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Articles Tagged "home repairs"

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August
24

 

Remodeling a home can be stressful whether it includes a room or a full addition. Five distinct stages exist which a homeowner experiences while remodeling: planning, budgeting, demolition, construction and cleanup. If a homeowner stays focused on the goals of a remodel, it is possible to feel less anxious and more excited as each step progresses closer to the end goal.

 

Planning

The main goal when starting out is to stay organized. Remodeling projects and home additions are challenging depending on the size and budget of a project. Start by listing 'must-haves' and stick to the product list to stay on budget and schedule. A minor change can cause delays.

 

Budgeting

Receive written estimates from licensed contractors, architects and designers. Resist the temptation of going with the first referral. Ask friends, family and others to provide names of people who assisted with similar remodels or additions and what the people paid for the work. Unless cash is set aside, an individual may be looking to pull financing from the home in the form of a home equity loan or refinancing opportunity. Depending on current equity in the home and interest rates, refinancing may be a better option. The project may increase the value of the home by more than its cost.

 

Demolition

Remove walls, wiring, carpet and flooring to get started in the demo phase. This remodeling phase is tough, dirty and gritty work but if people do it without help it can save alot of money to go back into the project for other amenities. It may be the shortest phase of the remodeling process but can wreak havoc on the home if a person is ill prepared.

 

Construction

Large projects such as a kitchen remodel or new addition might require a family to move out of the home to complete. Sometimes electricity, heat or water must be turned off to complete projects for a few days. If this does not work, find family, friends or a hotel to stay at while things are completed.

 

Cleanup

Cleaning up the mess from remodeling can be labor-intensive but doing it without outside help can offset costs. If time is a factor, it may be more beneficial to hire outside contractors for clean up. Once all the dust and debris is removed, decoration can begin on the newly renovated and remodeled home.

 

Design Tips

It may make sense to consider energy-efficient and eco-friendly products during the remodeling process. Many products such as appliances, windows, HVAC, front entry and garage doors offer tax rebates and savings on utility bills. A wide range of high-quality and affordable products are available. Check efficiency ratings of appliances and light fixtures to see what can be done and consider it a long-term investment into the home.




 


Looking for that Dream Home?  Let Choice Properties help you find what you're looking for!

August
10

Purchasing a second home can be a big step. Whether seeking a cabin in the woods, a getaway beach home or modern condo in the city, buying another property is a big decision. Here's how to know if now is the time to buy.

 

Affordability

Assessment of personal finances is critical in determining whether to purchase a second home. Beyond the cost of a second mortgage are other financial issues such as what interest is charged on a second mortgage. It may also depend if the home will be rented out as lenders consider rental properties a higher risk than those listed as primary residences. Other factors may include:

  • Insurance

  • Property taxes

  • Ongoing costs such as utilities (water, electric, gas, trash removal, etc)

  • Unexpected maintenance charges such as landscaping

  • Cost to hire a property manage to check on the property while away

 

Location

Having a property by the beach may sound great but it may not be a great investment. Some things to consider include:

  • Ability to visit the second home as often as desired

  • If not used as a rental, will home get used enough to make it worth the investment

  • Decide where is the ideal location before buying and whether it is affordable versus the time that will be spent using the property before purchase

 

Investigate

Chat with the insurance company to see what is next after finding the general area in which to buy a second home. Begin by speaking with the current insurer with whom a relationship is already established. A better rate may be available for multiple lines (existing home, cars, etc). Better rates may not necessarily be more inexpensive. If potential new property is prone to flooding, insurance rates may be higher. Homes with swimming pools also have higher rates as do pools with no fence or gate which may not have coverage available at all.

 

Find the Home

After all possible expenses are accounted for and a neighborhood is identified, contact a real estate agent to get started. Once settled, soak in the benefits of the new home. A vacation in the comfort of one's own home is a true luxury. When time is spent with family and friends in the new home, the cost savings will become apparent compared to vacation rentals. Privacy and no crowds (like in hotels) are another added bonus of having one's own property. Financial benefits may exist in the long term even if the property is not rented out. Tax benefits may help lessen the financial burden. A vacation home is a space to unwind, relax and enjoy time with loved ones. Soak it in and enjoy the new home.

 

Get more advice on the steps that you need to take to owning a second home.

Contact one of our agents today.

July
6

People are visual when looking at homes. Curb appeal begins with most homes by looking at garage doors and spaces. If a garage door is in poor shape or is not well maintained, a home's appeal can go up rather quickly with a few adjustments and updates to suit any budget and style.

 

Timing

Replace garage doors during warm, dry weather. Hire a pro to help get the job done within a few hours.

 

Hiring

A garage door professional will have the most experience and expertise to fit and install the garage door and do the work needed to make it look nice.

 

Permits

A reputable pro will be able to say whether a permit is needed or not for the work. Contact the city or county government agency in the home's area to find out regulations and requirements before starting work.

 

Materials

The following are some materials which will be needed to get the job done:

  • Wood offers the widest range of options for design and works well in all climates. Cost is higher for wood than other materials.

  • Steel is less expensive than wood but can also rust and is not recommended in coastal areas.

  • Aluminum costs more than steel but does not rust. Coastal homes often benefit from the use of this material.

  • Tempered glass in an aluminum or wood frame can be well suited to modern and contemporary homes.

  • Fiberglass and vinyl are budget-friendly options which do not rust but may offer limited design options. Materials may also crack in colder weather.

 

Door Types

Several types of doors exist to fit any style or budget:

  • Sectional doors are the most common type. The doors typically roll up and down on tracks

  • Sliding doors are also known as barn-style doors that require a wider garage wall to accommodate the door once open

  • Swing-out doors are double doors that swing out when open. This style is not a good fit for cold climates with snow drifts that may block the doors from closing.

 

Expect doors to run anywhere from $300-$10,000 depending on the type of material and installation costs associated with having a professional remove, dispose of and install the new doors.

 

Design

Match the style of the new doors with the home, keeping in mind architectural features, materials and colors. Some tips to follow include:

  • Update Spanish colonial with a wooden garage door with iron hinges

  • Add rustic barn-style door to the farmhouse

  • Add a wooden garage door with rectilinear windows and trim to a Craftsman home

  • Match a modern home with a glass-paneled garage door

 

Getting Started

Follow these tips to get started on revamping the garage:

  • Browse photos online for ideas

  • Ask for recommendations from friends, neighbors and professionals

  • Have a professional measurement done, especially if custom doors may be needed

 

Get more advice on all the creative ways that you can revamp your garage.

Contact one of our agents today.

March
10

One of the reasons people search for investment property in Ohio is to gain financial freedom. Financial independence is possible with an investment property if a person knows how to go about finding the right home and the ins and outs of putting money into an additional place. There are many benefits to purchasing such an investment in Ohio, especially Indian Lake, as prices are low and demand is going up for homes by the water. To increase cash flow, an investment property can be leased or rented out and eventually sold for profit. The appeal of injecting cash into a property which can build equity and profit later is possible. Follow these steps to   get started.

 

Establish a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC)

An LLC is a private limited company which is a designated business structure. This is ideal for smaller businesses because it limits and shield's an entrepreneur's personal liability risk by the enterprise's liabilities. Any individual who uses an LLC does so to protect their rights as business owner against legal issues.

 

Find a Good, Reputable Real Estate Agent

A good real estate agent can find out immediately if a property will be a worthwhile investment. They will know the area and market values to help make the best choice. When a property is selected, cash will need to be available on hand for a 20% deposit. A good lender is key to help process the loans in a timely fashion. Choice Properties has excellent trained, qualified real estate agents available to help in the selection of an investment property in Indian Lake, Ohio and beyond.

 

Property Rehab

Homes are prone to wear and tear and investment properties are no exception. As years go by, a property will need upkeep as it may not be well taken care of by tenants. Damage is an inevitable part of owning a home so keeping a fund available for leaky roofs, new heating units and more is a consideration.

 

Contracts

Be selective when choosing renters for a property. Rent arrangements need to be covered in a contract. Failure to outline this in a written agreement may result in difficulties later if the need to evict a tenant arises or if other issues come up.

 

Patience

Patience is important when searching for investment property in Ohio. Indian Lake is an area with lots to offer but it will take time to locate the best property. It is time consuming to search for contractors and good renters. Taking time now will save a headache later so be patient, take time and do it right from the start.

 

Business First

Do not let renters get away with anything. After all, an investment is part of one's financial portfolio which can affect the quality of life. It is better to kick out a poor tenant for non payment or other issues than let the issue linger and risk losing money.

 

Choice Properties has agents ready to speak with you about investment properties in Indian Lake, Ohio.                                      Don't wait, call today at 937-842-2244 to discuss the options and get started!

 

Get more advice on steps it takes to own an investment property.

Contact one of our agents today.

November
10

Want to give your home a face lift but don't have a magically refilling wallet? With a budget of about $5,000 and a solid game plan, you can get a fresh new feel for your home this winter!

Home Improvements on a Budget

When working with limited funds, it's best to focus on the kitchen and bathrooms. These are the areas which are used the most, and if there's a chance you'll be selling your home anytime in the future, these are also the areas that buyers will show the most scrutiny over. With some finesse, you can even look at adding living space by enhancing your available outdoor areas.

Kitchens

A functional kitchen is a beautiful kitchen so start by assessing your cabinet situation. How practical are they? Could you use deeper cupboards? Taller? Wine-racks and spice storage might be beneficial, as well as a walk-in pantry to not only make better use of the space, but give you better control over your food supplies. Knowing what you have on hand will ultimately help out your grocery bill!

If you're happy with the cabinetry, other areas you can consider upgrading/updating are lighting and plumbing fixtures. Again, look for replacements that are not only 'pretty' but have 'green' benefits. These will eventually pay you back in utility bill savings, not to mention you can claim eco upgrades on your taxes. Win-win: help the environment AND put money in your pocket.

Bathrooms

Carry the green theme into your bathrooms. Update lighting and plumbing. While you're at it, consider giving the outdated tub/shower a facelift. Nothing says luxury like a tiled shower area, complete with a bench and a shelf area to house your assorted soaps and shampoos.

Outdoor Improvements

Create an outdoor living area to give your usable living space a boost. Actually building on new rooms can get quite costly, but a few dollars can go a long way toward turning a bland patio into an oasis. Things you'll want to keep in mind when creating your outdoor escape:

  • granite, pavers, or flagstone for the 'floor'

  • mulch landscape beds for visual appeal (if you don't have landscaping, consider a few potted plants)

  • provide shade by building a pergola or installing a retractable awning

  • if in a hot climate, consider installing outdoor fans and/or a misting system

  • water features will help with temperature as well, and can provide an audible escape


If you're looking to bring some life and energy to your home, a $5,000 budget can add quite a bit of flair and improvement to your house. Homes in Logan County are always beautiful but the upgrades keep them fresh. If you've recently updated your home, let us know!  Send us a picture and we'll feature it on our blog!

 

For more tips on how to upgrade your home with the buyer in mind.

Contact one of our agents for special advice.

 

September
21

 

It's a well-known fact that with homeownership comes home repairs. It doesn't matter if the house is new or if it's a property that has been in the family for generations, Life happens and things break. Professionals can always be called in to do the repairs, at a cost to your monthly budget, so it's best to save them for the really big break downs, like busted water heaters, roof replacements, or new HVAC systems. The common things that crop up can be handled on your own with a standard toolbox and maybe a run . . . or two, to your nearest home improvement store.

 

1. Leaky faucets, running toilets

Per the EPA, ten percent of US homes have leaks which are wasting more than 10,000 gallons of water annually due to worn out gaskets, flappers, drippy faucets, and leaky valves. Here are some ways to confirm whether you have a leak:

  • Take a reading on your water meter before and after a two-hour water period of no water use on the property. If you get any differences in your findings, a leak is likely.

  • Test toilet tanks by by placing a drop of food coloring in the tank and waiting about fifteen minutes. If water in the bowl takes on any coloring, then you have a leak. Flush to avoid staining the tank.

  • If a visual inspection of pipes, faucet gaskets, and pipe fittings reveals any water on their exteriors, then you probably have a leak.

Once a leak is confirmed, if you're unsure how to proceed you can start by talking to the experts at your local home-improvement hangout, or you can always Google for tips. Remember, if the project gets too big for you to handle, go ahead and call in the professionals rather than risk a house flood!

 

2. Cracked paint or siding

Besides looking nice, it's important to maintain the exterior of your home in order to protect it from the elements and critters. Cracked, peeling, or dusty paint (or caulk, vinyl, stucco, brick, etc.) is a sure sign that the structural integrity of your abode could be at jeopardy. If you catch it in the early stages, you should be able to handle the task yourself. Bringing in hired painters will land you a bill for a few thousand dollars at least, depending on the size of the house.

 

3. Garbage disposal jam

WARNING: Always make sure the disposal switch is OFF before you stick your hand or any other object down the drain.

Garbage disposals have an average life of about ten years. If you use it a lot, or abuse what you put down it, it's going to die much sooner. With the aid of the owner's manual, and that wonderful "RESET" button, disposals can be an easy fix. Should full replacement become necessary, you can spend a couple hundred and probably a handful of cuss words as you work or you can spend twice as much to pay a plumber to do it.

 

4. Nail pops

Most foundations will have some degree of shifting over their lifetime. Heat and cold, wet and dry weather, and even wind strengths tax the structure. Oftentimes nail pops are the result of this. Minor ones from initial settling can be fixed by driving the nails deeper, refinishing, and touching up with paint. However, if they are excessive or are suddenly appearing after years, you probably need to bring in contractors to look at the bigger picture. Home warranties and insurance will help you incur the cost of foundation repairs.

 

5. Cracks in the concrete

Your driveway, patio, and sidewalks are constantly exposed to the elements. Extreme weather, improper mixing, shrinkage during curing, pressure from vehicle loads and even old tree roots can contribute to these places beginning to crack and breakdown. Much like the house exterior, water and pests can get into these cracks which will only aggravate the problem the longer it's left untended. If you've had experience with concrete mixing and laying, by all means take on the repairs yourself, but for most homeowners, this IS going to be one for the trained professionals.

 

Tensions can run high when things start to fall apart around you, so if you share a home with somebody, do you and your partner a favor . . . don't let your relationship get added to the "honey-do" list. It's so much easier to get things done with teamwork.

 

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