Monthly Archives: May 2019

Easy Home Improvement Projects

Fixing up your home can be fun and often times very profitable even when you’re only doing a few easy home improvement projects. There are several touches that you could add to a bathroom or kitchen for added value in your home. These easy home improvement projects are very quick too. In this article you will learn some modest ways to fix up your home, and add significant value in less than a day.

Adding Trim to Your Ceiling

One of the neat tricks you can do when creating some easy home improvement projects is to add some trim around the top of your ceiling. Simply take a border of colorful wall paper about 5 to 6 inches wide and apply it around the top of the ceiling. This will give your room a rich look and is very cost effective.

Paint Your Bathroom Light Switches

If you would like to save some money fixing up your bathroom you can paint the light switches. Don’t forget to do the plug-in covers as well. There are several easy home improvement projects that you can do to the bathroom. Maybe you could add a toilet seat cover and matching towels to add a nice look. The cost is very minimal, but can add a nice touch to the room. If you have a spare bedroom you may want to consider painting those switches as well.

The kitchen is another place where you can apply some easy home improvement projects. Try changing the handles on your cabinets. If the timing is right, you may find some great deals on closeout cabinet accessories at your local stores. Often times at the end of the year your local stores will have huge clearance sales and unload very nice packages of hardware to add to your kitchen cabinets. This is great when searching for some easy home improvement projects to do.

Change the Lights for Appearance and Savings

There are so many choices in lighting these days. You could add a couple simple energy saving lights to your kitchen or bathroom for your next easy home improvement projects. Many lights can add value and energy savings, helping the budget as well. Once you have finished inside you may want to think about some easy home improvement projects for the outside of your home next.

You can add some lighting to the outside of your home to make some nice touches. This is another one of those easy home improvement projects that only takes a couple hours, but if done right, can add value and convenience if you have nighttime gatherings at your home. As you can see there are many simple little projects you can implement to add some easy decorative touches to your home.

Financing Home Improvement Expenses

You have home improvement plans but you just cannot seem to find the right budget scheme to be able to finance a few works around the house. This scenario is not rare as more and more people have to put up their homes for sale due to the recent economic crisis. Some others just want to move out and need their houses to be put up for a price. To be able for the house to become more valuable, renovations and improvement are both musts to raise the home selling price. Or simply, you have grown tired of the same color of wall for the longest time, a good repaint job can make it all the better or the patio needs some repair and improvement of facilities.

The reality of people setting up their homes up for sale is no longer out of the ordinary for most people. The real estate sector health has not been that good to since the recession a few years back. Houses for sale was either too cheap or too expensive for most home buyers. And the greatest factor to close a sale of residence is the condition of the house itself. Getting the house in up and running condition with a few interior improvements can greatly improve its tag price or simply just get a new look for its home dwellers. But to get the money in order to be able to do so can be done without too much hassle or too many red tags to comply. Below are some of the financing efforts you can give your home.

Create some funds for home improvement. You might have a place, say an attic, where you can put up old items for a garage sale. You can rally up the family members to get creative in disposing the stock items around the house. Old clothes, furniture, books, furniture and many other stored stuffs can fetch handsome prices. Pooling money and cleaning up unused objects can be quite rewarding. Or at times, due to home improvement, some auxiliary properties like a boat or another car can be sold in order to have considerable amount of money.

Store credit card can also be an answer for financing your minor home improvement projects ranging from $1,000-$10,000. Membership requires no credit background check as long as you keep in mind they happen to also have higher credit rates and service fees. While picking out the credit card, watch out for the hidden charges and keep notes of your account summary.

Home equity can be tricky as it has many financial obligations but can create more amount of money for your home renovations or improvement. It is also recommended to check your local bank home loans as they are easier to manage and keep track. Home loan rates are quite higher in interest rate compared to mortgages as they have little time for pay outs. Do not be afraid to ask the loan officer about your loans as this would help you in making the final decision.

Home Improvement Projects That Really

Many of us watch TV shows and see the miraculous transformation of homes and gardens by professionals and amateur do-it-yourselfers. Is it really that easy, we ask ourselves. Could I do it? Where do I begin? What home improvement projects will generate the biggest increase in the value of my home?

What Do You Want and What Can You Afford?

There are several good reasons for wanting to redecorate or remodel your home. If your residence no longer reflects your changing tastes and lifestyle but you don’t want to leave a desirable neighborhood, maybe all you need to do is make one or two basic changes. Altering a color scheme, converting a bedroom into a home office, or upgrading the kitchen and bathroom are practical improvements that add esthetic appeal and financial value. If a move is in the future, you want home improvement projects that will give you the biggest bang for your buck when it’s time to sell.

Whatever your motives for improving your home, make a wish list with three categories:

* Must have

* Would like to have

* Dreams can come true

When your list is complete, consider the amount of money you have available or are prepared to borrow. Unless you have unlimited funds, make a realistic estimate of what you can afford. Are you planning major renovations that will require the services of an architect or a contractor? Will you need an electrician, a plumber, a carpenter, a painter, or all four? How much work can you do yourself? All these factors must be taken into account as you pare down your list into affordable home improvement projects.

How Do You Begin?

Every project starts with a plan. Itemize everything you want and think you can afford, and include a design of rooms to be remodeled. If you are going to require professional help, now is the time to talk to contractors, plumbers, and other tradesmen, and to ask for estimates. Comparison-shopping is a must. If you are an accomplished do-it-yourselfer, price materials and tools needed. If you can’t afford to do everything on your list, reassess your prime needs and make a new plan.

What Projects Are Key?

The best projects for improving the value of your home are, happily, the most affordable and the easiest to do yourself, even if you are a super klutz. Ask any real estate agent for tips on how to prepare a home for resale and you will be told that the house and yard should be cleaned and all clutter removed. Creating suitable home storage facilities and cleaning and painting the interior and exterior of your house, therefore, are the jobs that top the list of desirable improvements. The premium projects that usually require professional help are kitchen remodeling first and bathroom remodeling second. These particular upgrades will provide the best return for your money, and the real estate industry has statistics to prove it.

Clean Everything in Sight

Cleaning your home and yard is a great improvement project, and if you are remodeling, it will be the final step after the dust has settled. You will need something heavy-duty like tri-sodium phosphate or its equivalent to wash most surfaces inside and outside the house. There are also special cleaners for glass, tile, porcelain, stainless steel, and wood, and for getting rid of unpleasant molds and mildew. Visit your friendly hardware store and read labels. There are cleaners for almost every material and for solving almost every cleaning problem. Make sure rooms are well ventilated whenever you are cleaning, carefully follow directions, and wear gloves and a mask.

Removing clutter is another worthwhile project and requires adequate home storage with a combination of cabinets, shelves and bins, and sufficient strength of mind to discard all junk, no matter how much you love it. You can buy easy-to-assemble shelving and cabinets in a great variety of sizes and materials at affordable prices. Small, decorative containers can be used to organize and conceal the ongoing accumulations of such items as incoming mail. In the yard, removing clutter means getting rid of dead trees, dead branches, broken slabs and stones in patios and walkways, and tidying up the garden and lawn. When faced with clutter, ruthlessly throw it out, recycle it, hold a garage sale, donate it to the charity of your choice – get rid of it.

Interior painting and exterior painting should be next on your list of preferred home improvement projects. Fresh paint helps make your home look clean, bright, and spacious. When selecting colors for the exterior, don’t forget to do something about that bland front door. Have fun! Fresh, harmonious colors add beauty and personality to your home both inside and out.

Put Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling High on the List

Although remodeling a kitchen seems like a daunting task, a complete overhaul pays great dividends if and when you sell your home. Purchasing new cabinets and appliances are worthy goals, but you can also make minor changes that will create impact. If you can’t replace the kitchen cabinets, replace the cabinet doors at least. If that is also beyond your means, add molding to the cabinet doors, paint them, and replace the hardware. It’s not that difficult or expensive to replace an outdated sink, and if you can’t afford a new stove, fridge and dishwasher, don’t hang on to those gold or avocado monstrosities – buy attractive reconditioned replacements.

Bathroom remodeling is the next most important improvement and the biggest dividends come from installing a new sink, bathtub, toilet, and shower stall, as well as attractive tiles and custom cabinets. Again, if you can’t manage a complete makeover, replace the tired old taps, faucets and showerhead; add shelves; and paint and redecorate the cabinets.

Other Projects to Consider

After you have decided on and planned for the most important home improvement projects, new window covering and upgraded flooring should receive your attention. You can choose from a large array of window dressings and styles, or simply buy fabric, turn hems with iron-on tape, and dramatically drape the material over attractive curtain rods. Shutters are another possibility and lend themselves to many different decorating styles.

Your choice of flooring is limited only by your taste and budget. Rip up the old carpet and replace it with contemporary hardwood flooring or laminate flooring. If you already have hardwood, simply sanding and re-staining it or giving it a clear finish may give your rooms the lift they need. Other flooring replacements that can transform a room include tile, vinyl, linoleum, or textured rubber.

Finally, save a little energy and money to improve the appearance of your yard. Maybe all you have to do to improve the garden is trim, mow, weed, and then plant a few flowers. Adding or upgrading an existing patio, deck, or walkway can also be very worthwhile. Consider adding a plastic storage shed to help organize all your outdoor stuff which will help remove the clutter from your yard.

Home Improvement

As the 2008 recession lingers into its fourth year, many consumers have closed their wallets to a long list of “big ticket” purchases, and home improvements appear to be riding the top of that list.

According to a 2010 Bigresearch.com study, home owners are throwing their home improvements plans out the window like burnt toast. Over 20% of those surveyed said they were putting-off all forms of home improvement indefinitely. Interestingly, this percentage ranked second highest among all survey questions, with only “vacation travel” showing a higher figure (25%).

With cash reserves at a premium, many home owners have simply decided to wait on making improvements, and understandably so. Faced with record unemployment, higher costs of living, rising taxes and a dim view of any short term changes for the better, who could blame them?

Worse yet, home improvements have historically yielded very low returns when compared to their actual cost. In fact, Remodeling Magazine’s 2009-10 “cost vs. value” report reveals that home owners, on average, recoup less than of 65% of the money they invest in their home improvement projects.

But before you conclude that your home improvement plans should be scraped, let’s take a step back.

There are very few home owners who wouldn’t admit to needing some measure of improvement to their home. Whether it’s as simple as repairing the leaky faucet gasket that drives you crazy with its relentless dripping, or an unreliable front porch light fixture that leaves you fumbling around in the dark when you return home from a long day at work. Every house has its deficiencies.

But with a recession in full bloom, and statistics showing little to no hope of ever getting your money back, why would anyone bother with a home improvement project?

Though at first it may seem like a lost cause or verging on lunacy, there are simple solutions that many consumers are using to solve this problem.

First, let’s address the big one. The statistics from Remodeling Magazine and other similar resources, assume that a building contractor is being paid to perform all the labor and to supply all the materials. And if you assume, on average, approximately 50% of the total costs of most home improvement projects will be attributable to labor and fees, you can literally transform the investment returns by performing the majority of the work yourself. What was once a 35% loss becomes a 30% gain by simply providing your own labor force. Not a bad return in any economy.

Second, although the IRS does not allow deductions for most voluntary home improvements, they do allow you to add the costs of your improvements to the cost basis of your home. And for tax purposes, this will help minimize any tax burden you might face when you sell your home. I don’t claim to be a tax expert, but you can easily verify your cost basis and tax deduction options by talking with you’re tax accountant.

So how do you perform the work yourself? If you think tackling your home improvement project is beyond your ability, you’re in for a surprise. It’s not!

Like many things, the more you do something the more proficient you become, but construction is not terribly complex. It doesn’t require years of schooling and technical expertise to comprehend. It’s not brain surgery. It’s arguably more art than science. In fact, if you can draw a straight line, read a measuring tape and you don’t mind getting a little dirty you’re a perfect candidate for tacking your own home improvements.

Minimizing the more difficult projects like relocating load bearing walls, or changing roof lines, can make the project much easier and less costly. And you may need a licensed electrician, plumber or other skilled craftsman along the way, but if you use them sparingly and only when absolutely required, you’ll save a tremendous amount of money.

There are plenty of free resources you can use to estimate material costs, determine the right tools to use, and establish the right strategy for actually getting the work done efficiently.

So start with online resources. There are thousands of them. You’ll find estimating tools, materials suppliers and hundreds of “how to” manuals. Even the “Dummies Store” can be a great resource. And don’t hesitate to talk with the professionals at your favorite material supply store when you need advice. Asking for assistance and opinions from someone you trust (a neighbor or relative) can also be extremely helpful. Most of the expertise you need is at your fingertips, and it won’t cost you a penny.

Don’t forget to check with your lender, your city officials (construction permitting) and any governing HOA for the requirements they may have related to your planned improvements.

And if you don’t have the tools you need to complete a specific part of the project, remember tools can be rented. And you can find them in most pawn shops for pennies on the dollar. Don’t assume you have to buy “new” tools.

The benefits of this straightforward strategy are multi-faceted. Not only can you enjoy the convenience of your improvements, but you can enjoy a tremendous return on investment at the time of re-financing or sale.

And in light of the economy, it’s not a bad way to get the family, friends and neighbors involved in something productive, something everyone can contribute to and something everyone can enjoy for years to come.

What to Look For In A Home Improvement Loan

Home improvement loans are a particular type of loan where the borrowed funds are used to make additions, improvements or repairs to your home or to the property on which the home is built. Using a home improvement loan in order to make modifications and enhancements to you house will result in an increase in the property value and will allow for a higher selling price in the event that you decide to sell your home. A home improvement loan can be either secured or unsecured, but is generally secured by the equity you already have in your home. In other words, the home itself is used as collateral to secure the loan.

Where to Get One

These loans are available through various sources including banks, credit unions, finance companies and other financial lending institutions. Usually, the first place to make your loan inquiries will be with your current lender. You will often obtain the best interest rate from a lender where you have already established a relationship. If what they have to offer is not appealing, there are many reputable financial lending companies who can provide a home improvement loan via the Internet. A quick search will provide many loan options.

Government Assistance

There are many state and federal government agencies that will provide a home improvement loan. These agencies usually have very strict criteria that must be met but they are definitely worth investigating. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) website provides a wealth of information on the subject.

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is part of HUD and administers various single family mortgage insurance programs that are operated through FHA-approved lenders. The FHA approved lender will submit an application to have the property appraised and have the buyer’s credit approved. These lenders will then provide the loans which are insured by HUD. HUD does not make the loan itself.

The Section 203(k) program is the HUD program for the repair and rehabilitation of single family properties. Many lenders will partner with state and local housing authorities to provided Section 203(k) home improvement loans to assist borrowers. The place to start looking at this option is with a FHA approved lender or with the Homeownership Center in your local area. HUD also publish a helpful brochure called “Own a Home and Home Improvements”

What Can You Use the Funds For

While funds from a house improvement loan are frequently used to conduct major repairs such as installing a new roof or replacing outdated plumbing, many people utilize the funds for remodeling a kitchen or bathroom, landscaping a yard, adding a room or a garage or even adding an entire second floor to a single story home.

Getting the Most From Your Loan

Before committing to the loan and signing the documents ensure that you are receiving the best possible terms and interest rate. In addition, if you take out a $10,000 loan and the renovations or repairs you make to your home increases its value by, say, $15,000, then your home improvement loan can be considered an extremely worthwhile investment.

Steps on How to Choose A Home Improvement

Getting your home improved is a costly thing. However, home improvement is also seen as a must because the home is the most important place for everyone. Choosing to hire a contractor to do the home improvement projects can be a wise thing to do because they have the expertise on how to do these projects properly. However, you must take the necessary precautions in choosing your contractors so as to get the best deals and avoid regrets at the end of the day.

Home Improvement: Definition

Home improvement covers a lot of areas and facets when it comes to general reconstruction and reorganization of the home. It can be defined as any replacement, repair, renovation, installation, remodeling, alteration, construction, conversion that will be done to a home. Below are some examples of home improvement projects:

-landscaping

-tile setting

-swimming pool construction

-waterproofing

-masonry

-installation of fences

There are numerous jobs which are included in the whole concept of home improvement and there are many different kinds of home improvement contractors that you can hire to be able to do what you would want with your house.

Here are some tips on how to properly choose contractors for the home improvement projects that you have in mind.

1. Get at least 3 different quotes

Your worst enemy in terms of home improvement is yourself. If you get too excited, you can lose focus and become vulnerable to all the different schemes that contractors might have up on their sleeves.

Getting more than one quotation is a good practice. This will tell a homeowner the general standing of the different contractors with regards to their prices.

2. Look for jobs done

You can ask the prospective contractors with regards to the home improvement jobs which they have done in the past. There are different ways that the contractors can do this. They can provide pictures of the projects, they can provide videos or better yet, they may even ask for the permission of the owners of the houses which they have done in the past to give you a tour.

3. Check licenses

You should ask the Department of Consumer Protection so as to determine the legality of the contracting entity.

4. Get testimonials

The best thing to do is to get testimonials from different people who have undergone home improvement projects through contractors.

Home improvement projects should be left to the experts, however, you should remember that you have the final say when it comes to the improvement projects. Choose the best contractors for best results.

The Benefits Of Home Improvement

A home is more than an investment, it is an asset. The equity that builds up in a home is something that can prove to be very useful. Additionally, home improvements can really help to build equity. Most people seek out a home improvement loan to make improvements to their home to make it look better or improve upon it so they gain more equity. The most common source for these loans is a home equity loan.

Home improvement loans are looked upon very favorably by lenders. They like that a home owner is building equity in their home and they are often very willing to extend them credit. Home improvements are going to add value to the property, which is an asset for the lender as well. So, it is a win-win situation for both parties.

Getting a home improvement loan is a matter of having the equity on your home. To determine the equity you should get an appraisal. The equity will be the difference between what you owe on the mortgage and the amount the house was appraised for. You can borrow from that amount what you need for improvements.

When you go to get a home improvement loan it is helpful to have the information handy about what improvements you are going to do. Being able to completely explain what you will do with the money can be very helpful in getting the loan approved for the amount you want.

As with any loan, you will need to watch the interest rates and ensure you are not being charged too much. Remember this loan is in addition to the loan you are already paying for your home. With this loan, like with your mortgage, should you default your home is at risk.

Your home improvement loan can be gotten from your current lender or you can shop around for better rates. It is probably best to start with your current lender since you already have a relationship with them and they are most likely to give you a quick approval. It is wise though to at least look at competitors to make sure you get the lowest interest rate possible.

You should also try and speak to a number of decent brokers that have a wide range of lenders on their panel. This way they can go into the market and find you the most suitable loan product and best rate. Also if you have a bad credit history or are self employed they will be able to go to specialist lenders that are not directly available to the general public.

Home improvement loans can be used to make almost any improvement to your home. If you need the money to fix up your home or if you are just wanting to make some additions, a home improvement loan can be the answer. Besides helping to build more equity in your home, home improvement can also help to lower your insurance rates, and improve your living conditions. In the long run a home improvement loan can be very beneficial and is a great debt to take on.

Remodel Your House the Way You Please with a Home Improvement

Good homes are still the best source of good humans. And to retain this goodness and beauty most of us go for home improvements which includes both major and minor changes. You might be looking for a kitchen renovation or a room extension. You might also be planning for painting walls, flooring, adding new fixtures to kitchen and bathrooms, installing heating and air conditioning systems, creating an additional room, and much more. Whatever be your plan or requirements, a home improvement requires its own share of expenses. But, rarely do we have the required finance to materialize our dream of improving our home as per our requirements and plans. In such as situation Home Improvement Loans come in handy. Home Improvement Loans are specially crafted to renovate your house the way you please.

Millions of home owners in UK undertake home improvement projects every year. Home Improvement Loans not only helps you to materialize your plans of home improvement the way you please but it also increases the resale value of your house. The interest that you pay on a Home Improvement Loan is justifiably adjusted by the increase in the value of your house. However, it is advisable for you to make sure that the amount you spend on home improvement does not exceed the increase in the value of your house.

Generally, Home Improvement Loans allow you to borrow from £5,000 to £75,000 with low monthly repayments. The loan can be repaid over any term between 5 and 25 years, depending on your affordability and the security against the loan.

Like most other types of loans Home Improvement Loans can also be broadly classified into two types: Secured Home Improvement Loans and Unsecured Home Improvement Loans. A Secured Home Improvement Loan which requires your property as collateral generally offers lower interest rates as compared to unsecured ones. An unsecured loan for home improvement in UK will be ideal for projects costing £10,000 or less. The amount you will be allowed to borrow generally depends on the lender’s terms and policies and the amount of equity in your property. Choose judiciously while improving home and taking money against it. Before applying please make sure to understand the repayment terms as this will help you to avoid the risk of repossession of your home. Home Improvement Loans can act as the best resort if used properly.

Inexpensive Bathroom Home Improvement Projects

The bathroom has many purposes and should be one of the most important rooms on the list when considering a home improvement project. Bathroom home improvement can be so over looked by many people as they simply do not understand how much value can be added to your home with some well thought out bathroom home improvement plans.

This article will look at the little things that can make a big difference in your bathroom home improvement project. If you think it will be too expensive to really add value to your home by spending more time on the bathroom you are wrong.

The first thing you could do to your bathroom to add value without spending allot of money is to add some decorative trim around the ceiling. This will give the room a nice look that you may not see in many homes. Trim can be much less expensive than redoing the entire wall with paint or wall paper.

You might be able to add some nice curtains around your mirror for very little cost to really give your bathroom home improvement project a classy look. This may be another idea that seems just a bit different, but again it is these types of simple touches that can add real value without costing you an arm and a leg to complete.

Paint your bathroom sink and give it a very classy look. You may want to consider painting some nice designs on your sink to give it a touch of class. You could visit some home improvement showrooms and see if they have any sink painting designs to go by. If you are unsuccessful at finding any examples you should be able to find some nice designs online.

You might want to check out your larger home improvement retailers and get some good ideas for a creative bathroom home improvement project. Usually the employees at the larger retailers are not as concerned about selling you expensive materials and will steer you in the right direction.

VA Home Improvement Loan

There are many varieties of loans offered to veterans and service personnel, and a home improvement loan is one of them. Repairing an existing house using ordinary home improvement loans could turn out to be quite costly compared to VA home improvement loans. Home improvement loans can be used for any repairing work carried on the house.

Now veterans can borrow up to 90% of their home equity for home improvements. The $25,000 cap has been removed from the home improvement loan program. Loans of $3,000 or less can be secured with a guarantor instead of a mortgage. There are many advantages to a VA home improvement loan program such as increasing the equity; the value and comfort added to your home by making improvements; a rate of interest that will be fixed and will be starting as low as 5%; and terms of up 15 years. Additionally, qualified applicants may apply for more than one home improvement loan.

There are many home improvement projects that you can opt for to make your home more comfortable and also add to its value as a property. For instance, installation and repair of clean water and waste disposal systems, including related plumbing and fixtures; or additions such as garage construction; repairs and remodeling (i.e., replace a roof, install new windows, a new furnace or a central air conditioning system); etc.

You can obtain the home of your dreams without moving into a new house, simply by taking advantage of the VA home improvement loan program and making the necessary repairs and additions.