How to enhance curb appeal and why it is important in property management

Whether you work in property management or other fields dealing with real estate, your main focus when managing a single-family property is the house and its wellbeing, since that’s where the success of your business comes from. This is why you should constantly ask yourself, is the property in its best condition? And if not, what is it that can be done to improve it? Sometimes, properties need major renovations, such as roof replacement or a complete winterization, other times everything seems to be in place but at the same time the property lacks overall freshness and attractiveness. You know this when the number of potential buyers reduces and the ones who come to view leave absolutely unimpressed. This is when you know there is a problem with the overall curb appeal of the house. This article guides you through the basics of it and gives you 9 easy ways to improve curb appeal for your single-family property.  

What is curb appeal?

To put it in the simplest way, curb appeal is how the property looks from the street. That’s right, it’s the first impression people get of the house, the first glimpse that makes them decide within seconds whether they like it or not. Not only does curb appeal indicate how attractive the house looks from the street curb, but it also puts the house in comparison with its neighboring houses and shows the contrast. If you have an improved curb appeal, your house will stand out from the other properties around it and not blend in with the rest, leaving everyone intrigued and immediately interested. 

Why is curb appeal important?

If you’re contemplating whether curb appeal is really important and worth the investment, our answer is a firm yes. According to the study on the impact of outdoor remodelling conducted by the National Association of Realtors, 99 percent of NAR members stated that curb appeal is very important for houses to attract more buyers. However, to get a better understanding of the role curb appeal has in property management, let’s break down all the reasons why it’s important.  

1. First Impression

Curb appeal is what gives the first impression of the property, and you need it to be a strong one. As mentioned, curb appeal is how your house looks from the outside, and now imagine if the front yard is messy, the roof is damaged or the paint is fading. It is hardly going to be a compliment for the house. The first step in attracting more buyers is to make the house as welcoming from the outside as possible, so that it creates an emotional response and draws people in. It is an important part of the character of your property which many buyers want to see. This is why enhancing curb appeal will ensure the house is aesthetically pleasing, stands out from the rest and leaves a lasting impression on the viewers. 

2. Interior Expectations 

Talking about first impressions, an improved curb appeal will set the expectations for the interior of the house, and this is more important than you might think. If the exterior of the house is unattractive and poorly taken care of, the buyers will carry that first impression into the interior of the house. And as much as your interior stands out, it will not impress as much as it would have if the outside was properly maintained as well. If the outside is good enough, your buyers will want to explore more. That’s why you should focus on creating harmony between the exterior and the interior of the house and make sure they are both in good condition and attractive enough to spark interest.  

3. Drive-By Buyers

Here is another important aspect not taken into consideration quite often. Many property managers are focused on their immediate buyers but forget about the possibility that the best buyer is out there, passing by the house, and in that case only the house can market and sell itself thanks to its curb appeal. You want the house to be a standing advertisement and a preview of the interior. Make sure you always consider this possibility and have the exterior of your property in its best shape at all times. 

4. Higher Property Value

Finally, the most important advantage of having an excellent curb appeal is that it will increase the value of your property. According to the study on the impact of house appearance on its value, with an improved curb appeal, the property value can increase up to 17%. Moreover, curb appeal is second in affecting the property value, coming after the house size as number one. Thus, you need to start reconsidering your priorities in your property maintenance and take action to improve the curb appeal. 

How to add curb appeal to your property

Luckily, improving curb appeal is not something that will take a lot of time and effort. It can be achieved more easily if you take care of some specific parts that are not in their best condition. In fact, there might be some little details which you don’t realize are reducing the value of the property. That’s why we have created this list of easy ways to improve curb appeal.   

1. Get the front door in a good shape

The entrance of the house is the central point and the first thing that catches attention when approaching the property. This is why you should make sure the door looks fresh and new, and if it’s in a very bad condition, then you should definitely invest in a new one. However, if the door is overall not bad then some slight improvements can freshen it up considerably. Think about a new layer of paint, deep cleaning and designing it in a way that will reflect the overall interior style of the house. Try to make the door stand out and communicate the value of the house. 

2. Create symmetry around the house

This is one thing that not many people pay attention to but can actually elevate the exterior look of the property and make it appear much more attractive from the outside. Symmetry is aesthetically pleasing and makes everything look more put together. Also, this is the easiest way of arrangement. Just make sure all details are balanced together and complement each other instead of appearing too loud and chaotic.  

3. Take care of the roof

Make sure your roof is in a good condition and is properly maintained. If the roof is dated and in a poor condition, then you might consider including roof replacement or re-roofing in your roof maintenance which, even though pricier, can be the best long-term investment. However, if it still has a few years of life, then make sure it’s properly cleaned and maintained in a fresh and good condition, since the roof speaks about how safe and protected the house is. You don’t want the property to look unsafe from the outside, as it will immediately make a bad first impression.  

4. Update the paint of the house 

Cracked materials or other defects can easily downgrade the overall appearance of the house and affect its curb appeal, which is why you should invest in a fresh layer of paint to make the house look new and add personality to it. This is not the simplest investment, but if you can afford it, then you will easily enhance the curb appeal of the house and increase its value. 

5. Create a walkway

Having a proper and well-designed walkway will immediately give a warm and welcoming feel to your house, which is a key factor in attracting more buyers. First thing you can do here is build a fresh new walkway from brick or stone and add some color to it. However, if it’s something you can’t afford at the moment, then consider updating the old walkway to cover up any cracks or damaged parts of it. This will immediately change the exterior of the house and make it more inviting.  

6. Arrange lawn care maintenance

Lawn care is one of the most obvious and common features of any property that easily elevates the appearance of the house and makes it appear of higher value. Make sure the lawn is properly trimmed, the shrubs and bushes are in good condition, and everything looks neat and clean. 

7. Install outdoor lights 

Have you seen a house at night time and been amazed by how pleasing the lights make it look? That’s right, not only will installing fixtures around the house make it stand out in the dark and look more appealing, but it will make it look safer and more protected, hence increasing the value immediately. 

8. Add shutters 

You can also consider adding shutters to your windows. This not only impacts the aesthetic view of the house but also speaks about controlling ventilation and having extra protection in the house. If possible to be installed, shutters will add up to the curb appeal of the property. 

9. Arrange a pressure washing 

To give an extra refreshment to the overall property, consider pressure washing the whole exterior either by investing in a pressure washing tool or hiring professional maintenance services. The benefits are more than one. First, it will help you give the house itself an updated and neat look. Second, it will remove all dirt from walkways, driveways, patio and sidings, making them look freshly maintained, and the property will be in the most professional condition. 

All these curb appeal tips will not only attract more buyers but increase home value and benefit your business in the long run. You can start making improvements by yourself if saving up money is a priority for you, however, it will definitely take longer time and effort. But if you’re looking for more professional results, then investing in qualified maintenance services is what you need to get your desired end results. With the current developments, you will easily be able to outsource contractors nationwide based on your location and requirements and step back from all the time-consuming responsibilities of improving curb appeal. 

Following these quick and easy curb appeal ideas will transform the property and greatly benefit your business as well. All you need to do is be conscious of the condition the house is in, pay attention to details and take action before it’s too late and more investment is needed to do a complete renovation. A proper curb appeal is not only about looking fresh, it’s about giving your property a personality, a distinct character that will immediately stand out and leave a lasting impression on potential buyers, which is the most important factor in finding the best buyer for your property with the most advantageous price for you. 

The Cost to Paint a House and Information Before Getting Started Q&A

Painting the house is one of the most entertaining parts of the renovation process. However, like other aspects of house renovation, this process also requires a significant amount of knowledge and research. And one of the most crucial things to know before starting renovation is how much it will cost to paint a house. Another important part to consider is getting a highly experienced team of experts who will execute everything professionally. Finally, it is time to think about what goes into painting and how much it costs to paint a house.

1. What Does the Price Include?

On average, painting a house costs around a couple of thousand dollars (2-8 USD per square foot). However, it can start anywhere from around 600 USD up to ten times more. Everything depends on the type of paint, the tools, and the work amount the contractor needs to complete.

First, the biggest part of the cost to paint a house is based on the type/quality of the material. There are cheap paints out there, however, that might not be the best solution. Cheap paint can cause issues like cracks, bumpy spots, fadedness, and other problems. On the other hand, the price of the paint can also depend on the color. This is because the price can vary per shade because of the pigmentation and the demand.

Material and tool cost constitutes the part where it can get very expensive or maybe less. Another segment comes from the tools and materials needed to complete the job. Having some of the instruments will deduct from the overall cost to paint a house. There is a list of objects:

Paint buckets: Most of the time, it is possible to get these when buying the paint. However, sometimes there is a need for extra buckets.

Paintbrushes and rollers: It is the most important category for painting the house. The regular and the rolling brushes are supposed to be high-quality to apply the product best.

Sprayers: Depending on the type and style, there may be a need for sprayers. Nonetheless, this step is okay to skip. 

Scrapers: It is vital to have this, to distribute the paint evenly. Sometimes scrapers aren’t only for applying the paint smoothly, but for removing the old one.

Clothing: This one is the cheapest out of all the materials; however, it is crucial to have this. Clothing pieces aren’t only for avoiding messes. They also help to protect other furniture.

Ladder: And of course, stairs are vital, to reach all the spots when painting the walls and the ceiling.

Finally, depending on whether the work is going to be done by the owner of the home or a hired professional, the cost to paint a house may vary. It is vital to know that even though painting sounds fun, it isn’t the easiest process. There goes a lot of experience and technique into making the paint sit smoothly, evenly, and nicely. Thus, the cost to paint a house also includes the job of the specialists. 

painting house

2. How much does it cost to paint the interior/exterior? 

The cost to paint a house is also based on the interior or the exterior. To paint the interior of the house is more affordable. The average prices are from 900 USD to a little less than 3000. Meanwhile, the exterior cost to paint a house is around 2000 USD up to 6 or sometimes even 7 thousand USD (1500-2000 square ft house). Thus, there are ways to find affordable solutions. However, the cost to paint a house from the outside is more expensive than the inside.

3. When to DIY or Hire a Professional?

As mentioned above, it will save money if the painting process doesn’t involve other workers. However, it is only common in the case of changing the interior of a room. It is much more complicated when it comes to the exterior of the house. The exterior walls are rougher and have a specific texture, which requires special techniques. In any case, it is great to have a consultation with specialists even if one chooses to paint by themselves.

There is a list of questions that can help understand whether the painter is reliable or not. Here are the main ones:

Can you provide a license? 

One of the most vital proofs to trust a specialist is their license. If the professional has a document; therefore, others trust him/her with some work. It also means that the person is experienced and can do the job correctly. 

How many painting jobs have you completed lately?

It may be even a better reason to trust a specialist than having a license. This method reveals the working experience naturally. Besides, it is an advantage; if the worker shows some of the projects he/she has completed. Thus, it will be possible to see for oneself whether the painter can achieve great results or not. 

Do you offer a warranty?  

Another advantage is when the painter provides years of guarantee. Therefore, if anything happens (cracks, damage, bumps, fadedness) they are obligated to fix the issues for free. It is a vital question to ask.

When to DIY or Hire a Professional?

4. What will painting the house change?

Painting the house is a great way to make it look fresh, new, and brighter. It seems like changing the color can change the way the furniture and the house structure look also. 

Since painting can change much in how the house looks, it can also increase the house price. That is a huge step even for the future. If the owner is planning to sell the house, the painting will raise the cost significantly. 

One of the best benefits of painting a house has is changing the design. There are endless possibilities. One is to have a bright color and make the house look abstract. Another option is to paint it in a vintage style (blue, yellow). Or decorate the home minimalistic with the help of minimal colors.    

Painting a house can also be a great trick into making the property look big in size. Light colors tend to make the walls wide and broad. Therefore, it allows us to see all the space in the house. 

5. What are the tips to save on the cost to paint a house?

Since this process may end up being expensive, there are tips to spend less. One of the first steps is to calculate the price before starting. This way, it is possible to avoid getting expensive materials.

A great tip is to borrow some of the tools and materials from friends or relatives. That way, the price will be deducted. Another fantastic way to save the cost to paint a house is to pick a neutral color. As mentioned above, those are the most affordable. And last but not least, it can save some money to do some of the jobs without the painters. For example, painting some of the interior walls/ceilings, the rooms, or the places that seem easy to paint will help a little.  There are plenty of details and information about painting the house and crucial elements to be aware of before the process. First and foremost, it is important to know the cost to paint a house: it is helpful to have an idea of how the price ranges. Depending on the interior/exterior, the paint type, material, and professionals’ work, the cost changes. Second, it is significant to know whom to trust and how to find experienced specialists.

5 Bathroom Renovations on Low Budget That are Life-Changing

One of the most important secrets to having a wonderful home is paying attention to the bathroom. It is vital to have a comfortable, clean, aesthetically pleasing, and functional one. Is there any bathroom remodel ideas on a budget? The answer is yes. Bathroom renovation is not the most affordable activity; however, there are secret ways to remodel beautifully and on a budget at the same time. Before starting to think about what to do, one should find a reliable team with renovation services.

Plenty of people think they may spend less money if they complete the bathroom renovation themselves. Even though it may be a great idea, the cost may get really high in this case. Thus, the process will become enjoyable if you find specialists who are professionals in bathroom remodeling.

1.  Change the Walls and Floors

The first step must be changing the base of the bathroom. In case of problems with the walls or the floor, this is the time to fix all those. For example, there may be cracks or damage, or the tiles have gotten old and need an update. In any case, this is the first step to beginning the bathroom renovation.

When it comes to walls, the price begins at 2.5 USD per square foot. One of the lowest budget options is ceramics. However, slates and granite do not vary significantly in price. The cost for those is within the range of 3-8 USD.

Now floor tile installation will cost a bit higher. The reason is that the ground tiles are thicker than the wall ones and need to protect them from water and heat damage. However, there are bathroom flooring ideas on a budget that is also secure. For example, ceramic tiles are affordable, but they do not protect well. Whereas porcelain ones are not only high resistance but also stylish. Their price ranges from three to ten USD per square foot. Experts recommend these during bathroom renovations.

Change Bathroom Fixtures

2.    Change Bathroom Fixtures/ Vanities

The next step is to make sure that the bathroom has a functional and high-quality sink, shower, toilet, and other features. The most important part of this step is to remember that the bathroom renovation needs to make it comfortable. Therefore, besides looking nice, you should think about how practical they are.

  • Countertop

One of the cheapest and easiest methods is to get a plain countertop and fancy it up with decorations. Some great bathroom decorating ideas on a budget are plants, jewelry boxes, soap containers, and other details. The most affordable countertop is granite. Its price is a minimum of 35 USD per square foot. However, if one wants a classic bathroom renovation, then it is possible with marble. This way it will be more expensive than granite, with around 5 USD higher cost per square foot.

  •  Replacing the Toilet

Toilets can get expensive based on their functionality and comfort. Some types change the seat, have extra cozy protection, high durability, and other benefits. However, low-cost toilets are around 100 USD. The best option would be to get a toilet in a neutral color (white). It will look simple and modern at the same time.

  • Replacing/ Installing a Bathtub or a Shower

Depending on whether you want to install a bathtub or shower, the price will differ. A bathtub is more affordable than a shower but less practical. Bathtub prices range from 800 USD up to 5,000 USD. Meanwhile, shower prices are from a couple thousand up to almost 10,000 USD. Besides, it is always possible to install a shower handle inside a bathtub. They cost from 150 to a couple of hundreds of dollars.

  • Sink

Another vital part of a bathroom renovation is installing a sink or repairing the old one if it has issues. Sinks always tend to clog and cause problems; it is crucial to fix those during a bathroom remodeling process. Sink prices begin from a couple of hundred dollars while repairing almost costs the same. Thus, sometimes it is more affordable and practical to replace it instead of fixing it.

  • Install a Shelf and add details

Installing a shelf or additional details is an optional decision. It isn’t a requirement to have a shelf in a bathroom. However, it is a great place to keep towels, hygiene products, and equipment. Additionally, shelves provide extra space for decorating, for example, plants can be a good idea as they are very affordable and pleasant at the same time. 

Another detail that is a must to add after renovation is towel hangers, which can cost 10 to 30 USD but can save space and make the bathroom tidy.

shelf in a bathroom

3.  Instead of Replacing – Repaint

Sometimes bathroom renovations can get expensive, which is why it is vital to save some money. Getting new vanities and necessary items is the right place to spend money. However, sometimes it is the most efficient to repaint instead of replacing. For example, if the bathroom already has a shelf, recoloring it could refresh the look. All white is always a great idea. Besides, it may not need more than repainting the walls.

4.  Mirrors are Important Accessories

As for decorations, there are small items that can improve the overall appearance at the same time, for instance, a mirror with a wooden frame or simply an all-glass one. It can give the bathroom a style and depending on the size, it can change the aesthetics/design. One of the options to add modern elements is decorating with something around it, like adding plants on the wall. 

 5.  Lighting Makes the Rest Look Amazing

All of the mentioned tips lead to one of the most significant bathroom renovations. You should keep in mind that bathroom lighting matters, so another great idea could be adding lights. LED lights are the most energy-efficient and affordable options to consider. These lights can be around the mirror, which is very useful. Lighting can also be in the shower with different shades.

Bathroom renovation can be costly, however, while following the general tips the cost can be reduced considerably.  There are more ideas one can do during a bathroom remodeling, however, it is vital to remember that you need to find an experienced contractor to complete everything professionally and make the process affordable.

Exterior Renovation Ideas That Will Increase Property Value

The very first part that everyone notices in the house and makes the first impression is the exterior of the house. Thus, houses with a good curb appeal will have higher prices and will stay less time on the market. However, there are plenty of visual tricks which can help considerably increase the property value. In this process, it is crucial to find a good contractor that will provide you with quality exterior renovation services.

What Kind of Exterior Renovations Add Property Value?

1. Renovating the doors can boost property value        

Since the first impression is vital, it is one of the best ways to start thinking about an exterior renovation. For a house, one of the elements that help to make the first impression is the door. Especially considering that it is the main part that people notice when entering the house. Thus, it is the main detail that catches the eye and attention first. 

The door itself, alongside the doorway and its surrounding, can transform the property completely. Besides the entrance door, the garage door as well can increase the property value. Hence, this is a great place to begin renovating.

Renovating the doors can boost property value

2. Changing exterior house colors is beneficial

One of the most effortless exterior renovation options is repainting the house. Often it can be quite affordable while increasing the property price significantly. Recoloring is a guaranteed way to boost house value according to the specialists. However, it is important to know that not every color will work in your favor. Professionals state that there should not be more than three colors on the exterior.

Some of the most common exterior house color options are black, white, pastel, or vibrant. For example, black and white can give off a classical and modern style. Pastel

colors can look aesthetically pleasing. It is hard to go wrong with such natural shades. While vibrant paint color can be exciting and gravitate people towards the house, it can also throw some people off. Therefore, it would be a better option to choose neutral colors to avoid losing potential buyers.

3. Exterior lighting can change the cost significantly

One of the crucial external renovation ideas is the lighting system. Exterior lighting can shift the entire look of the house and it will largely increase the price of the property. It is a powerful way to influence the first impression. The best part about this exterior renovation method is that it can be very affordable. Lights perfectly fit into a small budget but add a significant amount to the house price. Besides, exterior lights can improve the external appearance. For instance, exterior wall lights can enrich the house view and draw attention.

4. A great house renovation option can be exterior window shutters

One of the first benefits of window shutters is privacy, therefore this is a great security solution. Exterior window shutters can also protect from extreme sunlight and heat. Another great benefit this exterior component has is design. It is a fantastic option for arched windows. Shutters are a great way to show creativity. They can accentuate and add unique patterns to the house while adding to its value. 

exterior window shutters

5. Remodeling exterior wall panels can increase property costs

As mentioned, the house facade is a significant element when making an impression. Often creative exterior wall panels can make the house look expensive and high-end. Everyone pays attention to what the house walls look like on the outside. Hence, this gives a fascinating exterior home renovation design. There are plenty of wall panel types that can create a nice look for the property; brick, wooden, metal, or ceramic. The best part is that the wall panels can be even more captivating if they are in a different color. They can style the house with beautiful patterns and change it unrecognizably.

6. Think about adding some green space or other outdoor activities.

Having special places for different activities in the backyard is also a good option that will help you boost the property value. A swimming pool can be an enjoyable exterior attribute that will surely increase the overall price of the house. A lot of people prefer houses with pools. However, it is important to understand the possible return from such an investment, as the pool can cost higher than the budget for the renovation will be. Thus, you may consider more affordable options to boost house value. A chill area with sofas or bean bags can create a relaxing mood for the buyers. A place to ease down works as an effective attribute toward paying more.

How Much Does It Cost to Remodel a Home Exterior?

When it’s time to talk about price, everything depends on what type of renovation one is doing. For example, renovations such as repainting are affordable. However, when renovating or changing the doors of the entrance or a garage, it can get expensive. One can cost 1000 USD, and the price may go up to a couple of dozen thousand USD. Everything depends on the material, the design, and the size. 

But, there are different types of exterior renovation ideas. Exterior wall lights are the most inexpensive details but can add a lot to the property’s value. Meanwhile, window shutters may cost up to a few hundred USD depending on the type. There are waterproof, soundproof, or hardwood. 

th Cost to Remodel a Home Exterior?

How Long Does It Take to Renovate the Property Exterior?

On average, an exterior renovation can take from three months up to six months. The time length depends on the amount of work the specialists complete, considering the difficulties and complications. However, the process will not take more than half a year. It is important to remember that a few months can change the price of the house.

Is there an app for exterior house renovations?

There are plenty of applications that make the exterior renovation process easy. For example, many 3D apps help visualize how the house will change. All one has to do is fill in the house size information and make the changes. Applications are a helpful tool to understand what the result will be. Therefore, experts recommend using an app to have an idea of the renovation.

Overall, many exterior renovation projects can shift the house visually and increase the property value. These 6 are some of the main creative ones. They can create comfort and make the house look brand new. Though it is good to be aware of all these solutions. It is vital to have a professional exterior renovation service. After all, details change more than major reconstructions can. So, it is not necessary to spend a high amount of money to increase house prices.

10 On-Budget Remodeling Ideas to Increase Home Value

Increasing home value is not an easy task to undertake. It requires precise planning and a clear action plan. With the right contractor’s crew and a development strategy, you can increase the property value on average by 40,000$ only with a budget of 10,000$.

To succeed in your undertaking, you will need to discuss the project with an experienced and knowledgeable contractor who can organize the remodeling on time and provide high quality.

Wondering where to start and which renovation or remodeling options to consider if you are in need of quick and on-budget solutions? Keep reading, here we present answers to these questions!

Optimize the Style for Higher Home Value

One of the most important components of increasing home value is picking the right style. For example, minimalism is a low-cost and functional style, where one detail is enough for an impressive change.

Style is a crucial element because it can completely change the appearance of the property, therefore, this is the first step in the process. There are different ways to choose the right design for a house, starting from asking for professional help and ending with looking for inspiration in magazines, books, or specialized websites.

Renovation services

Lighting Matters!

The market value of the house largely depends on its lighting, which can have a huge impact. These improvements may require more time and a home renovation budget, while they are worth paying attention to. It is also important to note that there are specific requirements for windows in different states.

While thinking of the house design, you should be sure to maximize the natural light and plan the lighting system efficiently. Be sure to choose the most effective solution from both lighting and product selection perspectives. This can help you save money for additional materials and have a good result.

Expand the Useable Square Footage

Another important tip to consider for adding value to the house are minor or major expansions. It can be as simple as adding an extra room or reach to building an additional floor. There are specific tricks to making the house look wider by creating two rooms out of a big one. Therefore, having separate spaces dedicated to specific activities will have a good outcome.

One of the modern solutions that will be nice to have in the house within a modest budget is a gym or a movie theatre. However, be sure that everything is considered in the scope of the budget provided for a renovation.

Real estate owned renovation

Details Matter for Expensive-Looking Property

Details are the key to achieving an elegant and expensive-looking property. If you have a limited budget, one of the best choices will be adding elements that grab attention.

One of such details that will complete the overall look of your rooms is crown moldings. The rooms without these details are looking cheap and unfinished. This is a good point to consider for achieving a good result with a relatively small budget.

Fix Issues for Property Improvement

Thinking of increasing property value is the right time to detect available leaks and other issues in the house to fix them. Fixing possible problems can significantly impact the price of the property. 

Check house systems and be sure that all the leaks are noted for fixing. This especially applies to old fittings, while also making sure to check new fittings once installed. If you want to make sure everything is taken care of, you should consider hiring a licensed home inspector for conducting a walkthrough of your property.

Increase Home Value with Exterior Design

While thinking of house price enhancement, most of the people are concentrating on the interior and dismiss the curb appeal. However, it is a known fact that the market value is largely improved through outdoor appeal, as the first thing people see while approaching is the exterior of the house. Therefore, houses with a nice curb appeal will have higher prices and stay less time on the market.

This does not only consist of exterior design, but can also include the landscaping, patio, or backyard. You should make sure that the sidewalks are clean and freshly weeded.

Use High-Quality Materials

Take extra time while making decisions about the renovation materials, as they reflect the future cost of the property. While at the first point you should try to understand what materials you have on hand that can be reused. Making the most of what you already have will help you save money and time.

It should be good to check the appropriateness according to some fundamental points when choosing construction materials, whether they are applicable with the site-specific environmental conditions, environmentally friendly, energy-efficient, or applicable with the building size and type.

Living room renovation

Paint Home in Warm Colors

Fresh paint on your walls can substantially update the property look. There are even studies, according to which realtors suggest painting your house to have a more expensive look. The most important point here is to choose warm neutral colors, like white, beige or gray, that will make rooms look larger.

Correctly chosen colors will considerably emphasize its uniqueness and become memorable. Accent color for one part combined with minimalistic colors will make a good impression.

Make Easy Bath and Kitchen Remodels

A minor bathroom or kitchen renovation can enhance the home value, however, you should be sure that the work you have undertaken is small. Of course, bigger remodelings will be nice to have, while their return on investment lasts longer.

You can consider different low-cost ways to modernize your spaces that do not need many efforts or skills. For example, you can replace the hardware on bathroom cabinets, or add extra storage in your kitchen.

Consider Energy Efficiency

Even though considering energy efficiency is not the best and cheapest way to increase home value, many professionals state that it surely does add value. Again, you can choose the way of minor improvements, like just installing energy-efficient appliances or upgrading to more productive LED lighting.

Investing in solar panels is another good way to increase property value. However, you should understand that solar panels will require a big financial budget, therefore, you should pursue this option only if you want to increase the value over a long-term period.

To conclude, the most important point to remember is that you should not spend more budget on your improvements than they will add to the property value. All of the steps above have been proven to be one of the best home improvements that can add value. Do not hesitate to contact us, and our professionals will guide and lead you to choose the best solutions that will increase your property value.

Do’s and Don’ts You Need to Know Before Starting Your Home Renovation

If you are planning to start a home renovation project, you should be aware of the different decisions you need to make on your way. Turning your dream house into reality requires a lot of time and effort. Of course, you would like to finish the project fast, but starting the process without good research can add up your expenses, become time-consuming, and even pose a danger. Here you can learn some home remodeling tips from our list of dos and don’ts for home renovation.

DO’S OF YOUR HOME RENOVATION

DO Check for the Necessary Permits

It will be frustrating and expensive to find out that you needed some permits after completing a large-scale renovation project. However, you can easily avoid these types of mistakes by doing comprehensive research over the necessary permits for your upcoming project.

The requirements for getting permits vary across the cities. Generally, you will need a permit for changes like demolishing a load-bearing wall, room additions, replacing a water heater, and installing a new furnace or air conditioner. While minor remodeling, such as interior or exterior painting, replacing countertop, and changing appliances will not need a special permit. 

Check for the Necessary Permits

DO Choose Renovations That Improve Property Value

The first main point you should consider before starting your home renovation project is whether it will add value to your property or not. There are specific projects that can boost your property value, like applying double glazing, bathroom add-ons, or energy-efficient remodeling.

On the other hand, there are renovation projects that may generally be costly without raising value, such as building an in-ground swimming pool or turning your two bedrooms into a single large one. Especially if you are planning to sell your home in the near future, you should invest in the affordable features that will increase your property value the most.

DO Invest in Appliances and Features You Are Going to Use

It may seem a great idea to install a luxury bathtub when planning a bathroom remodel, while the investment will be wasted if you won’t use it. Therefore, if there is something that might be a good idea for someone, it is not necessarily a right fit for your house.

When you are starting to plan your renovation, you need to make sure that all the features you are considering are meeting your needs. The best way to understand the necessary features and appliances is to consider the biggest issues of your property. For instance, if you don’t have enough working space in your kitchen, you should think of adding an open countertop area.

Choose Renovations That Improve Property Value

DO Consider Lighting

The correctly chosen color and lighting in your house play an important role in affecting the overall environment. When thinking of your home design, you should be sure to maximize natural light and plan your lighting system effectively. Having enough well-positioned windows will help you mitigate this issue. 

Once you have complete planning of your natural light, you can turn to think of your lighting, switches, and outlets. Be sure to choose the most effective solution from both the lighting and product selection perspectives.

DON’TS OF YOUR HOME RENOVATION

DON’T DIY if You Are Not Qualified

Doing a part of home renovation on your own will help you to save money. Many projects don’t require being a professional, and you can find different tutorials on the web for that. Tasks like painting are DIY projects that you can complete yourself. You may even try to lay the tiles or install flooring in your house alone.

While even though little things are comparatively safe to DIY, others may appear to be hard, or even dangerous. These kinds of jobs, like plumbing or window installation, may even require a license. Therefore you should make sure that you have contacted an experienced contractor for completing your work professionally.

 experienced contractor

DON’T Underestimate Curb Appeal

While starting a home renovation, the majority are concentrated on the interior of the property and forget that the market value is largely improved through curb appeal. The first thing that potential buyers see is the exterior of the house. Therefore the properties with a good curb appeal usually have higher prices and stay less time on the market.

This does not necessarily consist of only exterior conditions, but can also include the sidewalk of the house, as well as the porch or backyard. Ensure that the sidewalk is clean and newly weeded. You can also think of planting low-maintenance plants, along with a fresh layer of mulch.

DON’T Forget to Plan the Storage

When starting the renovation project, remember to plan your space effectively. If you want to make some additions to your rooms, make sure to pay enough attention to the storage. Storage is one of the most important areas of your house as it can help you maintain it clean and tidy.

Despite you are going to renovate your kitchen or bathroom, be sure to consider storage space in advance. The best way to ensure the process of your project, plan your spaces during the design stage. Think through all the items you need to stash, then work with your design-build remodeling team to make it happen!

renovation project DON’T Forget to Plan the Storage

DON’T Forget to Enjoy the Process

Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy the whole process and have some fun. This is going to be a challenging process, while it is the process of turning your dream house into reality. You can turn it into a pleasant experience despite the amount you have foreseen for the renovation.

If you are ready to start your project and want to have fun, be sure to choose contractors carefully. Hiring a qualified and experienced remodeling contractor plays an important role. Considerable expertise within the industry, coupled with our professional management approach will ensure high-quality service from start to finish. Even if you don’t have all the details, don’t delay contacting us and discussing your project.

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14 of the Best Home Renovation Apps, Tool and Software

No matter how big or small home improvement projects you are planning to take on, it can turn into a nightmare if you don’t plan and manage properly. Especially if it’s your first renovation project, you need guidance and assistance in all aspects. Mistakes can add up to the cost, require redoing more than once and prolong the deadline.

To avoid redoing over and over you have to foresee every minor detail: design, plan, and organize like a pro. But where to start? Before even consulting with contractors, begin with research. Explore the tools and apps that can give you a full picture and basic understanding of home renovations. Here we present our top selection of tools that you need to begin and manage home renovations.

Apps for Home Renovation Planning

Floorplanner

Floorplanner lets to design and decorate spaces in 2D and 3D online, without downloading any software. 

Apps for Renovation Flooring

RoomScan

RoomScan is for measuring a room and creating a floorplan. RoomScan will create a detailed and scaled floor plan. Simply scan your desired room, and a virtual floorplan will be generated.

Carpetright Visualizer

Carpetright’s flooring visualizer will help to envision what your room will look like with carpet, vinyl, wood, or laminate flooring. Take a photo of your chosen room (or select a sample room) and upload it onto the visualizer. You’ll be able to customize the wall color and flooring type. From there you can save your rooms and order swatches.

Apps that Help You Design Space

iHandy Carpenter

You can use the iHandy Carpenter to check flat surfaces and use the plumb bob to assess vertical walls. The app has a steel protractor and on-screen rulers for measuring in inches and centimeters.

Apps that Help You Design Space

Houzz

At Houzz, you can get access to a large database of more than 20 million photos of home design inspirations. With the help of one of the plus features like “View in My Room 3D” virtually test out over 1 million products in your own space. In addition, with Houzz, you can find and hire qualified contractors, purchase construction materials, and any home-related product. The Houzz is free on iOS and Android.

ColorSnap

With ColorSnap you can test and see how paint colors look on selected walls, before making a final decision and purchasing. ColorSnap will suggest matching color combinations and provide color palettes that have been developed and proposed by experts.

Color911

Color911 is a simple app, for generating color palettes. ($4 on iOS)

Apps for Finding Qualified Contractors


Handy.com

The Handy.com app makes it easy to book home maintenance services, so users can save time and energy on home improvement projects. IOS, Android

Apps for Finding Qualified Contractors

Must-Have Free Apps for Contractors

 Building Calculator

Building Calculator is a free construction calculator app. It helps contractors to calculate the number of materials they’ll need for a project. You can even use it offline. Calculate projects using materials such as bricks, lumber, flooring, and paint. Also calculate concrete volume, armatures weight, wall blocks needed, and more. It’s free and there are no ads within the app.

Must-Have Free Apps for Contractors

 Canvas

Canvas is a reporting app for contractors. It allows you to fill out audits, forms, inspections, estimates, and work orders all through a mobile device. You can create forms, convert them to PDF, and share them easily. Get it on Google Play or the App Store.

JobFLEX

JobFLEX is an estimating and bid management app. It delivers estimates on the spot and allows to generate customizable forms to preview email, and print.

Handyman Calculator

Handyman Calculator is equipped with various calculating tools, including a fraction calculator, cultist calculator, square footage calculator, concrete calculator, plywood calculator, angle calculator, and much more.

Apps for General Contractors

Fieldpulse

Fieldpulse is a general contractor app. It enables you to schedule jobs for your team, add notes, photos, and files so you keep your workers up to date on projects at all times. You can even use employee time tracking so you know exactly how much time your team spends on-site – all they need to do is to clock in and out using their phones.

In order to be resourceful and achieve better results by meeting all the deadlines, use modern solutions and tools. There are dozens of options that can make the process easier to handle and get the desired end results. Carefully select apps that can simplify your tasks.

Free Home Renovation Guide

How To Finance Home Renovations

Have you decided to start a home renovation? How are you going to finance that? Are you going to finance on your own or do you want to apply for a home improvement loan? Depending on your own situation and the size of the necessary renovation, you can find different possible funding options. United Field Services, Inc. wants to present some of the most common ones for your attention.

Refinance your home loan

Another option to start a renovation without taking an additional loan is reviewing your current home loan and checking whether refinancing the mortgage will suit your needs. In other words, you can leverage the equity of your home and involve additional resources for home improvement. This will be calculated by comparing the value of the assets you own and the amount of your current mortgage.

An important thing to consider is that there might be some hidden fees, including the ones for appraisal, taxes, fees for origination, or other related costs. Additionally, if you are interested in taking a long-term loan, the life of your loan will be extended and you will need to pay off for a longer period. However, this option might be beneficial if you can negotiate a lower interest rate compared to your initial one.

Take out a personal loan

If you don’t want to connect your renovation loan with home value, taking personal loan might be the best option. These loans are typically provided up to around $50,000 and are offered in the secured or unsecured forms. Therefore, this is especially good option for small-scaled renovations. This option can be more convenient, as this loan mostly has lower interest rates and you will not be required to provide collateral. The interest rate will mostly depend on the terms, specific product, and the credit history you have up to now. 

Home equity line of credit (HELOC)

The home equity line of credits (HELOC) is very common for financing home improvements. HELOC is a secured loan, which is not provided as a lump sum. Instead, you can withdraw necessary funds from the line of credit several times. This means that you will have to pay interest only for the portion of the HELOC you have used. Based on the fact that your home is provided as collateral for the loan, interest rates are usually lower than the ones for personal unsecured loans. HELOCs are mainly suggested with a 10-year period for withdrawal and 20-year for repayment. 

Home equity loan

Compared to the HELOC, home equity loan is mostly known as a second mortgage and is provided as a lump sum. The loan is repaid for the defined number of years with fixed monthly payments. This mostly makes you secured from the market fluctuations. This is a comfortable option if you are sure about the total amount necessary for you. However, if you have additional expenses, it might become a problem, given that your home is again used as collateral. 

Construction loan

If you are planning a large-scale renovation, like knocking down and rebuilding home, another possible option is construction loan. This type of loan mainly depends on the estimated value of the house after the renovation, which gives you an opportunity to cash out the necessary amount of budget for renovation-related payments.

Other options 

If you are ready to start the home improvement process, as we have presented, you have multiple available options. Your options start from using your own savings to HELOCs, home equity loans, or construction loans. In case the renovation is small and is based on regular expenses, you can consider also using a credit card or overdraft option. Before using this option, you should note that these types of loans have higher interest rates and additional fees than others. 

You can also look at interest-free loans or grants for specific renovations that might be suggested in your area, for instance, there are certain incentives in some states offered to owners adding solar panels to their houses.

How to apply for a home improvement loan

  1. Apply before you need to start improvements.
  2. Determine how much you need.
  3. Determine your preferred loan term.
  4. Get prequalified.
  5. Consider your eligibility.

Paying from your own pocket

In case you prefer to avoid taking new loans, you may finance the renovation from your savings or other funds you are able to access. This option appears to be easier and less risky than lending a loan if you have enough money to cover all of the home improvement costs.

Using your own finance means you can start your house renovation without worrying about extra expenses afterward. Nevertheless, you need to consider the planning of your savings carefully. You need to check that after the withdrawal of the necessary amount for the renovation from your savings, you still have some emergency money sufficient for unforeseen expenses.

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Real Estate Owned Property Renovation Project Overview

If homeowners default on a mortgage, they will be left with two options. Either sell the property and pay the unpaid amount to the lender or ownership will pass to the lender. Banks generally don’t hold defaulted properties on their portfolio. Such as it’s better for them to sell it “as is” at a discounted price in an auction and recoup the missed payments.

If the property isn’t sold during the auctions held by the lender it becomes a Real estate owned (REO). For landlords, investors, and flippers REOs are a great way to invest. After purchasing properties in “as is” condition, they organize REO property renovation and put it on the market for sale or for rent.

As REO renovations may be more challenging, it’s important to work with a qualified REO renovation service company. This blog post covers the advantages of REOs and what to look for in a renovation service company before hiring.

What Are The Advantages Of REOs?

Lenders often sell the REO properties at discounted prices during auctions. Such as their aim is not to make a profit out of it, but instead to sell in a short time period in order to recover loan payments that the borrowers were unable to pay on time.

Moreover, banks clear all property taxes and liens for REOs. So, the prospective buyers will not deal with outstanding property taxes and unpaid mortgages of the previous owner.

Landlords and real estate flippers get a high return on investment by purchasing REOs at discounted prices and deploying. After purchasing, landlords lease it to tenants and get a steady income. On the other hand, flippers buy REO properties, renovate, and resell them at a higher market price.

REO Property Renovation Project Overview

REO properties are put in the market for sale “as is” and may need major renovations. Generally, it’s not an issue for flippers, but it affects homebuyers who do not plan to resale and are going to live there.

Compared to other residential properties, REO renovation projects may be more challenging. Given that, you should hire qualified contractors, who have REO industry expertise, a detail-oriented approach, and high-quality standards.

Real Estate Owned Property Renovation Project Overview

REO homes usually don’t have utilities, have junk and debris that must be removed, require a pressure washing of the exterior, have a leaking roof, etc. The REO renovation service providing company should have contingency plans and a specific approach to each REO renovation project.

How To Hire an REO Renovation Service Company?

Below we present the qualities you should look for in an REO renovation service company before partnering up with them.

Matching Team for Each REO Property Renovation

The contracting company should be able to match clients up with the contractors who can best meet their needs for the timeliness, location, and services required.

We have a nationwide network of licensed contractors to complete any big or small renovation services: kitchen, bathroom, basement renovations, additions, whole house renovation, secure the property, remove debris, winterize, and conduct maintenance of the lawn and surrounding areas when necessary.

Dedicated Team of Project Managers

In REO business delays and mistakes are unacceptable. Therefore, appointing skillful and knowledgeable project managers has huge importance for the successful completion of REO renovations.

As a longtime partner to real estate brokers, investors, and mortgage lenders we possess all the resources and experience to meet our customers’ most challenging requirements for each asset and portfolio.

Real estate owned renovation

Expert REO Industry Understanding

As compared to residential properties REOs have more specific characteristics and associated complexities. The hired contractors should have expert REO industry understanding. They must create renovation strategies and perform in a way that maximizes RIO for real estate brokers and investors.

With our decades of experience and nationwide reach, we deliver unmatched quality of REO renovation services,  inspections, property preservation, and appraisals that allow our customers to better focus on their core business.

Prioritizing Efficiency and High-Quality Standards

It is important that the REO renovations comply with current legislation in the area. Therefore, all our contractors are well-trained and have up-to-date information regarding regulatory requirements. From our vendor partners, we require a high level of commitment and professionalism for customer exposure and satisfaction.

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Whole House Renovation Project Q&A

Even though the characteristics of house renovation varies depending on the size of the property, scale, and type of renovation, whole-house renovation projects are complex. It requires a great understanding of the process, a detail-oriented approach, and organizational skills.

For the successful completion of the renovation project, there are several strategically important aspects you should consider. To make the process easier for you, we introduce answers to the most common questions regarding whole house renovations.

kitchen renovation

How to Estimate the Cost of Renovation Project?

The cost of projects may differ depending on whether you are going to do remodeling or renovation. As well as the types of renovations and solutions that you are planning to integrate.

The overall cost of the whole project depends on the following factors: the current condition of the home, the scale of the renovation, quality of construction materials, solutions, and the team of hired contractors, etc. To get precise estimates before starting demolition or purchasing any materials consult with contractors.

Start by carefully evaluating your future plans connected with the property. Then make sure you can manage and oversee the process from start to finish. And finally, invest in renovations that will add value and increase the price of your property.

Renovation vs Remodeling Projects

Generally “renovation” and “remodeling” are used interchangeably to describe the same process, while professionals in the industry refer to different types of construction. Renovation projects are considered to be easier and cover altering a few details, updating the current interior without changing the functionality of the space.

Remodeling includes complex design alterations and a number of structural changes or additions that change the purpose of the space. Also consider, renovation projects may or may not require a permit from local authorities. On the other hand, permits for remodeling projects are almost always required.

How To Choose Contracting Service Company?

Whole house renovations require managerial skills and the input of professionals. With the help of experienced contractors, you can cut costs, finish on time, make sure all renovations are code compliant, and there will not be a need to redo it over and over.

To trust your house remodeling or renovation project take careful consideration of available options and pay proper attention to the qualifications of the contractors. Our contractors are ready to assist you and turn the process of building your dream house cost-effective and enjoyable. Based on your plans, budget, and expectations we will offer a unique approach and organize the renovation smoothly and professionally.

How Effective Are Sustainable Solutions?

Sustainable solutions may be expensive, and add up to renovation costs. But in the long run, it will pay off and positively affect the price of your property. In the market, the most common solutions are solar panels, living walls, and roofs, smart home systems, etc.

If you have a busy and hectic lifestyle, smart home systems will help to better organize everything and support to take care of your schedule and day to day activities. With solar panels, you will save money on your energy bills and reinvest the allocated amount on your property improvements.

Whole House Renovation Project Guide

How Long Will A Whole Home Renovation Take?

The whole home renovation is quite complex and depends on a lot of factors. Hence there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Every renovation project is unique. Each project has its own characteristics and complexities.

Therefore, you need to break down the entire project, estimate each aspect, and evaluate the expected timelines of completion. If it’s your first experience of renovating and you struggle with planning, contact a local contractor for advice.

Free Home Renovation Guide