Tag Archives: home improvements

Money Monday: When to DIY or hire a professional

What to spend money on (and what to DIY) as a new homeowner

diy home improvement“After the thrill of buying a new home wears off, new owners can get overwhelmed thinking about all the new costs incurred.

“You may be tempted to outsource it all. But maybe you’re not made of money? Besides, there are things that are worth doing yourself.

“For homeowners embarking on something new, it may not be clear what to take care of or how, and when to try to do it yourself and when to call the pros.” Here are some guidelines from CNN:

What to spend money on (and what to DIY) as a new homeowner.

Money Monday: How Homeowners are Paying for Popular Projects

As a homeowner, you typically want to make the place your own by doing home improvements. But what projects are usually done? And for #MoneyMonday, we’ll look at how it’s paid for.

Projects are typically done on a large scale. Here’s what gets tackled:

  • 43% focus on outdoor projecs
  • 31% are bathroom remodels
  • 28% on the unfortunate home repairs
  • 26% done on kitchen remodels
  • 16% narrow in on the garage
  • 5% are about the pool

And how are they paying for it? A surprising 62% of homeowners tap into their savings! (Way to go, financially savvy owners!) For those who don’t have the cash resources, they turn to the following to cover their house project:

  • 30% use a credit card
  • 13% take out home equity line of credit
  • 10% use a vague “other” method of payment
  • 9% liquidate or pull money from investments
  • 5% use a home improvement loan

As far as what you should focus on if you’re thinking of improving your house for the purpose of putting it on the market? Here’s projects in 2017 that had the best resale ROI.

And call me if you’re selling in the San Diego County! I’d love to have an opportunity to interview for the position of selling your home! John A Silva — 619-890-3648.

This infographic can be found here at CAR.org.

Staying Cool This Summer

It’s only May, and already we’re experiencing too-warm of spring weather in San Diego County! Here’s some tips on how to stay cool this potentially hot summer (and save money and energy!):

BLOCK THE SUN.

If you’re installing new windows, your best defense against sun is heat-reflecting or low-emissivity windows. These windows contain a thin film sealed inside double-pane glass to slow heat absorption in summer and heat loss in winter.

INSTALL FILM ON EXISTING WINDOWS.

One type of film — a window tint — absorbs solar radiation; the other — a reflective film — reflects the sun’s rays and is more transparent than the window tint. Install the type best suited to the climate in which you live. Films are left on windows year-round. Both should last at least 10 years.

INSULATE YOUR ATTIC.

If you live in a climate where summers are hot and winters are mild, also consider installing a radiant barrier — a layer of foil to deflect radiant heat. Radiant barriers, however, do not replace the need for other insulation.

Attach awnings. Buy ready-made fabric or aluminum awnings, or build wood awnings that complement your house. Install awnings on east-, south-, and west-facing windows.

MOUNT OUTSIDE SUNSCREENS.

Block the sun by covering windows that receive direct sunlight with screenings of bamboo, wood, fiberglass, or polypropylene.

HANG LIGHT-COLOR INTERIOR SHADES.

Reflect the sun with shades made with a shiny outer surface. Some fabric shades are backed by light-reflective materials.

INSTALL A WHOLE-HOUSE FAN.

If the humidity in your area isn’t too uncomfortable, mount a whole-house fan in the ceiling just below the attic. These fans draw in cool air through open windows at night and push out hot air through attic vents.

CROSS-VENTILATE.

Exhaust air any time the temperature outside is cooler than it is inside. Make sure air can come in one open window and leave freely through another.

Stay cool!

Projects with the Best Returns in 2017

Resale ROI

House projects have varying degrees of return; here are the top five projects with the greatest ROI, and the top five with the least ROI:

This infographic is from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS.

Front Lawns: More Than Just Curb Appeal

Beautiful landscaping for your home is for more than just making a good impression.

Besides having that curb appeal punch, having a front yard is good for us! Having a lawn and/or yard reduces energy costs (as long as you have the right trees and foliage planted), cools down the outside areas, reduces stress, provides oxygen, protects trees, and reduces water runoff. All good things, while also making your home beautiful!

BeyondCurbAppeal

This infographic is from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS, at CAR.org.

Money Monday: Rent instead of buying these things

Real estate and cars aren’t the only things you can either rent or buy; there are plenty of other rent-able things that you might not have thought about:

  • Tools – Perfect for when you have a DIY home improvement project, but probably won’t need that specific tool for anything else. Rent a chop saw for the crown molding in the bedroom, a chainsaw for the dead tree in the backyard, or a seeder to reseed your front lawn. Rent from local stores around you or Home Depot or Lowe’s, or see if a neighbor or friend has the necessary tool that you might be able to borrow. diy home improvement
  • Chickens and coops – Self-sufficiency can be a fun project or a lifetime endeavor; either way, with multiple companies with coops and chickens for rent, you can try out “home grown” eggs! Check out sites like rent-a-chicken.netrentthechicken.com, or rentacoop.com.
  • Art – Does looking at the same painting on your living room wall get boring after awhile? TurningArt.com allows you to continually rotate artwork for a monthly fee.
  • Clothes – Most cater to women, but there are several different websites now that do clothing rentals. Check out sites like renttherunaway.com, letote.com, or swapdom.com.
  • MSN.com’s article has several other practical things that you can rent: “10 Oddly Practical Things You Can Rent.”

Focus on These Home Improvements

Home improvements that pay off:

  • Entry door replacement
  • Wood or composite deck addition
  • Garage door replacement
  • Attic bedroom
  • Sunroom addition
  • Bathroom addition or remodel
  • Vinyl or wood window replacements
  • Two-story addition

HomeImprovementsThatPayOffThis infographic is from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS at CAR.org.

Changing Homes into Accessible Housing

By 2030 one out of every five people in the U.S. will be 65-plus. With baby boomers retiring and becoming older, will older homeowners have to purchase specifically designed accessible homes? Thankfully not!

Increasing numbers of professional remodelers are changing up existing homes of older residents to accommodate accessibility needs. Universal features like walk-in showers and exterior ramps can be incorporated into many houses.

It often makes sense to remodel older residents’ current homes so that they are able to age comfortably without needing to move. Main floor master bedroom additions are wise changes; they can be used as a master suite from the get-go, or as guest quarters until needed by the homeowners. Ramps can be blended into the architecture and landscaping, and then they can accommodate a wheelchair or walker in the future. Wide doorways, no steps into the home, easy-to-open windows, lower counters, and so many other remodeling changes will make your home appealing and livable for a wide age- and accessibility-range of buyers and homeowners.

AARP has a free booklet entitled “The Do-Able Renewable Home” at www.universaldesign.com.