Homeowners Renovate For Pleasure Not Profit

Though many of today’s renovation reality shows have a marked focus on how home improvement projects up home value and improve salability, a new study has found that most homeowners aren’t renovating for the money, they are doing it to improve their quality of life.

Profit Comes In At Second

In fact, Mortgage Choice, the firm handling the survey, found that “two out of five homeowners . . . are planning to renovate their homes . . . [and] of these more than three quarters gave as their reason ‘to improve my quality of living.’” Next most common on the list was profit. Only 0.2% of those surveyed were doing so “to accommodate grandparents/relatives.”

Kitchens Are Most Common Renos

Next, Mortgage Choice wanted to know what type of renovation was most common. Kitchens topped the list at 28% with bathrooms a close second at 27%. This trend is not surprising a it is these two areas that go most quickly out of style and that also have the most often used fixtures and appliances.

Cosmetic renovations were found to be far more common than major structural renos. Cosmetic renos might involve re-carpeting the living room or kitchen counters while major structural renos change more global aspects of a house, such as adding on rooms or changing the floor plan.

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Source: http://www.propertyobserver.com.au/renovating/pleasure-not-profit-the-reason-for-most-home-renovations-mortgage-choice-survey/2013061762371


Prepare For Remodeling Surprises

In 1785, Robert Burns, the famous poet, penned the words, “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” The words are as true today as they were over 200 years ago. This maxim is especially apt when referring to the home renovation schemes of homeowners. Unfortunately, unexpected mishaps are par for the course when people attempt to update their homes.

A Home Full of Unexpected Guests

Case in point: Keith Stivers, a contractor and president of Stivers Design LLC of Columbia Station, told a pair of homeowners that before he would repair their water-damaged ceiling, he wanted to inspect the roof for what he suspected was going to be a host of other problems. His prediction proved correct when during the course of his inspection he “uncovered a family of mice, a nest of centipedes and—as he suspected—lots of rotted wood and crumbling plaster walls.” Luckily, the family had planned in extra money to their renovation to cover this unwelcome surprise, but not all homeowners are so forward thinking.

Budget In An Extra 5-10%

With this and other cases in mind, Stivers has suggested that all homeowners “set aside 5 percent to 10 percent more than their budget for those unexpected discoveries.” And it won’t always be rotten wood or pests—Stivers said sometimes he runs across the remnants of past renovation projects that were poorly done or incomplete and he has to spend extra time and money repairing those.

Cheryl Reed, spokeswoman for Angie’s List, recommended, “Never pay for a project with cash. Always use a credit card so you have recourse in case something goes wrong.”

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Source: http://www.cleveland.com/insideout/index.ssf/2013/06/build_your_renovation_budget_w.html

Historical Homes Require A Special Touch During Renovation

The great thing about older homes can be their historical value, their unique personality, and their traditional design. However, older homes often come with a lot of problems or need upgraded as technology and styles change. When these types of homes are renovated, it is the interior designer’s challenge to maintain its original charm while making it livable and functional for its inhabitants.

Maintaining The Home’s Original Spirit

One Call Services, an Albuquerque, NM based remodeling agency, often works on historical homes. Recently, they added a mother-in-law suite and expanded a bathroom on a historically valuable property. Braxton Haze, owner of One Call Services, said, “Our priority was to maintain the historical spirit of the home.” This task is easier said than done.

Updating Old Fixtures

One problem older homes have are outdated or deteriorating fixtures and appliances. On this property, Haze’s crew added 100 square feet to the bathroom, installed a custom shower, and updated the faucet and shower head to improve energy efficiency. The mother-in-law suite was a separate 600 square foot addition which presented a challenge as the team. They wanted to preserve this historical feel and so worked to construct the new building according to the style of the main house. Haze explained, “A home addition and remodel should be cohesive with the original structure, so the new project doesn’t look like an afterthought.”

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Source: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/1319302


Prevent Burglary During Home Renovation

The next time you’re thinking about doing some home improvement, you might consider looking into your home security options. Break-ins are a real danger, but you don’t have to invest in a fancy alarm system to make your home more secure. Brett Welland, owner of King Key Locksmiths, suggested a couple ideas for homeowners interested in making their homes more secure against burglars.


Install Floodlights

First, keep in mind that homes under construction attract attention. If you are doing an intensive home renovation that involves tearing down exterior walls, keep in mind that thieves might see this as an open invitation to wander through your home. To prevent this from happening, install floodlights that illuminate your yard and the area under construction all through the night. And ask neighbors to keep an eye on your house if you have to be gone during the day.


Add Keyed Locks To Windows

If you replace doors or windows, Welland said to remember that some “insurance companies are requiring insured homes to have deadlocks and locks on all doors and windows.” These locks should be utilized whether you’re at home or away day and night because, interestingly enough, “26 percent of break-ins occur while residents are at home, day or night.” If you decide to add keyed locks to your windows, you can have them keyed to match your house key so you don’t need a bunch of extra keys to carry around.


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Source: http://www.baysidebulletin.com.au/story/1607912/home-renovation-and-security/?cs=12

Ronald McDonald House Gets Some TLC

The Charlottesville Ronald McDonald House is getting a little back this year for all its charity work. A million-dollar renovation project started at the beginning of July is set to be completed in eight months and will hopefully provide an even more comfortable environment for those families that temporarily live there.

A Current Tenant’s Testimony

A current tenant of the house is Enga Knicely who, according to a local news agency, “went into pre-term labor with twins at just 25 weeks.” Luckily, she was able to find a place to stay at the Ronald McDonald House so she could be nearby throughout the time her infants have to stay at the hospital.

Helping Families of Sick Children

According to its website, the Ronald McDonald House “provides a ‘home-away-from-home” for families so they can stay close by their hospitalized child at little or no cost.” When families don’t have to worry about money for lodgings, they are more able to focus on the health of their children and making informed medical decisions. Thus, this renovation of the Charlottesville location will help further those goals and benefit many future families.

Renovation Will Add Much-Needed Improvements

Rita Ralston, current executive director of the Ronald McDonald House said, “The house has been in existence since 1991 . . . and we’ve taken care of thousands of families.” Its renovation will add private bathrooms for every room, new flooring and paint, and an updated kitchen area.


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Source: http://www.nbc29.com/story/22782786/construction-begins-on-ronald-mcdonald-house-renovation & http://www.rmhc.com/what-we-do/ronald-mcdonald-house/

How To “Flip” A House In Real Life

These days, TV shows about home buying, remodeling, and flipping are about as common as shows about various law enforcement agents who go around solving crimes. If you’re not a purveyor of cable TV, that means there are a lot of remodeling television programs. The people on TV make the process look so easy. They win the bidding war for the house, fix it up, and flip it, usually for thousands of dollars of profit. However, this line of business comes with a lot of risk.

On The Lookout For The “Sweet Spot”

Real home flipping experts know that successful house flipping requires patience, practice, and a little luck. They are always trying to hit the “sweet spot” which means, “the right purchase price, not overspending on renovations, and the right sale price.”

Real-Life House Flipping

One father-son team, Michael and Larry Malashock, recently bought their own fixer-upper in St. Louis for $34,000. They’re estimating their renovation price to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $160,000 and similar houses in the area are going for $250,000 to $290,000. For people new to flipping houses, the Malashocks recommended you “set aside extra money for inevitable surprises and painful lessons.” They also suggested that if you can, try to self-finance instead of taking out a loan. Paying that mortgage payment along with interest can cut into your profit margin very quickly.

Another expert, real estate agent Terry Yuede, cautioned people to keep in mind it’s not like you see on TV. “You can’t go watch a couple of episodes of HGTV and think that you’re ready to flip a house because there’s a lot to it,” Yuede said.

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Source: http://www.ksdk.com/news/article/387542/71/The-flip-is-on-for-house-flippers

New HGTV Show “Fixer Upper” In The Making

Fixer Upper: A new HGTV home renovation show to be hitting television in the coming months. Its pilot episode received an overwhelming positive response, giving producers the go ahead to develop the idea into a series. The show will follow “one couple’s business of turning dilapidated and outdated houses into houses of value.”

Magnolia Homes Is A One-Stop-Shop

The couple is based in Waco, TX and after the response to their first episode, they are going on to make at least 12 more. Their names are Chip and Joanna Gaines, and they both graduated from Baylor in 2003. Now, four children later, they’ve decided to open a business called Magnolia Homes which will offer “remodeling, design, new construction, and real estate services.” It’s basically a homeowner or prospective homeowner’s one-stop shop.

Casting Call For Texas

The challenge the couple faces in each episode is fixing up their “fixer upper” within one month. They will be considering homes in Dallas, Fort Worth, Waco, Austin, and San Antonio, Texas. Over the next few months there will be a casting call for people interested in buying the fixed up houses. Filming will take place August through March of 2013 and 2014.

Joanna also keeps up a blog which she posts to frequently. A recent post said, “All I know is that it is going to be exciting, crazy, and an adventure like no other. We are going to need a lot of prayer as we juggle our family, our business, and the show for the next few months.”

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Source: http://www.kwtx.com/ourtown/home/headlines/Waco-Local-Couple-To-Renovate-12-Area-Homes-For-HGTV-Show-214942131.html