Tag Archives: home improvement

Kitchen Decor Ideas | Chris Berthelson | Real Living Real Estate

In this video from home staging expert John Mangano, learn a variety of fast and simple home decor and staging ideas to help make over your kitchen to stand out from the rest. This How-To video will assist you in staging your kitchen for an open house.

via Kitchen Decor Ideas | Chris Berthelson | Real Living Real Estate.


Not all Remodeling Created Equal!!

Remodeling is no panacea for home sellers


DANA POINT, Calif. – March 13, 2014 – Nancy and Thomas James’ Dana Point, Calif., home has expansive ocean views, four bedrooms, a wide deck for entertaining, solar paneling – even an elevator.
But until recently, the 3,258-square foot house – now on the market for $2.29 million – lacked something basic. It had just one bedroom closet.
That setup had suited the Jameses just fine. Over the years, the couple tore out closets to repurposed bedrooms they weren’t using. Thomas and Nancy James, both chiropractors, weren’t focused on whether that could be a stumbling block to a sale someday.
Without closets, though, the rooms could not be counted as bedrooms, prompting their listing agent to observe, “You do realize this is a really expensive one-bedroom home?”
A house that’s outside the norm for a neighborhood can hobble the owners when it’s time to sell. Some real estate agents and appraisers, however, say many sellers these days feel too much pressure to remodel even standard homes, whether it’s because of popular TV shows and flashy home design websites, or because friends or agents recommend it when it’s not really needed.
In the case of most homes being readied for sale, “You shouldn’t remodel the home,” said Mac Mackenzie, an agent at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Irvine, Calif. “People (looking to sell) are paying too much attention to television, and they’re not getting the proper evaluation.”
The value of real estate depends on the location, market segment and cycle, said appraiser Steven R. Smith of Redlands, Calif., who has conducted appraisals of homes in the Los Angeles area and throughout the U.S. over his more than 30-year career.
“The exact same (remodeling) money spent in the wrong location or market segment may not be recaptured, while in the right location or market segment it may be more than recaptured,” said Smith, who has evaluated such homes as a 249-acre Rancho Mirage, Calif., estate with an 18,400-square-foot main house and its own 19-hole golf course. Software billionaire Larry Ellison snapped it up three years ago for just under $43 million.
Many houses about to go on the market could use clean windows and perhaps carpet and paint. Maybe a new roof and some other repairs.
Even contractors find themselves pushing back on home sellers’ urge to upgrade.
Paul Paniagua, owner of All Pro Builders in Fullerton, Calif., said he’s persuaded people about to put their homes up for sale not to remodel, even if their agent suggested it.
“I try to talk them out of it,” Paniagua said. He tells homeowners, “Why don’t you put the house up on the market for what you’re asking for and see what type of offers you get? If you’re absolutely being low-balled and truly believe it’s the kitchen, we can talk about some things we can do.”
He added, “Some people can just throw a countertop on and that’s night and day.”
Often times, homebuyers are looking for the total package – a home with modest upgrades throughout, said Ryan Lundquist, a Sacramento, Calif., appraiser who writes about the housing market.
A gleaming new kitchen certainly can help sell a home, he said. “However, a kitchen remodel is also one of the most expensive remodels and … the resale market may not be willing to pay that much.”
“The layout of the house, though, matters greatly, too, and has to be right,” he said. “Otherwise a (new) kitchen that comes with the rest of a house that does not work is really not all that desirable.”
It’s tough for homeowners to fully recapture what they spend on remodeling at the time of a sale, said Dean P. Zibas, an Orange County, Calif., real estate appraiser. And many homebuyers may not see the need – or the value – of certain pricey upgrades.
He and other appraisers cited among the latter:
• Anything that’s atypical to the local market. “For example, I love racquetball, but having an indoor racquetball or sports court does not appeal to most buyers,” Zibas said.
• Expanded rooms – removing a wall to make one large bedroom instead of two smaller ones.
• Panic rooms.
• Built-in aquariums.
• A six-plus car garage at an average house.
• Turning a garage into a separate living space. “Converting a garage is almost always a negative because homeowners need a place to park their cars or store their stuff,” Lundquist said. “A garage conversion often still feels like a garage instead of a part of the house, so in many cases buyers aren’t willing to pay the same price per-square-foot for the conversion.”
• Some home offices. It depends on a few variables, appraisers say.
“In some market segments (where) many owners work at home, having a home office that is closed off or separated from the other living areas may more than pay back the cost of building it,” Smith said. “Having an office that is separate from the living areas is a good thing. Having one that is tandem to a bedroom is not.”
Making unnecessary re-dos before a sale can sabotage it in another way, Mackenzie said.
“While you’re in the middle of a remodel you probably shouldn’t be doing, you could lose the sale of your home to someone who comes and buys one around the corner,” he said. “In most cases, it’s not worth the risk.”
The Jameses recently finished restoring three-bedroom closets – and they did so at Mackenzie’s suggestion. The home was an exception to the advice he usually gives about remodeling right before a sale. But without enough bedrooms, the residence wouldn’t sell for the best price.
The restoration was among the latest remodeling changes that the couple, who have two grown children, made to the house through the years.
All along, said Nancy James, “We were upgrading for us – and for selling the home.” Her rule of thumb for those who want to make changes with an eye toward an eventual resale: “Don’t be afraid to go in and fix it up. Get a little unique. But don’t go crazy.”
© 2014 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.

Related Topics:Buyer services

Energy Saving Tips – Saving Energy in the Kitchen | Chris Berthelson | Real Living Real Estate

You use a lot of energy in your kitchen. You might be surprised how much energy is used by your dishwasher or refrigerator. In this video from Keys Energy Service are some ways that you can make sure you’re not using more than you have to.

via Energy Saving Tips – Saving Energy in the Kitchen | Chris Berthelson | Real Living Real Estate.

Environmentally Friendly Kitchen Appliances | Chris Berthelson | Real Living Real Estate

Choosing your new appliances carefully can help you save money and energy. This video is part of HGTV’s 20 Ways Your Home Can Save The Planet show hosted by Chi-Lan Lieu.

via Environmentally Friendly Kitchen Appliances | Chris Berthelson | Real Living Real Estate.

Organic Pest and Weed Control Tips | Chris Berthelson | Real Living Real Estate

Lowe’s Home 101 experts, Joel and Courtney, share different ways that you can safely and naturally control pests in your yard and be good to the environment at the same time.

via Organic Pest and Weed Control Tips | Chris Berthelson | Real Living Real Estate.

Summer Energy Saving Tips | Chris Berthelson | Real Living Real Estate

Energy Advisor Sherry Coleman from Santee Cooper show you ways to save power this summer, including tips on how to regulate moisture in your home as well as some simple maintenance tips.

via Summer Energy Saving Tips | Chris Berthelson | Real Living Real Estate.

How to Clean Carpet & Upholstery | Chris Berthelson | Real Living Real Estate

The best way to clean carpet and upholstery, and get rid of smells at the same time, is to use a cup of vinegar mixed with a quart of water. Use dish soap and water to treat greasy stains on upholstery with help from a professional house cleaner in this free video on carpets and housecleaning tips.

via How to Clean Carpet & Upholstery | Chris Berthelson | Real Living Real Estate.