Renovate or Change?

How to Renovate a House on a Budget: The Best Tips

A complete home renovation can cost anywhere from $40,000 to $60,000! So, if you’re a new homeowner, you likely don’t have the budget to tackle that kind of a renovation.

Thankfully, you can put together a fully renovated home for much cheaper. Here are some great tips to show you exactly how to renovate a house on a budget. Your dream home is right around the corner.

Make A Budget

The saying goes that a project will take as much time as you allot for it. The same thing goes with your home improvement projects.

If you don’t decide your budget before you start, your renovation will take up as much as it needs to. This can end up being much more than you can afford.

So, before you even start putting together plans, put together a budget. Make a list of the renovations you want in your home and do some market research. Figure out how much those renovations typically cost.

Once you have a budget in place, you can move forward with the rest of your renovation.

Plan, Plan, Plan

Before you renovate anything, you should have an idea of exactly what you want your new space to look like. This will help you maintain your focus.

It will help you identify weak spots in your renovation plan before you even start. Maybe you hang a color palette for your kitchen, then a month later you realize you don’t really like those colors. At least you determined that before you bought the paint and other items in those colors.

A solid plan will keep you from getting distracted by the latest fads and trends. You know exactly what you want. Maybe you have decided that you want a sleek kitchen. So, when wicker trends come into style, even though you love the look, that means you won’t be using any wicker in your new kitchen.

Paint Is Your Best Friend

Often, a new coat of paint goes a long way when it comes to giving your home a new feel. As often as possible, repaint instead of replacing. This applies to cabinets, walls, doorframes, and even doorknobs.

Doorknobs themselves can cost anywhere from $10 to $60 each! A can of metallic spray paint will run about $8.

If you can upgrade it with a new coat of paint, and it already functions well, then there’s no need to replace it. This alone can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Repainting walls can give rooms a brand-new feel, and it doesn’t cost much. You can opt for classic styles or look online at samples of rooms you like or search for a color palette that you think would look wonderful in your home.

Focus On Your ROI

If you plan to sell your home in the next few years, focus on renovations that are likely to have the highest ROI. Of course, this is your home too. So, if there’s something you would love in your renovation, add it.

Kitchen remodels, decks, and improving your curb appeal typically see the biggest ROI. Replacing the garage door is expected to provide a return of 97.5%.

Different projects have different rates of return. As you renovate your house, keep in mind three things.

Why Do You Want This Renovation?

If your home wishes involve big bay windows and a little breakfast nook, then go for it.

But remember that the reason you’re adding this renovation is that you want it. Don’t expect a return on investment, and seriously consider if the cost will be worth it.

Is The ROI Worth It Right Now?

If you’re doing a renovation for the ROI, hopefully, you plan to sell your house soon. If not, it may not be worth it right now. The newer the renovation, the better the ROI. People like to know they won’t have to fix something for a long while.

If you don’t plan to sell your home soon, and your current appliances still work, postpone it. This will help spread out your expenses so you can handle them better.

Is It Good Enough Right Now?

Consider if you need a full renovation. Is an appliance functionally sound, and just needs some cosmetic improvement? If that’s the case, you can save big bucks by holding on to functioning appliances longer.

Upcycle And Recycle As Much As Possible

Habitat for Humanity ReStore sells excess building materials. You can save money by shopping there instead of Home Depot.

Where possible (and practical) look to use recycled materials as much as possible. Not only will this help your bottom line, but it’s also better for the environment too.

Upcycling old decor can add a lot to your home’s personality as well. For instance, if your bathroom needs a new mirror, consider shopping at thrift stores. A beautiful antique mirror will do a lot more for your space than a slab of glass from Wal-Mart.

Pay Attention To The Pay Off

Especially when you renovate and update appliances, pay attention to the cost-saving value. Sure, an eco-friendly fridge might be more expensive initially. But by replacing it, it will save an average of $270 over the next five years.

The more you do this throughout your home, the bigger your annual savings. One of the best places to focus on eco-friendly choices is actually with your lighting.

Switching to eco-friendly bulbs or adding dimmer switches can give you a bigger pay back. Plus, the mood lighting in your home can make the environment more vibrant or cozy, depending on your design.

Don’t Forget Landscaping

A dead yellow lawn takes away a lot from an otherwise beautiful home.

When you’re planning your landscaping, consider what you predominantly use the space for.

If you love reading in a hammock, you can fill your lawn with bushes, tall flowers, and decorative stones. Then add a little end table next to your hammock for an umbrella and a book.

But if you have three active boys, you will probably want to invest in the turf that can withstand a lot of wear and tear. Don’t skimp on your lawn if it’s going to have to handle a lot of activity. If you skimp it could be destroyed within a year.

Another good idea is turning some of your outdoor space into a garden. If your HOA allows, you might be able to do this with both your back and front yard. This gives you much better use of the space than an empty lawn. It’s decorative, beautiful, and good for the environment.

Plus, you’ll have healthy homegrown vegetables all year round. This, in turn, can cut down on your grocery expenses.

Most importantly, focus on sustainability in your yard. Try to incorporate the natural landscape around you. Decorate with plants local to the area. They’ll last longer and grow healthier. They’ll also be less of a drain on your water supply and require less attention.

Even if you live in a desert, you can have stunning landscaping that fits the place you live in.

Final Tips

You’re a frugal person who knows how to make a dollar stretch. Don’t forget to use the money-saving hacks you already know when it comes to a renovation.

Take advantage of deals and DIY where you can. But don’t be afraid to pay for a professional on hard issues like electric and plumbing.

Focus on big impact renovations first, like flooring, lighting, and paint. Then pay attention to your small impact renovations.

Remember, little details have a big impact. This is your space, so create it the way you want.

Focus On Interior Design

If your home feels outdated, the issue might not be your home. It could be your furniture that’s the problem. These days, people are focusing on designing cozy, chic, and eco-friendly interiors.

Consider trading in your furniture for something that better suits your space. Put in the effort to make it feel exactly the way you want. Pretty paint won’t help much if your couch still looks like it comes from the seventies.

Look for ideas to decorate your home online. Pinterest and other site have thousands of ideas that you can look at to glean details that will make your space just the way you want it. You can also get inspiration from magazines or googling ideas for remodels.

Focus on how much space you have. For example, if you live in a tiny home, you don’t want to look up remodels for gorgeous huge kitchens. You want something that fits the space you have. This will make it practical, and more fitting for you.

Now You Know Exactly How To Renovate A House On A Budget

These tips show you exactly how to renovate a house on a budget. It takes a bit more creativity, but it’s not hard. Often, you can get an entirely new feel for your home by painting or upgrading your furniture.

With these tips, your dream home renovation is right around the corner.

Looking to sell your current home or buy a new one? Call me 732.245.4031

5 Real Estate Reality TV Myths Explained

5 Real Estate Reality TV Myths Explained

5 Real Estate Reality TV Myths Explained | MyKCM

Have you ever been flipping through the channels, only to find yourself glued to the couch in an HGTV binge session? We’ve all been there, watching entire seasons of shows like “Property Brothers,” “Fixer Upper,” and “Love It or List It,” all in one sitting.

When you’re in the middle of your real estate-themed TV show marathon, you might start to think everything you see on the screen must be how it works in real life. However, you may need a reality check.

Reality TV Show Myths vs. Real Life:

Myth #1: Buyers look at 3 homes and decide to purchase one of them.
Truth: There may be buyers who fall in love and buy the first home they see, but according to the National Association of Realtors, the average homebuyer tours 10 homes as a part of their search.  

Myth #2: The houses the buyers are touring are still for sale.
Truth: Everything is staged for TV. Many of the homes shown are already sold and are off the market. 

Myth #3: The buyers haven’t made a purchase decision yet.
Truth: Since there is no way to show the entire buying process in a 30-minute show, TV producers often choose buyers who are further along in the process and have already chosen a home to buy. 

Myth #4: If you list your home for sale, it will ALWAYS sell at the open house.
Truth: Of course, this would be great! Open houses are important to guarantee the most exposure to buyers in your area, but they are only one piece of the overall marketing of your home. Keep in mind, many homes are sold during regular showing appointments as well. 

Myth #5: Homeowners decide to sell their homes after a 5-minute conversation.
Truth: Similar to the buyers portrayed on the shows, many of the sellers have already spent hours deliberating the decision to list their homes and move on with their lives and goals.

Bottom Line

Having an experienced professional on your side while navigating the real estate market is the best way to guarantee you can make the home of your dreams a true reality.

3 Fundamental Changes in Real Estate

The 3 changes are in the way buyers search for, view prospective homes and they have changed What they buy as well.
There were always 3 groups of buyer:
Top – Tier buyers: These buyers are willing to pay a premium. This group looks for move in ready homes that have all the amenities they are looking. Homes that have been updated to current trends and New Construction.

Middle -Tier buyers: This group of buyers look for home in the “original” condition, hoping to get it at a decent price and then improve the home over time with sweat equity

Bottom – Tier: This third group were contractors and flippers looking for distressed properties that they could buy at 60% to 70% of retail value.

The middle tier which historically represented a significant percentage of market sales is now disappearing.
Today’s buyers are paying more to obtain mon-in ready homes that look like the finished properties on HGTV.

The past few years there have been societal shifts as homebuyers, for many reasons, are less willing or even capable of fixing up a home they’ve purchased.

They know exactly what they like and almost have no idea how to get it done on their own.

With buyers moving away from “original condition” properties  they percieve ass needing alot of work and upgrades, it pushed the middle tier down to the botoom and needs to be priced accordingly.

Most Sellers who do not understand this NEW Reality stand to get far less than imagined.

5 Seller Myths

hy Access Is One of the Most Important Factors

in Getting Your House Sold!

Why Access Is One of the Most Important Factors in Getting Your House Sold! | MyKCM

So, you’ve decided to sell your house. You’ve hired a real estate professional to help you through the entire process, and they have asked you what level of access you want to provide to your potential buyers.

There are four elements to a quality listing. At the top of the list is access, followed by conditionfinancing, and price. There are many levels of access that you can provide to your agent so that he or she can show your home.

Here are five levels of access that you can give to buyers, along with a brief description:

  1. Lockbox on the Door – this allows buyers the ability to see the home as soon as they are aware of the listing, or at their convenience.
  2. Providing a Key to the Home – although the buyer’s agent may need to stop by an office to pick up the key, there is little delay in being able to show the home.
  3. Open Access with a Phone Call – the seller allows showings with just a phone call’s notice.
  4. By Appointment Only (example: 48-Hour Notice) – Many buyers who are relocating for a new career or promotion start working in that area prior to purchasing their home. They often like to take advantage of free time during business hours (such as their lunch break) to view potential homes. Because of this, they may not be able to plan their availability far in advance or may be unable to wait 48 hours to see the house.
  5. Limited Access (example: the home is only available on Mondays or Tuesdays at 2 pm or for only a couple of hours a day) – This is the most difficult way to be able to show your house to potential buyers.

With more competition coming to the market this spring, access can make or break your ability to get the price you are looking for, or even sell your house at all.

What Would Make You Sell Your House?

What Would Make You Sell Your House? | MyKCM

There are many reasons why a homeowner decides to sell their house and move. The latest Generational Trends Report from the National Association of Realtors asked recent home sellers to share their reason for moving.

The younger the respondents, the more likely their top response centered around needing a larger home (ages 29 to 53). Relocating for a job was the top reason for those ages 54 to 63 and the second most popular response for those under 53. The chart below shows the breakdown for these two reasons.

What Would Make You Sell Your House? | MyKCM

For homeowners over the age of 64, wanting to be closer to friends and family served as the top motivator to move. Downsizing to a smaller home or moving due to retirement came in as a close second and third.

What Would Make You Sell Your House? | MyKCM

Have you outgrown your current house? Are you a homeowner who can relate to wanting to be closer to family and friends? Is your house becoming a burden to clean now that the kids have moved out?

Bottom Line

Let’s get together to set you on the path to selling your current house and finding the home that fits your needs, today!

Homeowners: Now Is A Good Time To Sell Your House

Homeowners: Now Is A Good Time To Sell Your House | MyKCM

Every month, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) releases their Seller Traffic Index as a part of their Realtors Confidence Index. In the latest release, NAR reported that homeowners have been reluctant to sell their houses. This is reflected when broken down by state. Only 11 states have a stable level of seller traffic compared to the remainder of the country, which came in with a weak rating.

As we can see in the following table, the number of people who moved last year is half of what the rate was in the 1980s.

Homeowners: Now Is A Good Time To Sell Your House | MyKCM

This does not come as a surprise, as tenure length (the number of years someone owns a home before moving again) among existing homeowners has increased. It has risen from an average of 6 years from 1985 to 2008, up to 9.5 years over the last few years. This is shown in the graph below:

Homeowners: Now Is A Good Time To Sell Your House | MyKCM

As we can see, there is a pent-up seller demand!

What led to this change in behavior? Falling prices during the housing crisis led to many homeowners having negative equity in their home, meaning they owed more on their mortgage than the home was worth. Others were able to secure a low interest rate on their mortgage and have not been quick to obtain a new mortgage with a higher rate.

Will this trend continue?

Recently NAR reported that “69% of people believe now is a good time to sell a home.”

With a strong economy, low interest rates, and wages continuing to rise, some homeowners will be ready to put their house on the market and move up to the home of their dreams!

Bottom Line

There is a great opportunity for sellers to take advantage of the current real estate market before new inventory comes to market. If you are considering selling your house or would like to know your options, let’s get together today to help you understand the possibilities available to you!

Why Are So Few Homes for Sale?

Why Are So Few Homes for Sale? | Simplifying The MarketWhy Are So Few Homes for Sale? | Simplifying The Market

Why Are So Few Homes for Sale?

There is no doubt that the largest challenge in today’s housing market is a lack of housing inventory for sale. This challenge has been defined as an “overwhelming lack of supply,” and even a “straight up inventory crisis.”

First American just released the results of a survey which sheds light on the reasons for the current lack of supply.

The survey asked title agents and real estate professionals to identify what they believe are the top reasons for this lack of inventory in their markets. Here are the results of the survey:

  • 47% – existing homeowners are worried that they will not be able to find a home to buy
  • 5% – first-time buyer demand is absorbing a large share of available homes
  • 3% – existing homeowners’ mortgage rates are lower than the current rates
  • 6% – insufficient or negative equity in the home
  • 6% – foreign buyer demand is absorbing a large share of available homes

As the survey revealed, there is a shortage of current homeowners willing to put their homes on the market for one of three reasons (see numbers 1, 3 and 4 above).

Is this an opportunity for some homeowners?

The report on the survey explains:

“The crowd has spoken, and it seems in many markets home buyers and sellers alike are ‘imprisoned’ by the lack of housing inventory.”

That leaves a tremendous opportunity for every homeowner not facing these concerns. If you can put your home on the market today, you are subject to far less competition than at any time in recent history. That will result in your home selling quickly and for the highest possible price.

Bottom Line

While many homeowners are feeling imprisoned for multiple reasons, those who are not handcuffed by these concerns have a once in a lifetime opportunity to sell their houses at a peak selling time.

236 Fair HAven Rd, Fair Haven NJ SOLD

Testing my new wide angle lens during my open house at 236 Fair Haven Rd. NJ. Lot’s of people coming to this open house because we dropped the price 10,000 to $479,000 and as a result I am hoping someone will definitely put pen to paper.

It is interesting to see how much more you can get with a wide-angle lens. I also tested my tripod in standing position as well as holding it with my hand to see if I still jiggle and as you can see no jiggling.
there does seem to be a little distortion but not a lot of fish eye which I was afraid of. You do get a good sense of the rooms.

 

42 Riverside Oceanport NJ

42 Riverside Ave Oceanport
Back on the Market.

BREAKING NEWS: Short Sales continue into 2010

With the economy on the brink of recession, job loss at an all time high, foreclosures rising, inventory at still-high levels, and home sales sluggish, many current homeowners are asking for help. If a homeowner can no longer make mortgage payments, they are suffering some kind of hardship, and their home is now worth less than is owed, foreclosure or bankruptcy are not the only options. Call Gloria Benaroch for your options and contacts you can make.
 
A short sale, in real estate terms, is the sale of a house in which the sale price is less than what the owner still owes on the mortgage. It is a procedure sometimes agreed to by lenders, who would rather take a loss and get paid today than go through the lengthy and costly foreclosure process.
 
Without a short sale, if the property is sold, the Seller will have to to pay the difference between what was borrowed and what the property is worth today. This scenario has become very common in recent months as the real estate market adjusts and values declineand will become more prevalent as we enter into the new year 2010. Many homeowners purchased at the peak of the market, refinanced and the properties are no longer worth what was paid for them.

You are NOT ALONE!

Call and speak to Gloria Benaroch and see how she may help you or put you in contact with those that can.
 
A short sale will protect the property from being lost to foreclosure or bankruptcy and provides clients with the opportunity for a fresh start.
 
With the extended tax credit first time home buyers are out there looking. They need to be in contract by April 30, 2010.
 
stay tuned fro more information as I learn, experience and pass it on and ALWAYS consult your attorney, tax accountant etc.

 

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