Tag Archives: home

High Prices to Cause Higher Spending on U.S. Home Upgrades in 2018

a modern living roomAmericans plan to take advantage of high home prices by spending more this year to upgrade their residential properties, according to the Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA) model.
Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies released the LIRA report, which forecasts spending to increase nearly 8 percent to $333 billion by September.

Home Development Spending

Aside from high home prices, home builders and renovators will notice an increase in development activity due to recent economic growth, according to Joint Center for Housing Studies managing director Chris Herbert.

Americans in disaster-stricken states last year such as Texas will particularly seek to renovate their houses, according to the report. Abbe Will, the center’s research associate, expects “stronger growth” in 2019 since more people will pursue major repairs.

For homeowners with pools on their property, it’s a good time to get the backyard feature checked. Custom pool builder, Gold Medal Pools says that a service could include testing the water quality and cleaning to restore its sparkling look.

The North Texas Market

Hurricane Harvey’s impact last year failed to dampen the momentum of home sales in North Texas in January when transactions comprised 6,246 existing properties. The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M and the North Texas Real Estate Information Systems said that real estate agents sold 12 percent more homes last month.

The median sales prices also increased, although at a slower rate of 5 percent. Still, the number of existing homes that changed possession set a new record in January. If you intend to sell your house in the coming months, finding a buyer will be relatively easy. A tight supply of homes on the market has caused buyers to place bids as quickly as supply increases.

An increase in home remodeling activity bodes well for the business of home builders and renovators in the near future. For homeowners, planning a renovation project seems a worthwhile investment while prices remain high.

3 Amazing Ideas to Improve a Modern Garden with Antiques

Garden with gazeboImproving the appearance of your yard normally involves buying additional decor or plants. However, you don’t need to buy modern pieces or expensive contemporary additions to make it more inviting. You can help preserve the planet by choosing reclaimed building fixtures and antique decorative items instead. Consider these classy additions:

A Reading Nook

French garden antiques placed sparingly around a refurbished classic couch, complete with small side tables and an ottoman would be the perfect setting for a secret reading area or a unique place to entertain guests. Plan your garden design around this section, choosing between turning it into a secluded spot with numerous plants all around or an open space to view the whole yard.

Garden Statues

Forget the garden gnomes and pink flamingos. After all, you can’t get any classier than adding aged statues to your meticulously designed yard. Choose one central piece or aim to place smaller statues strategically to highlight certain spots in the garden. Do consider your yard space, color scheme, and theme when choosing what pieces to buy.

A Stone Fountain

Nothing says garden more than having a stone fountain in the middle of the yard, whether it’s the driveway or backyard. If you feel it’s a little too much, you can reserve this fixture behind your home if there’s enough space for it. You can also consider installing it in one corner of the yard to augment your pool (if you have one).

Mixing old with new is now a trend and it's truly making a mark in modern architecture and design. The outcome offers a constant delightful surprise to homeowners and helps Mother Nature by reducing waste. Admittedly, it’s a great way to create your own wonderful spot.

Clean your Air Ducts for Better Health

White air ventAir a building circulates in a building through its HVAC system several times a day. Contaminants and other airborne particles get stuck in the ducts and get re-circulated into your living space. Accumulating over time can make these elements reach dangerous levels that can badly affect the indoor air quality. This can result to people having respiratory issues and allergic reactions.

Prevent this by adhering to superior air duct cleaning procedures as explained below:

Contaminant Loosening

Dust and mold can accumulate in your vent system over time. Clean your ducts in Toronto by loosening the residue using soft brushes and high pressure air nozzles. You can also clean the other components of your HVAC system during this process.

Negative Pressurization

Be careful not to re-contaminate the interior air of the building. A professional contractor will use a very powerful vacuum. The vacuuming device gets attached to a truck to induce negative air pressure into the ductwork. This will also help to contain dust and dirt during the removal process.

The Removal Process

After connecting the vacuum to the duct, the removal of all contaminants can begin. This should be done from many access points allocated in the ducts. The air removed from the duct system at this point get sucked in the HEPA filters. All contaminants get sealed in bags and disposed of by your medical-grade vent cleaning contractor.

Culmination of the Process

After cleaning, your contractor will reinstall any removed components. New air filters are also reinstalled before restarting the system. He should also inspect the building’s airflow before finishing.

Air-duct cleaning is a valuable tool for removing the dirt in the air that your workers breathe. The most efficient cleaning process should be one that improves the interior air quality of your premises. Make sure you do this every few years to maintain the cleanliness of your vents.

CoreLogic: Home Prices in Sydney May Further Decline in 2018

SydneyThis year could be a good time to buy homes in Sydney, as residential real estate prices are expected to fall around 7 per cent, according to CoreLogic.

The real estate firm based its prediction of lower prices in Sydney from results in December 2017, when prices fell nearly 0.9 per cent. A median-priced house in the city costs more than $1.05 million, while the median cost of an apartment amounts to more than $774,124.

Price Drag

The price slowdown may even continue until 2019, suggesting that the market has reached its peak after booming in recent years, said CoreLogic head of research Tim Lawless. Since peaking in August 2017, the housing market in Sydney has recorded falling prices, he added.

Several other housing experts predict that price depreciation for homes could drop by as much as 10 per cent. This benefits those who plan to buy their own homes, although take note that investors and homeowners may decide to hold on to their properties due to declining prices.

Market Trends

Some sellers will not just defer a listing on the market because of low prices, but also to avoid paying high stamp duty on property transfers worth around $50,000 for median-priced homes. These homeowners usually comprise growing families, who want to offload their house to buy a bigger one.

Instead, a possible trend among upgraders in 2018 involves renovations amid low-interest rates for financing housing improvements, according to ME Bank head of loans Patrick Nolan. As some households decide to stay put, their residential projects will cause more business for companies that offer waterproofing supplies in Sydney.

Conclusion

Homes in Sydney might become cheaper in 2018, but a lack of supply presents challenges to buyers. For homeowners that still plan to sell, renovations will help in boosting the value of your property.

3 Must-Haves for Home Security

A burglar breaking into a houseNothing feels safer than being in the comfort of your own home. Your home is a fortress you have built together with your family. However, the threat of intrusions remains, which means you should invest in security for your home. Here are three basic ways you can keep everyone at home safe:

Steel doors

Being the main point of entry in every house, doors are usually the target of burglars. One solution to keep intruders away is by installing steel security doors for your Auckland home. These would make it much harder for thieves to bust through.

Window grills

Windows are also a point of entry but are often overlooked by homeowners. If you want further security, you might want to install grills on your windows. This way, the grills would hamper any burglary attempts by acting as an additional barrier for fragile glass windows. The grills are made of sturdy material like metal, so it would be improbable for petty thieves to destroy them.

Roller doors

Be it in London or Auckland; roller security doors include not only your front door but also the garage doors of your home. The usual roller doors are used for a garage, which means they roll up to let people in and out. However, you can invest in seamless roller doors since these are more modern and easier to operate.

All-around security

Security for your home is a worthwhile investment because it is better to have your property safe than be sorry to have them stolen. You may not be a billionaire but the security features mentioned can save not only your valuables but also your life, and those of your loved ones.

Ensuring a Comfortable Life for an Elderly Loved One

A group elderly people in a living roomIt takes a great effort to ensure your elderly loved ones’ life is comfortable. The elderly need special care, especially if they suffer from illnesses. If you don’t consider bringing them to nursing care facilities, you need to identify and meet their everyday needs.

Ensure the elderly have a safe environment

Seniors can no longer do things the way they used to. One way of keeping elderly comfortable at home is to make sure they have easy access to every part of the house. Making room on the ground floor is a good idea for them not to take the stairs. If you think your elderly relative could suffer injuries at some parts of your home, build them a granny flat. Having them live in a granny flat will make moving easier for them because all parts of the house are within their reach.

Provide all the care your loved one needs

After taking care of you until your adulthood, it’s time to return the favour. Show your love by ensuring they eat healthy foods, and take their vitamins regularly. If your elderly loved ones are taking medications, it’s essential that they have easy access to their medications and they don’t miss their regular check-up.

Always ask them if they want anything or check if they’re okay. Aside from being physically weak, they often feel lonely. You may want to address this by having a deep conversation with them or do anything that can let them feel safe with you.

We should always do our best to make sure our elderly loved ones are getting the comfort and care they need. Whether we decide to take care of them or bring them to a nursing home facility, we’re responsible for their well-being.

5 Essential Things a Kid’s Room Should Have

Kids playingAside from a place to sleep, a kid’s room is where a child can learn responsibility and expression on their own. It is important to plan on what children have in their area.

Here are a couple of essential things that a kid’s room should have.

A place to play

Your child’s room is going to be full of toys. Create an area where your child can play so that he or she can determine early on where to have toys and where to have not. It is also going make cleaning easier for them when they are through.

A place to study

Children cannot play all the time so make a study area for their room. Acquire a study desk where you and your child can sit together so that you can have a place when he or she needs help with school.

Something to put away their things

Expect a lot of mess to be made when you have children. Get wooden shelves or cubbies so that your kids can have a place to put away their toys and books. You may also want to get drawers for their clothes and sheets to place in.

Lamps, nightlights, and glowing things

Kids would want something that would literally brighten their room up. Get night-lights and lamps for their room so they will not get scared of the dark. It would also help if you can get decorations and designs that glow.

Anything that encourages their creativity

Playtime is important for children. However, even you can learn to play around with their environment by giving them a space that helps them to let their imagination fly. Get chalkboards, easels, small guitars, watercolors, crayons, and more to spark their creativity.

Getting lost in the details is common for parents. So do not forget to ask what your child wants. Let them make decisions for their own room. Make them pick which designs and decorations they would want to have. After all, they are the ones who are going grow up there.

Considerations When Choosing a Real Estate Agent

Man smiling while holding on to his laptop and bookThere are many things that you can successfully do on your own. But selling your property without the help of another party is not among them. Real estate agents have specific skills and information that you may lack, and, if you want to increase your chances of selling your property fast and at your asking price (or even beyond), you should look for the input of these professionals.

There are more than a handful of these real estate agents in Auckland, New Zealand, but there are particular factors you should consider to determine which agency will meet all your property selling needs satisfactorily. Here are three of the essential ones:

Price Negotiation

Home sellers may be emotional in the selling and negotiation process. That, however, is never the case when working with a real estate agent; they negotiate impartially and use their negotiation skills to your benefit. They could bargain much better than you when it comes to the asking price of the property.

Customer Reputation

Seek to know what past customers say about the services they received. You will also want to confirm whether they received the full payment of the agreed amount. Trustworthiness is an element you should not ignore.

Industry Experience

Lastly, check how long the real estate agency has been in the industry, and whether they have a reputation that will help you sell or buy property. Only then can you tell that they can project future property market prices quite precisely.

For many homeowners, how fast they sell their property in Auckland will depend on the real estate agent they choose to represent them. Experience, skills, and expertise count, but it’s only trustworthiness and reliability that will help you complete the process.

What Are the Costs Covered by Construction Loans?

Piggy bank and paper house and coins stack for mortgage loans conceptA construction loan is a short-term loan given to a borrower to foot the costs of building a home. Most construction loans have very strict rules for eligibility. Lenders typically require a qualified contractor. They are part of the construction team and detailed building specifications.

A majority of creditors ask for 20–25% in down payment for a construction loan in Utah, according to American Loans. This protects the creditor from loan defaulting. In most construction projects, the capital budget is normally divided into various cost components. These costs vary depending on specific projects. Here are the most common elements.

Hard Costs

These are the costs of equipment, labor, and materials needed for construction. Hard costs sometimes also include communication costs, decoration, and fixtures. A borrower’s equity often funds any hard costs not covered under a loan contract.

Site Costs

These include the cost of buying land, legal fees, taxes, brokerage commissions and insurance costs. Some construction loan lenders assume that borrowers have already paid the cost of land purchase before the loan closing. They will, however, reimburse your funds depending on the loan agreement. Land improvements such as sewers, utilities, and water are also part of these costs.

Soft Costs

These include engineering and architectural fees, taxes, permits, construction site security and various ongoing fees. The debtor incurs these costs in addition to the construction’s hard cost. The borrower pays some of these costs before the loan approval. Local councils should approve house plans, for instance, before a lender can give you a loan.

Loan closing costs also form part of your construction budget. These include appraisal fees, underwriting fees, title fees and administration costs. Construction loans do not work like conventional ones where money is advanced at closing. You first submit a draw request and other supporting documents to your creditor. They then issue reimbursement payments for completed constructions.

Top Three Maintenance Tips to Avoid Water Damage from Plumbing Issues

Water spewing out of pipe due to pipe holeWhen your house “talks” to you, it’s best to listen. If you keep ignoring its groans, it might scream at you one day. When that happens, you will end up shelling out a huge amount of money for repairs. You should never ignore water issues. How can you avoid bigger problems arising from small ones?

Be vigilant

Plumbing issues leading to leaks can cause serious damage to property. Although insurance may cover a sudden plumbing breakdown, problems arising from lack of maintenance are usually not included. Indications of plumbing issues manifest themselves no matter how small. Vigilance is your best ally and prompts intervention for minor plumbing glitches.

If you have the tools and the time, check for corrosion and condensation on the pipes. Keep your nose alert for moldy and musty smell. Watch out for warping and staining on the ceiling.

Check your water bill

An undetected leak presents itself through the water bill. If you do not pay attention, it might slip by, and a small leak could develop into a huge leak in time. You might have to replace the entire pipeline if the damage is widespread. The water bill may also escalate if there are persistent problems with the toilet, such as constant tank refilling. A sudden increase in the bill’s amount is a red flag that bears further investigation. Never ignore such signs.

Don’t forget the gutter

The roof may be the last thing on your mind when thinking about plumbing and water damage in your Salt Lake City home. Yet, the gutter system is a key element in the management of water flow in your home. Standing water in a gutter system that is suffering from chronic blockage might end up in the walls, ceilings, and foundation. Managing water flow and keeping it away from structures, which may be damaged by water, should be a priority.

Water damage consequences cost Salt Lake City residents millions of dollars a year. Don’t be a victim.