I recently remodeled one of my bathrooms and it was – um – fun.
Okay, maybe fun isn’t the right word. And, actually, maybe ‘remodel’ is too strong a word. Let’s say I gave my bathroom a mini-facelift – a whirlwind weekend that included paint, textiles, lighting, hardware, photographs and a really lovely scented candle. The scented candle was the nicest part. And the easiest. And the nicest. Did I already say that?
Why is it that the word remodel strikes fear in the heart of so many people – including me? Is it the angst of making a mistake? The concern over ROI? The dread of spending your hard-earned money on a toilet of all things?
For me, I am always looking at my home through my Realtor lens and wondering in my head (and, yes, out loud to my painters who kindly but firmly reminded me that Silver Chain Gray was, in fact, a great color) if buyers are going to love it.
The answer is – maybe. The bigger question is: is the expense and exhaustion from a major remodel, or even a lesser transformation, really worth it? When I was remodeling I didn’t discuss my plans with anyone else except me. On the flip side, when I was shaky about the color, I had nobody to blame but myself. I hate blaming myself. It’s less fun than blaming someone else.
So – should you do it or not?
The short answer is yes. If you are considering selling your house, updating your home is a good bet. You want your home to be the best and the brightest on the proverbial block, but you don’t want to exchange your good-looking house for the poorhouse.
Experts suggest taking an honest look at the outside to make sure it appeals to buyers –no matter how great the house is on the inside, nobody will ever see it if the outside is ugly. This is the same reason cupcakes are so popular and eel is not. Just saying. Do the windows need to be replaced or repaired? Would a new front door or at least a fresh coat of paint give the home a bit of sparkle? Be honest – or ask a trusted friend for insight.
Once you get past the freshly painted door, it’s the kitchen that buyers most want to see. If you’re selling now or sometime in the near future, remember to appeal to the masses, which includes stainless steel appliances, soft close drawers, a designated space for recycling and upgraded finishes. I have a client who recently upgraded her kitchen in a smart, budget-friendly way. By painting her cabinets and walls, adding new hardware, and investing in granite countertops, the space looks fresh and open. Even I was impressed and I’ve seen a lot of kitchens in my day. A MAJOR overhaul was not necessary since said kitchen, like many kitchens, was functional, just not fabulous. Had my client embarked on a huge remodel, her ROI would be slim and her mental state would be a bit – oh – compromised. And then she might have to live with me. And what if she didn’t like the paint in the bathroom? What if she was allergic to my new candle?
So, be brave my fellow homeowners! Tackle that tired bathroom, kick-up that kitchen and examine that exterior because the pros outweigh the cons. And that’s coming from a pro.
5280 Magazine recently profiled several Denver neighborhoods and the distinct appeal of each one. No matter what you are looking for in a residence, Denver’s many neighborhoods are sure to offer you exactly what you want and more. It is one of the few cities where each area offers a true sense of community.
The East Washington Park area has some of the nicest homes in Denver, but it also contains high amounts of foot, bike, and car traffic. Buying a home near Washington Park will give you convenient access to all sorts of activities, as well as Old South Gaylord, which has plenty of shopping and dining options.
The Five Points and Curtis Park neighborhood is home to a wonderful mix of culture along with properties that look like they are straight out of San Francisco. Many people believe this will be the next hot Denver neighborhood as real estate development spreads north and east of the city. It is also one of the only parts of town to see an increase in sales value over the last year.
Alamo Placita is closer to downtown than Washington Park and has lower home prices. The collection of bungalows, apartments, and condos is a short walk from Governor’s Park and the growing number of business on Sixth and Seventh Avenues.
For other notable neighborhoods, please see the 5280 article. If you would like to learn more about each Denver neighborhood and which one is the perfect for you, give me a call at 888-860-1931.
Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng
If you are new to Denver and love to garden, now is the perfect time to start planning your garden to enjoy this summer. Early to mid-May is the best time to start digging, but you need to plan which plant varieties you will enjoy eating the most. No matter the size of land area, you can have a garden that will help you create seasonal, fresh dishes requiring minimal effort. If you are living in a condo and have a small patio, pick two or three types of vegetables or herbs that can be grown in pots.
Colorado has a fairly short growing season, so if you are starting a garden it is wise to begin with small plants instead of seeds. Plants that grow quickly like peas, beans, and lettuce are fine to use as seeds. If you chose to plant things from seeds, begin by planting a few seeds to start with, but then repeat planting one or two times with two weeks in between. Staggering the planting season will ensure that you have a longer harvest.
Some plants that are great in Colorado for kitchen use are basil, parsely, thyme, lettuces, a variety of tomatoes, snap peas, zucchini, and green onions. Once you taste how good fresh vegetables and herbs taste in your homemade dishes you will never miss another summer in your kitchen garden.
Give me a call to learn more about living in Denver.
Source & photo credit: www.coloradohomesmag.com
After investing all that time and money into your home, it feels good to reap the benefits come tax season. Many home-related expenses can be deducted from your taxes to save you thousands of dollars.
Sure, moving from a simple IRS 1040EZ form to a 1040 long form and Schedule A is more time consuming, but it pays off in how much money it saves you each year. The Schedule A form is where you list your homeowner expenses that reduce your tax burden.
Here are some of the best tax breaks associated with home ownership:
- Mortgage interest: The interest paid on your mortgage each year is tax deductible. During the beginning years of home ownership, interest makes up the majority of your payments. This means you will have far less to pay when tax season arrives.
- Vacation homes: In addition to your primary residence, you can deduct interest paid on a vacation home loan. You can even rent it out for short periods of time while still qualifying for this benefit.
- Tax-free profits: If you sell your home after living in it for more than two years, any profit from the transaction is tax-free. This is a great incentive as real estate is known for its appreciation.
For more homeowner tax perks, please check out the Coldwell Banker Agent Information site. Leave a comment below to let me know which benefit is the most appealing!
Still have questions about Denver homeowner tax benefits? Give me a call at 888-860-1931, and I will answer all of your questions and concerns.
Photo Credit: Ehow
Saving on your utility bill doesn’t require drastic measures. Here are a few helpful hints that are easy and eco-friendly.
Many Green practices save you money on your utility bills.
- Dryers are Over Rated: Dryers are fast, easy…and suck up a ton of cash. Buying an energy efficient dryer is a good step but using the natural elements to dry your clothing is even less expensive and better for the environment. Clothes lines are perhaps the easiest method but they require excellent weather conditions. More convenient ideas are drying racks and hangers: there are numerous styles of drying racks that can dry multiple loads of clothing simultaneously. These products may suspend from your ceiling or walls and there are also up-right models. Hangers are a quick and easy fix for drying that require little monetary investment. For a few more green points, buy Bamboo Hangers or Wheatware Hangers.
- Get Connected—Wisely: Being in the technology age doesn’t have to drain your wallet. Purchase energy efficient products such as an Energy Star monitor for your computer. Turn off electronics when not in use, especially the computer. At a minimum, put the computer in a low-power setting such as “hibernate.”
- Heat It Up, Less: Saving money on your water heating can be as simple as taking shorter showers or installing a water timer. Solar water heaters and energy efficient units are also wise investments that will produce long term savings.
Searching for a home in the Denver area? Contact Ann Meadows at 888-860-1931 or visit http://annmeadows.agent-sherpa.com for information and local listings.
Photo Source: cepro