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Archive for February, 2016|Monthly archive page

5 Improvements for the Most-Used Rooms in Your Home

In Buying a Home, Home Upgrades, Home Values, Houston Energy Corridor, Houston Real Estate Agent, Real Estate Investment, Selling your home on February 23, 2016 at 7:49 pm

When it comes to home renovation, it’s smart to focus on improving the areas that see the most use, not only for increased functionality and enjoyment, but also to boost the home’s value come resale. Kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms and game rooms top the list of rooms homeowners would most like to remodel, according to a recent Ranker.com survey.

To better the most-used areas of your home, including those cited in the survey, consider the following:

1. Boost Air Quality – Air flow is critical to the health of your home and everyone who lives in it. Ventilation in kitchens and bathrooms carries away excess moisture that can cause mold and mildew, and creates a fresher, more healthful environment by exhausting stale indoor air. Bathrooms should be equipped with exhaust fans, and kitchen hoods should vent to the exterior of your home whenever possible.

2. Freshen the “Foundation” – A solid foundation is essential for a home—but that doesn’t just mean sturdy flooring. Wall and trim color are fundamental elements in any room. Simply repainting walls and woodwork can completely change the look of a room—even just a fresh coat in the existing color will make the room look brighter and newer.

3. Max Out Storage – Installing organizational systems in rooms where clutter typically collects is an easy, cost-effective way to improve the function of the room. In bedrooms, maximize closet space with ready-made units you can install yourself, or hire a professional closet organizer to custom-fit units to the space.

4. Swap Appliances and Fixtures – Outdated features are not only aesthetically displeasing; they can also cost much more to use than newer models. Replacing old faucets, shower heads, dishwashers and washing machines with energy-efficient alternatives can reduce bills and give kitchens and bathrooms a whole new look.

5. Welcome Natural Light – Most rooms in the home look better with natural lighting, and more daylight can help reduce the need for artificial lighting. Adding skylights and solar-powered window coverings are practical ways to bring more natural light into virtually any room, and you’ll recoup the investment in no time.

Source: Brandpoint

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2016. All rights reserved.

If you are looking for Classic Real Estate Services from concept to closing, please contact Connie Vallone by phone (713) 249-4177, email connie@knowsrealestate.com or visit my website at www.houstonenergycorridorhomes.com or www.vallonehomes.com .

 

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7 Important Home Renovation Tips You Might’ve Missed

In Buying a Home, Home Upgrades, Home Values, Houston Energy Corridor, Houston Real Estate Agent, Real Estate Investment, Selling your home on February 18, 2016 at 4:26 pm

New year, new you, right? Sure! If you’re like most people, the new year is chock-full of health- and wellness-related resolutions–but why stop there? Your home could use some improvements in the New Year, too. If a major home improvement is on your list of resolutions, it pays to have your plans established before you get started. So, to avoid your renovations becoming irritations, here are some budgeting and organizational guidelines to help you get where you’re going:

1. Prioritize by necessity.
It’s important to tackle any serious home maintenance problems before an aesthetic remodel begins. If you plan to renovate an entire space, practical improvements will be handled as construction moves forward. But, if your project is strictly design-based, running into overlooked structural problems will mean additional costs.

2. Weigh the costs of hiring a pro.
Depending on the scope of your project, hiring a professional is a good idea. If you’re repainting an accent wall, consider it DIY-able. But, with projects like additions and remodels, or major installations (HVAC, plumbing or new lighting) a pro is an absolute must. A professional will work according to deadlines, save you money on materials and avoid major mistakes that will drastically change the timeline (and cost) of your renovation.

3. Time the project realistically.
If you need a contractor, it’s important to book a job several months in advance (this especially applies to local remodeling contractors). Before you book a contractor, make sure you understand your project’s timeline. Lofty expectations for a completion date will make your remodel difficult for everyone involved.

4. Check on permits.
Codes vary from city-to-city, so investigating local ordinances is extremely important for your renovation timeline. Permits are not free—budget accordingly and rely on your contractor to acquire any necessary paperwork.

5. Keep a “slush fund” handy.
Setbacks are a part of any renovation. If your house is particularly old or has some (loveable) quirks, your timeline shouldn’t be overly rigid—allow some leeway for hangups. Also, it’s important to setup a secondary account to cover any unforeseen problems. A contractor will help you address any issues that pop-up and quote them accordingly.

6. Avoid reusing materials.
If you hire a general contractor, materials usually clock in at a cheaper price. But, if you decide to buy your own materials it’s important to avoid reused items. Beware of salvaged material as well–while recovered items are fine for certain projects (building furniture from reclaimed wood is a popular alternative to buying new pieces), the quality of salvage is never certain. Allowing your contractor to purchase new materials is always preferable to any other alternatives.

7. Be prepared to move out.
If your renovation is extensive, moving out for the duration (or at least the loud part) of the remodel is strongly recommended. Aside from the volume and mess, there can be fumes and emissions that are unhealthy–especially for young children. Also, it can be difficult for the contractor to work around your sleep/work schedule.

This post was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Check the blog daily for winning real estate tips and trends. 

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2016. All rights reserved.

If you are interested in buying or selling real estate in West Houston, please contact Connie Vallone with First Market Realty at 713 249 4177, connie@knowsrealestate.com   or visit www.houstonenergycorridorhomes.com  or www.vallonehomes.com .

NEW LISTING! 13746 Trailville Drive, Houston, TX 77077 – MLS# 44356684

In Buying a Home, Houston Energy Corridor, Investment Real Estate, Selling your home, Terry Hershey Park on February 11, 2016 at 7:20 pm

NEW LISTING! 13746 Trailville Drive, Houston, TX 77077 – MLS# 44356684

13746 Trailville DriveStunning executive home beautifully and completely remodeled. A RARE find backing up to Terry Hershey Park. Spacious living and dining areas lead to huge chef’s kitchen with stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and custom cabinets that opens to family room. Wood and travertine floors throughout the first floor, soaring ceilings and a wall of windows offering peaceful views. Well appointed remodeled master retreat down plus 3 more bedrooms and game room upstairs. 3-car garage. Hardi plank in 2014 and recent air conditioner updates. Too many updates – please see a complete list online.

HAR Link: http://www.har.com/13746-trailville-drive/sale_44356684

If you are interested in buying or selling real estate in West Houston, please contact Connie Vallone with First Market Realty at 713 249 4177  or visit www.houstonenergycorridorhomes.com  or www.vallonehomes.com .

Consumers Feel Confident in January

In Buying a Home, Home Values, Houston Energy Corridor, Houston Real Estate Agent, Real Estate Investment, Selling your home on February 4, 2016 at 4:08 pm

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, which had increased in December, improved moderately in January. The Index now stands at 98.1 (1985=100), up from 96.3 in December. The Present Situation Index was unchanged at 116.4, while the Expectations Index increased from 83.0 to 85.9 in January.

“Consumer confidence improved slightly in January, following an increase in December,” says Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of current conditions held steady, while their expectations for the next six months improved moderately. For now, consumers do not foresee the volatility in financial markets as having a negative impact on the economy.”

Consumers’ appraisal of current conditions was relatively flat in January. The percentage saying business conditions are “good” was virtually unchanged at 27.2 percent, while those saying business conditions are “bad” declined slightly from 18.9 percent to 18.5 percent. Consumers’ assessment of the labor market was modestly more positive. The proportion claiming jobs are “plentiful” decreased from 24.2 percent to 22.8 percent, while those claiming jobs are “hard to get” declined to 23.4 percent from 24.5 percent.

Consumers’ optimism about the short-term outlook improved somewhat in January. The percentage of consumers expecting business conditions to improve over the next six months rose from 14.5 percent to 16.2 percent, while those expecting business conditions to worsen edged down from 10.8 percent to 10.3 percent.

Consumers’ outlook for the labor market was also slightly more optimistic. Those anticipating more jobs in the months ahead increased from 12.4 percent to 13.2 percent, while those anticipating fewer jobs decreased slightly from 16.8 percent to 16.5 percent. The proportion of consumers expecting their incomes to increase improved from 16.3 percent to 18.1 percent. However, the proportion expecting a reduction in income increased from 9.5 percent to 10.8 percent.

For more information, visit www.conference-board.org.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2016. All rights reserved.

If you are looking for Classic Real Estate Services from concept to closing, please contact Connie Vallone by phone (713) 249-4177, email connie@knowsrealestate.com or visit my website at www.houstonenergycorridorhomes.com or www.vallonehomes.com .