The key to winning the ROI game with home improvement is to take a less-is-more approach,” says Dan DiClerico, home expert at HomeAdvisor.
If your goal is to earn a return on your DIY investment, DiClerico suggests taking on smaller improvements that will have a big impact on buyers.
“Bells and whistles tend not to rank high on ROI,” DiClerico says. “The high-tech home theater might mean hours of fun for you and the family, but it’s probably not going to pay for itself when the time comes to sell.”
Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t outfit your house with the latest technology—if you’re making an improvement that you’ll love and enjoy, go for it. But if you’re looking to roll up your sleeves and tackle a project that will offer serious bang for the buck, try one of these home improvement projects next weekend.
1. Refresh your kitchen cabinets“If the cabinets are in good shape, adding a fresh coat of paint or stain will dramatically transform the feel of the entire kitchen,” DiClerico says.
Be warned: Even though painting isn’t very difficult, it’s still time-consuming. You’ll need to remove the doors and drawers to ensure a clean finish. “But in terms of skill level, it’s something even novice DIYers can handle,” DiClerico says.
And remember, slow and steady wins the race when it comes to any painting project.
“You could lose some buyers with a sloppy paint job,” says Scott W. Campbell, a real estate agent in Milwaukee. “If you truly want to increase ROI, a good paint job takes time and patience.”
2. Create curb appeal
Photo by David Morello Garden Enterprises, Inc.Making a great first impression on home buyers is one of the quickest ways to boost your home’s value.
“Landscaping and gardening are the biggest ones that also are simple,” says Kendall Bonner, a real estate agent in Lutz, FL. “Curb appeal has a significant impact on buyer’s purchasing decisions.”
Aside from adding tasteful foliage and keeping your lawn manicured, a few strings of café lights can also improve your home’s outdoor space and curb appeal. Don’t forget to paint old fences and prune overgrown plants.
3. Give your front door a makeoverWant to boost your home’s curb appeal but don’t have a green thumb? Spruce up your front door instead. All it takes is a few coats of paint. (The same rules apply: Work slowly and carefully to avoid drips and roller marks.)
“A fresh pop of color at the front door is a great way to enhance your home’s curb appeal for not a lot of money or time,” DiClerico says.
4. Create a backyard deck
Photo by Boyce Design and Contracting “Outdoor living is hugely popular, even more so since the pandemic, since people are looking to expand their home’s usable living space,” DiClerico says.
Creating a new deck is possible to do yourself, but “it’s not for the faint of heart,” he adds, especially if you’re putting in concrete footings for the deck posts. This project is best for intermediate to advanced renovators, and it helps to have a few friends on board to assist.
Keep the design simple—avoid any tricky changes in elevation—and work with pressure-treated lumber instead of hardwoods that are tough to cut and screw into, DiClerico says.
Watch: In Spite of It All, Summer 2020 Is a Great Time to Sell Your Home
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5. Brighten up the basementYou don’t need to spring for a fully finished basement to appeal to prospective buyers.
“Spraying the basement unfinished ceiling with flat black latex paint can make big difference to clean up a look, and spraying the walls,” Campbell says.
To take your project to the next level, you can add carpeting and adjustable lighting. By cleaning up the basement, you can help prospective buyers envision a space that will fit their needs, whether it’s as a rec room, play area, or home gym.
6. Add more storage
Photo by Shelf Confident “Anytime you add usable living space to the home, you increase its value,” DiClerico says. “That’s true now more so than ever given all the time we’re spending at home.”
Making an addition to your home might not be realistic. But smaller improvements, like adding a pantry in the kitchen, a new storage unit in the garage, or even closet organizers, add valuable storage space to your home and will pay off when you’re ready to sell.
7. Make small repairs and keep up with maintenanceIt may not be as satisfying as tackling a big project, but staying on top of your home’s basic maintenance is just as important and promises serious ROI.
“Many of today’s buyers are staying away from fixer-uppers in favor of move-in ready homes that won’t require frequent repairs,” DiClerico says.
Seemingly small problems like a leaky faucet, loose gutter, or missing light fixture can be a red flag.
Let's be honest here! This year has not been all sunshine and gravy. Last year was even a wilder ride. Hey, but we are here and have everything to be thankful for. Now let's get down to business. Many people do not even know where to begin if they have gone through financial hardship and as a small business ourselves I do feel it is my obligation to provide options to We the People that are needing assistance in this matter. No mortgage company are not going around advertising that you may qualify for forbearance but they are rather taking the help themselves. If we can rewind back to 2007 when the last mortgage crisis happened you will remember the banks were bailed out and not the people. This can be a History Repeats Itself situation, but we can only hope that the mortgage company will use these funds to help out the people instead of their high up CEO's and executives. For example Flagstar is doing a great job of showing an option for homeowners.
The biggest kicker here! You must call and ask for the Cares Act. If you do not call your mortgage company and ask for assistance you will not receive assistance. It may seem tedious but it is well worth it regardless if you are planning to keep your home or sell it. The program offers up to 6 months with no payments with no late fees and credit reporting during this period.
There are other options for homeowners such as:
1. Selling your Home
2. Short Selling your Home (Allows you to stay in your home longer)
4. Deed in Luie of Foreclosure
6. Forbearance Refinance after the 6 months of CARES act is when this is done.
Your home is your security we have learned this very well after covid. If you are facing any type of issues please feel free to reach out for advice. Best Regards, Celina 303.564.9637
In a piping-hot housing market, dreams of finding your dream property can quickly go up in flames. If you’re a home buyer whose firecracker negotiation tactics have fizzled out, it may be time to consider taking the home-buying process into your own hands. Instead of agonizing over whether to compromise on your dream home, consider building your family a custom home.
For those prospective home buyers whose house hunt has reached an unfortunate standstill, start composing a checklist for your perfect custom home. Unlike house hunting, building custom will allow you to move into a pristine property tailored to your family’s unique needs. Not to mention, you can customize every element of your house, down to the doorknobs.
While the idea of building a custom home can feel overwhelming, assembling a team of seasoned professionals can help you make your dream house a reality. Where to start?
After acquiring a custom home plan from resources like these, you'll need to undergo the process of hiring a real estate agent. It may seem unnecessary to bring a realtor into the process if you’re not purchasing a home, but a realtor can advocate for your needs and give you a sense of security as you build. Without a realtor at your aid, bringing your custom home plan to life can border the impossible.
1. Realtors Can Advocate for YouWhen working with builders, many people assume their builder’s agent or salesperson is their advocate. This assumption isn’t valid. Ultimately, your builder’s agent represents the builder and their interests. While this construction personnel may say otherwise, ensuring these deals benefit the builder will almost always be goal number one. However, a realtor evens the playing field, as they represent your best interests while the builder’s agent represents the builder’s. Acquiring a realtor before signing any contracts ensures you’ll get the best deal at the best price before you commit to a builder.
2. Realtors Can Find You the Best Professional ContactsA local real estate agent has a wealth of connections in the home-buying and home-building markets. They likely know trustworthy, high-quality builders that will be sure to build a dream home, set to last a lifetime. With realtors on your side, your custom build will involve minimal repairs and virtually zero weekend improvement projects. Before meeting with your realtor, put together a home-buying wish list. From there, your realtor can walk you through the building process and put you in contact with a reputable builder.
3. Realtors are Experts at Understanding Builders’ ContractsWhen you meet with a builder for the first time, they’re sure to sell you on the best deal possible for them. Maybe you’ll walk through a model home, blown away by the craftsmanship, and walk out with an expensive contract they’ve sweet-talked you into signing. However, realtors are experienced in signing building contracts and understand the hidden costs and terms in builders’ contracts. With a realtor, you’ll gain an understanding of what is and isn’t included in your home’s base price as you view model homes and go over contracts.
4. Realtors Will Save You MoneyMany people mistakenly assume that by not hiring a realtor, the realtor’s commission built into the cost of their home sale can be subtracted. Traditionally, if you don’t use a realtor, the money set aside for their commission will simply go back to the builder. Not only will the commission money go to waste if you don’t hire a realtor, but you’re also more likely to blow your budget without a professional by your side. Realtors can aid you in making sound financial decisions without compromising or making concessions to keep within your budget.
5. Realtors Can Help you Prioritize Your BudgetAs you begin adding upgrades and custom items to your build, you’ll see your spending steadily creep up by thousands of dollars. A realtor will sit down with you and your family before signing any contracts and determine what your priorities in your dream home are.
If you’re invested in your home’s structural specifics more than detailed finishes, realtors can help you prioritize those decisions financially, knowing you can put off finishing upgrades later. Regardless of what your dream home looks like, your realtor can help you bring those coveted must-haves to life without breaking the bank.
6. Realtors Can Negotiate on Your Behalf and Settle DisputedThe home-building process is lengthy and involves many minor but essential components. It’s easy for even the most experienced builder to overlook a detail and make mistakes along the way. If your home-building process runs up against your budget or extends past your ideal timeline, you’re sure to feel stressed with any setback. Rather than letting your emotional state jeopardize a friendly relationship with your builder, bringing in a realtor means they can handle any disputes and negotiate a better outcome for you.
7. Realtors Take Care of Builder Mistakes After ClosingAfter you move into your new home and settle in, you might notice a few errors the builders left behind. Maybe you’re exhausted by the prospect of bringing your builder back to fix the mistake after a long building process and would rather live around the issue. Rather than settling for a less-than-perfect home, your realtor can handle any problems that may arise after closing and ensure mistakes are remedied quickly and efficiently.
The Bottom LineBuilding a home can be stressful, but you don’t have to go on your journey alone. Hiring an experienced realtor who will walk with you every step of the way can save you precious money and time. You’ll walk away from the experience satisfied, with the perfect dream home for you and your family.
Written and Published by: VANED
Four Ways to Use Technology in Order to Live a Greener Lifestyle
CELS Homes strives to provide information, ideas and services that are important to homeowners. Whether you’re buying a new home, selling your current one or are just exploring tips and resources, connect today by calling 303.564.9637!
There's no doubt that many people want to follow a more eco-friendly lifestyle. However, it can be difficult to know where to start, especially when you encounter so many marketing campaigns about products and services that claim to promote greener living. Still, with the help of a few eco-friendly devices, anybody anywhere can take the first steps toward assisting with a healthier planet.
Light BulbsEveryone needs light in their home, but what many people don't realize is that there are many different ways to go about it. When you are trying to find ways to go green, consider making the switch to energy-efficient light bulbs. Not only can energy-efficient light bulbs last much longer than traditional incandescent light bulbs — up to 25 times longer, in fact — but they use up to 80 percent less energy.
While the price of energy-efficient bulbs might potentially be a bit higher than traditional bulbs, they tend to last much longer, making them a better value overall. Even if you don't want to change out all your light bulbs right away, you could get a great start by changing out the bulbs in high-use areas such as the living room or the kitchen.
Smart Thermostats Reduce your carbon footprint and save energy when you switch to a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats do what their name describes, and learn the heating and air conditioning patterns in your home.
Smart Neighbor explains you should choose a smart thermostat based on what your personal preferences are. For example, smart thermostats from Nest can connect to your Google Home, Echo, or other device. The ecobee4 has Alexa built in, and Microsoft/Johnson Controls GLAS offers a translucent touchscreen, and it has Cortana voice controls.
As Quartz points out, it’s important to understand that smart home devices are not immune to hackers. In fact, just the opposite, so avoid issues like identity theft and viruses with precautionary measures, and make sure your whole family is on the same page.
Streaming DevicesGoing green is about simplifying your routine and reducing clutter as much as anything else. It is easy to fall into the trap of having various devices all over the house. However, by switching to a streaming service, you will be able to streamline your entertainment experience. Plus, you can finally recycle those old DVDs that have been sitting on a shelf for years and years.
There are many different streaming services to consider, like Netflix, Roku, and Hulu. When choosing the perfect streaming service for you, consider what type of entertainment you will use the most in your home and any upcoming shows or movies that you especially want to see. Many streaming services offer special deals for new subscribers, so you can save money while living a greener life.
Business EssentialsIf you’re dedicated to a healthier environment, taking green practices into the workplace is the natural next step. Reach out to your employer to act more conscientiously; changing to more efficient light bulbs and using less energy for heating and cooling are smart choices from a business perspective, and your employer can even boast about it on social media and in local business channels.
Maybe you’re the boss and you’re considering something on an even grander scale. Take inspiration from cities like Phoenix, Denver and Salt Lake City. These locations are known for their green practices and economic health; you might decide to transition to one of those locations for the business and ecological gains they offer, or you push similar policies in your own neighborhood. Better walkability, better bikeability and more reliance on renewable energy make sense for everyone, personally and professionally.
Every little thing that you do to help the environment might not seem like much at the time, but it all adds up. If every person takes one small planet-friendly step, such as choosing energy-efficient light bulbs or paring down the clutter with the use of a simple streaming device, everyone wins in the end. Hopefully, these tips have enabled you to have a better understanding of how technology can really enhance your green initiative.
Homeownership is good for you. It helps you put down roots in a community, provides a sense of stability, is an excellent investment, and can even help you save on your taxes. Let’s explore how owning a home can mean more cash in your pocket at tax time.
Mortgage interest payments are generally tax-deductible on home loans up to $750,000.* This applies to first mortgages, second mortgages, and home equity loans and lines of credit, as long as the funds were used to buy, build, or substantially improve your home.
The private mortgage insurance deduction was set to expire, but the IRS extended it through tax year 2020.
Mortgage discount points may be deductible under certain circumstances. A point costs 1% of your loan amount, and purchasing points at closing will lower your interest rate.
Property taxes paid to state and local government entities are deductible up to $10,000.
Capital gains taxes, where you pay tax on the amount of money you make when you sell an asset, may be waived up to $250,000 (or $500,000 if married filing jointly). For example, if you purchase your home for $300,000 and sell it for $575,000, you may only need to pay taxes on $25,000 of the profit, rather than the full $275,000.
The IRS postponed the 2020 tax filing deadline to May 17, 2021 for most states.** Keep in mind, the change only applies to federal taxes, so check with your state tax authority to confirm when those taxes are due. Learn more about the federal extension here.
A house is probably the biggest asset you’ll ever own. If you have questions about the benefits of homeownership, tapping into equity, or your options when it comes to home financing, I’m here to help.
Let's get real here! Have you ever been driving down the road and talking to your co pilot and say something about what you need and the next thing you know there is a specified ad for it on your facebook? Have you been in the market to buy a home and all the sudden you have several people harassing you via phone? In our day and age the World Wide Web has strengthened to unbelievable technology and is being able to compute faster than even our brains can! This can be a bit frightening. Our phones are listening to us. Our TV's our Alexa's are listening to us! With or without our permission these crimsons are outsourcing our private information. Not only that but what if our information gets into the wrong hands?
Here are 4 tips to stay smart and vigilant during these times where technology can put a lot of our information at risk:
1. React- If you receive a phone call after you announce your want or need for a specific item ask the caller for information on how they got your information. Sometimes they will give you a number to call.
2. Elder-This puts our elderly at risk. Make sure to have a talk with family and even children about what to do if you feel your information has been breached.
3. Act - Talk to your local congress members about change. Just like China has implemented internet police there should be some type of security provided and those business or crimsons should be held accountable for such breach.
4. Look- Check your phone settings to see what you can do to secure things more. Social media is a big outlet for breaches and they should be held accountable too. When they say it is a free service believe me when I say this. Nothing is free.
Well I hope this helps out some people and inspires others to be vigilant of their surroundings even on the internet! Thank you for reading and as always if you need help Buying or Selling your next home we are here! Also Joseph can help you refinance! As of today the interest rates are in the 2%'s!
We're all spending more time inside these days...If you’re like us the words “spring” and “cleaning” in the same sentence usually make us turn the other way, but in an effort to add some structure to our days and get ahead on spring cleaning, we've started a 10-Day Declutter Challenge! Whether you're waiting on this uncertainty to pass before listing your home for sale this spring or you just want to tidy up a bit around the house - this challenge is for you! Before you deep clean everything, you need to declutter. The less stuff you have, the less stuff you need to clean. Our 10-Day Declutter Challenge will help you slowly tackle decluttering your home to make it a little less daunting and a little more fun if you’re the type of person who likes to cross things off a to-do list every day. Happy decluttering!
Make sure to tag us on Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #10DayDeclutterChallenge!
DAY ONEJunk Drawers & CountertopsBefore diving too deep in grandma’s china we’ll start small. Everyone has at least one (or two) junk drawers in their kitchen. Clean these out first, throw away any actual “junk” and organize the rest.
DAY TWO Pantry, Refrigerator, and Freezer Remember those frozen pretzels you bought last year when you were craving them? They’ve probably expired or will stay in there for another year so it’s probably best to toss them. Go through your pantry, fridge and freezer to get rid of all expired and unwanted food items.
DAY THREE Kitchen CabinetsNow we can dive into the good stuff. If you’re the type of person who loves getting free cups at every event you go to or has way too many plates it may be time to part ways. You can donate anything you don’t need or toss anything that’s been used too much.
The Living Room
DAY FOUR Books, Movies, and the Mail PileUnless you’re stuck in the ’90s or like to collect DVD’s there’s no reason to keep piles of them. You can toss them out, give them away, or put them in a box tucked away.
DAY FIVE Toys, Games, and/or Office SuppliesIf you have kids, it’s likely you have a lot of toys laying around. Go through the toys and games they’ve outgrown and set them aside to donate.
After decluttering your living room, here are some tips on how to stage if you are considering selling soon.
DAY SIX ClothesIf you haven’t heard of Maire Kondo yet, she has great tips on how to sort through your clothes that actually work. Check them out here.
DAY SEVEN Shoes and AccessoriesJust like with your clothes, sort through your shoes, belts, bags, hats, and anything else that may be hiding in your closet. Throw out or donate things that don’t fit or are not used anymore.
DAY EIGHT Under the SinkThe space under your sink is probably filled with a couple of things... cleaning products, old lotions, and a few half-used bottles of shampoo. Take some time to go through which products you'll actually use and toss the ones you know you won't or those that have expired.
DAY NINE Linen Closet and Medicine Cabinet Did you know that medicine expires? It does, so those old prescriptions and cough medicine should probably get tossed out. This would be a great time to put old towels in the garage for chores and to refold all the towels in that one perfect way.
DAY TEN Nightstands and Tops of DressersFor the last day, let's clear off your nightstands and the top of your dressers and first give them a good dusting. We find that these areas are often neglected and tend to collect a lot of dust. Then, re-evaluate what you have on top of these spaces - is everything functional? Do the remote batteries need to be replaced? Can you get rid of anything here?
Buying a home is often a very exciting time, as it represents a significant life achievement and financial success. However, new homebuyers can overlook some important considerations in all of the excitement, leading them to make potentially costly mistakes. The best way to avoid these mistakes is to be aware of them right from the beginning. If you are looking to buy a home, here are some common homebuyer mistakes to avoid:
1) GETTING A HOME AT THE TOP OF YOUR BUDGETWhen buying a home — especially your first home — it may be tempting to go all out and get your dream house. You will start rationalizing more expensive properties to yourself because you fall in love with them, even if they are over your budget. Breaking your budget is a bad idea, and the best way to keep yourself from doing so is to get preapproved for a mortgage first. Even then you should strive to come in at least 15-20 percent under your preapproved amount. Just because you can afford something right now doesn’t mean that your financial situation might not change in the future. It is always better to play it safe.
2) FORGETTING ABOUT ADDITIONAL HOMEOWNERSHIP COSTSOne of the main reasons why you should always stay within your budget is that homeownership comes with many hidden costs which can really add up. You need to be aware of the property taxes, utility costs, insurance and maintenance costs that are going to come with your new home. If you don’t take these costs into account when coming up with your budget, you will have a difficult time making all of your monthly payments on the house.
3) FORGOING A PROFESSIONAL INSPECTIONThe importance of getting a professional inspection before finalizing a sale on a home cannot be overstated, as it can save you from unexpected costs in the future. A house may look like it is in great shape and worth every penny, but a professional inspector can tell you if you will be looking at needing to make major and costly repairs after your purchase. This information can help you back out of a bad deal in time, or, if you’re willing to make the repairs, negotiate the price of the home.
4) NOT CONSIDERING THE RESALE VALUE OF YOUR HOMEWhen in the processes of buying a new home, one of the last things you are probably going to consider is the home’s potential resale value. If you love the home and you plan to stay there forever, then why give any thought to selling it one day? Any number of life changes could mean needing to move again in the future. The time may come when you will want or need to sell the house, so ensuring that it has good resale value before you buy may help you out immensely in the future.
5) RELYING ON VERBAL AGREEMENTSWhen buying a new home, you should never rely solely on verbal agreements. It is in your best interest to get everything in writing before agreeing to the sale. Failing to get a seller to agree to your offer in writing can also open the door for another buyer to come in with a lower offer at the last minute and steal the property out from under you! Getting everything in writing is a must. Review the contract carefully with your real estate agent. Homebuyers are sometimes shocked to walk into their new home only to find that there are no kitchen appliances or light fixtures, for example.
Wishing you and your family
a FUN and SAFE 4th of July!
And please don't forget about your furry family members!
Here are some 4th of July safety tips for dog owners:
Staying up with all the new data that come in can be challenging but that is what we are here for