Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 6/24/2019

These days, homeowners are very busy renovating and improving their property, according to a HomeAdvisor survey. The homeowners who participated in that survey admitted they had spent an average of over $6,600 on repairs and improvements in 2018, and almost 50 percent of these homeowners were thinking about doing more renovations.

What is driving all this home improvement? Part of the reason is that a lot of potential buyers are buying places that need work as home prices are becoming so high. So, many people are remodeling rather than moving when they want more or better space.

Home renovations are a serious project. Many individuals renovate to update and upgrade their homes as well as increase property values. There are many ways you can pay for home repairs. Below you will find the three smartest ways to cover those costs.

1. Saved-up Cash

This option can be effective if you have a separate emergency fund saved and can save what you need before renovations become critical.

If you had saved up enough cash, you probably would not be reading this post as you are here to know how you finance your home repairs with your available funds! But still, the best way to pay for a home renovation is with the cash you've saved over the years so that you can keep your total debt at the lowest level. 

Of course, your patience can wear down when you see your core rooms like the kitchen and the bathroom going down the drain. You know waiting until you have cash is not realistic at all as you should not delay critical repairs for a long time. If you neglect a leaky roof, it might turn into a bigger and more expensive problem.

However, if you are not sure how critical a repair is, especially for something like the roof or anything structural, consult a real estate professional such as a licensed a home inspector.

2. Home Improvement Loan

If you do not have enough cash in your savings to fund your renovation project, there is still hope; you can get a personal home improvement loan. This option allows you to secure loan money without putting your house at risk. If you go for an unsecured personal loan, you will probably get more than you can on a credit card. 

However, pay attention: it is more sustainable not to borrow more than you need for your repairs. No matter how much you borrow, make absolutely sure that you know the amount of your overall monthly payments.

3. Home Equity Line of Credit

Using home equity is a viable option if you have at least 20 percent equity in your home and do not need over $25,000 as well as want to make a series of smaller home improvements.

The HELOC or home equity line of credit works in the same way as a credit card. You do not have to borrow and pay interest on the complete sum all at once. Instead, you borrow and pay as you go. With this arrangement, this option makes a HELOC an excellent choice for not-too-large renovations or a series of small home improvements.

Wrapping Up…Home repairs and renovations can be expensive to handle, but there are many ways to pay for them. So, you should plan your budget before embarking on a home renovation project as the cost of most repair works can increase considerably.





Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 6/20/2019

Some houses benefit from extensive care over the years, while others show a lot of tough love. When it comes time to move on and sell your house, it might need repairs to get top dollar when selling. Fixing it up to sell is one option, but for those selling hurriedly without extra funds for significant repairs, here are tips for selling a house that may need a little work "as-is."

Clean it Up

Keeping your house neat and tidy can go a long way. While looking around at the ins and outs of your home, the day-to-day living will show. It is always worth giving a great first impression to a potential buyer. Buyers that see a cluttered house also will see that there aren't many storage options. 

A delightful and maintained garden creates an appealing outer appearance. If there is not much to your landscaping, there are options to create a more welcoming lawn. If dealing with mostly concrete, adding gravel can be soothing to the eye. The area will become more attractive with this simple addition. Getting rid of weeds, keeping the grass trimmed, and adding some potted flowers can make quite a difference. Don't be afraid to stand out!

Another simple clean-up task is the windows. Most buyers head to windows right away to get a view of the house. Clean windows and sills can change a good impression to a great one. 

Display Outstanding Features

Every house has its own unique gems. Don't be afraid to boast about the good qualities of your house. Floor plans, original fixtures, or anything unusual about the house are useful to point out to any type of buyer.

Create a focus on your selling points. A beautiful patio, ample storage, and distinctive views matter to many buyers and help with the transition of a sale. 

Highlight the location of the house as well. If the house is in a well-known, desired neighborhood, be sure to point it out. Don't forget to mention public transportation, schools in the area, and the commute to specific stores or parts of town. People desire to live in a great house, but they also want great surroundings. 

Sweat the Small Stuff

Taking the initiative to fix smaller repairs can be beneficial. Huge renovations aren't always needed. To make your place have a better appearance, often cosmetic repairs are what is necessary: Any holes or stains on the walls and ceilings should be taken care of right away. Deep cleaning appliances and bathrooms will go a long way. Leaky pipes and other small broken fixtures should be fixed immediately. Broken hinges and doors are noticeable but also easy to fix. 

The Price is Right

Presenting a charade isn't the goal here. The buyer will see the amount of work needed to achieve their dream house, and that should be reflected in the price as well. An overpriced property can turn away a lot of buyers.

Rely on the advice and expertise of your real estate professional to help you set the correct pricing for a quick but profitable sale.





Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 5/17/2019

Buying a home without of permit for remodeling comes with a lot of risks. Searching for a home to buy can be an exciting undertaking, but there are numbers of factors to consider before purchasing a house. You should find out if the house has a permit for remodeling and if the home you are about to buy has had improvements, you need to know whether those improvements were permitted. 

Most times, homeowners end up with unpermitted renovations to save time and money. Your county building inspector has to ensure that all homes comply with the existing laws that pertain to home remodeling. They also have the authority to enforce the rules. What happens if you are buying a house without a remodeling permit? Here are some risks involved: 

You will not be aware of renovations 

One of the dangers of buying a property without a remodeling permit is that the buyer will not know about the past improvements that have been done. There are disparities in state laws when it comes to the amount of information a seller must disclose to the buyer. It is always better if a seller can still provide a buyer with all the necessary documentation. 

The Buyer will be responsible for fixing the problem 

If the code enforcement department in your locality discovers that you the buyer is working on remodeling without a permit, you are regarded as the current occupant of the home and will be responsible for the payments of penalties and licenses. This applies even if the occupant has just purchased the house and knew nothing about it. To fix the issue, you might be required to make minor changes or tear down some parts and rebuild. You might also be ordered to remove all the unpermitted remodeling. 

You may be asked to pay back taxes 

Owing some taxes is another risk associated with buying a house without renovation permit. If the taxing authority in your locality discover that remodeling took place without permission, the present occupant may be liable for paying back taxes due to the increased value of the home. Apart from paying back taxes, it could also attract penalties and interests which would cost you more than you initially planned for.

If the remodeling work is done without a permit, it may not be covered by your insurance. 

In most cases, unpermitted remodeling is not covered by insurance. Therefore, if anything happens to any unpermitted addition in the home, the claim will be denied by your insurance company which could set you back thousands of dollars in the future.

Make sure to speak with your real estate agent to confirm that you have all the necessary rights to remodel your new home to your taste without penalties.





Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 4/18/2019

Having to change the roof is a decision most homeowners shy away from, it’s time-consuming, can generally be a stressful process and often requires a large budget. Most homeowners do not know when their roofs are due for a change until they experience damages to the house and property. 

There are basic signs a homeowner should look out for when they are unsure how long to go between roof replacements. A house or property built a long time ago will require constant maintenance and renovation to keep it looking good and attractive. The points outlined below will help you decide on when to change your roof.

Leaks

Having water drip into your home from your ceiling or water running down your wall is a clear indication that you need to change your roof. The first thing on your list is to find the cause of the leak. The most common reasons are as a result of a damaged roof or condensation. 

Water Stains

Water stains around the interior ceiling of a house destroy not just the general appeal of a home, but also the furniture, paint and trim in the affected area. If you notice water stains around your ceiling or wall, you should investigate the cause of the moisture. A leaking roof doesn’t necessarily mean you must change the entire roof; other methods can be used to stop leakage depending on the severity of the damage.

Paint Damage

Do you see paint blisters or peeling paint on your walls? Swelling woodwork or trim either indoors or outdoors? These are all signs of water pooling where it’s not supposed to be. Tracing these leaks to the source is essential since the issue could be anything from a small plumbing leak to severe roof damage. 

Mold

Mold is not only unsightly; it also harms your health and the quality of air in your home. The growth of mold on a ceiling or wall could be a sign of a faulty roof, a plumbing issue or a condensation problem. First off, check that your insulation is not soaked, your bathroom fixtures and plumbing are in good condition, and also that your home has enough ventilation. It’s a lot easier to correct these than a leaky roof. 

Granule Loss

Loss of granule should not be a cause of concern especially if the asphalt shingle is a new roof. However, if these are noticed ten to fifteen years after roof installation, then it might be a cause of worry. The granule keeps the sun off the shingles, once they out, the shingles will begin to bake and deteriorate in a hurry.

If you experience any of these problems and track them back to roof damage, it’s advisable you inspect your roof for damage and if you’re in doubt, to get a professional roofer to check it over.





Posted by WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briarwood Real Estate on 3/6/2018

Many buyers are searching for a home with an attached garage. It helps to keep cars out of the sun, rain, and snow. An attached garage allows you to walk directly from your vehicle into your home without worry. 


Garages used to be detached. These structures offered many benefits to homeowners that seem to be forgotten. As cars became more popular and larger, families began to own two cars at their properties. When this became common, so too di the attached garage.  


While an attached garage is seen as a luxury and often a necessity, the good points a detached garage have shouldn’t be overlooked. 


Attached garages can be converted into living spaces. This affords you as a homeowner much more room without the need to move. Homeowners can then build a detached garage for storage or the placement of a vehicle. 


Other Advantages To Detached Garages


A detached garage adds character to a home. Many buyers complain of tired suburban architecture, where the garage often becomes somewhat of a focal point for the front of the home. Detached garages can be more pleasing to look at.


You’ll also have a bit more wiggle room as to how you design your home. If you build a detached garage, it can be placed at an angle on the property. The garage can also be hidden in the backyard, or designed to look like a smaller version of the larger house. A path can even be built through the yard to the garage to bring a design to the entire yard. 


Another advantage to a detached garage is that toxic fumes from your vehicle won’t get into the house. Homes with detached garages can often receive green points for environmentally friendly building practices. There’s also less of a risk posed to you and your family for things like carbon monoxide poisoning. You can’t leave a vehicle running very long in an attached garage without that risk.   


A detached garage also affords the possibility of adding living space above the garage. It can be a great play space for kids or a game room for adults. You can even build a home office in the upstairs portion of the garage. The area will indeed be quiet if placed strategically. If the attached garage is new construction, you can run wild with it. The design is up to you and the possibilities are truly endless. 


While many buyers search for a home with an attached garage, detached garages can have many pros and allow great flexibility to you as a homeowner.           




Categories: Buying a Home