Posted by Jennifer Santosuosso on 8/20/2017

Many home buyers seek out fixer-uppers or older homes as a way to save money. And, while this method can be a great way to save, it does come with a few caveats.

Upgrades and repairs can vary greatly in price. Some might be simple, whereas others can take weeks or months, require permits, and uproot your plans. For these reasons, it’s good to know what you’re getting yourself into with home repairs.

In this article, we’re going to cover the most expensive home repairs and upgrades. That way when you find a home listing that you’re interested in, you can rule out these costly repairs early if you aren’t willing to spend the extra money on them after buying the house.

1. Sewer and septic

Finding out you need to replace a sewer line or a septic system can be a nightmare. Sewer lines are most often damaged by tree root growth, leaving older homes the most vulnerable. On average, homeowners spend around $2,500 to repair a main sewer line.

If you move into a new home that previously only had one inhabitant, you may find that the septic system can’t keep up with the increased workload. Repairs for a septic system average around $1,500. And to replace the septic system and install a new one? You can expect to spend around $5,000 or much more, depending on your needs and location.

2. Foundation repair

Older homes are also subject to foundation damage over the years, which can cause many problems, including safety concerns and water damage.

Houses that have poor drainage and high soil moisture are particularly vulnerable to foundation damage. And, like sewer and septic issues, tree roots can also pose a problem.

For minor cracks, foundation repairs can cost as little as $500. However, more severe damage can cost up to $10,000. On average, Americans spend around $4,000 when they repair a damaged foundation.

3. Roof replacement

Roof replacements are inevitable, but there are ways to ensure you won’t have to install a new one anytime soon. For example, slate and metal roofs can last over 50 years. And concrete? A hundred years or more.

The most common type of roofs, however, are made from asphalt shingles, which last around 20 years. In terms of price, asphalt tends to be the cheapest as well, costing as low as $2,000 to replace. Metal and slate roofs are significantly more expensive, starting at $5,000 and $17,000 respectively.

4. Heat pump installation

Installing a heat pump can be quite costly, with the national average being around $5,300. However, if you live in a moderate climate, a heat pump can replace both your furnace and your air conditioning unit.

Furthermore, if you plan on staying in the home for several years, a heat pump tends to be much more energy efficient than older alternatives.

5. Kitchen remodel

Of all the household remodeling projects--basement, bathrooms, etc.--a kitchen remodel tends to be the priciest. Americans spend about $21,000 on a kitchen remodel. The most expensive part? Cabinetry and hardware at $6,000.




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Posted by Jennifer Santosuosso on 11/13/2016

Who says your ordinary residence can't become a "smart" home? Now, there are many state-of-the-art smart home technologies you can deploy to transform a standard house into one that will capture homebuyers' attention in a competitive real estate market. Some of the top smart home technologies for today's home sellers include: 1. Thermostats Remember the old days when you had to set your thermostat manually? Thanks to high-quality smart thermostats, you can program your thermostat to ensure your home maintains an optimal temperature at all times. Whether you want your home to be warm in winter or cool in summer, a smart thermostat empowers you to maintain the ideal temperature consistently. Also, a smart thermostat may help you cut down on your heating and cooling bills significantly. And if you're able to highlight this energy savings to prospective homebuyers, you may be able to differentiate your residence from others in today's real estate market. 2. Smoke Detectors Imagine what it would be like if you were notified on your smartphone or tablet in the event of an emergency at your home. With top-of-the-line smart smoke detectors, you now can transform this dream into a reality instantly. A smart smoke detector typically is inexpensive but can make a world of difference for homeowners. This device often is simple to set up and guarantees you'll be alerted if your smoke alert goes off. Installing smart smoke detectors throughout your residence is a great way to enhance the quality of your residence. Remember, homebuyers will notice all the small things during a home showing, and the addition of smart smoke detectors could be a positive influence on a homebuyer's decision to purchase your residence. 3. Light Bulbs New smart light bulbs are available that are embedded with deluxe motion sensors. That way, these bulbs can detect when you are in a particular room and illuminate the area accordingly. In addition, smart light bulbs usually are energy efficient, providing you with yet another way to cut down on your energy bills. Implementing smart light bulbs throughout your home may seem costly, but it actually may help you save money over an extended period of time. Furthermore, home sellers who install smart light bulbs can add another distinct feature to their residence, and ultimately, may make their home that much more appealing to prospective homebuyers. Smart home technologies are changing the way homeowners manage their residences, and new devices and tools likely will become available that empower property owners to enhance the quality of their homes as well. However, today's home sellers should take advantage of smart home technologies as much as possible. By doing so, home sellers can work toward improving their residences and maximizing the value of their homes. When it comes to selling your home, you should be prepared to think outside the box. And with smart home technologies, you'll be better equipped to ensure your home makes a memorable impression on homebuyers. Incorporate smart home technologies into your residence today, and you'll be able to improve your residence quickly and effortlessly.





Posted by Jennifer Santosuosso on 9/4/2016

Do you have a bathtub faucet the will not run hot enough water for a hot soak in the tub, or have you ever scalded yourself when you accidentally bumped into the control lever with an elbow while showering? Both of these are common household problems you can fix by adjusting the maximum temperature of the faucet. It only takes a few minutes of your time and basic home tools. In most cases, after a bit of testing and adjustment, you will have your showerhead or bathroom faucet working exactly the way you want it to. How Bathroom Fixture Levers Work Modern single lever shower faucets are typically designed with up to 270 degrees of rotation. When the lever is rotated approximately 45 degrees from the “off” position, the cold water flow is fully engaged. However the hot water remains off. When you continue to rotate the handle, the hot water begins to flow. At approximately 135 degrees of rotation, both the hot and cold water flow are fully engaged. As you continue to rotate the lever, the hot water flow stays on while the cold flow is restricted. At about 270 degrees, the hot water is fully on and the cold-water flow is totally off. A Simple Adjustment Single-lever faucets are designed to be adjustable and the amount of rotation limited. Keep in mind; it is only at the full 270 degrees of rotation that you obtain only hot water. At a less than 270-degree rotation, cold water continues to blend with the hot water flow. If find that the faucet lever will not rotate a full 270 degrees, cold water is continually mixing with the hot flow: the shorter the rotation, the colder water added and the cooler the maximum temperature. Most single shower faucets are set at the factory to prevent total rotation to prevent scalding water causing a bathroom accident with children or the elderly. A simple adjustment will allow you to raise the water temperature to your comfort level while still preventing a total hot flow, which could result in injury. Look Under The Faucet Handle Take a look at the faucet handle to locate the piece of metal or plastic that covers the screw that holds the faucet in place. You can quickly “pop” out the metal or plastic screw cover to loosen the screw and remove the handle. Some older model faucets may have a hole hidden on the underside, requiring a tiny screwdriver or Allen wrench to remove. Once you have removed the handle, you will be able to locate a collar with a small plastic tab sticking out. If the handle were in place, that little plastic tab would stop the rotation before the “maximum hot” position. To visualize how this works look inside the handle or try sliding it back in place and turn the faucet on and off. Some faucet designs have collars with two tabs. On the back collar, the nub is always set straight up, at the 12 o’clock position. The other nub can be pulled out and rotated to the desired setting and reinserted. Remember that the farther away the nub is set from 12 o’clock, the more restricted the lever’s rotation and the cooler the maximum temperature. Other older designs of the single level faucet may present hot and cold adjustment screws. To adjust, always turn the hot water screw counterclockwise, while the cold-water screw turns clockwise.




Tags: Home Repair  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Jennifer Santosuosso on 7/17/2016

Owning a home gives a huge sense of self fulfillment and accomplishment, however, it welcomes you to a new world of expenditures. Every home at some point needs one form of repair or an other. Be it major or minor, when hiring someone else to perform the repair, you are sure to spend money. On the flip side, if you know how to perform some of these repairs yourself,  hiring an expert is certainly not necessary and some cash can be saved. In light of the above, here are some home repairs you can do with ease without the services of a professional. So, roll up your sleeves and get ready to begin working. Doors: Doors perform basic functions and are everywhere in the home. They add class and style. In some cases, weather elements can affect doors causing them to swell or shrink. If they expand, they will not close flush with the door frame.  This would require the use of a carpenter’s hand plane to reduce the thickness of the wood. Before doing this, please consider the fact that doors may return to normal when the season is over. To do this, make sure the door is firmly held in a position that would allow for the easy removal of excessive wood. Another door issue is how their hinges squeak when they begin oxidizing. Simply applying lubricant to the hinge, will take care of this. Application of Caulking: This is the water proof barrier between the shower, sink, bath tub and the surfaces that surround them. It acts as a sealant to prevent moisture damage. Over time, this may require replacement. The surface and old caulking needs to be cleaned and prepared before the new application.  Old residue can be scraped off with a razor blade or dissolved with solvent.  Clean the surface with paint thinner to ensure it is completely dried. Apply caulking sufficiently to ensure it covers the widest gaps in your project. Leaking Faucet: Fixing a leaky faucet is a common house hold repair. As insignificant as  it may seem, when you add up all the water drops leaked over the weeks, it is enormous. Do you want to fix a leaking faucet without the intervention of a professional? It is an easy process. Here are the steps.

  • Shut off the main water supply and unscrew the faucet handle.
  • With pliers, unscrew the packing nuts and the screws that hold the washers in place.
  • Examine the washer, if it is deteriorated extensively, you should replace it. Some washers are rare so you may need to look a little harder.
  • When you find the ideal washer, replace it and reverse the steps above to install the new one.
You will be amazed on how much you will save by engaging in home repairs. Apart from it being fun, you will learn a lot.  The internet provides a wealth of do-it-yourself videos for the novice handyman.  





Posted by Jennifer Santosuosso on 6/5/2016

Did you know there are home upgrades that may wind up costing you more than they are worth? That's right, and these are home improvement projects you'll want to avoid at all costs. Some of the most common high-cost, low-return home improvement projects for home sellers include: 1. Installing an in-ground swimming pool. When it comes to installing swimming pools, the fantasy usually is better than the reality. Ideally, you should be able to install an in-ground swimming pool in your backyard quickly and enjoy it for an extended period of time. But when it comes time to complete the project, you may end up committing thousands of dollars and dozens of man-hours to a project that may add minimal value to your home. Consider the costs and timeline associated with an in-ground swimming pool installation before you commit to this project. By doing so, you can determine how much this project will impact your home's value both now and in the future and decide whether the return on investment (ROI) meets your needs. 2. Adding a backup power generator. Homeowners often try to err on the side of caution, and for good reason. However, a backup generator may prove to be costly, especially when there are viable, cost-effective alternatives at your disposal. A power outage may seem like the end of the world when it happens, but in most cases, it is only temporary. And those who have flashlights, lanterns and other emergency supplies will be better equipped to stay safe during a power outage. Remember, a backup generator may seem like a great idea at first, but you should consider its short- and long-term value. Those who explore the alternatives that are available, meanwhile, may find it is more cost-effective to invest in other home improvement projects. 3. Installing new windows. The latest windows are incredibly energy-efficient, making them exceedingly valuable for homeowners who want to cut their energy bills for years to come. Comparatively, home sellers may fail to reap the benefits of these windows, especially if they hope to find a buyer for their residence in the immediate future. New windows may cost thousands of dollars to install, so you'll want to look at the ROI of new windows before you find a contractor to complete the project. And if you discover the upfront costs outweigh the long-term savings of a home you'll soon be selling, it may be better to avoid installing new windows for the time being. As a home seller, you'll want to do everything you can to highlight the true value of your home, and choosing a reliable real estate agent can help you do just that. A qualified real estate agent possesses the experience and understanding of the real estate market. As such, this professional can help you decide which home improvement projects are priorities and which tasks can be put on the backburner. Find a top-rated real estate professional to help you sell your home, and you can benefit from the support of a real estate expert who can guide you along the home selling process.