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6 High-Return Home Upgrades That Every Homeowner Should Consider
Posted on Tue, 31 Jan 2017, 09:15:00 AM  in Home selling tips
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All homeowners should have strategic plans for updating their properties throughout the years. These efforts are essential for keeping residential units on par with local standards and for ensuring high returns on these investments. Whether you intend to remain in your current abode for the rest of your life or want to sell your property for profit within the next several years, following are six, high-return upgrades that are well-worth consideration.

 6 High-Return Home Upgrades That Every Homeowner Should Consider

  1. New Siding

Having new siding installed is an investment that will pay for itself many times over. New siding will improve overall building insulation, thereby making it both cheaper and easier to maintain ambient temperatures indoors. This upgrade can be especially beneficial for buildings that have asbestos-containing siding at their exterior. It will eliminate the need for costly and unpleasant disclosures that can bring sales to a grinding halt, while additionally protecting the health of both residents and locals.

 

  1. High-End Rooftop Drainage Systems

Property owners are often encouraged to invest in projects that increase the curbside appeal of their units. While incorporating new landscaping features can certainly add aesthetic value, it is far better to focus on property additions that have intrinsic and functional value as well. One of the most popular improvements among savvy investors is the addition of all-copper gutters and downspouts. Copper gutter systems are incredibly durable and long-lasting. In fact, these additions are estimated to last for up to 100 years. They also beautify residential building structures and are capable of making them stand out, which can be especially beneficial if you're attempting to offload a unit that's surrounded by a number of similar-looking buildings.

 

  1. All-Copper Sinks

Copper isn't just a great addition for the outside of your property. It's also the perfect way to enhance the beauty, value and usability of bathroom and kitchen sinks. This metal has inherent, antimicrobial properties that naturally limit the presence of harmful bacteria. They're also less prone to rust and corrosion over time, even when used extensively. Available in a vast range of shapes, sizes and styles, both hammered and smooth copper sinks blend well with a number of contemporary and conventional decorating schemes to create a luxurious look that's surprisingly easy to maintain.

 

  1. Basement Finishing

For property owners with unfinished basements, investing in services to complete and enhance these spaces is the ideal way to build sweat equity. These projects greatly increase the amount of usable space at the interior of the home. At the very least, a finished basement can become a functional storage space. With vision and a slightly larger budget, a finished basement can also be turned into a functional wine cellar, an additional family room, an office or even an in-law apartment.

 

  1. Hardwood Floors Or Ceramic Tiles

The latest trends in modern property designs include a concerted move away from carpeted flooring. More consumers are concerned with maintaining acceptably high indoor air qualities. Carpet fibres can trap and retain pet dander, dust, dirt and many other allergens. Investing in hardwood flooring, ceramic tiles or other hard, durable flooring options will make your floors easier to maintain and can greatly increase the overall marketability of your property.

 

  1. Smart Home Technologies

Smart home technologies are investments that are virtually guaranteed to provide excellent returns, whether you want to sell or intend to stay right where you are. The addition of a smart thermostat will give you the ability to remotely control your home HVAC system for far more manageable energy bills. Smart security systems and smart entertainment features also make properties far more comfortable and convenient for all property residents.

Although many home improvement plans focus solely on the kitchens and bathrooms, there's much more that you can do to improve the value and appeal of your property throughout the years. Upgraded, rooftop drainage systems and smart features and functions will make it easier to attract qualified buyers in even the most competitive markets. New sinks with their own anti-microbial properties along with other strategic home additions can also greatly increase the level of enjoyment that you get from your home right now.


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Choosing Between Household Features
Saturday, 15 October 2016, 12:00:00 AM
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When you're deciding between various properties to buy, there are countless features that need to be evaluated. Every person and family will have different values placed on certain items, such as a home complete with a hot tub or master closet. Before you bid on any property, take a close look at the features that are part of the investment. The monetary and personal value will rise when you pick a property with those top, desired amenities.

 

Choosing Between Household FeaturesBedroom Quantities

The main household feature that must be considered is bedroom quantities. Ideally, choose a home that has at least one more bedroom than you currently need. A family may only count as three residents today, but another child or a returning relative might need an extra room in the near future. If the pricing is too high for an extra bedroom, look for a home that has large rooms. You can always build walls within these rooms to create small bedrooms if necessary. Growing families simply need more space as time goes by.

Exterior Features

Some buyers don't want a big yard to care for each week. Mowing, gardening and other chores may not be feasible for a busy household. You'll want to concentrate on a home with more structural space compared to exterior, square footage. In contrast, you may want a big yard in order to install a pool. Work with your real-estate agent to verify if certain properties can even have a pool installed. Exterior features may also include gazebos, fountains and patio areas. Consider your family's needs as they enjoy the great outdoors so that you can find a property that matches those desires.


Community Perks

Many properties reside in a gated community. You'll have association fees that pay for certain amenities. Explore these communities because they can have perks that everyone can enjoy. Recreational centers, gyms, pools and tennis courts are some of the common perks found in some communities. If most of the amenities don't thrill your family, paying the extra fees for their use won't be a good investment. You might find a better property down the road with no community perks but a larger, master bedroom.

 

Major Appliances

When you consider a property for sale, you're also investing in the major appliances. The electrical, HVAC and plumbing systems are all part of the home when it's transferred to your name. If any of these systems are malfunctioning, it can cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Allow the home inspector to give you a full report of each property's appliances. Be wary of any property that has questionable systems. There might be more problems that are hidden within the home. You want a property that has minimal issues from the moment that it's placed in your name.

 

Luxury Amenities

The family may want a room for the pool table or a freestanding guest house. These luxury amenities are possible, but you'll pay for their value. Make a list of every necessity and desire in a potential property. Because financial situations will differ for each family, you'll need to narrow down your luxury list as necessary. It's possible to find a deal on a fixer-upper property with a particular luxury item. Be aware of the home's benefits and drawbacks as you consider the investment.

If you have flexible time for your property purchase, you can wait for that perfect home. Properties enter the real-estate market every day so it's possible that a better home might be available in the near future. When you finally encounter this coveted property, bid on it as soon as possible. These opportunities may not arise very often.


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Habits of Effective Home Buyers
Posted on Tue, 15 Mar 2016, 10:00:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Marketing strategies,  My services,  spare room
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The home buying process is always strenuous and requires a lot of patience. In some cases, buyers run out of patience and give up or decide to settle for a home they don’t really like. There are also instances where after a long hunt, the buyers take it against their agents or the seller trying to cool themselves down. Most of these ugly cases can be avoided as the buyers themselves cause them. If you are a buyer and would like to go through the home buying process without much of a hassle, consider embracing the following habits:


1. Get Pre-Approved For a Loan
Before you begin a home search, find out how much loan you qualify for, and the type of mortgage too. There have been cases of prospective buyers falling in love with a home, and when it comes to approving the loan, they realize they qualify for less. In some states, you can’t submit an offer on a property without attaching a Pre-Qualification Form. Let’s say the dealer has received multiple offers, yours will be put at the bottom if it lacks this important document.

2. State What You Must Have and What You Can’t Have
By telling your real estate agent exactly what you are looking for, you make the search a lot easier. This includes specifying the number of bedrooms, bath homes, or even the neighborhood. This will narrow down the search, and save you time for moving here and there turning down every house that does not suit peopleyour needs.

3. Be Realistic
Set a realistic amount for the purchase. Don’t expect to get a mansion for pennies. Also, depending on the neighborhood, a house in a posh area can go for triple the price of its counterpart in a community surrounded by crimes and natural disasters.

4. Be Flexible
It is crucial to be flexible in the home buying process. If you are not having the house built to your specifications, you are unlikely to encounter a house that perfectly meets your expectations. You may find the perfect home, but you realize the colors or the flooring isn’t quite what pleases you. Know what to do with the things that don’t match your specifications, but don’t walk away hoping to meet the “perfect” house.

5. Be Respectful
When you are viewing potential homes, be respectful and responsible. You may be allowed to look into the closets to see their condition, to turn on the stove, or to flip light switches. Ensure you leave the home exactly as you found it. Don’t bang the doors or leave them wide open. Some sellers may be so much attached to their homes and would wish to leave them in the hands of people who would take care of the home. If you seem irresponsible, they may consider not sealing the deal with you.

6. Have Fun 
Buying a home is a tedious process, but if you choose to have a good time during the process, you will benefit greatly. This again involves your rapport with your agent. Treat your agent with respect and don’t look at him simply as a person you have employed to help you acquire an asset. Some people are hard on their agents such that they can’t have any light moments during the transaction. The agent can go a long way to ensuring you get a great deal as most of them have connections in the real estate market.

Following the above tips strictly makes the home buying process less stressful. To add to the list, choose your team wisely and work with the right people. Be open to your real estate agent to make the house search as easy as ABC.

 


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What to Do with a Spare Room When Selling Your House
Posted on Mon, 29 Feb 2016, 11:20:00 AM  in Home selling tips,  My services,  spare room
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Whether you decide to sell your home because you want to downsize or because you need more space, you might have a spare room in your house. This might be the room that your son or daughter used before moving away to college, your old office from when you worked at home or just a simple room that you use for storage and overflow. Buyers may take one look at the clutter in that room and decide to walk away without putting in an offer. Check out some easy and simple ways in which you can transform that spare room.

Exercise/Fitness Room
The health and fitness industry makes more than $1 billion every year around the world. Turning a spare room into an exercise and fitness room is a great way to appeal to those who want to get in shape. Simply add a few pieces of exercise equipment like a treadmill and weight bench, and paint the walls a bright color like yellow or sky blue. This is the perfect time to get your old equipment out of storage. You can also borrow some key pieces from friends or family or even rent equipment from staging companies.

Spare Bedroom
Young couples often looks for homes that have a guest bedroom because they dream of having family and friends stay overnight with them. If you have a spareoffice room that became a catch all for every room of your house, turn it into a beautiful and functional guestroom. Find a bed that fits the space but won't take over the room. As this is a guestroom, you can use a smaller bed like a full size or double. Add a comforter and matching linen set, some throw pillows and just a few key pieces of furniture like a dresser and a nightstand.

Home Office
As the number of people who work full or part time from home increases, the number of buyers looking for a home that has a dedicated office will also increase. A home office is a place where professionals can work without worrying about the kids running around the house or other distractions getting in their way. You really only need a simple desk and a chair to create a home office, but you might look for some other accent pieces as well. Try adding a few file cabinets, hanging some gorgeous prints on the wall and bringing in items like a computer and printer.

Child's Bedroom
Whether you had children who left the nest, or you haven't yet had children, you can make your home more appealing to buyers who have kids. Turn that spare room into a child's bedroom. A toddler bed or a twin bed with a nightstand, a small dresser and a mirror are all you need. Bring your child's toys and books in from storage, or ask friends to borrow some of their children's belongings. Those items give the room a homey and lived in look.

Home Theater
When you create a home theater room out of a spare bedroom, you appeal to those who love films and having fun at home. While some people spend thousands of dollars or more on televisions and other equipment, you can simply move a few items you already own into that room. Bring in a comfortable couch or futon, set up your television and DVD/Blu-Ray player and hang some movie posters on the walls. Make your home appeal to more buyers than ever before with a spare room that you transform before listing it.


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How to Make Saving for a Home Deposit Manageable
Posted on Tue, 16 Feb 2016, 10:15:00 AM  in Home buying tips,  Marketing strategies,  My services
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You have finally decided that it is time to go from renting to becoming a homeowner. Now you are faced with the daunting task of saving for the down payment. In most cases, that amounts to 20 percent of the property’s value. This may seem an impossible hill to climb, but the following tips can help you make your dream a reality.


Create a Budget:
Take a hard look at your monthly expenses to determine how much you can realistically set aside for savings. This is an excellent opportunity to eliminate the little expenses that can slowly drain your bank account. Consider taking your lunch to work instead of eating out or taking mass transport a couple of days a week instead of driving. These little changes can add up to significant savings.

Go Electronic:
Once you determine how much to set aside in savings each month, contact your payroll department to have that amount automatically deposited into a savings account each payday. As part of your budgeting process, you should also set up your reoccurring monthly expenses for automatic payment. This will relieve you of the stress of having to pay bills and eliminate the risk of late fees. 

Save Your Windfalls:
Most of us receive periodic pay raises or bonuses at work. Instead of using that extra money to splurge, automatically set it aside in savings. This is a painless budgetway to add quickly to your savings since you weren’t counting on these funds anyway.

Downsize:
Consider moving into a smaller apartment while saving for your new home. This can reduce your rent as much as 20 to 30 percent. Put the difference between your old and new rent into your savings each month. Moving to a smaller place also gives you an opportunity to pare down your belongs by selling off any unused items. This means even more money for your deposit. 

Live with Family:
More and more 18 to 35-year-olds are choosing to temporarily live with family while they save for their new home. You may have to give up a little privacy, but that is a small price to pay for the opportunity to have your own home.

Contribute Less to Your Retirement Account:
Consider capping your retirement account contributions to the maximum amount that your employer will match and direct the additional cash to your house savings. You are still planning and saving for the future, just in a different way. 

Get Support from Your Friends:
Let your friends and family know about your long-term plans and goals and that you will be making some lifestyle changes. For example, instead of meeting your friends for drinks every Friday, suggest you take turns hosting a weekly potluck at each other’s homes. You get to socialise with your friends while still sticking to your savings plan.

Finally, don’t deny yourself all of life’s little pleasures in your effort to be frugal. You are more likely to be successful in the long run if you do allow yourself the occasional discretionary expense. For example, if you eliminate your weekly night at the movies, consider subscribing to Netflix instead. You can enjoy your movie and popcorn at a fraction of the price.

 


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Decorate Your New Home On A Budget
Posted on Fri, 29 Jan 2016, 11:05:00 AM  in Marketing strategies,  My services
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Moving into your new home can cost a lot of money, from buying the home itself to hiring a moving company. You may find yourself on a tight budget for the next several months. Sticking to a budget does not mean you have to forget about decorating your new home. Use the following ideas to decorate your new home without going over your budget.


Work With What You Have: Working with what you already have is the best way to save money when decorating your new home. You may find throw pillows or an area rug that you never used in your old home. You can also give old furniture a new look with a little paint or decals.

Switch Things Up: You can also work with what you already have by switching up your existing decor. You can swap the throw pillows in your bedroom and living room, or frame a few extra photographs to place around the kitchen or dining room. Moving into your new home gives you a fresh start with the decor andhome artwork you already own.

Decorate Your Bookcase: You can turn a plain bookcase into a large piece of decor with just a few items. One idea is to line the interior of each shelf with removable wallpaper. You can also use books, bookends, framed photographs and vases to decorate the bookcase. Do not forget to decorate the top of the bookcase with a houseplant, flower arrangement or piece of art.

Double-Duty Furniture: Using double-duty furniture in your new home is a great way to save money and space. Examples of double-duty furniture include a storage ottoman or a pull-out couch. You can also create your own double-duty furniture by turning a daybed into a couch, dining table into a desk and a small drawer into a coffee table.

Do-It-Yourself Decor: What a better way to save money than by creating your own decor? Turn that snapshot you took at the beach into artwork by enlarging it, framing it and hanging it on the wall. Frame a piece of colorful paper and use it as a tray for your coffee or vanity. Use paint and modge podge solution to turn an old wine bottle into a new vase. You may even decide to paint your own work of art from scratch.

Go With Smaller Items: You can still purchase new decor without going over your budget. All you need to do is invest in smaller items such as scented candles, photo frames, houseplants, flower arrangements and novelty mugs.

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall: You can find affordable mirrors of different sizes at second-hand stores and flea markets. Mirrors with beautiful frames are perfect for decorating your new home. It is also a great way to create the illusion of more space.

Go For Second-Hand Items: You can shop at flea markets, garage sales, thrift stores and hotel liquidators for items. This is a great way to find home decor, furniture and accessories that are unique and affordable.

Use Self-Adhesive Decor: Why purchase new accessories when you can decorate the items you already own? One idea is to decorate your lampshade with self-adhesive appliques found in the craft store. You can also decorate your wall using decal stickers. The decals are removable, reuseable and come in a variety of designs.

You do not have to skip out on decorating your new home just because you are on a budget. All you have to do is touch up your existing items, shop for second-hand accessories and think outside the box. The best part is you have a chance to give your home a fresh start.

 


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ZOI OUZAS Sales Representative
RE/MAX Garden City Realty Inc., Brokerage
64 Main Street West, Grimsby ON L3M 1R6
Office: (905)-945-0660 Office: (905)-563-8527
CONTACT ME

 

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