Is Home Flipping for You?

Luann 1While you may think that home flipping went the way of the dinosaurs after the real estate bust, flips actually rose 3.1 percent from 2015 to 2016, with gross profits averaging $62,624, according to research from ATTOM Data Solutions.

Home flipping enjoyed a boost last year thanks to low inventory in many areas of the country and an infusion of foreign and domestic capital, says ATTOM, who reported that roughly 6 percent of condo and single-family home sales in 2016 were flips – the highest share in three years.

Hot markets in California – like San Jose, San Diego, and San Francisco – along with cities such as Baltimore, Md., Boston, Mass., New York, N.Y. and Seattle, Wash. earned more than $100,000 in profits. The most flipping took place Florida and Tennessee, where it comprised 11.7 percent of all sales in Memphis, Tenn.

Are you ready to get into the flipping game? Consider these pros and cons:

Pro: Home flipping can be very lucrative, earning you a sizable sum of money within a very short period of time.

Con: Conversely, when a flip becomes a “flop,” you can lose money. This can happen when unexpected expenses for home repairs or taxes arise, or when holding costs accrue from paying the mortgage and other expenses for a longer than anticipated period of time.

Pro: Home flipping is a great learning experience and will sharpen your skills on all things real estate, including construction, related finances and the local market.

Con: The process can be very stressful. There will be bumps along the way and there is always a risk involved, so make sure you’re ready for the roller coaster ride.

If you’d like more detailed real estate information about your market, please contact Anne Lakusta, Keller Williams Dallas Metro North, at 972-874-1905.

5 DIY Improvements to Make Your Home Classier

It may seem that homebuyers and sellers don’t agree on much, but they share one important concern: that the transaction is successful. This comradery is never more evident than during the appraisal process. It’s only natural, since the results of the appraisal can send the deal spiraling out of control.

Updating your home to be more chic – without looking cheap – is completely doable on a budget.

If you’re looking to add more class to your home, taking on a DIY project can give your house that extra sense of style while saving you money. No need to cringe at those three little words: “do it yourself.” There really are fast, easy and affordable projects you can do on your own. Here are five relatively easy ways to enhance your home.

1. Replace Your Light Fixtures
Switching out an old or basic light fixture for a more elegant one is an easy way to shift the ambiance of a room. By adding a sophisticated light fixture, you can control the intensity of the light and character of your room. And you don’t need to pay a pretty penny for expensive new fixtures – you can buy used fixtures online.

2. Add Floating Shelves
Installing floating shelves in your home combines the functionality of extra storage space with a bit of style and personal flair. Floating shelves can be mounted on walls in many different patterns, and they come in various materials to give your rooms a unique touch. For a small room choose shallow shelves to display framed photos; for a larger room you can afford to use deeper shelves to hold vases, books and unique trinkets.

3. Paint an Accent Wall
Painting an accent wall can add a pop of color and showcase your personality. Usually a low-risk project, a homeowner of any skill level can tackle this project in a day. You just need some painter’s tape, a brush and the color that suits you! Just make sure the color you choose is complementary with the other colors in the room. Stay consistent between warm and cool tones.

4. Install Decorative Molding
Adding decorative molding around your home can add an extra touch of elegance. Install molding to the ceiling by capping walls, columns and cabinets, or add chair molding lower to the ground. With detailed molding you can add character to your rooms while also making them feel taller and more finished.

5. Build a Stone Fire Pit

Take your sophisticated style outside by building a stone fire pit in your backyard. Completed in only a few hours, take uniquely shaped rocks or large stones and put them together to create a functional and stylish fire pit. Before starting the project, be sure to check your local fire codes or homeowners association to ensure you are safe and allowed to start building.

Adding a touch of class to your home doesn’t have to break the bank! Just be sure to start with one project at a time, allowing yourself to complete one before starting the next. Otherwise, you’ll fall victim to chronic project incompleteness syndrome – not a good look!

Now that you know about these five inexpensive DIY projects, which will you try?

DIY Patios: What to Consider When Designing a Patio

Adding a patio to your home is exciting. It’s the perfect place for relaxing outdoors, alone or with company. It’s not as simple as finding a patio you admire and duplicating it, however. You have to design a patio that will work with your location, budget and other factors. Here are some things to consider when designing your patio to ensure it suits your needs while expressing your personality and style.

Patio Location

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to location. No rule says a patio has to adjoin the rear of the house. You may prefer placing it in the front yard, or off to the side instead. A beautiful “destination patio” in the middle of the backyard with a pathway leading to it may fit your home and lifestyle perfectly.

When deciding on your patio location, keep in mind other design considerations such as the size, how you plan to use it, and how much sun, shade or climate protection the location offers. Even the land itself influences the patio location. A more level area, free of underground lines, requires less work to prepare. (Always call 811 before digging. Utility companies will dispatch and mark underground items for you.)

Don’t forget the view, either. Plan on laying out in your swimsuit? You may want a more private location. Socializing with the neighbors allows for a more open setting.

How Will You Use the Patio?

Just as important as the patio location is how you plan to use it. A patio meant as a private retreat may not be very relaxing next to a full, active house, for example, while a patio meant for dining and cooking works best closer to the home.

Do you plan to host small, intimate gatherings or do you have a large family? Will children and pets regularly use the space? Rather than a flat, simple rectangular patio, would you rather have various areas, perhaps with different shapes or levels, to create groupings for different times and purposes? Look for patios you admire to spark your design ideas.

Patio Size

Size is everything. Depending on your budget, you may have to limit the size of your patio, change the layout or compromise on special features. Don’t think of your patio as a one-time chance to get it right, either. You can always keep the design expandable and add the extras later, as money permits.

Create a Budget

Your budget will impact not only the size and layout, but also the building materials you choose. Don’t assume that a limited budget means your patio has to be plain. Even concrete can be made beautiful with stains and special finishing techniques. Brick allows for a richer color variation, and pavers can create an old-world feel. Once you have determined the patio size, location and layout, it’s much easier to price the materials needed. Consider adding graceful curves, beautiful planters or special borders to make up for less-fancy materials.

Decide on Extras

It’s the furnishings and features that make a patio your favorite place to hang out. Also consider any irrigation, drainage, landscaping and lighting you want to include. It’s much easier to run pipes, lines and cables now, before the patio is built, than later. Other options include:

A fire pit

A built-in grill (or space for your portable grill)

A water fountain or pool

Built-in seating or flowerbeds

Steps and railings

A roof and screened-in areas

Walls or fences

A built-in kitchen or bar

As you plan your patio, look for other patios you admire and modify the elements that catch your eye to suit your own design. Designing and planning your new patio is really the fun part. Well, other than the hours you will spend enjoying the end result!

Interior Design on a Budget

Whether you’re planning to furnish a new build, or you’re simply seeking to give your current home a makeover, you don’t have to break the bank to do so. There are countless ways to make a big impact easily and affordably. There are also several do-it-yourself options that can save a bundle on unnecessary labor costs. Here are some ideas to design your interior spaces on an easy budget.

Add or Change Your Color Palette

Adding a splash of color, or changing the hue in a room, is a very simple way to make an immediate impact. Paint is relatively affordable, and if you tackle the project yourself, it becomes an extremely economical way to make a dramatic statement.

Consider painting an entire room, or just an accent wall for a more subtle impression. Fresh paint can also do wonders for old furniture. Consider a completely new color for furniture, or a weathering technique to provide a rustic or even vintage look.

A whole kitchen remodel can become extremely pricy. Painting old or slightly dated cabinets is a great way to offer a fresh look at a fraction of the cost. Adding new hardware and drawer pulls provides extra character and charm both easily and affordably, to kitchen or bathroom cabinets.

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Do It Yourself

One of the best ways to furnish or decorate an interior on a budget is to do it yourself whenever possible. Utilize your existing personal talents, but also don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and attempt a new project. Instructional videos and books can assist in walking you through new projects step-by-step. Of course, YouTube is a great place to find inspiration or instruction, should you need either.

Consider installing your own tile, laminate or linoleum floors or refinishing the wood floors you already have. Install updated plumbing fixtures or light fixtures to add a modern touch, and also save on utility costs.

Refurbish previously-owned or antique furniture as opposed to buying new. You could even consider crafting your own unique window treatments, utilizing the many ideas and tools available online.

Pinterest is a great place to find inspiration for do-it-yourself project ideas, including wall décor, unique shelving options, headboard ideas, fireplace makeovers, coffee tables or even crafty light fixtures.

When considering do-it-yourself decorating options, see if you can use things you already have around the house that will cost you nothing. Cut and display decorative grasses, ivy, cattails or seasonal flowers. Dry the flowers and grasses to create wreaths or swags to be hung, or use them for display in vases or decorative bottles and vintage jars.

For a project the entire family can enjoy, consider hand-crafting your own scented candles that can be used in any room. Another family decorating idea: Frame and display your child’s artwork, family photographs or landscapes that hold meaning, as opposed to purchasing pricy artwork in stores.

Furnishing Your Home on a Budget

Be mindful and creative when shopping for home furnishings on a budget. Shop at flea markets, antique shops and garage sales for statement pieces such as bedroom sets, dining sets or armoires that can be refurbished to fit your style and taste. Browse websites such as Craig’s List for unique bargains, or even look for contractor specials on premium, previously unused items.

Keep function in mind when planning budget kitchen décor, as opposed to purchasing unnecessary knick-knacks. Hang pots and pans for both use and charm, or fill and showcase decorative jars or canisters with kitchen essentials. Display large serving platters and baskets, and fill them with edibles such as seasonal fruits or vegetables. Hang everyday mugs on a fashionable rack and store cooking utensils in a trendy wire caddy or unique piece of pottery – or even hang them from metal brackets or a utility rail to add style and save counter space.

Decorating or refurnishing a home on a budget can be both fun and easily achieved. Remember to be clever and creative, shop wisely, and do what you can to save money while in turn crafting a unique and meaningful environment the entire family will enjoy.

Sources:

http://www.bhg.com/decorating/budget-decorating/cheap/cheap-living-room-ideas/
http://www.bhg.com/decorating/makeovers/furniture/fabulous-furniture-makeovers/#page=7
http://www.countryliving.com/crafts/projects/practically-free-crafts#slide-1
http://www.hgtv.com/decorating-basics/12-ways-to-repurpose-home-furnishings/pictures/index.html