Pamela Bailey
RE/MAX On the Move | Insight | Advantage | 603-770-0369 | [email protected]


Posted by Pamela Bailey on 1/6/2021

Photo by La Miko from Pexels

If you're getting ready to sell your home, then you might suddenly find yourself faced with deciding which home improvements are the best to tackle. Though it can seem like a hassle -- and it's going to cost you some time and money -- the reality is that even a few improvements could be beneficial. You might find that not only does your home sell more quickly than you expect but that the final sale price is above your listing price. 

1. Landscape Your Yard

Your home's exterior is the first thing interested homebuyers see when they show up so make sure the yard is welcoming. In addition to keeping the grass mowed, be sure that any trees and bushes aren't overgrown. Plant some perennials if your yard needs some color or put some in a couple of pots by the front door. 

2. Paint the Interior

Even though painting the interior of your home has one of the lowest costs of all home improvement projects, it also has a high rate of return. About 36 percent of homeowners decide to tackle this project. Be sure to opt for a neutral color though you might need assistance from a professional to determine what that is. It really depends on aspects like the flooring and cabinets, for example. Gray has been trending as a paint color for a number of years so it's a safe choice for interiors. 

3. Replace the Flooring

More than a quarter of home sellers decided to replace the flooring before putting their home on the market. Upgrading to wood or faux woods floors throughout your home has several advantages. It creates a seamless flow from one room to the next. The right kind of wood flooring is also easier to maintain than carpeting. 

If it's too costly to replace all the flooring in your home with wood, then new carpeting can still be a strong selling point. Just make sure that you choose a neutral color. 

4. Update the Bathroom

Did you know that your bathroom can make your house seem outdated? Adding a few new touches such as new cabinets, countertops, fixtures and flooring can breathe fresh life into one of the important rooms of the house. Just make sure to go with a minimalist look to make the room look bigger. 

Opting for any of the four home improvements noted above can really boost your return on your investment. If you aren't sure which project is the best one to tackle, ask a real estate agent. Their objective advice is grounded in the realities of what's selling in your area currently. 





Posted by Pamela Bailey on 4/15/2020

Photo by Chauhan Moniz on Unsplash

Whether you want to sell or just want to live in a more luxurious environment, understanding some of the key details that make a luxury home what it is can help you make the most of a new purchase or even your current dwelling. High end homes are about more than just space -- a large home does not necessarily become luxurious, simply because of its size. Learning about some of the most common luxury upgrades allows you to make the most of your space or elevate a new purchase to create something truly spectacular. While every home is different, these types of upgrades are essential components of high end, luxury homes across the country. 

Luxury Upgrades your Home Doesn't Have...and Why you Need Them

Smart Tech: Smart thermostats are pretty mainstream at this point, but luxury homes are far more integrated and supported by technology. Consider upgrading by investing in an entire system with components that work together -- from your HVAC to your entertainment options and home operations. You'll love having a single interface for everything and being able to configure every aspect of your home to meet your specific needs. 

Cleaning Essentials: Central vacuum, laundry options on all floors and other high end perks do more than just help keep a home with multiple levels clean, it ensures that your space is ready for a staff or on-site team if you want them. Even if you don't use the space all that often or clean it yourself, the presence of these conveniences is a big plus when it comes to selling a high end home. High end buyers expect these details -- from docking stations for floor cleaners to dedicated spaces for cleaning staff and supplies, you'll find it easier to outsource home care when you have these essentials in place. 

Outdoor Entertaining Space: Whether you go for a full kitchen, opt for an oversized firepit and conversation area or simply create comfortable areas for dining and seating, the outside of your home is no longer just for playing games or gardening. Outdoor spaces have gone far beyond a few lawn chairs and a grill. Build an oversized firepit and surround it with comfortable seating -- complete with wool blankets or quilts for chilly nights. Need to have some digital entertainment, too? An outdoor movie zone, complete with pedestal or hanging lounges and built in snack bar is sure to please. One of the top luxury home trends addresses the outdoors and ensures that you and your guests can have a seamless transition from the inside. Up your entertaining game and upgrade that bland porch or patio to increase the value and luxury of your home. 

From elevated and luxurious living spaces to hotel-worthy conveniences, incorporating a few of these upgrades will make your own home an oasis of comfort -- and make it more appealing to buyers when it is time to sell. 




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Posted by Pamela Bailey on 1/15/2020

Photo by Analogicus via Pixabay

After settling into your home, you start to notice a few things either need to be retouched or completely overhauled. The biggest issue that a lot of homeowners run into is the money for the project. Even after assessing whether the project is a DIY or youíll need a professional, funding still comes before action. Here are a few funding options to consider before you begin your home improvement projects.

Borrow from Your Future: 401(K)

A vast number of traditionally employed homeowners have a 401(K). Often, an employer will deposit funds into this account just as the employee does, but did you know you can borrow from it? If your housing project requires a little more than what you have in your savings account, try taking a little from your 401(K). Remember, even though itís your account, itís not free money. You will have to put it back once youíre able, and if you separate from your current company, you may run into a few extra fees if the money isnít returned within five (5) years.

Government-Backed Improvement Loans

There are a few different types of government-backed loans that allow you to improve your home. You just need to identify the category your home improvement falls under. If youíre looking to do a few moderate improvements, try the 203K loan. These loans are great if youíve purchased a preexisting home and have a few hefty renovations to cover. You can even add this loan to your mortgage payments.

If your home improvement project happens to fall more along the ďgreenerĒ side of things, such as heating/cooling, water-efficient landscaping, energy reduction systems, etc., you may be able to apply for a PACE loan. These loans are pretty easy to get approval for, can often receive tax credits and may be sold to your next buyer when you decide to move.

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)

Have you been in your home for a while? Maybe a HELOC would be the best method for you to finance your home improvement projects. Since your home has accrued equity over the years, youíll be able to secure the loan by using it as collateral. These loans are often suited for long renovations or projects that may require a few extra stages.

If your home improvement projects end up with a longer price tag than you were expecting, donít fret. There are several other ways that youíll be able to cover the cost, including tax credits and grants. If youíre prepping your home to sell in the near future, chat with your agent about the best renovations, improvements and repairs, as well as, how to fund them.






Tags: loans   home improvement   401K   Funding   Grants  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Pamela Bailey on 1/1/2020

Doing a home improvement or renovation is a great way to add value to your home while learning something new. If you decide to DIY, you can enlist the help of your family and learn together.

But, when youíre taking on a task youíve never done before, thereís a lot that can go wrong. You might go over budget, or the project might take significantly longer than expected. Sometimes we start jobs that we donít have the expertise (or permits) to finish and have to call in a professional sinking more time and money into what was supposed to be an inexpensive renovation.

To help you avoid some of these common pitfalls, weíve provided these tips for running a successful home improvement project so you can focus on your renovation and not on the headaches that come with it.

1. Know when to call the experts

Undertaking a do-it-yourself project can be fun and rewarding. However, some tasks are better left to the professionals. Plumbing and electrical mistakes, in particular, can be dangerous and costly if you get it wrong. You donít want to disregard the safety of you, your family, and your belongings just to save money on hiring a professional.

2. Call the best expert for the job

Call multiple professionals for a quote before accepting an offer.

If you received what seems a very low quote for a job, make sure to call other experts in the industry to see how much they would charge for the job. Getting an unusually low offer could be a sign that the contractor will rush the project or use cheap materials.

Alternatively, if you receive a quote that seems too high, the contractor may have a busy schedule or might not really want the job, so theyíve offered you a price they donít expect you to take.

Regardless of who you choose, see if you can find reviews and testimonials to make sure youíve selected a contractor who is professional and has good customer feedback.

3. Aim high with your budget

When homeowners take on a renovation, they tend to underestimate the costs. To avoid being shocked by going over budget, estimate what you think the total costs would be and then at another twenty percent. That twenty percent could account for damaged building materials, mistakes, or last-minute changes and customizations--all are frequent on DIY projects.

4. Donít work without a design or blueprint

Even for simple home improvement projects, itís best to start out with a plan. Having detailed measurements and drawings to refer to will help you avoid costly mistakes. Weíve all felt the temptation to ďeyeball itĒ when working on a project--taking the extra few minutes to measure and refer to your plan will save you time in the long run.

5. Relax and focus on the results

Home improvement projects can be a source of frustration for many families. If you arenít an expert, itís easy to get angry when things arenít going as you planned. If you find yourself frequently hitting a wall-literally or figuratively--step back from the project and refocus on the end goal, improving your home for years to come.




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Posted by Pamela Bailey on 10/23/2019

That feeling of rest and happiness you feel when you pull up at the front of your house after a long stressful day is indescribable. Now you can rest, shower, unwind or do nothing. If you live in a detached single family home, chances are you would have your driveway and would solely be responsible for its upkeep. 

When building or remodeling a house, one of the overlooked features is the driveway. Your driveway is a part of your home and should reflect that warm, welcoming feeling of your home. Because your drive is the first thing people notice when coming into your home, itís advisable you select the right type of driveway material for your home.

Suggested driveway materials best suitable for your house are... 

Asphalt

Asphalt is a common and highly practical driveway material thatís inexpensive compared to stone and concrete, its two primary solid-surface opponents. 

Asphalt is very high-maintenance, especially in harsh climates. Professionals recommend sealing asphalt driveways within a year of fitting and resealing every three to five years. Resealing can be quite expensive: The cost to reseal on the average is about $400, the price is lesser for shorter driveways and more costly for longer ones. You may also need seasonal maintenance depending on driveway usage, quality, and stability. Asphalt driveways are stable, of excellent quality, easy to plow during the winter season and with a higher traction quotient.

Gravel

Gravel is the cheapest and most sturdy of the other common driveway materials. It cost less than $300 to install and doesnít require much time; Gravel driveways will last for a long time if given proper care.

The gravel driveway is very affordable and can cost about $0.50 per square foot, itís durable, and with the right maintenance, it will last a lifetime.

Pavers

Pavers are the most expensive of the other driveway materials. Itís also considered the most attractive. Pavers blend well with different exterior and design elements, such as fountain fall, driveway islands, and stone walkways. 

Pavers improve your home appeal and give your home entrance a great look. It is durable, clean, stable and affordable to maintain.

Concrete

At first glance, concrete and asphalt have similar characteristics, but concrete is relatively durable and require less maintenance cost. A concrete driveway can last 100% more than the asphalt driveway depending on the climate and use. 

The concrete driveway is stable with surfaces not prone to mud, it doesnít require much to maintain especially during the winter season, and it has a long life span. 

Having a beautiful and adequately maintained driveway will not only provide your home with that alluring curb appeal, but it will also boost the resale value of your property in the market if you decide to sell.




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