Showing posts with label first home improvements. Show all posts
Showing posts with label first home improvements. Show all posts

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Most Efficient Ways of Improving Your Home

Our homes are always a project for the man of the house: minor or major improvements are in their eyes a way to increase the value of the house should you decide to sell it in a market where, when prices drop, having the house that is most attractive to buyers because of the improvements you made makes it also the one that sells and maybe also with some thousands of dollars extra to the end price.

And even if you do not want to sell it, due to reasons such as memories of your kids growing up and your family expanding and then moving on to their own families or simply the place where your presents and futures were built brick by brick, a change can bring psychological comfort, at the least.

The tricky part is to get as much (preferably more) money or satisfaction from the improvement than you actually put into it. We have to be more financially savvy, as a retired accountant suggests. I mean, even if you do not sell it, we have to get that house feel like a vacation house every single day, so that your retirement could be enjoyable and something to look forward to.

Moreover, more and more people have become very concerned with environment protection, so you will have to think of Eco-friendly solutions for you, your children, your children’s children and so on. Doing all of this on a budget will require some serious planning.  


I’ve always admired the elegance of natural stone and where better to find it than in the bathroom. Granite bathroom tops are affordable, elegant and all around excellent to achieve exactly this. Adding some new faucets and maybe a mirror, you could easily remodel a bathroom for under $500. The first thing is to order all the necessary materials and only begin when all of them are at your disposal. Freshen up the old vanity if it is still in good shape by painting it. This is a simple modification that will last no more than 2 days.


As the kitchen is considered to be at the heart of your house, investments you make on a remodel can be expected to return 60-%120% of what you put in considering you don’t overdo it. It is important that the remodeling reflects the general feel of the house so do not go overboard with deluxe kitchens if the neighborhood and the house are cozy or historic.

 Eco-Friendly Solutions

It is common knowledge that environmentally friendly home improvements are somewhat expensive, but if you don't have the necessary funds to invest in sustainable materials, and energy sources, this doesn't mean that you can't help out mother Earth. The most convenient solution would be to take care of your garbage in a green way. Instant Waste, for example, 
offers a safe and environmentally responsible solution to unwanted waste. Removing waste goes hand in hand with planting eco plants such as trees and making use of other additional eco solutions such as buying light bulbs or eco household appliances that help lower the energy bill and maintain the health of our surroundings. This may not seem like much, but it is more than most people do.

Energy Efficient Insulation

One of the most important aspects when trying to sell a house is insulation: home inspectors will include old doors that allow air through into their reports and since a house that is not energy efficient costs more to live in and to maintain, it may just be that you will wait longer for your buyer than you expected. There are simple, low budget things that can be easily done, like insulating the attic ($200) which will save you hundreds of dollars on utility bills. Sealing off cracks is another cheap improvement that will also contribute to a more efficient home.


It is not easy at first to try reinventing a room but adding some square footage to your home will surely broaden your perspective, although it can be quite an expensive project simply because more often than not the project cost can easily spin out of control. So instead of this be creative, use the attic and turn it into a bedroom, remodel the basement or add small apartments over your garage (and even inside it). There are some situations where demolishing walls or rafters are unavoidable but there are some concerns you need to address before doing so. More often than not you can use the space as other rooms.

Be sure to always have the basic updates in check: the simple things will be those which will give the most value to your home. I mean fresh paint, roof maintenance, wood replacement, mold prevention. Even though such chores are not always the most pleasant, they keep your home from losing value over time and since most buyers are looking for solid, healthy-looking homes they will be sure to check each corner. And when they see a well-cared for home, buyers will not think twice and will surely put down an offer immediately. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Before Retiring, Think of These 4 Essential Investments that Add Value to Your Home

Before you start thinking about retiring to your very own moon-light patio, bohemian wine cellar or romantic porch there are some structural aspects you should take care of. People have started to spend more and more money on home improvements, and it seems only natural because the home is the place where we spend most of our time. We want our living room to be welcoming and relaxing, our bathrooms to look fresh and our kitchens to inspire, but we should not get ahead of ourselves. As tempting as bamboo flooring, granite counter-tops and vintage furniture may sound, there are a few long-term improvements that you should definitely consider.

Whether you are trying to sell your home in the near future and plan your retirement some place elsewhere or simply want to increase its value and enhance it for your children, there are four essential improvements you absolutely have to do. Although certain affordable cosmetic changes might make the house look better in the eyes of a potential buyer, it is the well-thought-out, carefully planned structural improvements that are more promising for the future. The first thing you should do is hire an expert to evaluate your house, and afterward make steps to remedy the problems. Here are four possibilities of improving your home.

1. Indoor Systems

As appealing as cosmetic improvements might be, it is the functional ones that truly increase the value of a house. A client will always appreciate a fully-functioning house with all the required repairs, upgrades and replacements of major systems. They might not stand out the way a purple wall might, but they are reliable and very important. Moreover if you aren't planning to sell the house in the near future, all the more reason to consolidate the structure and apply certain fixes. Indoor systems like plumbing and wiring should be properly done. In addition, you should make sure that your heating and air conditioning systems function accordingly.

2. Replace the roof

Every roof has an expiration date, and it is likely that you will have to improve yours at some point in your life, especially roofs made of asbestos. In terms of asbestos roof replacement, it isn't such a difficult process, as long as it is done correctly, and there are a few valid reasons why you should consider this option. First of all building codes say that you cannot put a second layer of shingles on top of the previous layer, and this means that you will have to strip off the current layer. Shingles which are applied over old ones don't last as long as a single-layered roof. By stripping the roof you will also get a chance to fix small problems like corroded metal, and leakages. You can also add an extra layer of ice and water barriers to better insulate the home.

3. Fix the Kitchen

Everybody knows that a beautiful kitchen is a major selling point for a home. This room is probably the best option if you want to add real value to your home. When it comes to kitchen remodels there are so many options to choose from that you can easily be sidetracked. Most people avoid remodeling the kitchen because they think that it is a huge investment. Nevertheless, if you study the market, manufacturers and trends you will see that there are a lot of affordable solutions to choose from. Replacing counter-tops, purchasing important appliances, refurbishing the cabinet hardware and floors will have a huge impact on the overall aspect of your interior.

4. Replace Windows

You should know that replacing the windows is a win-win investment. The seller will earn valuable tax earning credits, and the potential buyer will lower energy bills. The energy efficiency and Eco-friendly aspects have become very important for people nowadays, especially if you have an old house. It is actually forecasted that by 2030 all new homes will become fully sustainable. Moreover, there are many types of glass used for windows, which have special heating properties.

All in all, you have to make the most of your budget and time. It is impossible to remodel your home over night, but as long as you constantly apply changes and try to improve your home your chances of selling increase. Someone once said that your home is your castle, and a good king deserves a beautiful kingdom. 

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