Archive for the ‘Remodeling your Brooklyn home’ Category

How to Avoid Mistakes for a Successful Remodel

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017
Successful remodel

Learn from homeowners who have “Been there. Done that” for a successful remodel of your own Brooklyn home.

More often than not, sellers will decide against selling their home to stay put and remodel. But there’s so much to take into consideration to make your remodel a successful endeavor. If you’ve decided to remodel your Brooklyn home, here are a few pointers to consider before you begin.

8 Steps to a Successful Remodel

Since you don’t know what you don’t know, it pays to “pick the brains” of experienced homeowners who have “Been there. Done that.” You can learn from their mistakes to keep from making your own.

  1. Remodel in an Off-Season

Try to schedule your remodel during a time that is less hectic for contractors. Contractors are super swamped and stressed during the summer months. Plus, remodeling in an offseason could save you money!

  1. Budget First

Know your budget before you begin. The possibilities are endless until you budget your remodel. Marble countertop is a must-have for your kitchen, that is until you discover the cost. And better to discover that marble is $2,000 over budget before you begin than when you’re past the design phase. Do yourself a huge favor. Before finalizing the design set a budget.

  1. Finalize Your Design

An honest-to-goodness successful remodel won’t happen if you don’t finalize the design after you set a budget. It just won’t. In addition to the stress it causes, vacillating on choices once construction is under way will put you weeks behind schedule. Once your design is finalized and construction has begun, don’t over analyze and change your mind. Be good to yourself and stick to your choices.

  1. Order Materials Ahead of Time

If what you need isn’t on hand when you need it, all the scheduling you’ve done will have been done in vain. Once you’ve finalized the design, order everything necessary for a successful remodel. When the materials are on site, schedule your remodel with your contractor. Then you and your contractor won’t get hung up with delays because that free-standing bath tub didn’t arrive on time for installation.

  1. Organize Your Stuff

A successful remodel includes a strategy for all your stuff that needs a new place during construction. This strategy includes allotting time to organize and move it all, too. “A place for everything and everything in its place” will prevent the mayhem caused when you can’t find anything.

  1. Get Permits

Save yourself the hassle of months of inspections and repairs. Call your local building department and get permits. Permits ensure a successful remodel. They catch faulty outlets and improper plumbing installation and make sure your remodel is to code.

Inspections are essential and take time, so don’t forget to budget time in your remodeling timeline for them.

By the way, keeping tabs on permit deadlines and booking appointments with historical review boards don’t have to be yours to do. Skip the homeowner self-work affidavit and let your general contractor handle approvals and permits. It’ll cost you a little for the added time your contractor will spend doing this, but it will remove some stress out of the remodel for you.

  1. Test Your Materials

Every paint, tile, and wood material you purchase should be given a test run before the contractor starts the remodel. Long before the start date, paint a whole cabinet door so you can get a better idea of what all the cabinets will look like in the color you picked. And cover a few canvases (which are larger than 3×3) with the paint colors you chose. Leave them in the room they are to go in for a few days. Then if you find you don’t like one or more of the colors, you’ll have time to get a different hue.

  1. Budget More Time Than Needed for Every Step

Sometimes delays are a good thing. For example, if you start falling behind schedule due to an unexpected surprise, you may be tempted to hurry. And the old saying, “Haste makes waste,” comes into play. When you hurry through remodeling steps instead of giving yourself ample time to do them correctly, you will end up with regrets and re-dos. This will cost you more time and more money. When you budget more time than needed for every step, what’s the worst that could happen? You could finish your successful remodel early!

Want to increase the value of your home with a successful remodel? Need more ideas on how to add value to your Brooklyn home with the best possible ROI? Give Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate a call at (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected].


Charles D’Alessandro

Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate

718-253-9600 ext. 206

[email protected]

 

To List or Not to List: 7 Strategies To Help With That Decision

Saturday, January 30th, 2016
To list or not to list

To list or not to list? Together we can help you decide.

To list or not to list? Should you or shouldn’t you? When a new year arrives, the desire for change usually does, too: health, finances, job, home, education, etc. If you’re wondering whether or not you should take on a change of address in Brooklyn this year, here are 7 strategies to help with that decision:

1. Examine the elements of your home to help you decide to list or not to list

Think about the traffic pattern, how dark your home might be and if you could use a mud room that isn’t there, for example. Now, answer these questions:

  • What really bothers you about your home?
  • What’s missing?

Often the perfect changes can be made without adding a single square foot. Simply taking down a wall or partial wall, removing or changing doors and adding or enlarging windows, can convince you not to list. Eliminating an unproductive traffic pattern, brightening up your home or adding a missing feature can increase your home’s value as well. In his book Staying Put: Remodel Your House to Get the Home You Want (Taunton Press, 2011) architect Duo Dickinson “offers guidance on looking before you leap, ways to avoid pitfalls (and money pits), strategies for staying green or going geriatric, and moves you can make so you don’t have to move out.”

2. Study the land your home is sitting on

The landscape, condition and size of the property can’t be ignored. It’s a good decision to list if the land your home is sitting on:

  • property too small for your gardening passion
  • needs more yard for your growing family and summer entertainment (i.e. barbecues, pool, backyard get-togethers …)
  • lack of parking on or around your property

Remodeling can’t fix those issues!

3. Discuss and weigh your neighborhood’s plusses

Remodeling to fix your home’s issues might outweigh the option to list your Brooklyn home if your neighborhood offers:

  • Shopping for every budget
  • Excellent schools
  • Safety and family entertainment
  • Beautiful parks and walkability
  • Special memories (ie: your kids grew up in that house, your daughter got married in the backyard of that house)

4. Think about how long you plan to stay put

If you plan to stay put for at least 5 to 10 years, adding on or finishing a basement, may be worth the time, effort and expense. It will increase your home’s resale value, too. But if empty nesters needing to downsize are more likely to buy in your neighborhood, adding on or finishing your basement probably won’t help you sell in the future.

This is where a good financial planner and a mortgage lender can help. A good financial planner will help you gauge your home’s value in relationship to your assets and the needs of your family. A mortgage lender will discuss the costs of a new mortgage and whether or not you need one.

5. Get estimates from contractors, designers, architects or structural engineers

It’s worth paying to get multiple bids from remodeling professionals. Some even offer free estimates! They will:

  • Listen to what you want
  • Appraise your home’s present condition
  • Point out things you may not have seen or thought about
  • Estimate what remodeling could cost realistically

If your house is over 30-years-old and hasn’t been updated, the wiring, plumbing, HVAC system, roof and insulation may need attention. Whether you decide to list or not to list, these things will need to be updated.

6. Compare the resale price and remodeling costs of your home with other homes in your neighborhood

Yes, remodeling isn’t solely done for resale value, and it shouldn’t be. You should consider how much enjoyment adding on or remodeling will give you and your family, but don’t overbuild for your neighborhood. Think of it a little like this: If you live in a neighborhood full of “Volkwagen Bugs,” don’t try to renovate your VW into a “Cadillac.” Changes made to your home will affect its resale value in comparison to other homes in the area. This must be considered. Most people would rather buy a decent home in a great neighborhood than pay for a nicer house in a not-so-great neighborhood. Rismedia.com shares the following great informationThe 2016 Cost vs. Value Report compares, across 100 markets, the average cost of 30 popular remodeling projects with their average value at resale one year later. Average resale value is calculated based on estimates provided by real estate professionals. View the full report, including project descriptions and city-level data, here.

Something else to note here: Improvements can affect the value of your home when it comes to taxes. Depending on whether you are knocking down a wall or adding on to your home, your real estate taxes will or will not change. Look into this before you decide to list or not to list.

7. Walk through homes that are available in your price range in neighborhoods you like

You may find a home with a better floor plan. You may discover one with the just the right number of bedrooms and bathrooms, a great kitchen and a great yard, too. It may need some paint, new carpet or a renovated master bathroom, but compared to the costs of remodeling your current home, you should list.

Sometimes it makes better financial sense to list. Sometimes it makes better financial sense not to list. Before deciding to list or not to list, consider the cost and time of remodeling your home and all the facts.

Get estimates. Talk with a financial advisor and mortgage lender. Call me, Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate at  (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or send your questions to [email protected]. I’ll provide you with comps for your neighborhood. Together we can help you decide to list or not to list.