Generally, when it comes to home improvements or upgrades there are three groups in which the upgrade/improvement falls into. The first group is when the upgrade increases the value of your home by as much as the cost of the upgrade or improvement was itself. The second group is when the upgrade/improvement increases your home value equal to a partial cost of the upgrade or improvement. Then we have the third group where the value of your home doesn’t actually increase but the cost of the improvement/upgrade adds great benefit to your home. The third group is the group in which Furnace Repair or Replacement falls into.
While replacing or repairing your existing furnace doesn’t actually add to the overall value of your home it does produce a lot of potential benefits for you as the homeowner. Furnaces usually last about 25 years, potentially requiring some repairs and maintenance measures to be taken along the way. That being said newer furnaces tend to update your home’s overall heating system and can also be a lot more energy-efficient.
Although repairing your furnace might not have an effect on your home’s overall value not having one can actually decrease your home value as well as decrease the number of interested buyers to having no buyers at all. Those in the market to buy a home consider a furnace a basic home necessity when looking to purchase a home. Should you have an older or out of date furnace you may also fail inspection reports when in the process of selling your home. This would result in being ordered to replace or repair your furnace before being able to sell it.
While furnace repair is a lot more cost-friendly than actual furnace replacement, should you choose to replace rather than repair your furnace you are potentially adding more appeal to your home as well as a more updated and energy-efficient central heating system. With a more energy-efficient heating system, you are looking to lower energy bills sufficiently. In fact, it has been found that your heating bill contributes to up to ⅓ pf your utility costs. Also, an updated furnace and heating system helps to lessen the planet’s pollution levels by cutting down the emission of greenhouse gases!
Deciding whether to repair or replace your furnace is dependent on your budget and the costs associated with both. It is best to speak with an HVAC specialist in your area to determine which route is best for you and your home. By maintaining all systems and appliances in your home you are looking to save money while you are still living in the home by ensuring that everything runs as efficiently as possible. When getting ready to sell, it is beneficial to have everything in proper working order to sell your home at the best price possible for your financial gain as well as to eliminate the need for further repairs or replacement items when trying to close the sale of your home.
You may have snagged a deal of a lifetime when you first bought your home. But now you might have started a family or just started accumulating more stuff. No matter what, gaining a room addition is a good investment that will repay itself when you sell the house and give you the extra space you can use to house an extra bathroom, an extra bedroom, or just an extra room for more space.
Pros Of a Room Addition
You can make the room whatever you want. It’s a little slice of designing your own house. Everything is customizable to your taste and budget.
A room addition will increase the value of your home that will help pay off your initial investment into the room
Cheaper and less time consuming than having to go shopping for a new house that has an extra bedroom or bathroom, and hence you can stay in the home you initially fell in love with
Cons Of A Room Addition
You will have to outsource most of this job if not all of it to professional architects and contractors to make sure the job is done right, but many contractors have been known to rip customers off. So double-check for quality
The upfront cost is hefty. Home Advisor estimates the cost of adding a room to be anywhere from $20,000 to almost $70,000.
Rome wasn’t built in one day, and neither will your room addition. Contractors will come in and out making noise throughout the day, testing your sanity
For some, there are too many decisions to make and they don’t want to take the time out of their day to consider all the details
Home additions take away valuable property space that someone might want for a garden or running room for their pets
As you can see, room additions can be vital for some people like families expecting another child, but are not necessary and have some major cons that one needs to consider before going through the whole process. But it is cheaper than shopping for a new home and you have the potential to recoup your investment when it comes time to sell your home.
If you are looking to add value to your home one of the surefire ways to do so is by adding a pool to your home. But buyer beware, as pools are not practical everywhere, and require a lot of maintenance you might not be ready for. Considering these pros and cons before you decide to add a pool is a great start.
Pros Of Adding A Pool To Your Property
If you live in a place where the temperature routinely reaches over 100 degrees, having a pool right in your backyard will provide immediate relief
If you have kids, they will love playing in the pool for hours and hours
Set up a slide, pool basketball, or any other pool-related games
No need to pay for a trip to the pool
No lifeguards and no adult swim
No one disposing of unwanted waste in the pool
Can customize your pool to have a bar or anything you want
Great place to host a party
Cons Of Adding A Pool To Your Property
If you live in a cold environment or any place where the temp drops below 50 degrees, then you will have to shut down your pool for months
Pools require a ton of maintenance. From scooping out leaves to replacing chlorine. You will always keep an eye on your pool to make sure algae isn’t growing. You can always pay someone to maintain your pool for you, but it will cost a lot more than maintaining it yourself.
If you have kids, they are always at a risk for drowning, slipping, and hurting themselves. So you as the parent always need to be the lifeguard.
Most pools or water parks have more attractions like wave pools, lazy river, big water slides, diving board, etc… while your home pool can usually only have a diving board and maybe a slide
The deeper you want your pool, the more it costs to build
Remodeling your kitchen allows you to customize and transform one of your most-used rooms in your house into something special. There are so many things you can tweak and replace that you can end up with a kitchen that looks nothing like what it used to look like. You can add just as much form as you can function to make your kitchen the place to enhance and create the ultimate cooking experience. The only limit to how much you can change is how much you are willing to spend.
Kitchen Remodel – Where To Begin
Here’s just a short list of things you can upgrade
The cost of remodeling is all dependent on what you want to do and if you are willing to do it yourself. If all you want is to replace your flooring it is going to be cheaper than buying and installing all-new appliances. If you hire a contractor, you’re going to be paying more than if you do it yourself, but you are likely to get it done earlier. But according to Home Depot, the remodel can cost anywhere from $20,0000 to $120,000 depending on how far you’re willing to go.
When it comes to you DIYers, it helps if you have more experience than just watching a home renovation show on TV. See if you can find a friend who can help you along. If you can only go online, you can still access a ton of information now that the internet and Youtube are popular. You will get a greater sense of satisfaction and save quite a bit of money. But, you will only be able to remodel when you are not busy at work or doing other chores that leave you little time for remodeling. If you commit a couple of weekends to it and do your research beforehand, you’ll be surprised at what you can get done on your own.
Renovations add value to your home and allow you to customize it to fit your taste and needs. While you might be concerned about the cost if done correctly and with a budget in place, it is a good investment that potentially can add a lot of value to your home when it come times to put it on the market. So stop living with that fridge that won’t close or those lights that don’t work and consider remodeling your kitchen today.
They say dress to impress and the same applies with your house! What do I mean? I mean making the outside of your house look as attractive as possible with landscaping improvements. Landscaping adds 5.5% to 12.7% value depending on the amount and quality of the work done. Here are some tips that will make sure that your landscaping plan achieves its goals and leaves your house as the nicest looking house on the block ensuring that potential home owners or renters will be excited to tour your house.
Have a Plan- Most homeowners don’t understand how important having a plan is. They haphazardly upgrade a few things here or there and they might get an “A” for effort, but will be shocked with disappointing results when potential buyers won’t commit to your house. Why is this happening? This is because these upgrades fail to work together as a whole package because the homeowner didn’t have a plan. You need to develop a budget, an idea of how all the new landscaping will work together, and a basic idea of what you want to do. That way when you need to go to Home Depot or Lowes to get all of your supplies, you can get in and get out, feel confident and not run over budget. Decide what needs to be spruced up and what needs to be replaced. Consider your yearly climate and what plants and wildlife thrives there. For example one wouldn’t put an outdoor pool in a home in northern Montana where it snows for much of the year. Also consider the style of your home. For example if you own a southwestern themed house in Arizona you wouldn’t plant pine or spruce trees. Rather plant cactus and yucca that works with the theme of the neighborhood and house. This way your house won’t stick out like a sore thumb that will turn potential customers away as most homeowners or renters just want to blend in with the neighborhood.
Know What Adds the Most Value-It’s a general consensus that the more you invest, the more return you will get. However, some investments are better than others. Especially if you are on a budget, this can be especially helpful to know. Some improvements include but aren’t limited to
Lawns and trees Cheapest and some of the most prominent improvements Appeals to those looking for an open canvas to make their own improvements
Fountains and garden displays Some of the most visually appealing but won’t appeal to those looking for a low maintenance yard
Patios, decks, or outdoor rooms Expensive but will entice and excite potential customers the most
Don’t Overdue It- You can do all of the landscaping in the world to where your grass would be good enough to play the PGA tour on however if your average price of the nearby houses is only $250k-300k then people likely won’t be willing to spend more than the average. Being tasteful is very important. Also if the interior of your house is out of date you should consider doing similar upgrades as well to make sure that the new deck matches your couches and kitchen appliances.
Landscaping is the key to entice more buyers or renters AND increase the value of your home. However, it’s important to have a plan to make sure that you add the most value to your house without spending to much money or turning potential buyers away.
Perhaps one of the best improvements on your home you can make, but that is often overlooked has to do with plumbing! That’s right, upgrading your home’s plumbing system or even just the fixtures can not only add quite a bit to it’s resale value but also can aid in your family’s health and safety as well! Cure All Plumbing, a reputable plumbing company based out of Tempe, Arizona advised us on exactly what plumbing improvements can be made and how they bring value to your home. Check out our list of plumbing upgrades to see which ones your home may benefit from!
Plumbing Improvements & Upgrades
Fixtures & Small Upgrades- Sometimes starting with the small things is exactly what you need. If you are looking to add small and somewhat inexpensive upgrades to your home start by replacing your plumbing fixtures. We are talking about faucets, shower heads, sinks etc. Updating the look of your fixtures or installing new and improved parts can really add a lot of value in a small way!
Low Flow Devices- Adding low flow devices to shower haeds and faucets can help save you water and money. It’s a win win situation. Also having a more energy efficient only save you as the homeowner on monthly bills it is also a great perk when placing your home on the market for potential buyers.
Toilets & Water Heaters- While a little more expensive than just installing low flow devices replacing your toilet or water heater with a more energy efficient model will help save you money and make your home more eco friendly. For example a more energy efficient toilet will use 1 ½ gallons of water to flush instead of the 5 gallons older models use. In the long run you recoup the money you spent on upgrading your toilet or water heater on your water bill alone.
Older Plumbing Piping Systems– Now we are getting to the big upgrades! However, these upgrades not only add value to your home but can often save you on costly repairs in the long run, as well as benefit your family’s health. Homes built before or during the 1970’s usually have galvanized piping that makes up their systems. Because of the material that makes up these pipes internal corrosion is a common occurrence especially over a long period of time. The debris from this corrosion can in turn get into your water and create many health concerns for those drinking water from out of these pipes. Blockage and bursting of pipes can also occur from the long term effects of the corrosion and wear and tear. If you should still have galvanized pipes making up your plumbing system it is best to have them replaced with copper piping. It will save you a lot of money on future repairs and also ensure the health of those in the home.
Older Sewage Systems- Just as plumping systems were made of galvanized pipes in earlier times same goes for the material making up your sewage system. Older materials used for sewage systems such as cast iron, plastic and clay can cause issues within your plumbing system as well as future expensive repairs. It is best to upgrade sewage systems made from these outdated plumbing materials to PVC pipes. The PVC pipes are a lot more durable and allow your sewage system to function not only more efficiently but also a lot more safely as well. Plus the added value to your home is a great perk tool.
If you are unsure of what your homes plumbing system is actually comprised of or are in need of advice as to what upgrades to start with we advise you to contact a plumbing expert like those found at Cure All. Plumbing systems are quite intricate and any issues or malfunctions with in them can not only be costly in repairs but can also cause a lot of damage to your home. The added value upgrading your plumbing system brings to your home along with the money it can save you on water and utilities bills every month is a great home improvement investment!
Home Improvements don’t just have to be big projects done to your home such as replacing your garage door, installing solar panels, repainting your house, or adding a room addition. Sometimes just organizing your home can be one of the biggest improvements of all, especially for those living in it! Check out this video on organization hacks for your home that make organizing everything from closets to added kitchen space so much easier!
When it comes to buying a home there are many things to consider. After all, it is a huge financial investment and one that you are locked into until you choose to sell. While owning your own home can be great and often a lot more affordable than renting a home, there are also different expenses and financial obligations that come with being a homeowner. Knowing a few things before setting out to purchase you first home can make all the difference. Check out our list of things to know before purchasing a home or property.
What You Need To Know Before Purchasing Your Home
Beware Of Fixer Uppers- While purchasing a fixer upper may seem like a good idea and may allow you to buy a home in area than otherwise may be a bit out of your price range, remember that some fixer uppers can turn into a money pit. It is EXTREMELY important that you have a thorough inspection done of the house, plumbing and especially the foundation! If there should be something wrong with the foundation it is better to know beforehand and most times recommended to shy away from buying a home no matter the area should the foundation be compromised or have other issues.
Do Your Homework- should you find a home that you really like and are prepared to put down a deposit on or make an offer for you should ALWAYS do your homework first. This means you should check out how long the home has been on the market, if there have been previous offers since it has been on the market. What the cost of insurance , utilities, and HOA fees may be so you have a better idea of what it will cost to keep your home up and “running”. You also want to make sure that the home is on the market for a fair price and that the asking price isn’t inflated. By doing a little research on the home/property you can save yourself a lot of money and headaches
Start Saving For That Down Payment- If you are looking to buy a home in the near or far off future it is best to start putting money away for a down payment. While first time buyers especially have different percentage options for a down payment it is always recommended that you put down at least 20%. This will help lower your interest rate, lower mortgage payments and also allow for other loans to be offered.
Don’t Rush, take Your Time- Don’t allow realtors to make your feel rushed into a buying decision. Or don’t put pressure on yourself to make a rushed decision. While you may like a home now if you feel like things are moving a little to fast pressed the brakes and take your time. If the result is losing the home it may be for the better. With a financial decision this big you don’t want to feel rushed in to decision making or like you can’t completely get your thoughts, finances etc in order. Once you have signed the paperwork and are in the closing process there isn’t any turning back. It’s best to take your time and not to rush into anything.
Purchasing a home can be somewhat of a stressful time but it should never be TOO stressful. Remember you are the buyer and in control of how you let things proceed. Don’t allow yourself to feel pressured or bullied by a realtor or potential seller. It’s best to get your ducks in a row and take your time before making any big decisions. You will definitely feel better about it in the end.
Owning your home is not only a great investment financially, it is also a great investment for your family. Although owning a home gives you freedom in making any home improvements you desire, as well as a great way to put your monthly house payment into a long term investment and not in someone else’s pocket, there are also the times when owning your home can cost a lot of money too. When your AC unit goes out and it needs to be replaced, or perhaps your water heater is having issues etc. While homeowners can’t completely control the repairs and issues that may happen in their home, being aware and knowing what to look for can make all the difference. Check out our list of things every homeowner should be aware of and no how to handle should any of these issues occur.
What Every Homeowner Should Know
AC/Furnace- As a homeowner you want to keep both of these units in the best condition possible. When one has an issue it can often lead to costly repairs or even more expensive replacements. By changing their filters regularly you help to keep them in the best working condition possible. Mark your calendar or set an alert on your smartphone for when a filter change is needed. Some benefit from being replaced monthly while other systems can be changed every 3 months. Do a little bit or research on your unit and determine the best schedule.
Monitor Your Water Heater-By performing a monthly check on your water heater you are helping yourself to stay ahead of any repairs or issues that may occur. Often times water heaters can start to leak from normal wear and tear especially the drain or relief valves. These tend to leak over time and are an easy fix. If your actual water tank is leaking however, you have a much bigger problem. If the leak goes unattended it can often lead to flooding and water damage which can be extremely expensive to repair. By monitoring your water heater you can help to prevent bigger problems before they happen and catch leaks when they are small.
Galvanized Pipes- Galvanized pipes in your home tend to clog over time due to mineral build up. If you notice that your faucet isn’t producing a sufficient water stream chances are your piping is to blame. While it’s best to replace galvanized piping there are a few other tactics you can try to help minimize mineral build up.
Caulking Issues- This one goes hand in hand with home improvements and caulking repairs. Whenever setting out to caulk something avoid using a squeeze tube which will lead to messy looking uneven caulking. Instead get the job done efficiently and right the first time by investing in a caulking gun. It will save you a mess and also help to make your caulking flawless!
While there are numerous other things to be aware of or monitor as a homeowner in the end the more you know the better you will be. Learn new homeowner tips each week, take a look at your property and assess things. Afterall now that you own your home the only person to call when something breaks or needs replacing is yourself and your chosen repairman. By maintaining your home and it’s appliances you will set yourself up to combat expensive repairs and replacements before they actually occur.
Many homeowners are jumping on the solar energy wagon and having solar panels installed in their homes, in hopes of saving money on utilities, earning that solar power tax break, and making their homes more energy efficient. What many homeowners also want to know is what are the advantages and disadvantages of installing solar panels and is it worth the cost? We got the lowdown on both the pros and cons of installing solar power panels and if they fit certain areas better than others. Big Island Solar, a solar panel installation company on the Big Island of Hawaii, was our go to for the most sound solar advice out there. Why? These guys are based in a state that perhaps receives more sunshine every year than Florida which is actually nicknamed the Sunshine State. They not only are fair business people, they also believe in it making complete sense for the homeowner to install solar paneling. Although solar energy is great for a lot of people it may not be the right for fit others. See If solar power is right for your next home improvement!
Advantages Of Solar Power For Your Home
Save On Energy Bills- This is probably the top reason many people obtain a solar power system for their home. Depending on the size and amount of solar panels installed and the amount of electricity and heat you use in your home, solar systems aid in providing energy thus lowering your utility bills. What’s also great is should you produce more solar energy then you use you can sell the energy back to the grid system should you have on grid solar power. Seems like a win win situation right!
Renewable Energy- Although some areas in the world are better than others due to the amount of sunshine verses rain and cloud coverage they recieve, pretty much anyone can benefit from solar energy. Not only is it a renewable energy source the sun isn’t going anywhere for a long time and thus a natural form of power that can be utilized while saving other energy sources.
Minimal Upkeep/Maintenance Costs- Many solar company manufacturers offer a long term warranty plan of up to 25 years should you have any issues etc with your panels. Also maintenance is relatively easy and panels only need to be cleaned a few times of year. There are generally no parts that need to be changed regularly or that suffer wear and tear that will aid in slower performance.
Tax Break- a tax break is available to those who qualify and go about the tax break procedures. Check with your states criteria and also ask your solar panel company the ins and out and they will help point you in the right direction
Disadvantages Of Solar Power For Your Home
Initial Cost- the upfront cost of purchasing your solar system and having it installed can be quite daunting to people. The costs include the purchase of the solar panels themselves, wiring, the inverter(part that converts the sun into solar energy) batteries, and the installation fees. While it may seem a huge initial cost over time it will eventually pay for itself in the form of lower energy bills and even the selling of unused power like we mentioned above.
Weather Dependency- The weather that you associate with the area you live in is of great importance when making the decision to convert to solar power. Even a few rainy days in an usually sunny place cab alter the amount of energy you are able to collect. Also no solar power can be collected at night. If you live in a rainy place like seattle a few solar panels may be beneficial in aiing your usual power supply but wont’ be as effective if you had solar panels and lived in say, Hawaii.
Pollution?- Many people are baffled to hear that solar panels can be associated with pollution when they are helping to save other sources of energy that is not naturally renewable. However, the installation of solar panels is associated with the letting off of greenhouse gases which we know can definitely affect the earth and our environment.
There are a few more advantages and disadvantages to choosing to go the solar energy route. In the end it depends on the individuals needs, budget, and investment purposes. It is best to schedule a consultation with a reputable solar panel expert in your area and weigh out all of your pros and cons before making your final decision.