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Teresa Felske Brings You Remodeling’s ‘Value’ on the Upswing

By: Christina Hoffmann Published: January 24, 2013

Now that the housing market is back, home improvements are, too. And they’re paying off better than in years past.

2013 is shaping up pretty sweetly for home owners.

First, there were the home owner-centric tax benefits (energy tax credits, PMI deduction, mortgage debt forgiveness) that Congress and the President extended through 2013; and now, we’re seeing that our home improvement dollars are working harder.

After several bruising years, spending on remodeling projects is up and so too is your return on your remodeling dollars. The national average percentage recoup on all 35 projects in Remodeling Magazine’s 2013 Cost vs. Value Report rose since last year.

What a different story from 2012, when the ROI dropped in all but three categories.

The annual report is based on a survey that asks REALTORS® around the country to estimate what specific projects, from adding an attic bedroom to installing new windows, would recoup in their market at resale under current conditions.

Of course, what you recoup depends on the specifics of your project, your market, and when you sell. But the report offers a great bird’s-eye view of project costs and returns.

So which projects offer the best value for the money?

Exterior projects like siding, window, and garage door replacements took seven of the top 10 spots in this year’s list.

See a slideshow with the cost-vs-value details on exterior remodels.

Makes sense since REALTORS® always say curb appeal is half the battle when you’re trying to sell.

Although it’s not in the top 10, I was gratified to see that the backup generator project is up about 5 percentage points since 2012. One of our bloggers, Lisa Kaplan Gordon, invested in a portable generator last year after one too many storms and power outages, and despite the learning curve, she was glad she did. She had power when a lot of her neighbors didn’t; she even shared power.

Indoors, the top-10 projects include a minor kitchen remodel (involving cabinet refacing and new countertops and appliances), which recouped 75.4% nationally.

Kitchen redo aside, replacement projects, such as installing an entry door or new siding, tend to have a higher cost-to-value ratio than remodeling projects. But now that housing has turned a corner, home owners are stepping up their remodeling plans.

Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies saw 9% growth in remodeling in 2012 and predicts that trend will continue as more and more distressed properties are bought and rehabbed.

The housing group says interest in energy-efficiency updates will keep on trucking, too. It’s the one area where spending on remodeling projects rose during the recession.

I’m betting the revived energy tax credit will add fuel to that trend.

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Office: 419-535-0011
Cell: 419-467-0158
Fax: 419 535-7571
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Julie Crotin-Duncan Has Good News

MIAMI - DECEMBER 22:  Real estate agent Shelli...

Like Spring, Housing Market Blooms Early

Sales of existing homes surged this winter, making the spring home-buying season look even more promising.

New figures from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® show that sales of existing homes have increased nearly 9% since this time last year. Aside from a slight dip in February, this winter has proven to be one of the most robust housing markets since 2008. And more and more Americans are taking advantage of the benefits of home ownership. Read two inspiring home owners stories, plus other housing marketing headlines, in this week’s Friday Five.

ABC News: Housing Sales Surge

Existing-home sales jumped, making this the best winter for the housing market in 5 years. And the sale of just one house can have a ripple effect on the economy, experts say.

Bloomberg: U.S. Housing Heals as Starts Near Three-Year High: Economy

Housing starts in the U.S. hovered in February near a three-year high and building permits rose, adding to signs that the industry at the heart of the last financial crisis is stabilizing.

NPR: Sweet Home: When Owning Isn’t All About Money

Those battered by the crisis continue to find paths to home ownership, despite financial disincentives. The Rhodes’ path to home ownership comes despite a foreclosure. A local bank and a nonprofit called Build Wealth helped them do some intensive credit repair. Fast forward: they closed on a home in December with a monthly payment less than they paid for an apartment.

New York Times: In Buying House Out of Foreclosure, ‘I’ve Done My Part’

For most people, Jennifer Kuzara’s modest residence in the quiet working-class neighborhood of Edgewood near Atlanta is just another house. But for her it’s the culmination of more than 1,000 hours of hard work and a place that she’s proud to call home: “Rehabilitating an empty home is good for the community; it improves home values for everyone on my street. “

Detroit News: Home Ownership Dream Can Turn Into Reality

Even with the scars left by the housing mess, home ownership is still a goal for many Americans.

If you vowed to make your home ownership dream come true in 2012, the timing may be ideal. Housing experts say that prices appear to have bottomed out in many markets, and mortgage rates are at record lows. Call Julie today for help in getting started.

By: Gavin MathisPublished: March 23, 2012

Julie Crotin-Duncan

Office: 419-891-0888
Cell: 419-787-8926
Fax: 419 891-1092
VM: 419-897-2700 ext. 230

You can find Julie’s website by clicking here.

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Phyllis Ritter Suggested Show Your Home Pride: 7 Home Improvement Projects for $1,000 (or Less)

Digital thermostat in the living room

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Americans still think buying a home is one of the best decisions they’ve ever made. Here are some ways to increase your home’s value and comfort for less than $1,000.

We knew reports of the death of American home ownership (http://www.houselogic.com/support-home-ownership/why-home-ownership-matters) were greatly exaggerated (nod to Mark Twain), and now we’ve got the numbers to prove it.

A just-released survey by the Meredith Corp., which publishes Better Homes and Gardens magazine, says the vast majority of people polled believe owning a home is a smart financial move and a source of pride.

Here are some results of the 2,500 people surveyed online:

86% of home owners still feel owning a home is a good investment.

85% feel “owning a home is one of their proudest accomplishments.”

69% of Americans who don’t currently own a home agree with the statement, “No matter what happens in the U.S. housing market, owning a home is still an important goal in my life.”

68% of Americans plan to spend money on their homes in the next six months, with roughly half (49%) expecting to pay up to $1,000.

A thousand bucks may not seem like a lot, but it goes long way toward improving the value and comfort of your home. Here are some projects we recommend:

1. Add a new entry door. Spruce up your curb appeal and save energy by upgrading your exterior door (http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/windows-doors/exterior-door-installation-options/). Steel doors, which can mimic many types of wood, typically run for $400 at big-box stores and offer the strongest barrier against intruders.

2. Get organized. Decluttering and maximizing storage space are inexpensive ways to transform a home. Add space to kids’ rooms by installing platform or bunk beds ($400-$600); neaten piles of shoes with shoe organizers ($20), which can do double duty as catch-all organizers in family room closets and kitchen pantries; extend bookshelves to the ceiling, creating storage in otherwise dead space.

3. Save with a programmable thermostat. Switching from a manual to a programmable thermostat (less than $500) can save you up to $180 a year in energy costs. The latest models offer remote programming via the Internet.

4. Replace cabinet hardware. If you’ve got traditional knobs and pulls, try contemporary; change from staid to whimsical. Big-box retailers often have huge selections for budget prices. (10-pack for $20).

5. Update bathroom flooring (http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/bathrooms/smart-options-bathroom-flooring/). Give bathrooms a quick facelift by replacing old tile with vinyl flooring or ceramic tile, which can cost as little as $3 per square foot for material and installation.

6. Create luxury with a shower panel. Turn you bathroom into a spa with a programmable shower panel with adjustable spray jets, fog-free mirror, and multifunctional shower head. Most systems easily attach to existing plumbing. Panels typically sell for $360.

7. Turn a mudroom into a garden room (http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/planning-your-remodel/how-to-make-a-garden-room/). Bring nature inside by recasting your drab mudroom into a flower-filled garden room. (If you already have a utility sink, you’re halfway there. If not, it will cost you $200 to $350 to tap into existing, nearby plumbing, and $80 for a plastic tub.) Repurpose an old wood table into a potting bench. And hang your basket collection from J-hooks attached to a forged iron curtain rod ($100).

What improvements have you made recently under $1,000? What are you planning to do in the next six months?

Article From HouseLogic.com / By: Lisa Kaplan Gordon / Published: November 01, 2011

Phyllis Ritter

Phyllis Ritter, Realtor, Manager

PHYLLIS RITTER, Realtor, Manager

Office: 419-592-7653 Cell: 419-722-2615 Fax: 419 592-7021phyllisritter@wellesbowen.com

You can find Phyllis’s website by clicking here.



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