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Remodeling Projects to Boost Your Home’s Value

By Courtney Soinski

ks142129Before you dive into remodeling sections of your home, think it through and don’t spend your money on the wrong things.  Remember to always consider the current state of the real estate housing market.

 

So, ask yourself, “What room renovations will add the highest return on my investment?”  Take our survey to tell us what you think!

According to a study conducted by Remodeling Magazine, here top remodeling projects that will give you the biggest bang for your buck.

1. Basement Remodel

basementThis project involves finishing the lower level of a house to create a 20×30 foot entertaining area with a wet bar and full bathroom.  Walls and ceilings should be painted drywall and exterior walls insulated. Keep in mind that his type of remodel will only increase resale value if basement are common in the neighborhood and region.

2. Major Kitchen Remodel

KitchenAccording to the study, this is the best way to increase your home’s value.  Upgrade your kitchen to a functional layout with new cabinets with modern finishes on countertops, custom lighting, and energy-efficient stainless steel appliances.  To get the most out your spending, the room’s electrical and plumbing systems should be upgraded.

3. Two-Story Addition

two-storyAlthough a rather expensive and lengthy project that often requires the residents to relocate temporarily, two-story additions do a great job of expanding square footage.  In fact, just one addition can add up to 3 rooms.  The study recommends a first-floor family room and second-floor bedroom with a full bathroom.

4. Master Suite Remodel 

MasterWhen it comes to increasing your home’s resale value, renovations to your master bedroom are worth the money.  If you want minor improvements, add plenty of closet space, install double sinks in the bathroom, and create a sitting area.  Or, for a larger renovation, add an en suite bath and fireplace.  We recommend carpet in the bedroom and ceramic tile in the master bathroom.

How much value does a remodel add to homes in your area? Click here to weigh in!

Source: Remodeling Magazine

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Will Millennials Dominate Real Estate?

By Courtney Soinski

millennial2Did you know that millennials have outnumbered baby boomers?  Specifically, they make up 87 million of our population versus 76 million baby boomers, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

“Millennials” are those born after 1982 and more and more of them are entertaining the idea of home ownership.  “Ultimately, the large millennial generation will make their presence felt in the owner-occupied market,” says Daniel McCue, research manager of the Joint Center for Housing Studies, “just as they already have in the rental market . . ”

While demand is currently strong among millennials in the rental market, rent prices are going up.  As incomes increase through either economic or job growth, they may be ready to buy.  Additionally, the number of households in their 30s should increase by 2.7 million over the coming decade, which should also boost demand for new housing.

There is evidence that millennials are already beginning to consider buying versus renting, according to the 2014 NAR Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study.  This report states that “87 percent of buyers aged 33 and younger consider their home purchase a good financial investment compared to 74 percent of buyers 68 and older.”

For now, tight credit, still elevated unemployment, and mounting student loan debt among young Americans are moderating growth and keeping a good number of millennials and other first-time homebuyers out of the home ownership market, the study concluded. It’s also important to consider how potential GSE reform will affect the cost and availability of mortgage credit for the next generation of homebuyers.

Working with this large group of buyers beginning to enter the market may also be a different experience for real estate professionals.  This group embraces technology, particularly mobile and social media, and brings a new set of housing preferences and expectations to the table.  For real estate professionals, this means beginning to understand how to effectively target and engage this up and coming group of home buyers.

Source: National Association of RealtorsJoint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University

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Arranging Furniture? Do it Feng Shui Style.

by Courtney Soinski

Whether you’re selling a home, getting ready for an open house, or moving into a new home, there are many ways you can arrange furniture.  But here comes the hard part – which layout is most effective in functionality, harmony and design?  This week, we’ll focus on incorporating feng shui into your space, which has shown to be very beneficial for many home owners.

What does feng shui even mean, anyway?  In the literal sense, it translates to “wind and water” or the ancient Chinese art of placement.  It is designed to enhance the flow of chi, or spiritual energy, and create a harmonious environment that supports health, beckons wealth, and invites happiness.  If you believe that we are affected by our surroundings, then it’s time to feng shui your home!

Here are some furniture arrangement tips that will help you bring some harmony into your home and make a great first impression at your next open house.  It may even bring you good luck!

livingroom1. Living Room

the best way to create the best feng shui in your living room is to have a circular furniture arrangement, and there should not be any chairs with their back to the door.  Avoid clutter in your living room so that energy flow is not distracted.  The main pieces of furniture in every room should be in the “empowered position”, meaning they are facing the entrance but not completely aligned with it.

2. Bedroom

bedroom3Arrange your bed in such a way that it isn’t aligned with the door because that specific placement is believed to not be conducive with good luck and health.  This is called the “Commanding Position.”  You should also have a good supporting wall behind the bed and nightstands on either side to balance energy.

patio23. Patio

Before even thinking about arranging furniture on your patio, make sure it is clean and clutter-free.  You can then use different types of patio furniture that promote different feelings and emotions.  A square table will encourage stability in relationships, a round table promotes a united community, and a rectangular table encourages lively discussion.

Use these tips to bring in some feng shui flair and improve the visual flow of your home, making it feel comfortable and promote good fortune for yourself and your guests.  Is feng shui right for your home?

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