Tag Archives: home renovations

Can You Cut Costs & Be Safe with a Space Hwater?

As we type this it is a warmer winter day- although the sky is gray and it is a little damp feeling…today is the type of day your mother would tell you to put a sweater on because she is cold.  And that thought is what prompted today’s post- if someone in the house is cold, but not everyone – does it warrant a thermostat increase, a sweater or a space heater for certain rooms? 

The humble space heater gets a bad rap, but when used correctly it can actually represent a good option for taking the edge off the winter chill. download

 

Here are some tips about how to safely use a space heater and when it’s a good choice:

Are you heating a whole house when the family is concentrated in the living room? Turn down the central heat and use a modern space heater rather than heat the empty rooms.

  1. A space heater can be a wise choice when you live in an uninsulated or poorly insulated home.
  2. Avoid unvented combustion space heaters. Instead, look for electric space heaters, preferably with a fan to circulate the hot air.
  3. Never plug a space heater into an extension cord.
  4. Maintain three feet of clear space around the heater in all directions. Be aware of loose rugs, blankets, or other potentially flammable objects nearby. spaceheatersafety
  5. Unplug your space heater when no one is around to keep an eye on it.
  6. Do not use a space heater in a damp room (i.e. bathroom!) unless it is specifically designed for outdoor or bathroom use.
  7. Don’t hide the space heater electrical cord where it might get torn or degraded under foot. Run it where it is visible, but does not create a tripping hazard.
  8. If you’re shopping for a space heater, consider this handy Consumer Reports buying guide: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/space-heaters/buying-guide.htm

 

By the way: Heating and cooling a large home after the kids have moved out can be a waste of your retirement dollars. If you’re thinking it might be time to downsize (or rightsize!) your home, get in touch today:  we are never too busy for you or your referrals!   Barbara & Gregg 973-509-2222

 

 

 

What Does It Mean to Sell A House “AS IS “?

Sometimes people inherit a home they simply need to unload and other times they don’t want to make the effort to make repairs or tune up the home’s curb appeal. In today’s world, it can also be a financial concern to finish projects or catch up on some of those deferred maintenance items. sell-my-house-as-is For these home owners looking for a quick sale, they often think selling a home “as is” is the way to go. If you’re like most folks, you might think the “as is” sale means “take it or leave it” and “what you see is what you get.”  

But an “as is” sale isn’t necessarily a cakewalk. It doesn’t mean you’re completely exonerated from taking some responsibility for the home’s condition. While advertising a home “as is” lets buyers know they’re likely to have to do some work, it also broadcasts that the home is probably going to be a relatively good deal, provided they’re willing to take on repairs.

home-disclosureAs is” doesn’t relieve you from disclosing problems with the home.   What you know about, you must disclose by law. Failure to do so could get you into hot water. If you know about a problem but hope it slips by the buyer’s inspector, you’re at risk. The seller’s disclosure provided by most listing agents to their their sellers to fill out; is a great way to list any of the improvements you might have done on the home as well as a chance to give buyers an idea of how old the roof or the heating system might be… these are two questions almost every single buyer asks – they are concerned about the big ticket items needing to be replaced or repaired.

 

And that’s another thing: “As is” homes still go through the inspection process. While your “as is” sale may indicate your unwillingness to make repairs, it doesn’t mean the buyer won’t ask you for compensation based on condition issues. You may not come out of pocket, but it could come right off the top of your listing price, so keep this in mind. What’s more, once these conditions come to light you generally must disclose them to future prospective buyers if the current one bails-in other words, if one buyer walks after an inspection – you must now disclosure all known defects to other prospective buyers.  Keep in mind, safety and environmental issues or hazards are almost never – AS IS. Underground abandoned storage tanks, wood destroying pests, and lead paint are just a few of buyers concerns.

calculaterWith any luck, your “as is” buyer will be a cash buyer, but if not, prepare for the appraisal. Banks don’t want to loan money unless they deem the value of the home is acceptable. If the appraisal comes in low, your buyer may find themselves without the funds necessary to meet your price.

While selling “as is” may seem like a viable alternative to bringing a house up to its full market potential, recognize there are some trade-offs. Go in informed and you’ll find the process much easier to navigate.

Thinking-About-Selling-Your-HouseWhether you’re looking to sell “as is” or not, I’m happy to help you get the best price possible for your home. Let’s talk when you’re ready!

Oh, By The Way, We are Never Too Busy To Give Some Help or Guidance!

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Oh By The Way, we have a great referral base of contractors, painters, dining and more to help make your house home…

Renovations Buyers Like to See

Not all renovations are created equal. If you’re adding a luxurious new bathroom or a “man cave” for your own purposes, you’re probably not too concerned about your return when the house goes on the market. You’re spending the money for your pleasure and quality of life, not the return.

messy-garage                  eshop-garage

Garage_b4_right            Gorgeous-White-Interior-Gray-Concrete-Floor-Garage-Storage-Ideas

But many homeowners see their home as a financial investment vehicle and understand that it’s quite likely the day will come in 5 to 7 years when they are ready to trade up or move to a new market. With this eye, every renovation is a calculated decision. In this situation, you want to select projects which are likely to provide a good return.

Any renovation which improves the value of your home in the eyes of buyers without breaking your renovation budget is an excellent choice. So how do you know which ones buyers want to see?

According to a National Association of Home Builder’s 2013 report of 4,000 prospective buyers, the following seven features were on buyers’ most wanted list:

  1. Separate laundry room (93% preference)
  2. Exterior lighting (90% preference)
  3. Energy Star-qualified windows (89% preference)
  4. Garage storage space (86% preference)
  5. Eat-in kitchen (85% preference)
  6. Walk-in kitchen pantry (85% preference)
  7. Wireless home security system (50% preference)

kitchen pantry  cute-dog-in-laundry-room  laundry closet  custom_walk_in_pantry_springfield_mo_fs

You can read the estimated costs and reasoning behind these features in the original Kiplinger article here:

http://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/real-estate/T010-S001-7-features-home-buyers-want-most/index.html

(Keep in mind that the costs may have risen, as the original article ran in 2014.)

The past few months, something we’ve noticed Millenial buyers look for and often ask about is FIOS connectivity as well as strong cell service for the many mobildevices we now all rely on day to day…something you can’t always gaurantee personally, but its good to know the answers and the availability of these “must-haves”.

Are you planning to sell your home after a renovation? I’d be happy to help you. Let’s talk: Barbara & Gregg, THE NICHOLAS TEAM  realestate@thenicholasteam.com  973-509-2222 ext. 1126