itself Over Time

As they generate electricity which can be used in your home or sold back in to the public grid, residential solar panels are one of the only home upgrades that will pay for themselves over time. If you live in a very sunny area and watch your home energy consumption, you may even find that after a few years your solar setup actually begins generating a profit each month. Home solar setups typically come with a 25-year warranty so you can rest assured that your panels will be producing energy for at least the next couple of decades.

Tax Credits And Incentives Reduce The Up-front Financial Cost

Renewable energy sources like solar quality for significant tax credits and rebates which will vary depending on the city and state or province that you live in. A quick web search will show you which types of incentives that you will qualify for, or you can call a local residential solar installer as they’ll be fully aware of all of the various incentives that are available.

For more information on home renovations or upgrades that have been adding value to homes in your community, contact your local real estate agent. They’ll be able to advise you on which upgrades you will need to make in order to keep up with other homes in your area so that if you do decide to sell, you’re able to stand up to your competition.

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Roof Restoration 101: Preparing Your Roof for the Harsh Winter – and when to Call in Professional Help

Posted in Around The Home by Michigan Real Estate Expert on September 16th, 2014

Roof Restoration 101: Preparing Your Roof for the Harsh Winter - and when to Call in Professional HelpWhile the days may be relatively warm and sunny right now, the transition to fall and winter will soon be upon us. Winter weather can be harsh, and it can also be destructive to your property. From the snow and ice to the frigid temperatures, winter can wreak havoc on a property.

One of the best steps that you can take now while the weather is warm is to restore your roof to prepare for the harsh winter ahead. This effort today will minimize damage that the home may endure throughout the cold months of the year. Here are some steps you can take to winterize your roof before the weather gets colder.

Steps to Take Now

As a homeowner, you can easily take a few steps today to prevent your home from being damaged in the winter months. From the ground level, inspect the home for signs of roof damage. You may notice a few shingles not laying flush on the roof, or you may see that some shingles are missing.

Repair work to the roof should be completed quickly. In addition, you can trim away tree limbs and branches that hang over the roof. These can become heavy with the weight of snow and ice, and they can break entirely or hang low to cause damage to the roof.

You also should clean out your gutters now. When gutters become clogged, they are ineffective at handling snow and ice melt. Cleaning your gutters every spring and fall will ensure they are prepared to handle inclement weather.

When to Call a Professional

Some work on a roof can easily be completed by a homeowner. However, roof work can also be dangerous or difficult. This may be due to the high height of the roof, the steep incline or even the type of work that needs to be completed.

When the work is dangerous or when you believe that you do not have the equipment or skills required to complete the work right, you should call a professional to your home to assist you. You’ll want to call an experienced roofer if you notice leaks or damaged gutters or soffits. These kinds of repairs are critical to properly winterizing your home, and letting a professional handle them means you get a high-quality job.

The integrity of your home’s roof will impact energy efficiency of your home’s heating and cooling system, its ability to resist water damage and pest infestation and more. Long before the first snow or ice arrives, it is important for homeowners to assess their roofs for damage and to make repairs as needed. Contact a roofing contractor for an inspection to ensure your roof is winter-ready.

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3 Reasons Why Changing Your Kitchen And Dining Room Lighting Fixtures Can Increase Your Sale Price

Posted in Around The Home by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 7th, 2014

3 Reasons Why Changing Your Kitchen And Dining Room Lighting Fixtures Can Increase Your Sale PriceIf you are considering selling your home, you may be wondering if there are things that you can do to increase your sale price. The truth is, you could spend thousands of dollars updating your home, but most homeowners will not want to put in such a large investment without knowing how much it will add to the selling price. Fortunately, there are more affordable things that can be done.

One affordable change to your home that can increase your sale price is to change your kitchen and dining room lighting fixtures. There are a number of reasons why this can work. Here are three of them:

Buyers are Looking for Entertainment Areas in New Homes

One reason that changing your kitchen and dining room lighting fixtures can increase your sale price is because buyers are looking for areas where they can entertain. Most people who are looking for a new home will be thinking about the things they can do with the home, and one of these things is entertaining their friends and family.

Buyers are willing to pay more on homes that have these nicely decorated areas, so updating your kitchen and dining room lighting can help to bring in a bit more money.

The Kitchen and Dining Room are the Center of Family Life

Another reason that people will pay more on a home with new lighting fixtures is because the kitchen and dining room are seen as the center of family life. In this scenario, buyers know that they will be spending a lot of time in these rooms and thus, want to be sure that these areas are nicely decorated.

New Kitchen and Dining Room Light Fixtures Will Brighten Up the Home

Finally, you will want to update the lighting fixtures in your kitchen and dining room because new fixtures can brighten up your home. You might have heard real estate agents talk about how important it is to have bright lights and open window shades during open houses since it can make your home look better. New, brighter lights can also help your rooms look bigger. Sometimes it will all come down to an optical illusion.

For more information on adding new lighting fixtures to your kitchen and dining room in order to increase sales, contact a local real estate professional. They will be able to give you some tips on these rooms and offer information on how you can spruce up the rest of your home before putting it on the market.

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DIY Home Improvement: How to Spice Up That Boring Basement by Adding a New Bar

Posted in Around The Home by Michigan Real Estate Expert on August 6th, 2014

DIY Home Improvement: How to Spice Up That Boring Basement by Adding a New BarIf you live in a home with a basement, you may have already started finishing it, or you may have big plans to convert the space into something more usable and practical. When it comes to basement renovations, few projects add as much value and opportunity for entertainment as adding in a basement bar.

A bar is an easy home improvement project to complete, and you can use it for entertaining family and friends. Here’s a quick guide to installing a bar in your basement and turning that dank, dreary room into a great space for making new memories.

Preparing For The Bar Addition

First, you need to select the space that is best-suited for the bar. The ideal space will be an open area near the corner of the room or even near an entryway. The space should allow for seating for at least two or three bars stools, but you may desire a larger bar area.

Most bar areas will have water and electricity features, and it will be easier and less expensive if you choose an area of the room that has these services running through the walls. If water and electricity are easily accessible, you simply have to build a wall and add a counter top to the area. If you cannot complete this work on your own, you can hire a contractor for assistance.

Hiring Contractors For Special Tasks

A fully functional bar area may have overhead cabinetry for storage as well as a small sink to rinse out glasses and to wash hands. In addition, it may have electricity for lighting mounted under the cabinets or for display lights over the seating areas.

While some individuals may have the skills to complete this work on their own, you may consider outsourcing these special tasks to a contractor. This will ensure that the work is completed to code, and it also means the work might be completed sooner than if you tried to do it yourself.

Once you’ve built the bar and hooked up the water and electricity, you simply have to add a few bar stools, stock up on glasses and liquor, and start enjoying the space. A new bar addition will be a welcome feature in your home’s basement, and you can easily get started working on this project today. For more fun and trendy basement renovation ideas, contact a real estate professional in your community today.

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4 Places Real Estate Agents Say, “Don’t Go Cheap!”

Posted in Troy Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on April 30th, 2014

4 Places Real Estate Agents Say As most real estate agents will tell you, remodeling, decorating or repairing your home can go a long way towards getting it sold. For that matter, it can add value to your property in case you want to sell later – that is, if you don’t choose the wrong places to buy cheap:

  • Windows – Never buy a window based on which one is cheapest. You want windows that look good, and, as most real estate agents will recommend, you want energy-efficient windows. During 2009 and 2010, you may be eligible for a Federal Tax Credit for Energy Efficiency of up to $1500 when you purchase Energy Star windows.
  • Paint – Paint is one of the biggest places people skimp when it comes to cost, and a big no-no. Cheap paint may take several coats to look right; those several coats can end up leaving blotches and runs.  In addition, cheap paint has a tendency to peel or wash off under light cleaning.  If you’re going to add painting to your remodeling or repair work, quality is always better.
  • Doors – Whether it’s for a shower or a screened-in porch, the door you choose can make all the difference. A rickety shower door falling off the railing is a big “don’t buy” sign. While you don’t want to blow your whole budget, the doors throughout your house should be of quality material. Likewise, a solid front door adds to the curb appeal and security of your home. Some exterior doors also qualify for the Federal Tax Credit for Energy Efficiency. Find out if your exterior door qualifies for an Energy Star Rebate or Tax Credit.
  • Flooring – Unless it’s expensive carpet on sale, cheap flooring never looks like anything but cheap flooring. Low cost carpet and wood flooring seldom has high durability and is likely to wear out before you’re ready to replace it again. Take the time to find quality flooring at a price you can afford – don’t go cheap!

 Many real estate agents will push quality, but the biggest point they’ll push these days is – go green! It may not be the cheapest option, but the benefits in efficiency and property value more than make up for the cost.

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Think Like A Real Estate Agent

Posted in Troy Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on March 26th, 2014

Think Like A Real Estate AgentBefore you put your home on the market, you want to make certain that it’s in tip-top condition to ensure a quick sale. The key to listing your home at a competitive price and guaranteeing you have what buyers are looking for is to think like a real estate agent.

To get your home ready to sell, here are five easy and inexpensive home improvements this real estate agent recommends:

  1. Layout – Take an objective look at your home and stage accordingly. Remove clutter and rearrange furniture so that potential buyers can envision each room’s purpose. Also, store any obtrusive furniture that disrupts walking flow or makes rooms look smaller.
  2. Hardware – Update all hardware. Changing out door handles, drawer pulls and light fixtures is an easy way to modernize your home while costing little money.
  3. Charm – Play up the unique features of your home. Refinish hardwood floors if scuffed, remove excess objects from built-in bookshelves and clean unique light fixtures. It’s these irreplaceable elements that make your home stand out from other homes and hook buyers. 
  4. Scent – Eliminate all bad odors like pet smells, stale cooking odors and cigarette smoke. Just lighting candles or spraying air freshener won’t work. Clean, deodorize and get rid of rugs or other cloth objects that still smell bad.
  5. Curb Appeal – Spend some time sprucing up the yard. It’s the first impression buyers will have, and although the house might be in mint condition, a lots-of-work lawn could instill a negative notion before they even step a foot inside your home.

Buyers’ needs vary in every market. However, buyers will always consider these five features before they buy. So, stay one step ahead of the game and ensure your house is up to par with buyers’ expectation.

If you’re getting ready to sell your home and are looking for a real estate agent who can help you sell your home fast and for top-dollar, I’d be honored to be interviewed for the job. Give your trusted real estate professional a call today.

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Where To Find Inspiration For Your Home Decor

Posted in Troy Michigan Real Estate by Michigan Real Estate Expert on March 12th, 2014

Where To Find Inspiration For Your Home DecorAre you working on decorating your home? Perhaps you want to spruce up your decor, but you aren’t sure where to start. Where can you find inspiration for your home decor, besides the obvious home decor magazines and websites?

Here are some fun and creative ideas that will inspire you when designing your decor:

Luxury Hotels

The next time you go on a vacation, you can find decor inspiration at your hotel. Most hotel rooms in mid-range to luxury hotels have beautiful, comforting and understated designs, so take photos if you find something that you like.

Perhaps you can invest in plush throw pillows for your bed, a sleek bed table lamp or thick white towels for your bathroom to recreate the look of a luxury hotel.

Art Galleries

Take a walk around your local art gallery and see if you can find some inspiration there. Perhaps the harmonious colors of Impressionist paintings or the angular shapes of Cubism will inspire you to add visual interest to your decor.

You might not be able to afford an original Picasso or Monet, but you can always order prints of your favourite artists online and add art to your home on a budget.

The Beauty Of Nature

Another place to find beauty and inspiration is from Mother Nature herself. Take a walk outside in the country and take some photos of what you encounter.

Perhaps you will be inspired to paint your walls a shade of green just like the spring leaves, or create a centrepiece for your table made from pinecones.

Fashion Design

You can also find inspiration from the colors, textures and patterns that are popular in the world of fashion design. Look at magazines, fashion shows and advertisements to see what colors and styles are popular at the moment.

If you love the look of a certain item of clothing, think about how you can incorporate that color, texture or pattern into your decor.

If you have an open mind, you can find inspiration for your home decor all around you. These are just a few ideas to get you started, but of course there are many other sources of inspiration out there.

For more info and tips regarding your home, contact your trusted real estate profesional.

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