Outdoor Living Spaces: Three Things Homeowners Must Know

Outdoor Living Spaces: Three Things Homeowners Must Know

Anyone who has watched cable television’s popular shows on home remodeling or home selling knows that outdoor living spaces are all the rage. Capable of adding extra space and comfort to homes in just about any location, these spaces go beyond the porches, decks, gazebos, and bare patios that were once the only options for outdoor seating and entertaining. In addition to being popular, a beautifully designed, outdoor living space can offer even more benefits. If you are a homeowner who is wavering about whether or not to invest in adding an outdoor living space to your home, the following information can help you see what this type of space has to offer your family.

1. Increased Living Space Offers Comfort for Growing Families

No matter how carefully families choose the home they buy, there will still be many times when it feels too small for comfort. Growing children, visiting relatives, and many other situations can cause a home that was once spacious to feel cramped and small.

Adding an outdoor living space provides another area suitable for use from spring through fall in most areas of the country. If the space provides comfortable seating and cooking facilities, it can even become the chosen location for family dinners, helping to reduce traffic in the house and keep it cleaner and more organized.

2. Entertaining is Easier With an Outdoor Living Space

Many homes today are built without a formal dining room, making it difficult to host large gatherings for meals and snacks. An outdoor living area offers a spacious location that can be furnished to handle gatherings of any size. If the outdoor living space also provides electricity to power small appliances, along with a sink, cooking surface, and a cooler or refrigerator, complete meals can be easily prepared and served outdoors, making cleanup far easier.

Many people also add some type of heat to their outdoor living spaces, such as a fire pit, outdoor fireplace, or specially designed outdoor heating appliance, to make these spaces more usable in cooler weather.

3. Outdoor Living Spaces Add Real Value When Selling a Home

Just like porches and patios, outdoor living spaces are considered as part of the base area of the home. Although the base area is not the same as finished interior space, it will still be able to add value in the eyes of both a real estate appraiser and prospective buyers.

To get the most value from your outdoor living space, sellers will want to:

  • make sure the planned outdoor space fits well with the neighborhood and architectural style of the home
  • make sure the size of the planned outdoor space remains in balance with the size of the yard and does not diminish the usefulness of the backyard space
  • make sure the planned outdoor space is attractive both when in use and during the off season
  • make sure the planned outdoor space offers privacy from prying eyes of neighbors or people passing by

For more information about how an outdoor living space can be a benefit, homeowners should consult their real estate professional.

Through the use of recent listing and sales data for similar homes with and without outdoor living spaces, homeowners will be able to gain a better understanding of the amount of added value their home would have after the space is completed. This information can help homeowners  create a realistic plan for these improvements, as well as a suitable budget.

4 Simple Ways Homeowners Can Increase Their Home’s Value

4 Simple Ways Homeowners Can Increase Their Home's Value

Homes tend to appreciate over time, as long as you take care of them and keep them in good shape. However, there are some things you can do to your home that can increase their value, and you don’t necessarily have to spend a ton of money on them. Here are four simple ways homeowners can increase their home’s value.

Do a Kitchen or Bath Update

Kitchens and bathrooms are two of the most-used rooms in a house, and they also are the rooms that buyers focus on the most. That’s why it’s important to make periodic improvements to these rooms. You don’t have to break the bank and spend thousands and thousands of dollars. In fact, minor remodels are the ones that tend to add the most value. Some simple things you can do include replacing appliances, replacing a vanity, switching out water and light fixtures and updating your tile and counter tops.

Concentrate on the Exterior

Most people focus on making interior improvements when remodeling their home, but you can actually get the most bang for your buck focusing on the outside. Many of the improvements that have the most return on investment are exterior ones. These include replacing your entry door or garage door, adding or repairing a deck, and sprucing up your landscaping. All of these improvements will be investments that pay back more than they cost to complete, when done correctly.

Structural Improvements

Doing things to the bones of your house aren’t cheap but they are necessary. Take your roof, for example. People do not want to buy a roof that leaks or has broken shingles. Some companies, such as Select Exteriors, know that if this is the case with your roof, you might consider investing to improve it. The same goes for your home’s foundation. Structural improvements can be expensive, but not doing them when necessary can greatly reduce the value of your home.

Make Energy Improvements

Many of today’s home buyers want an energy-efficient home, so you can boost your home’s value by making some simple energy changes. This can include installing a programmable thermostat and changing to compact fluorescent lights. If you want to make a bigger investment, replacing windows or installing solar panels can be good choices.

Making these and other improvements to your home can greatly increase your home’s value. Some improvements require a big investment, but others do not. Either way, you are likely to recoup most of what you spend on these improvements.

4 Key Characteristics To Look For When Choosing A Real Estate Professional

4 Key Characteristics To Look For When Choosing A Real Estate Professional

When it comes time to buy a home, you don’t want to work with just any real estate professional. Instead, you want to work with someone who takes an interest in who you are and what your housing needs are. Let’s take a look at some key characteristics of a real estate professional who is worth working with during your next home search.

This Person Should Be Personable

Ideally, the person who is working with you to find your dream home should be approachable and friendly. There will be times when you have to get in touch with this person early in the morning, late at night or on weekends. If he or she is not interested in working with you at all hours, it may be best to look for someone else.

This Person Should Be A Fierce Advocate

Your real estate agent is supposed to be someone who represents your needs and interests during the home buying process. Therefore, he or she needs to be a fierce advocate who is willing to stand up to the seller or seller agent on matters that are important to you. This could be the difference between getting a better deal on a home or feeling forced to close the deal on the seller’s terms.

This Person Should Be Part Of A Larger Firm

Real estate agents who work for established firms generally get jobs because of their skills and track record of success. They generally have large email lists full of available homes for sale before they are available to the public. Knowing that a listing is available before anyone else allows you to see the home and put in an offer before a bidding war can begin.

This Person Should Know the Area

A real estate agent should be able to narrow down your search based on the criteria on your wish list. If you want good schools for the kids, your agent should know which neighborhoods to look in. If you want a house for less than $100,000, your agent should know which parts of town are more suited to your needs.

You should never buy a home without the assistance of a qualified real estate agent, like the professionals at Re/Max of Boulder, Inc. Doing so could result in spending more money on a home that may or may not meet your needs. In addition to helping find a home, your agent may also know where to turn for financing or who to hire for a quality home inspection.

Remodeling for Revenue: How to Flip Your House to Increase Its Value

Remodeling for Revenue How to Flip Your House to Increase Its Value

Flipping homes can be an effective way to make money from real estate. However, you need to know what types of upgrades will yield the highest returns on your investment before you decide to make them. Here are just some strategies that you should employ to ensure that you maximize your profits from each flip:

More Living Space Generally Means a Higher Price

In some areas, homes are priced per square foot. Therefore, adding more living space will translate to a higher asking price for the house. Some ideas for adding more space include finishing the attic or basement. In some cases, adding an egress to an already finished space will allow you to advertise it when listing the home.

It may also be a good idea to put an addition on the home that can be used as an extra bedroom, office or bathroom. If you are going to add to the house, make sure that you have the proper permits to do so. On average, each additional square foot that you add of living space could equal $100 or more added to the listing price.

Update the Kitchen and Bathroom

For those who have a limited budget, it is in your best interest to focus on the bathroom and kitchen spaces. Kitchens are where those who live in a home are going to spend the majority of their time. Bathrooms are generally where an individual is going to start or end his or her day. Being able to do so in style will make it more likely that a buyer will pay more for the house.

Upgrading the kitchen and bathroom is also a good idea because it makes the home easier for the next buyer to sell in the future. That alone will make the home more valuable because no one wants to pay for something that they can’t liquidate if necessary. Depending on where you live a new bathroom or updated kitchen could add $20,000 to $100,000 to the value of a house.

Put a Hot Tub in the Backyard

A nice spa with all of the proper hot tub accessories in the backyard makes a home more appealing because it gives the owner a place to entertain or relax after a hard day at work. They can be used either in the winter or the summer, which makes it more versatile than a pool for those who live in more temperate climates.

While individuals may be able to install them themselves, it is generally better to have a professional install it for you. It should only take a few minutes to a few hours depending on how much electrical work needs to be done to accommodate the new item.

In some cases, your installer may suggest ways that you can further spruce up your yard to add value to the flip. In most cases, a home’s value goes up by whatever you paid for it, but it could indirectly increase your home’s value because it makes the home more appealing.

Add New Front and Garage Doors

Replacing the current front and garage door with new ones makes the home look cleaner, brighter and more attractive at first sight. Typically, you will increase the value of the home by as much as 400 percent of what you paid for them. Therefore, if you spend $5,000 for new doors, the home will be worth $20,000 more.

While flipping may not be for everyone, it can be lucrative for those who understand how to do so successfully. For the most part, you have to understand what buyers in a given market want and then tailor the home to those needs to make it as attractive as possible when it goes on sale.

Rental Remodel: 3 Things To Consider When Fixing To Lease

Rental Remodel

Renting out a home or apartment can be a great way to earn some extra income, especially considering the number of renters in the U.S. is continuing to rise year after year. Combine this with rising rental prices and a declining number of vacant properties and it spells out the fact that now is a great time to get into the property rental business.

However, before you dive straight in and immediately list your property for rent, you’ll first want to ensure that it’s in good enough condition to actually earn you a profit. While you may not want to undertake any major renovation projects, making sure your property is above minimum requirements and up to code will pay off in the long run. To make things easier, here are a few of the most important things you’ll want to be on the lookout for.

Old, Outdated Décor

Unless the property is brand new, you’ll always want to make sure you give the interiors a bit of a touch up before trying to rent it out. At the bare minimum, you’ll want to give everything a fresh paint job (neutral tones are always best). Still, you may want to consider tearing out those old carpets or linoleum floors and putting in new laminate flooring. Generally speaking, carpet is almost always a bad idea in rental properties. If you make as many repairs as is reasonable, making the space look clean and well-maintained, it will be easier to keep track of damage and needed repairs in the future.

Kitchen and Bathroom Furnishings

Pay close attention to your kitchen and bathroom cabinets and other furnishings, as these are fairly inexpensive to replace and can make a major difference in how much you can charge for the place. Making smaller changes like putting in new faucets or shower head also helps. You don’t necessarily need to remodel the entire room, as even making a few minor upgrades can go a long way.

Landscaping and Exterior

The outside of the property is just as important as the interior, and sometimes even more so, since this is the first thing a prospective tenant will see. If they don’t like what they see on the outside, they may not even bother to check out the inside. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to take a little time to spruce up the exterior of the property as well. Make sure the trees are trimmed, plant a few bushes or even just fix the dead spots in the lawn. Like with the interior, even a little help can go a long way. If you’re planning on renting through a realty company like Adams, Cameron and Co., Realtors, you will also want to ask them if they have any advice to give.

In many cases, it may be necessary to perform some more extensive renovations or repairs before a property is fully ready to rent out, especially if it doesn’t meet all local regulations. Nonetheless, even the more basic remodel tasks listed above should help ensure that you can get maximum value from your rental property.