Homes of Distinction Realty



Posted by Homes of Distinction Realty on 4/2/2020

Many home buyers seek out fixer-uppers or older homes as a way to save money. And, while this method can be a great way to save, it does come with a few caveats.

Upgrades and repairs can vary greatly in price. Some might be simple, whereas others can take weeks or months, require permits, and uproot your plans. For these reasons, itís good to know what youíre getting yourself into with home repairs.

In this article, weíre going to cover the most expensive home repairs and upgrades. That way when you find a home listing that youíre interested in, you can rule out these costly repairs early if you arenít willing to spend the extra money on them after buying the house.

1. Sewer and septic

Finding out you need to replace a sewer line or a septic system can be a nightmare. Sewer lines are most often damaged by tree root growth, leaving older homes the most vulnerable. On average, homeowners spend around $2,500 to repair a main sewer line.

If you move into a new home that previously only had one inhabitant, you may find that the septic system canít keep up with the increased workload. Repairs for a septic system average around $1,500. And to replace the septic system and install a new one? You can expect to spend around $5,000 or much more, depending on your needs and location.

2. Foundation repair

Older homes are also subject to foundation damage over the years, which can cause many problems, including safety concerns and water damage.

Houses that have poor drainage and high soil moisture are particularly vulnerable to foundation damage. And, like sewer and septic issues, tree roots can also pose a problem.

For minor cracks, foundation repairs can cost as little as $500. However, more severe damage can cost up to $10,000. On average, Americans spend around $4,000 when they repair a damaged foundation.

3. Roof replacement

Roof replacements are inevitable, but there are ways to ensure you wonít have to install a new one anytime soon. For example, slate and metal roofs can last over 50 years. And concrete? A hundred years or more.

The most common type of roofs, however, are made from asphalt shingles, which last around 20 years. In terms of price, asphalt tends to be the cheapest as well, costing as low as $2,000 to replace. Metal and slate roofs are significantly more expensive, starting at $5,000 and $17,000 respectively.

4. Heat pump installation

Installing a heat pump can be quite costly, with the national average being around $5,300. However, if you live in a moderate climate, a heat pump can replace both your furnace and your air conditioning unit.

Furthermore, if you plan on staying in the home for several years, a heat pump tends to be much more energy efficient than older alternatives.

5. Kitchen remodel

Of all the household remodeling projects--basement, bathrooms, etc.--a kitchen remodel tends to be the priciest. Americans spend about $21,000 on a kitchen remodel. The most expensive part? Cabinetry and hardware at $6,000.




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Posted by Homes of Distinction Realty on 3/26/2020

In recent years, the number of employees who work from home, at least some of the time, has increased to about 25 percent. This trend shows that companies are warming up to the idea of letting their employees work wherever theyíre comfortable, and that a growing number of people are working on a freelance or contract basis.

Working from home, despite its many advantages, does pose some obstacles to productivity. Thus, time management and daily task setting are key to being as productive or more productive than you would be at the office.

In todayís article, weíre going to help you learn how to become more productive when you work from home so that you can meet your daily numbers while still enjoying the perks of working remotely.

Time management

One of the most difficult aspects of working from home is sticking to a schedule throughout the day. The home poses several distractions--kids, pets, TV, the refrigerator. Aside from the distraction factor, itís easy to procrastinate when you donít have a boss lurking around. There are several measures you can take while working at home to counter these factors.

First, make sure you set some ground rules for yourself and your family while working from home. Make sure everyone knows your work hours, including yourself. Stick to those hours by creating a daily routine. Everyone is different when it comes to keeping a planner.

Some people keep a simple task list in a notebook, while others create intricate planners that are color-coded and rife with stickers and reminders. Regardless of your method, make sure you have a physical reminder in front of you during the day that reminds you what you should be doing.

Routine is key to managing your time. While there will always be things that come up that we donít plan for, having a foundation for your day is vital. Starting each day the same way is a good way to help yourself stick to your schedule. Some people go for a walk each morning, while others dive right into their work. Whichever you choose, make sure you do it consistently.

Creating a productive environment

Try to work in an office or spare room away from kids or pets and let your family know that you need to focus when youíre there.

If possible, set your phone to silent or ďdo not disturbĒ mode. Remove any distractions from the room that will tempt you to procrastinate. Things like the TV and snacks can easily steal your attention.

However, in this day of social media, itís equally important to make sure you avoid procrastinating online as well. If you find yourself subconsciously navigating to Facebook or Reddit, try setting up an extension on your browser that limits your time on those sites to 10 minutes per day to help you stay on track.

A productive environment doesnít have to be a barren one. Choose decorations and paint colors that work for you. Youíll want to feel comfortable in your work environment, and one of the perks of working from home is being able to customize any way that you like.

Finally, remember to take breaks. Many people who are able to work from home have a tendency to put work off until the last minute and then work feverishly to get everything done.




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Posted by Homes of Distinction Realty on 3/19/2020

If you're planning to sell your house soon, you should prepare for the property selling journey. This can mean identifying potential home selling obstacles so that you can address these issues right away.

Now, let's take a look at three issues that house sellers commonly face, along with tips to address these problems.

1. Exorbitant Initial Asking Price

You may believe your house is worth more than you originally paid for it. However, there is no guarantee your home's initial asking price will fall in line with buyers' expectations. And if you ultimately set a high initial asking price for your home, your residence may linger on the real estate market for an extended period of time.

Oftentimes, it helps to evaluate the housing market in your city or town. This enables you to see how your residence stacks up against comparable houses. Then, you can use this housing market data to price your house appropriately.

You may want to conduct a home appraisal as well. Once you obtain an appraisal report, you can use the report's property valuation to determine how to price your house.

2. Poor Curb Appeal

How your house looks to buyers is key. If your residence has a messy front lawn, deteriorating siding, and other exterior problems, it is unlikely to garner buyers' interest.

For a home seller, it is important to allocate time and resources to boost a house's curb appeal. By mowing the lawn, repairing cracked or damaged home siding and performing other property improvements, a seller can instantly upgrade his or her residence's curb appeal.

If you need help with home improvements, you can reach out to local professionals. With assistance from landscapers and other home improvement specialists, you can quickly transform your house's appearance from drab to fab.

3. Cluttered Home Interior

If you have collected a vast array of antiques and artwork over the years, you may want to remove these items from your house before you sell it. Remember, the goal of a home seller is to make it easy for a buyer to envision what life may be like if they purchase your residence. If your house is filled with myriad personal belongings, it may be tough for a homebuyer to do just that.

To cut down on clutter inside your home, you can always host a yard sale or list various items online. You can also donate any unwanted items to a local charity, or give them to family members or friends.

As you get set to sell your house, don't forget to hire a real estate agent, too. This housing market professional can help you identify and resolve potential home selling obstacles. In addition, they will do whatever it takes to help you get the best price for your house.

Ready to list your residence? Consider the aforementioned home selling issues, and you can take steps to minimize these problems prior to embarking on the house selling journey.




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Posted by Homes of Distinction Realty on 3/12/2020

Selling a house sometimes can be complicated. But if you understand the home selling journey, you may be better equipped than other sellers to avoid potential pitfalls.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you simplify the home selling journey.

1. Analyze the Local Housing Market

The age and condition of your home may have far-flung effects on how much a buyer is willing to pay to acquire your residence. At the same time, the local real estate sector can have major ramifications on your property selling experience.

A home seller who analyzes the local housing market can identify real estate patterns and trends. Then, this seller can use housing market data to establish a competitive initial asking price for his or her residence Ė something that may lead to a quick, seamless home selling experience.

Don't forget to review the prices of recently sold houses in your city or town too. By doing so, you can see how your home compares to these residences and price your house accordingly.

2. Assess Your Home

If you've maintained your home over the years, you may be in a good position to maximize your house sale earnings. On the other hand, if your home requires repairs, there may be no time like the present to complete property improvements.

Oftentimes, it is beneficial to conduct a home inspection and appraisal prior to listing a residence. During a home inspection, a property expert will examine your residence and offer insights into any underlying property issues. Meanwhile, during an appraisal, a property expert will craft a property valuation based on your residence and various housing market factors.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

If you're unsure about how to navigate the home selling process, you may want to hire a real estate agent. That way, you'll have a home selling expert at your side to help you identify and eliminate assorted property selling hurdles.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to sell a home, regardless of the current housing market's conditions. He or she first will meet with you and help you create a property selling strategy. Next, a real estate agent will set up home showings and open house events to promote your residence to prospective buyers. And if you receive an offer to purchase your house, a real estate agent will provide recommendations and suggestions about how to proceed with this proposal.

In addition, a real estate agent will go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure you can get the best price for your house. He or she is ready to negotiate with a buyer's agent on your behalf, and as a result, can help you optimize your home sale earnings.

When it comes to selling a home, complications may arise. Fortunately, the aforementioned tips can help you streamline the home selling process and ensure you can enjoy a fast, profitable property selling experience.




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Posted by Homes of Distinction Realty on 3/5/2020

Buying your first home is undoubtedly a long and complex process for someone who has little to no experience in the subject. Your average first-time homeowner learns as they go, with the help of their real estate agent and mortgage lender.

But, even so, first-time buyers often make many mistakes along the way that they could have avoided with prior knowledge and preparation.

In todayís article, weíre going to cover 5 of the most common mistakes that first-time homebuyers make when purchasing a home. From the first house you look at up until closing on your first home, weíll cover common mistakes from each step of the way to give you the knowledge you need to make the best home buying decisions.

1. Shopping for homes preemptively

Once you decide that youíre interested in potentially buying a home in the near future, itís tempting to hop online and start looking at listings. But, searching for your dream home at this stage is a poor use of your time.

Itís best to use this time to start thinking about the bigger picture. Have you secured financial aspects of owning a home, such as a down payment, a solid credit score, and two years of steady employment history?

Youíll also need to have a clear picture of what you want your life to look like for the next 5-7 years. Will you still want to live in the same area, or will your job lead you elsewhere?

These are all questions to ask yourself before you start house hunting that will inform your process along the way and make your hunt a lot easier.

2. Not knowing your budget

Itís a common mistake for first-time buyers to go into the house hunting process without a clearly mapped budget. You want to make sure that after all of your expenses (mortgage payment, utilities, bills, debt, etc.) that you still have leftover income for savings, retirement, and an emergency fund.

Make a detailed spreadsheet of your expenses and determine how much you can afford each month before you start shopping for mortgages.

3. Borrowing the maximum amount

While it may be tempting to buy the most expensive house you can get approved for, there are a number of reasons this might be a bad idea for you, financially. Stretching your budget each month is putting yourself at risk for not being able to contribute to savings, retirement, and emergency funds.

Furthermore, you may find that the extra square-footage you purchased wasnít worth having to cut corners in other areas of your life, like hobbies, entertainment, and dining out.

4. Forgetting important expenses

If youíre currently renting an apartment, you might be unaware of some of the lesser-known costs of homeownership. Your chosen lender will provide you with an estimate of the closing costs, which youíll have to budget for.

However, there are also maintenance, repairs, utilities, and other bills that youíll have to figure into your monthly budget.

5. Waiving contingencies or giving the benefit of the doubt

While it may seem like an act of goodwill to give the seller the benefit of the doubt when it comes to things like home inspections, itís usually a bad idea to waive contingencies.

The process of purchasing a home, along with a purchase contract, have been designed to protect both your interests and the sellerís interests. It isnít selfish to want to know exactly what youíre getting into when making a purchase as significant as a home.