Avoiding Bad Trends when Updating your House

 

There has never been a time in history where trends could spread quicker. Trends involving updating a house are no different. Not long ago you would have to go over to someone's house in order to see what they've done. But not today. Whether you are on Facebook and seeing updates on your friends DIY projects or you have been scrolling through Pinterest ideas, seeing unique home improvements has never been easier. If a lady in Albuquerque paints her ceiling red and pins it on Pinterest, one month later that could have inspired thousands of ceilings to get painted red across the world. That could have never happened a decade ago.

With so many ideas out there you need to be careful not to turn a "home-improvement" into an eye sore down the road. 

As they say "Easy Come, Easy Go". If something gains popularity really quickly you can almost bet it will loose popularity quickly too. Shag carpet in earth-tone colors like gold and green wasn't heard of in early 1960's but in the 70's it had become the floor covering of choice. And then only a decade later it was gone again. 

Let's look at today's trends. What kind of styles are going as quickly as they came? 

 

Bypass Vintage Spoked Sliding Barn Door Closet by TheWhiteShanty: Barn Doors and barn wood everywhere. The trend probably started because old tumbled over barns needed to be put to use and someone got crafty and re-purposed it to make picture frames and shelves. Now you can buy Faux Barn Wood Furniture. They have even created vaulted ceilings out of barn wood and corrugated metal.  Can you imagine looking back on that and cringing?

Beautiful cobalt blue vessel sink....It needs a different faucet, etc., however.  Houzz ᘡղbᘠ: Unusual Sinks. It's not hard to imagine these going out of style quickly. Every design of these glass bowls are very style specific. And a small percentage of people would like the color and pattern than if it was a regular sink. Future buyers just might not be able to imagine that bathroom being their own.

House of Turquoise: Colordrunk Designs  (Would LOVE to try this tile in a bathroom!): Chevron. This pattern got a ton of attention very quickly and could be found on every skirt, baby blanket, and book cover. But should it belong in the house? Especially paired with a trendy color, you can bet on the year this backsplash was installed, 2013. It has only been 3 years and it is dated.

Fix it or Leave it?

Fix it or Leave it?

This is the question on most seller’s mines when it is about time to sell. Will it be worth the expense of repairing and upgrading the house? There really is no way of telling if any one thing would be worth it for sure. But there are general guide lines to consider.

Who will be buying your house? Obviously you won’t know the individuals but you can guess the type of person. If it is a very low dollar house that is all-around outdated, it is likely going to be bought by an investor to be used as a rental. They are mostly interested in how much work NEEDS to be done to be fit to rent and getting it for bottom dollar. Certain things can still be done but don’t waist your money upgrading to nicer counter top or nicer carpet. If what’s there is in decent shape, skip it.

However, if it is a medium to high priced house, you will likely be appealing to someone who actually wants to live there. These are the type of people who will actually care about the style of the house.

So what should be upgraded? Take a look with fresh eyes at your house and fix the most obvious problems first. Does it need to be painted? That can be a worth while investment. Chipping paint on the exterior can make the entire house look poorly cared for. And the opposite is true. A very nice exterior paint job can make the entire house looked cared for.

Most importantly is to fix the ugliest and visually broken/neglected parts of your house first. Crumbling front steps take priority over wallpaper. Too much overgrown shrubbery takes priority over new windows. Stained and fraying carpet takes priority over upgrading the bathroom vanity. Water damaged ceiling take priority over new light fixtures.

Is your house almost immaculate? You might be appealing to someone who doesn’t want to make any repairs. If your house is “almost perfect”, consider doing what it takes to make it actually “perfect”.

One last bit of advice… clean and clean more. When you are done cleaning, clean even more. That is the cheapest thing you can do to a house that will give it a leg up. Shampoo the carpet. Wipe down the wood work and cabinets. Dust the fans and make everything sparkle. Buyers will notice, possibly subconsciously,  but they WILL notice a clean house and think more favorably of it.


If you have a specific question about whether a repair/upgrade is worth it, please don’t hesitate to give me a call. Angie Uttecht 605-350-2553

 

Fixer Uppers — Is it a Good Deal or a Money Pit?

If you have been browsing through houses online and you found an under priced house that is a fixer-upper, you might have found a bargain! The other reality is that it could be a money pit.

Here are some questions to figure out before making an offer:

  1. Is it just ugly? or does it have bigger problems?  Old carpet, cat urine smell, ripping wallpaper, chipping paint, no problem! Not to say that it will be cheap to replace carpet and paint but it is a cost that you can easily calculate and decide if it is worth it. You can get a really good deal on a nice house if you are willing to use some elbow grease.
    Leaking roof, missing siding, broken furnace, missing plumbing? Now this is a problem. This is not a property to jump on. Take your time. You will need to get estimates to fix each of the issues. And plan for it being twice as expensive. If you believe its still worth it, then go for it. But don’t expect to be able to move in quickly!
  2. Always stay in your comfort zone. This isn’t usual advice but when it involves this much risk you need to know what you can handle. If you aren’t comfortable with a deal it is likely that you aren’t understanding everything that it will involve. And a miscalculation can be very very spendy!
  3. Have the money to spend. Make sure that you have your finances in order. If you can barely make the down payment, how will you afford the repairs? If you can’t move in until the repairs are done, you will be paying insurance, utilities, and interest on a property that you aren’t living in. If you are going to be taking a risk, make sure you can handle your worst case scenarios.
  4. Have a backup plan. In the worst of cases what will you do? Your Plan-B doesn’t have to be spectacular, make you money, or be convenient; but you should have one! Can you easily resell the property as-is for what you paid? Can you live in the house before repairs are made? Just as long as your plan isn’t to skip town and let the home be foreclosed on!

    If you need my assistance please don’t hesitate to call, Angie Uttecht 605-350-2553

Weird and Cheap Kitchen updates that you can do yourself!

If you have an outdated house, (or are interested in buying a house that is outdated) good news! Here are a lot of cheap ideas that will transform your living area!

1. The Magic of Paint
Of course, fresh paint on the walls is always a great update. But did you know you can paint ugly cabinets and counter-tops too? The only change in the picture below is paint. Pretty huge change! Follow this link for instructions. 
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2. Concrete

How does concrete fit into a kitchen? Better than you would think? If painting the counter-tops isn’t your thing or you want stone but can’t afford it, this is for you! Concrete counter-tops are durable. You can stain it to look like marble, granite, wood, versatile, and best yet, cheap!   Learn how to do this yourself. 

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3. Upgrade all your appliances for $50? It isn’t impossible. If you desire a stainless steel look, you can buy stainless steel contact sheets. Applying this to your appliances will really change the appearance of your kitchen! Read more Here!

Or you can paint it with Rust-oleum Stainless steel paint. Read more here!

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If you were to get new counter-tops, cabinets, and appliances, you would be spending thousands of dollars, and very easily could be worth it. But these cheap tricks look at least 70% as good and cost only 5% as much!

Christmas Season Light-up!

Decorating your house can be a friendly rivalry against the neighbors. But look at this house! The costs to light up this display was $686/hour!

How Much Does it Cost to Power Your Christmas Lights?

You don’t have to have your house visible to space to cheer up your neighborhood!

Favorite Tip: You can light up the inside and outside of your house by hanging lights inside your window. Use tape to hold the lights within the window itself. Do this to all your front facing windows. With curtains shut it looks like every light in your house is on. PLUS you don’t have to get out a ladder or adventure onto the roof.

 

10 tips to Save money on Homeowner’s Insurance

Homeowner’s Insurance is a must have. However there are many easy ways to pay less.

  1. Buy your home owners insurance and auto policies from the same company and you will most likely qualify for multi-policy discounts.
  2. Retirees and those who are home most hours of the day may qualify for a discount on theft insurance.
  3. Install deadbolt locks and smoke detectors. It’s a good purchase to make on it’s own. And insurance companies might give you a discount.
  4. Have vinyl siding? Some insurance companies will give you up to 20% discount if you exclude your vinyl siding from hail damage coverage.
  5. Don’t Smoke. Non-smokers pay less than smokers because there is less fire risk.
  6. Ask about additional Discounts. Firefighters, Teachers, Engineers and Law Enforcement sometimes get lower rates.
  7. Raise your deductible. You will have to pay more out of pocket if an incident happens but you will save money every month.
  8. Don’t Buy Coverage you don’t need. Don’t pay for coverage on fur jackets & jewelry if you don’t own any.
  9. Add outdoor lighting to your sidewalks and driveway. Motion Censored light to your backyard.
  10. Ask what you could do to lower your premiums. It never hurts to ask.

A few things that might raise your Homeowner’s insurance.

  • Owning a Trampoline
  • Having Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, or Pit Bulls.
  • Owning a Swimming Pool
  • Having a Tree House
  • Having big ticket Jewelry
  • Running a home business
  • Fireplaces or Wood burning Stoves
  • Exotic Pets