That Old Home Decor Isn’t Always a Bad Thing

 

 

 

 

Some home shoppers say they’re drawn to these homes for the quality construction, distinctive design, and nostalgia, The Wall Street Journal reports.“The number of people looking for time-capsules houses [has], I’ll go out on a limb and say, exploded,” says Pam Kueber, who maintains a list of time-capsule homes on her remodeling blog, RetroRenovation.com.  Some real estate professionals are even specializing in mid-century or un-remodeled homes.

 

Ed Murchison with Virginia Cook, REALTORS®, in Dallas says that over the past five years he’s noticed more young home shoppers seeking Mid-century Modern homes, and they’re willing to pay a premium to get them, too. AMC’s “Mad Men” TV show may have been inspired buyers to appreciate 1960’s design.  So that means popcorn ceilings, shag carpeting, peach bathroom tiles, and baby-blue cabinets are hardly a turnoff to some select home shoppers. Indeed, Robin Miller was drawn to a home with such features that was built in the early 1960s in Weaverville, Calif. She purchased the home and plans to leave the retro design intact.

 

“It’s almost like the less you do, the better because it almost distracts from the architecture that’s already there,” Miller told The Wall Street Journal.

 

Many time-capsule homes are from the post–World War II housing boom. However, they are in short supply: Many of these homes have since been remodeled.  “We may be seeing the last era of true time-capsule houses in America,” Kueber says.

 

Real estate professionals say it’s not always smart to renovate a time-capsule home if you have one as your listing. There could be a niche audience out there looking for it.  “Once you remodel a house out of its time period, you have to perpetually remodel every 10 years to keep up with what’s fashionable,” says Alyssa Starelli with Living Room Realty in Portland, Ore. “But if you maintain it in the period it was, it always suits the house.”

 

For buyers who do find a time capsule home, they should also be vigilant about the condition of the home since it is older. For example, they should assess the home for building code violations and safety hazards, such as lead paint, asbestos, and non-tempered glass in windows or showers, Kueber says.

 

Source: “Life Inside a Time Capsule,” The Wall Street Journal (April 27, 2017)    

 

Posted on May 22, 2017 at 9:03 pm
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Category: Sellers

Curb Appeal: A Little Goes a Long Way

 Low-cost landscaping reaps benefits when it comes to curb appeal and home value.
According to the Appraisal Institute, homeowners spend between $1,766 and $3,227 on landscaping projects – and the expense is well worth it.
Updated landscapes can boost home values by up to 12 percent.
“Curb appeal is important to both appraisers and potential buyers, and homeowners don’t have to spend a lot of money to get it,” says Jim Amorin, president of the Appraisal Institute.  “In fact, it’s important that upgrades don’t exceed neighborhood norms.”
Inexpensive improvements ideal for adding value include planting perennials, power-washing walkways, raking grass clippings, replacing outdated flower pots – and sealing decks, driveways and/or patios.

Source:  Appraisal Institute

 

 

Posted on May 16, 2017 at 7:19 pm
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Category: Sellers

These Doors Can Modernize Your Listing’s Look

Barn doors leading to home office

Thinking of selling your home in the near future?   Consider these simple yet elegant options for dividing a space that increase its functionality while scoring design points.

 

A front door with pizzazz has always had a starring role in a home’s curb appeal. But lately, the doors inside a home are getting a closer look for their ability to add style and address design challenges. Strategically placed doors can offer privacy in open floor plan environments or increase the usability of cramped spaces.

Real estate pros Helen and Malte Strauss in Orlando, Fla., who also manage a staging blog, have used barn doors hung on sliding tracks above door frames and pocket doors, which tuck inside a wall, in several remodel and staging projects. “We use barn doors all the time in master bathrooms where there is a vanity area that is separate from the tub and commode area,” says Strauss, also a home stager.  In some older homes, vanities are located in the master bedroom rather than in the bathroom, a style that quickly can date a home. “Now we just close those off with a barn door, and buyers love that solution.”

She also recently used two barn doors hanging from each side of an open door frame to solve an open floor plan’s privacy issue.  The homeowners had built an addition off the living area that could be used as a guest bedroom, but they never installed a door to separate the bedroom from the main area. Strauss added the double barn doors so the space could be used as a guest bedroom or opened to expand the living area when not in use by a visitor. “It truly makes the room and provides an architectural interest to an otherwise bland wall,” she says.

But don’t be thrown off by the word “barn.”  Your listing doesn’t have to be country chic to benefit from this space saver.  The concept works in many styles, from walnut barn doors for traditional homes to galvanized metal doors for urban lofts, says Lynn MacMillan, with Gem Home Staging & Designs in St. Catharines, Ontario.  Pocket doors vary widely too, from all glass to all wood and from designs that stretch to the ceiling to those that are only waist-high.  Sliding doors can attach to a kitchen island and can be used to close off areas to pets or children when needed.

“I prefer using sliding doors in all my projects,” says designer and architect Lilian Weinreich in New York. Sliding glazed doors, she says, help create enlarged, obstruction-free bathrooms and walk-in dressing areas.

Homeowners needn’t break the bank on these door styles.  Costs vary, but barn doors start around $400 (with do-it-yourself installation). A pocket door can run about $550 (including installation and labor), depending on your local market.

But designers also point out the need for caution.  “You don’t want overkill with this trend.  A barn door is a statement piece. It’s artwork. You wouldn’t use it in every room,” says MacMillan.  But in moderation, barn and double-pocket doors “instantly elevate a home’s style in a way that will make others take notice.”

 

 

Melissa Dittman Tracey  –  REALTOR magazine, Jan 2017

 

Posted on March 20, 2017 at 4:26 pm
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Category: Home Design, Sellers

Home Renovations That Can Hurt (and Help) Property Value

green shuttersIf you’re into renovation projects, then updating and revamping your home can be a lot of fun. But before you get too excited about knocking down walls and setting up a custom movie room, you might want to consider resale value. Flashy renovations don’t always yield the best returns, so you’ll need to take care when picking projects.

To make things easier for you, here are four remodels to avoid and four to invest in.

 

Remodels to Avoid

Luxury Rooms
An indoor basketball court, wine cellar, sauna, or even a movie theater won’t often recoup the high building costs. Luxury add-on rooms are hard to pitch to buyers unless you’re living in an upscale housing market—the average homebuyer won’t be willing to pay for them. Further, rooms that depend heavily on wired electronics, like home theaters, are hard to keep current because TVs and speakers are constantly advancing.

Swimming Pool
The average cost to build a pool is $39,084, a hefty price tag that is seldom recovered once the home is sold.  It’s widely accepted throughout the industry that a homeowner will lose money by adding a swimming pool.  Homebuyers don’t want to deal with the maintenance cost of a pool (which can cost as much as $2,000 a year), the added insurance premiums, and—if they have young kids—the safety issues.

Gaudy Accents
Though gold-plated crown molding or mosaic-tile backsplashes may feature prominently in your ideal vision for your home, they often turn out to be the average homebuyer’s worst nightmare.  Passing fads or niche trends rarely stick around long, so if you miss the brief window when your remodeling choices are in, you’ll end up paying for it later.

Changes Contrary to Area Standards
If you aren’t watching the trends common to your area, you could end up losing a lot of money.  A home that totals $600,000 after all the renovations won’t sell in a neighborhood where homes are netting half that price.  Likewise, knocking down the walls of extra bedrooms for an open layout won’t be appealing in a family-oriented neighborhood.

 

Remodels that Pay

Steel Doors
You don’t want to go cheap on a standard front door. At roughly $1,000, steel doors are comparatively affordable, durable, low maintenance and burglar resistant. As an added bonus, the National Association of Realtors reports that steel door upgrades show the highest return on investment of any home remodel, at over 100 percent of the cost.

Solar Panels
As the price of solar panels continues to drop, the energy payback on installing them is becoming greater and greater.  The average rooftop solar system is now paid off in 7.5 years.  After that, panels are a big money-saving asset.  A study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory notes that homebuyers “consistently have been willing to pay more for a property” with solar panels—a premium of around $4 per installed watt, on average.

New Siding
The exterior of your house is the first thing potential homebuyers see when they come to your home, and you want to make the best first impression. This is part of the reason redoing your siding is so profitable.  New siding recoups around 80 percent of the initial cost, according to the National Association of Realtors®, thanks largely to the increased curb appeal and improved energy efficiency it provides.

Broadband Access
Access to broadband speeds is considered an essential utility for today’s connected homebuyer.  Research shows that faster internet speeds increase your home value by as much as 3 percent.  Homeowners can prepare their homes for higher broadband connectivity by working with area providers to install requisite equipment and wiring.  Building out wall ports and cable-hiding baseboards is a good move to attract buyers, too.

Even if you’re not considering selling your home just yet, keep potential selling benefits in mind.  Intrepid homeowners know that the best remodels will increase both quality of life and listing price, so take care to invest in projects that will net the biggest returns.

Brooke Nally  –  Housecall  Feb 23, 2017

Posted on March 15, 2017 at 9:12 pm
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Category: Home TIPS, Sellers

What an Open-Plan Addition Can Do for Your Old House

Don’t resort to demolition just yet.  With a little imagination, older homes can easily be adapted for modern living

 

It’s no secret that many of the original homes we see in older, established areas simply don’t cut it when it comes to meeting our 21st-century lifestyles. Many of these homes feature individual, boxed-in rooms instead of the open-plan layouts that support our contemporary life. Small, badly positioned windows are also common in these older homes, which means they don’t make the most of views, outdoor living connections or passive-solar design principles.

The good news is there’s often no need to knock down an older house and start again. An open-plan addition and a rethinking of how the original home’s rooms can be used can change everything.

Janik Dalecki    Houzz.com  January 11, 2017
Posted on January 16, 2017 at 8:29 pm
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Category: Buyers, Sellers

4 Things NOT to Do When Putting Your Home on the Market

home on the market

So you’ve decided to put your home on the market. Congratulations! Hopefully, you’ve brought a rockin’ REALTOR® on board to help you list your spot, and together you’ve done your due diligence on what to ask for.  As you start checking things off your to-do list, it’s also important to pay mind of what not to do.

Below are a handful of things to get you started.

Don’t over-improve.
As you ready your home for sale, you may realize you will get a great return on your investment if you make a couple of changes. Updating the appliances or replacing that cracked cabinet in the bathroom are all great ideas. However, it’s important not to over-improve, or make improvements that are hyper-specific to your tastes. For example, not everyone wants a pimped out finished basement equipped with a wet bar and lifted stage for their rock and roll buds to jam out on. (Okay, everyone should want that.) What if your buyers are family oriented and want a basement space for their kids to play in? That rock-and-roll room may look to them like a huge project to un-do. Make any needed fixes to your space, but don’t go above and beyond—you may lose money doing so.

Don’t over-decorate.
Over-decorating is just as bad as over-improving. You may love the look of lace and lavender, but your potential buyer may enter your home and cringe. When prepping for sale, neutralize your decorating scheme so it’s more universally palatable.

Don’t hang around.
Your agent calls to let you know they will be bringing buyers by this afternoon. Great! You rally your whole family, Fluffy the dog included, to be waiting at the door with fresh baked cookies and big smiles. Right? Wrong. Buyers want to imagine themselves in your space, not be confronted by you in your space. Trust, it’s awkward for them to go about judging your home while you stand in the corner smiling like a maniac. Get out of the house, take the kids with you, and if you can’t leave for whatever reason, at least go sit in the backyard. (On the other hand, if you’re buying a home and not selling, then making it personal is the way to go, especially when writing your offer letter. Pull those heart strings!)

Don’t take things personal.
Real estate is a business, but buying and selling homes is very, very emotional. However, when selling your homes, try your very best not to take things personally. When a buyer lowballs you or says they will need to replace your prized 1970s vintage shag carpet with something “more modern,” try not to raise your hackles.

 

 Dec 29 2016 –  Zoe Eisenberg  – RISmedia
Posted on January 3, 2017 at 11:00 pm
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Category: Sellers

Real Estate Pros Divulge Top Design Features

 

BUILDER recently asked real estate professionals to share their thoughts about the top design trends their clients are currently requesting. Here are some of the top design trends that real estate pros said are in demand:

  • Open layouts
  • Neutral color schemes
  • Multi-generational floor plans
  • First-floor master suites
  • No dining rooms
  • White kitchens
  • Extra-large garages
  • Big closets
  • Finished basements with 9-foot high ceilings
  • Barn sliding doors

Source: “REALTORS®’ Most In-Demand Design Trends,” BUILDER (Nov. 16, 2016)

 

Posted on December 7, 2016 at 4:40 pm
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Category: Sellers

The 7 Do’s of Holiday Decorating When Your Home Is for Sale

You can still be festive. These tips will help you celebrate — without alienating would-be buyers

Selling your home through the holiday season can certainly come with a few challenges. Chilly, wet weather and falling leaves in November and December might mean more raking and shoveling to keep your home pristine. However, the damp weather and dark skies don’t have to squelch your holiday spirit. In fact, the holidays are a perfect time to showcase the warmth and character of your home to prospective buyers.

If you’ve already got the basics of staging under control — meaning you’ve pared down, freshened up and added a splash of color — you’re ready to follow these seven DO’s to create an appropriately festive home for sale.

 

Neila Deen –  Interior designer    November 26, 2016
Posted on November 28, 2016 at 3:35 am
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Category: Sellers

How To Attract More Buyers

 home front door

 

 

 

 

 

 

These tips will help you convince buyers your property offers top value for their dollar.

Amp up curb appeal.

Look at your home objectively from the street. Check the condition of the landscaping, paint, roof, shutters, front door, knocker, windows, and house number. Observe how your window treatments look from the outside. Something special—such as big flowerpots or an antique bench—can help your property stand out after a long day of house hunting.

Enrich with color.

Paint is cheap, but it can make a big impression. The shade doesn’t have to be white or beige, but stay away from jarring pinks, oranges, and purples. Soft yellows and pale greens say “welcome,” lead the eye from room to room, and flatter skin tones. Tint ceilings in a lighter shade.

Upgrade the kitchen and bathrooms.

These are make-or-break rooms. Make sure they’re squeaky clean and clutter-free, and update the pulls, sinks, and faucets. In a kitchen, add one cool appliance, such as an espresso maker.

Add old-world patina to walls.

Crown molding that’s at least six to nine inches deep and proportional to the room’s size can add great detail on a budget. For ceilings nine feet high or higher, consider dentil detailing, which is comprised of small, tooth-shaped blocks in a repeating ornamentation.

Screen hardwood floors.

Refinishing is costly, messy, and time-consuming, so consider screening instead. This entails a light sanding — not a full stripping of color or polyurethane — then a coat of finish.

Clean out and organize closets.

Remove anything you don’t need or haven’t worn in a while. Closets should only be half-full so buyers can visualize fitting their stuff in.

Update window treatments.

Buyers want light and views, not dated, heavy drapes. To diffuse light and add privacy, consider energy-efficient shades and blinds.

Hire a home inspector.

Do a preemptive strike to find and fix problems before you sell your home. Then you can show receipts to buyers, demonstrating your detailed care for their future home.

 

REALTOR magazine

Posted on November 7, 2016 at 7:29 pm
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Category: Sellers

Staging vs. Decorating: What’s the Difference?

Unlike decorating, staging your home isn’t about personal style — it’s about creating ambiance and appeal for buyers

This is the distinction between decorating your home and staging it to sell. It can be hard to understand at first, but if you don’t know the difference, you might not sell your house as quickly as you like.
Kristie Barnett    July 23, 2012
Posted on November 3, 2016 at 5:00 pm
Jana Ace R Wunderlich | Category: Sellers