Debbie Van Horn
Residential Real Estate Broker
Fonville Morisey, A Long & Foster Company
Top NC Agent Serving the Greater Triangle in North Carolina
Remodeling your bathroom can make your home appear more valuable to prospective buyers. But be careful. Here are four common mistakes homeowners make when DIY upgrading the bathroom.
1. Not taking ventilation into account
We know you've realized the importance of the bathroom fan if you've ever been in a bind when guests are over … Well, we'll spare you the details. We know you get the whiff — uh, drift. It can be easy to forget about the fan when remodeling, though. Even if you're not replacing the fan, be sure to clean your old one.
2. Lying to yourself about your budget
Judging by your bathroom remodeling Pinterest board, you've got a lot of great ideas. But are they practical? Realistic? For example, can you afford that rain-simulating, foot-wide shower head? Separate fantasy from reality by being honest with yourself about what you can actually afford.
Pro tip: Something that's easy to forget about when renovating your bathroom is your water bill. Yeah. Think about it. You're going to be doing all this testing for your new appliances, running a lot of water — a lot more than usual. That means your bill's going to be a lot higher. Be sure to factor that into your budget.
3. Being too confident
Listen, we're sure you're the best DIYer there is. You made your baby's crib from old dining tables you found at garage sales, and you've grated down all your old soap bars into potpourri. We get it. But it takes a strong person to know when to ask for help. If upgrading your bathroom is turning out to be a bigger DIY job than you thought it would be, call a professional.
The bulk of your time is spent visualizing your future beautiful bathroom, and most of your energy is spent gathering materials. You may spend a week or two in your paint-covered overalls, taking selfies in your demolished bathroom, effectively making it look like you're working. But we know the truth.
You've gotten bored with the project, but your deadline is approaching, so you start throwing things together. You start doing a bad job. Poor construction can bring down your property value, for one. And a crappy bathroom (no pun intended) won't make your house seem all that inviting to prospective homebuyers.
Put a deadline on visualization and material gathering, and make sure you have enough time to properly complete your bathroom and check to make sure there were no mistakes.
Need more remodeling advice? Send me an email anytime - I'm happy to help!
Source: Home Actions
Are you planning to refinance your home this year? If you're interested in lowering your mortgage payments, decreasing your interest rate or more, chances are you've probably thought about whether or not you should refi your mortgage. This lengthy process can have a number of advantages and disadvantages depending on your situation, so you'll have to weigh your options carefully before taking the plunge.
When you're ready to learn more about preparing for a new mortgage, here are six things you might not think of when refinancing your home.
These six things you might not think of when refinancing your home are important to take into account before you start shopping around for a new mortgage. Because a refi can lead to a number of benefits and costs down the road depending on the outcome, you'll need to prepare for every scenario before making a commitment.
Have you ever thought about becoming a landlord? Now may be a good time. The Urban Institute released a report with data detailing how the number of baby boomer renters is going to spike in the next 15 years. Because this phenomenon is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for property owners and landlords, you can think about the benefits and costs associated with renting out a property.
The number of baby boomer renters is expected to more than double from 2010 to 2030, so weigh your options to determine whether or not you should invest in rental property, becoming a landlord.
Why you should become a landlord
Why you should not become a landlord
Despite the drawbacks, however, it can be a great opportunity, and it's worth thinking about. The number of seniors living in rental units is expected to go from 5.8 million to 12.2 million over the course of the next two decades. Because this trend is something every property owner and landlord should pay attention to moving forward, it's also a unique opportunity for you to become a landlord and cater to this growing population of baby boomer renters.
A plan to invest in a rental property to work as a landlord could pay off over the next few years, so decide today whether or not this occupation is right for you to help secure your financial future. If you want to explore investment properties, give me a call!
Source: Home Actions
Wishing for efficient, effective home care? Make yourself a plan to tackle everything your busy life throws at you and make your job as Mom or Dad easier. Here are eight tips for keeping your family organized by implementing a home organization routine that will streamline your life.
A fast, simple route to an orderly living space and a prosperous family life is what every family needs. This collection of eight tips for keeping your family organized is a great place to start, so take each one to heart and make it work for you and your loved ones. When you're ready to take the next steps toward an active home organization system, I'm only a phone call away.
Source: Home Actions
Buying a home can be a very exciting process, but it is also one that can be riddled with unexpected expenses. Saving up for the down payment is only the first entry on a long list of expenses. Even once the home is purchased, the long-term increase in costs can come as a surprise to some.
Read on to learn some of the commonly overlooked costs that can shock new buyers.
1. Home inspection. Once you have made an offer on a home, you will be required to have the home inspected. This is mostly for the benefit of the buyer — an inspection can uncover problems that can be costly down the road — but it is a $200-$600 expense that comes right on the heels of your down payment.
2. Home appraisal. At the same time as you have the home inspection done, you will need to have the home appraised by a lender-approved, independent certified home appraiser. This individual will assess your property's value based on several factors, including your home's specific features as well as the sale price of similar properties in the area.
3. Property taxes. Sure, everyone knows about these, but the amounts can vary wildly from one locale to another, so don't make assumptions. Check your rates early in the process. Once you agree to a mortgage, you will typically be required to set up an escrow account. Into this account, you will deposit a monthly amount that covers your mortgage in addition to 1/12 of your anticipated property taxes and homeowners' insurance. This helps to assure the lender that you will be adequately protecting and insuring their investment, but it is an extra monthly amount that you might not be prepared for.
4. Utility costs. Like taxes, these can vary wildly. If you are moving from an apartment into a home for the first time, you might be shocked by the discrepancy in your monthly utility bills. In general, it is cheaper and easier to keep an apartment heated or air conditioned since it is surrounded on every side by other units of a similar temperature. A stand-alone home does not have this luxury, so make sure you anticipate higher-than-usual utility bills after relocating.
5. Homeowners' association fees. If you live in a community that is overseen by a homeowners' association, you will usually be expected to pay annual dues. Be sure to anticipate this expense, because it can easily come in the form of a several-hundred-dollar bill at the end of the year.
6. Flood insurance. If you live in an area that is prone to floods or hurricanes, make sure you purchase an additional insurance policy; standard homeowners' insurance will not cover these natural disasters. Speak with your insurance agent about the need for flood insurance.
7. Long-term maintenance costs. New homeowners in particular tend to forget that they are solely responsible for all maintenance costs. While you might only encounter an expensive repair once every five to 10 years, it is important to have a long-term savings account dedicated to home repairs. Experts recommend allocating 1 percent of the home's value toward home repairs each year. For example, if your house is worth $300,000, you should try to save $3,000 annually toward home repairs.
Source: Home Action