Archive for the ‘Building A Home’ Category

8 Mistakes to Avoid if You’re Thinking of Building/Remodeling a Home

Have you ever walked into a home (either a brand new one or one that’s been around for 25 years or more) and said to yourself, “I wonder what the builder was thinking when they built this house? Maybe you are thinking of finally building your dream home. Or considering downsizing the one you currently own. Or need to remodel the one you currently live in.

Here are 8 things to keep in mind:

1. Have a vision of what you want your home to look like. The floor plan is just the first step in the process. There a hundreds of thousands of decisions you will need to make. Take just the bathroom – what color tile? What pattern? Will the cabinets match? Faucets? Counter tops? The floor? And that’s just one bathroom!

2. Find the right people – By people, I mean an architect, a builder, sub-contractors, suppliers. Are they licensed and bonded? More importantly, can you get along with them? Do they offer suggestions? Are they difficult to deal with?

3. Visit the construction site often – Be sure that the home/remodeling is being built to your expectations. Ask questions. Make suggestions. Visiting your home every other day is recommended.

4. Building too big of a home – Don’t think about what size you need right now—but what you will need 7 to 10 years from now. A well-designed 3,000 sq. ft. home may work just as well as an ill-designed 5,000 sq. ft. home.

5. Work that you can do to reduce costs – Ask the builder what sweat equity he/she will allow you to do to help reduce costs. Painting the walls or staining the trim. Maybe you have a friend who is a licensed electrician who would charge you less.

6. Think about the upgrades – When a builder provides you with a price to build your home/remodeling, it’s usually based on “medium grade” materials. Take kitchen cabinets for example. What type, color and grade are included? Or should you pay $8,000 extra for solid maple cabinets instead? It depends on your budget and if you can find something that you like in the medium grade so you can use the money for something else. Other than you loving maple wood, there is very little resale value in upgraded cabinets when it comes time to sell. Consider only adding your MUST HAVE upgrades.

7. Think about selling your home in the future – Even if you never plan to sell your home, your descendants may have to do so. Build your home so it’s not a nightmare to sell.

8. Think about monthly mortgage payments – When you have been pre-approved for your mortgage amount there are a few things to consider.
a. What will the interest rate be when the home is completed?
b. How much will extra upgrades add to the monthly payment?
c. How much money will you need after the closing (window coverings, furniture, landscaping)?

Quick Guide to Creating the Perfect Office Space in Your Home

Do you work out of a home office?

Without proper planning and organization, your home office may do more to hinder your productivity than enhance it. Here are some tips from the experts on how to setup the perfect office.

Select the RIGHT Spot – The area in your home should be well lit, with enough room for furniture, file cabinets and other items you use on a regular basis. Windows are great for natural light but can be a distraction. You may want to configure your workspace so windows are behind you or on the side.

Get Connected – Equip the space with enough electrical outlets to support your office equipment, telephone, fax machines and Internet access. Any costs incurred to add outlets or even heating and air conditioning to your office space are tax deductible.

Furniture Requirements – Determine what furniture you will need – desks, file cabinets, printer stands, storage units and office supplies. Measure the space. Measure the furniture and compare to make sure it fits before you move into the space. Layout the locations of each piece of furniture and try several floor plans – on paper first.

Organize – Keep business files in your home office. It’s very tempting to take them with you to another room while working out of your home – but avoid the temptation! That way you won’t waste time looking for files all over your home. Keep the office as neat and clean as possible as you will be more productive if you are organized.

Tax Deductions – The IRS will let you deduct expenses only related to that part of your home that you use exclusively for your regular business. This includes mortgage payment, utilities, furniture, computer equipment and supplies. Be sure to keep records on exactly what you have purchased for your business and you might consider a separate credit card to use exclusively and easily track your expenses.

What Certain Paint Colors Reveal about Your Home

Are you looking to freshen up your home with a new coat of paint? Maybe you’ve just moved and don’t like the color of the walls. Before you choose your paint colors, here’s how colors may affect you and the value of your home.

Blue – Light blue is a color preferred by many people because it’s considered a tranquil color. If you are considering dark blue, save it for a bathroom, bedroom or home office.

Yellow – Light yellow is a universal paint color for almost every room in your home. It’s cheery, high energy and helps you boost your mood.

Green – It’s the color of nature. Light greens make the room feel more spacious. Darker greens complement dark stained woods or white trim.

Pastels – Pinks, lavenders, Easter basket colors are soothing. These are great for children’s rooms.

Red/Orange – These are considered “warm” colors and are used to make a room more intimate or seem smaller. Red is a popular dining room color that creates an intimate atmosphere to stimulate conversation.

Neutral/Brown – These colors represent a conservative feeling if you are unsure what colors will work for you. When using neutral colors, use brightly colored chairs or accent pieces like green plants or colorful window coverings.

Tip: If you are hesitant about painting an entire room just one color, try painting an accent wall a different color. When you enter the room, notice how you feel about the color and what emotions it evokes in you.