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Alt-text: Architectural blueprint of a residential floor plan.
Whether you've just moved to a new home in Westminster or undergoing a renovation of your old one, you probably can't wait to see your daydreaming come to fruition, see things take shape. So fun, right? But on your road to your dream home, it's easy to get caught up in all the excitement and overlook some of the common pitfalls homeowners face when determining the floor plans that work for them and their families. Yup, these dream home killers, on the other hand, aren't fun at all. They can bring the whole thing undone. Here, we reveal the seven most common floor plan mistakes to avoid in your home.
Caption: Carefully planning your home’s floor plan is key to optimal comfort and functionality.
Alt-text: Woman planning a home layout.
1. Not paying heed to room placement
Given that each room in a home serves a specific purpose, approaching room placement without any aim and strategy can, at best, turn into a missed opportunity. At worst, it could be a frustrating flaw sabotaging the functionality of a home as well as the comfortable experience of its residents. For instance, sprinkling your bathrooms throughout regularly traveled areas may look great on paper.
Yet, do you genuinely want that half bath right next to the kitchen? Just imagine trying to enjoy a meal with your family and friends while hearing a flushing sound every few minutes. It doesn't sound very appetizing, does it? It's also kind of awkward when the entire party knows when you are in (and out of) the bathroom. On a similar note, imagine taking a refreshing bath, and as soon as you dry out, you suddenly end up smelling like BBQ.
Different zones in the house should work together in harmony without disrupting each other and causing awkward scenarios along the way. And for that, strategic room placement is essential. Bathrooms and bedrooms should be strategically located in a house for privacy and convenience – not too close to the busy streets but still easily accessible from the main living areas. Similarly, your kitchen should be positioned in proportion to your garage. Who feels like toting 17 hundred grocery bags all the way to the other side of the house after unloading from their garage? Not me! This is just something you'd like to consider before buying a property or land to build your home or before starting the remodel of an existing one.
2. Bad home orientation
Another of the most common floor plan mistakes to avoid is bad home orientation. Bad home orientation goes hand in hand with ineffective room placement. The interior layout should be such that it makes the most of your building site and climate. We're talking about passive solar design! If you've come across it before, then you know passive solar home design is meant to take full advantage of warm sun and cooling breezes while reducing a household's heating and cooling load. In other words, you'll achieve greater comfort in your home throughout the entire year, irrespective of the harsh weather outside and at a lower cost. Plus, if you ever decide to sell, it'll be one of the things that will help you sell your home at the highest possible price.
Take the main living area and master bedroom, for instance. Having these spaces facing north will allow plenty of natural light and natural heat from the sun during the cold and dark winter season. Once the temperature rises, the sun's arc will travel above your home, becoming a shield that protects it from the direct rays of the sun.
3. Not sticking to the budget
In the excitement of constructing their Westminster dream home, homeowners often tend to go overboard. They make a lot of choices without really thinking if they can afford them. And we get it. It is your home, after all. But the price? It's usually pretty costly, especially when you overlook the hidden costs of these kinds of projects. That's why it's always a good idea to first make a list of your must-haves. Allocate your budget to the things you really need now, and try sticking to it. That is not to say you shouldn't plan in advance for those features and little luxuries that you can potentially add to the house at a later stage.
At present, it’s best to forgo the luxuries and fancy upgrades you can add later. For now, just focus on the must-haves.
Alt-text: A person stacking coins.
4. Overlooking storage needs
Forgetting to include both the right amount and the right type of storage is a common slip-up regarding floor plans, especially with first-time homeowners. Let's be honest; no architect knows what you need to store better than you do. Furthermore, the type of storage typically hinges on a homeowner's lifestyle. For instance, you may want to store your kids' toys in the living area or your bicycles in the foyer. You may want to make plans for a garage workspace, a butler's pantry, or a large linen closet.
For this reason, the homeowner's involvement in the storage planning process is indispensable. And the golden rule when it comes to adequate storage? It's much better to overestimate than to underestimate. Having your storage needs met is priceless. It will help you avoid clutter, meaning a better organized, safer, and peaceful home.
5. Mismatching your floor plan and lifestyle
Perhaps the single biggest factor that should influence your new home's layout is your lifestyle. Not every floor plan will fit your lifestyle or that of your family. So, you might need to dive a little deeper into your planning. Try to imagine yourself going about your everyday routines in the new space to ensure the home you design is functional for everyone.
Caption: Call up a family meeting and decide on the floor plan that works for every member of the household.
Alt-text: People discussing a potential home layout.
For instance, say you tend to host guests regularly. In that case, your guest toilet shouldn't be positioned on a different floor or in the family bathroom. Placing the pathway from your living area to the kitchen between the TV and the sofa will create an eye-line obstacle while you are watching your program. If you're a sports enthusiast, you might need storage for all your sports gear with easy access. If you work from home, you'll need to plan for a home office in a quieter part of the house. And if you've moved to Westminster for a new job at the office and expect you'll be working far more than the next guy, you might not have time for all that leisure reading you had hoped to do when you built your new home library.
6. Treating furniture as an afterthought
People often tend to hold from reading the actual dimensions of the rooms in a floor plan. And after moving, fitting the furniture into their desired space quickly becomes a challenge. Taking the measurements of the rooms and major pieces of furniture is especially important if you are moving locally to downsize (although the mistake can just as easily occur in larger spaces). Nobody wants to end up in their new place only to learn they need a new sofa and a smaller bed. So, before you hire moving professionals from the neighborhood to pack up your stuff and transfer everything to your new place in Westminster, make sure you've done that part of the work. There are no undo buttons when planning a layout, so make sure to successfully avoid this common floor plan mishap.
7. Unappealing sight-lines
Few things are worse than a poorly planned space where the eye is left to wander around, with nowhere to settle upon. Even worse is having front doors that open to storage or a toilet. Thus, failing to consider the line of sight in a room is one of the most common floor plan mistakes you definitely want to avoid. Be it a piece of wall art or some furniture – each room deserves an area that creates a focal point. Carefully planning the layout of a room will help you work out where you would like to create one for a visually appealing space in your Westminster home.
Meta description: A perfect home joins form and function, as long as you don’t forget to check off all the boxes. Here are 7 common floor plan mistakes to avoid.
7 DIY for your ROI
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.
COVID CARES ACT
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.
Invasion of Privacy (Advertising)
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!
Staying up with all the new data that come in can be challenging but that is what we are here for