Home Renovation on a Budget — You Got This!

You walk into your home again and think ‘my home looks tired’.  If everything looks drab and in need of a bit of renovation, your home is overdue to be remodeled.  It has been on your wish list for a while; however, you are afraid of what the cost might be. You can still spruce up your home and improve its appearance and functionality without breaking the bank. The following are some budget-friendly ideas for renovating different rooms of your home.

Refurbish, Reupholster, and Refinish

Here are ideas to help you minimize the costs — whether you want to change cabinets, furniture, flooring, or curtains. Cabinets in fairly good condition, you can repaint, reface with a contemporary style, or add new doors (we just did this in my kitchen for much less than replacing them).  You can upgrade your furniture and curtains by trading out  the well-worn faded material on your couches and other upholstered pieces with a different texture and color. You can save additional money by using the same curtain rods and rings and finding fabric you can sew yourself. There are also peel-and-stick flooring options that you can apply over the existing surface, or buy a great throw rug to mostly cover the floor, for a lot less than replacing what is there now.

Renew Kitchen Surfaces and Appliances

The kitchen is usually, the messiest and grimiest area in your home. Periodically you will want to replace appliances and refresh the overall appearance. There are many materials available to fit your budget. For essentials like refrigerators, stoves, and dishwashers, look for packages to replace them inexpensively or discounts on multiple purchases. Or check the back aisle in your local Home Depot or Lowes for open box specials. You can also learn how to install an appliance to save an extra $100 to $500. If your oven is new or still in good condition, all you may need is to add a new backsplash (we’re doing that next). You may also want to consider new countertops since they are one of the most worked surfaces. Check on deals with your local store and tile companies.

Create More Open Space Without Increasing the Size

Increase efficiency without knocking out a wall to expand your home. Replace bulky cabinetry and large shelves with vertical cabinets with pull-out drawers wide enough to store racks for pantry items. Need a kitchen island to prep meals? You can use a simple stand-alone table and add wheels for easy moveability.

Declutter, Add Color, Style, and Lighting

Improve the livability of smaller rooms, such as your bathroom, by adding a storage closet, vanity, or medicine cabinet. Peel and stick wallpaper can save time and labor if you’re not ready to paint. Adding new hardware to give your room more of a modern flair, by updating knobs and drawer handles. Save on cost by finding recycled fixtures. Brighten a windowless room with a light tube that funnels in natural light. Add wainscoting trim to dull walls and ceilings to add texture and detail.

Simple, cost-effective renovation can give new life into your living space and bring you a renewed sense of accomplishment without financial hardship. From your biggest, most lived-in rooms to your tucked-away areas, there is always an affordable solution to get your home looking refreshed.

Do you have a need for commercial/industrial/retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you want a guaranteed cash offer? We can help you with all of that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

Thinking of Adding a Firepit to Your Backyard?

There is nothing quite as nice as sitting by a fire on a cool autumn night and in Las Vegas on any winter night as well. Of course, not everyone lives where they can just build a bonfire or even set up a little campfire at a moment’s notice. It’s a good thing that there are options available for those who want the ambiance and experience of sitting by the fire without the hassle that goes along with building bigger fires. Your best option is installing a firepit in your yard for those days you want to just relax by the fire.

You should know that not all firepits are created equal. While you could pick up a cheap firepit somewhere and just set it up, if you really want to maximize the experience and get the most out of it, then you may want to do a bit more planning and create an area where you can really enjoy it. This will also help to ensure that the firepit is set up safely, so you don’t accidentally create a fire hazard or other dangerous situation in your yard.

Firepit Considerations

The most important consideration is that your firepit is safe. This involves not only installing a firepit unit that is structurally sound it also includes installing it in a place that is stable. You certainly do not want the firepit to tip or shift in such a way that it could spill its contents or fall over. Regardless of whether the firepit is being placed on a surface, or buried in the ground, safety and stability should be your primary concerns.

This could mean that you might have to do a bit of construction around the firepit or add stone or concrete underneath it to create a solid and stable surface for it to sit on. Once the firepit is in place, you’ll want to try moving it in different directions to make sure that it doesn’t shift or wobble. You should also inspect it for dents, cracks, or other signs of damage that could become a bigger problem down the road; you’ll want the firepit to be structurally sound before it’s installed, and if you see signs of damage now then you’ll want to get those repaired before you finish the installation.

Cozy On Up

Once you have found the perfect place to put your firepit and that it’s safe to operate there, you’ll want to build out the area around it. While you could just use folding chairs or other temporary seating, it’s almost a shame to go through all the trouble of setting up a firepit just to then skimp on the seating. A better option is to get matched seating to go around the firepit to help add ambiance to the location while also giving you somewhere to sit.

This can come in a wide range of forms. You could go with nice wooden seating, Adirondack chairs, metal seats with cushions, or even wicker seating to go around the firepit. Rounded benches or other connected seating are also a good idea, giving you multiple seating options, while also being stylish and literally making the firepit the center of attention. Regardless of the type of seating you go with, try to match the colors and style of the firepit to your seating, and you’ll really be able to tie it all together.

Setting Up Your Firepit

After you get everything else sorted, setting up your firepit is largely a matter of getting it in place and securing it or otherwise ensuring that it’s stable. If you have a firepit that runs on propane or other gas, it will usually come with some kind of rocks or fake logs. To personalize it, you can buy multi-colored glass from a variety of places. Mine came with very basic lava rocks and I replaced them with blue, white and aqua glass squares! So even though mine was a basic kit, mine looks unique!

If all of this seems like more work than you’re comfortable taking on, though, you can always call in a professional. I can help you connect with contractors and other pros that can get your firepit installed safely and ready for you to use.  So contact me, Jeff Howard, your realtor for life!!!

Do you have a need for commercial/industrial/retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you want a guaranteed cash offer? We can help you with all of that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff

Busting the Myths of Home Appraisals

We all know that when it is time to purchase or sell your home, some parts are pretty stressful. Trying to find the perfect home, then securing the financing, and everything that takes place up until closing.  However, for most transactions, everything, absolutely everything, hinges on the home appraisal. This is most likely why so many myths and misconceptions have grown around the process. The following list is to help you sort the truth from the stories.

Myth #1: Home Appraisals and Home Inspections Are the Same

Not true! The one and only purpose of a home appraisal is to determine the value of the home, at that moment, in the market conditions of that time, and in the shape that home is currently in. A home inspection, on the other hand, determines the condition of the home, along with any defects (major and  minor), at the moment when the home is being inspected.

The situation gets muddy when buyers are securing FHA or USDA loans, which requires an additional loan-specific inspection to be performed by the appraiser. This particular kind of inspection is there to ensure that the home meets the loan’s minimum standards, not to determine the overall condition of the home. Always have a home inspection, but it’s now what we are discussing here.

Myth #2: Home Appraisers Create Market Values

The home appraiser will assign your home a rough value, however, the work they do is actually based on a thorough study of the current real estate market’s conditions.  Plus the condition of the home, the value of each component of the home, the value the neighborhood contributes, and countless other factors, and lastly the fact that a buyer was willing to pay the amount of your contract for the home.

While any individual home appraiser could be considered to be contributing to market values, they in no way set them. Think of them more like a reporter, simply telling the story of your home and the things in it, for better or for worse. They see homes every day and understand what a dollar will buy in their particular markets.

Myth #3: If You’ve Had an Assessment, You Don’t Need an Appraisal

An assessment is a type of valuation of a home for the purposes of determining tax responsibility, that is all the assessment is for.  They don’t go into the kind of depth an appraisal does. Do you remember the last time someone went onto your property and into your home to perform a tax assessment?  That never happens since they’re simply not that thorough. Tax assessments have to be done quickly due to the sheer number performed at once, so they are often given a wide berth.

Appraisals, on the other hand, can easily take several hours, including the time the appraiser is on-site examining the home’s interior. This is why when someone believes their assessment to be incorrect, they can challenge it using a home appraisal. The appraisal is simply more accurate. Never use an assessment for sales or purchase purposes, you’ll be sorely disappointed.

Myth #4: The Appraiser is on the Bank’s Side

An appraiser is a neutral third-party expert who is contracted by banks to determine the value of your home so they can use this figure in making your loan. This doesn’t mean that appraisers are working on behalf of the bank or that they’re simply there to make the numbers work out every time. Sometimes, appraisers come back with very bad news about homes, determining that they absolutely cannot be appraised for the transaction price, or that there’s something about them that means they cannot meet the minimum requirements of a given loan type. In fact, because of the mortgage meltdown in 2006, the banks aren’t even allowed to communicate directly with the appraiser. They are required to use a go-between called an Appraisal Management Company or AMC. The appraiser gets paid the same amount regardless of the value they arrive at, so they definitely don’t choose sides.

When It’s Time to Buy a Home…

Although you can’t pick your appraiser, you certainly can choose the lender you work with who will help you make the best financial decisions about your future home.  When you’re not sure whom to call, wow it’s time to contact JEFF HOWARD, your realtor for life.  I will be happy to recommend a lender that will guide you through the entire process as smoothly as possible.

Do you have a need for commercial/industrial/retail buildings or land? Are you ready to buy or sell a home? Do you want a guaranteed cash offer? We can help you with all of that… just call us at 702 SELL NOW or click on this link to my website http://www.702SellNow.com

Choose to have an amazing day….Jeff