Category: Things To Do
by Courtney Soinski
Before you decide to renovate your home, it’s important to understand that not all renovations will increase the value. It is certainly possible to over-remodel, and you don’t want it to exceed the value of your neighbors’ homes. Here are some ways to get the highest return on investment (ROI) possible when the time comes to sell your home.
Projects always worth your while
There are specific renovation projects that can deliver the greatest effect on your ROI, regardless of the real estate market’s current state or the value of surrounding homes. According to real estate expert Robert Stammers in a recent article in Investopedia, these can be projects such as an addition of a wood deck, kitchen and bathroom upgrades as well as window replacements.
Factor in location
A common mistake that homeowner tend to make is renovating their homes to the point where it exceeds the value of surrounding homes. The fact of the matter is that people look in a specific neighborhood because of its proximity to nearby businesses or recreation and it’s in their price range. If improvements done to your home are much higher than homes around you, it’s unlikely that they’ll want to pay more for those improvements, even if they’re interested.
Make improvements that will add value over time
Some home improvements, like upgrading the technological features of a home, will not have a lasting impact, and may even bring down the home value. These types of renovations are at a higher risk of becoming obsolete and outdated as years pass. Technology and styles change all the time, so focus on improvements that are less likely to be impacted by time and are worth your investment.
Renovations that will pay you back
Regardless of whether a homeowner is planning to sell or not, the ultimate objective of taking on a renovation is to revel in the enjoyment you get from living in an updated home while gaining considerable profit from that investment. There are many tools out there that show the kind of profit you can expect from specific home remodels. A perfect example of this is Remodeling magazine’s “Cost vs. Value” annual report.
Here are some of the findings from the 2015 Remodeling Cost Vs. Value report:
Projects that deliver the highest percentage of return on investment
- Entry door replacement (steel): 101.8%
- Garage door replacement: 88.4%
- Siding replacement (fiber-cement): 84.3%
- Siding replacement (vinyl): 80.7%
- Deck addition (wood): 80.5%
Renovation projects that deliver the lowest percentage of return on investment
- Sunroom addition: 48.5%
- Home office remodel: 48.7%
- Master suite addition: 53.7%
- Garage addition: 54.7%
- Bathroom addition: 57.8%
Summer Movie In The Park
Bring your family to the park tonight with your lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy Big Hero 6. Concessions will be open and inflatables & pre-show music will be available 1 1/2 hours before the movie begins. The movie will be shown at dusk on the lower football field.
As one of the busier times of year for real estate activity, summertime is ideal for sellers hoping to unload their homes for top dollar. If you’re listing a home on the market this summer, stand out from the pack with these outdoor staging tips.
1. Invite Buyers In
It’s no secret curb appeal matters to buyers, but too often, minor details are overlooked when setting the stage out front. To roll out the welcome for buyers, replace your worn welcome mat with a summery alternative, and install large house numbers in a prominent location that can be viewed from the street.
2. Shine Up Windows
Cleaning windows inside and out can be taxing, but it makes a noticeable difference. For the exterior sides of the windows, scrub off any accumulated film from tree pollen and polish until glistening. Buyers will be pleased to see not only a sparkling home outside, but a light-filled interior as well.
3. Showcase Small-Scale Color
In lieu of a costly exterior paint job, choose specific areas outside to add pops of color. Window boxes bursting with blooms are often well-received by buyers, as well as container plantings. If the exterior could use refreshing, consider re-painting the front door before recruiting a professional to do the entire home.
4. Spotlight for Safety
Make sure the outdoor spaces around your home, including the front entrance, deck, patio, and walkways, are appropriately lit. Updated light fixtures are not only aesthetically pleasing, but are an added safety feature to the home.
5. Maintain the Landscape
A well-kept home speaks volumes to buyers, and the exterior is no exception. Whether you hire a professional landscaper or DIY, trim the lawn and any hedges – the latter can be a trip hazard if left untouched.
6. Deck Out the Deck
Whether your home features a deck, patio, porch or other outdoor living area, take time to power wash the surface to remove any debris. If your outdoor furniture is lacking, consider purchasing a fresh set, complete with all-weather cushions and pillows in vibrant colors.
7. Make the Pool Picture-Perfect
Pools can be a make-or-break feature for buyers, so play it up as best you can. After having the pool cleaned by a professional, take care to skim the surface for any debris that accumulates between buyer visits. Be sure the pool cover, mechanized or otherwise, is free of damage and the filtering system is in proper working order.
Kids Bike Parade Set For July 4th in Concord
The annual children’s Independence Day Bike Parade will be held again this year Saturday, July 4 at 10 a.m. in Concord. Children of all ages are invited to bring their bikes, skates, scooters or wagons and line up in front of the Concord Café at 9:45 a.m. No motorized vehicles are allowed in the parade.
One of the hottest new home design trends among interior designers is layering unique patterns and textures throughout various rooms in your home. This layering technique creates heightened visual interest and will catch the eyes of your guests as well as potential home buyers the moment they step foot through the front door. Get inspired to layer elements in your home with these new and innovative ideas!
An empty wall holds endless potential. If the room is small, expand your space with a mirror collage featuring a variety of shapes and varnishes. Is your heart set on colorful patterned wallpaper? Showcase your favorite print in a large frame for a beautiful living room backdrop to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Art fans should collect a variety of frames in different finishes and styles to create a living room gallery.
While it’s fun to mix and match pillows, certain textures complement each other better than others. For example, linens and wool tend to look better with woven fabrics, while shiny and matte fabrics are best kept separate. Mixing contrasting textures such as silk and corduroy calls for a strong sense of design confidence, but it can be done.
Start with a flat, neutral rug as your foundation and add a smaller, accent rug on top. Investing in a large rug with a subdued color is wise, but have fun with the accent rug. Whether cowhide or a geometric print, choose a similar color scheme and play with the positioning by placing the top rug at a purposeful angle.
Drab Turned Fab
When thinking about your space, it’s important to remember that design inspiration can be found anywhere. Look for antique candle holders or paperweights. Check out antique shops or thrift stores for hidden treasures. When traveling, visit flea markets and local art fairs. Transform an old object like a rustic slab of wood into a glossy countertop for your kitchen island. No matter where you travel, keep an eye out for timeworn treasures for your home.
Layering textures and patterns, combining modern with rustic – blending home design can result in a truly transformative space that captures your individual style.
When you’re not soaking up the sun on the beach or enjoying a game at the ball park, your backyard is likely playing host to summertime activities. To crank up the good times at home and enhance curb appeal, add these unconventional upgrades to your patio for endless fun all summer long.
1. Chandelier and Sconces
Today’s outdoor lighting designs have evolved beyond tiki torches and paper lanterns. String up tiny twinklers, repurpose a chandelier, or install sconces to add some sparkle to your summer.
2. Suspended Sofa
Outdoor spaces have become an extension of the interior of the home, and your patio should be no exception. Suspend a sofa for lounging, create a coffee nook for weekend mornings, or a cozy bench to tackle your summer reading list.
3. Pizza Oven
It’s no secret outdoor kitchens are in high demand. Add your very own by installing a pizza oven in your backyard. For the non-handy homeowner, pre-manufactured pizza ovens are available, but do-it-yourselfers can construct one in a weekend.
4. Foldable Bar
A bar is a must if you regularly host guests. If your patio doesn’t permit a full bar set, you can use a DIY foldable bar. The best part? It can be stored at a moment’s notice – not that you’d want to!
5. Movie Screen
An outdoor movie at home is a fun way to spend warm summer nights without breaking the bank. String clothesline between deck posts or trees and use a white sheet and a projector to create your very own theater.
6. Dance Floor
If your patio is spacious, boost the entertainment factor with a portable dance floor. If your patio is natural wood, reserve a corner for when Saturday Night Fever rolls around.
7. Container Garden
Your patio is the perfect place for a container garden. Inject life onto a stone slab by growing your own vegetables or summer blooms.
Barnesville Battle of the Bones Festival
The Barnesville Battle of the Bones Festival will be held from May 1-2, 2015 in downtown Barnesville, GA. Join us for our 11th annual BBQ event where we will have food, fun, and entertainment!
On May 1-2, downtown Barnesville will host the Barnesville Battle of the Bones Festival. In 2013, the BBQ competition was featured on the television show BBQ Pitmasters and in 2014 it celebrated its 10th anniversary. The event is sanctioned by the Florida BBQ Association and was declared a State Championship Cook-off by Governor Sonny Perdue in 2009. Last year, 36 pro cook teams competed in the event, which was also an automatic qualifier for the World Food Championships held in Las Vegas, NV.
The Barnesville-Lamar County Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce that the 2015 event committee will be awarding its 8th annual scholarship in memory of the late Mayor Dewaine T. Bell. The scholarship is paid for by festival sponsorships as well as memorial paper pig sales.
The Custom Auto and Truck Show will feature cars, trucks, motorcycles, or any year custom vehicle or race cars. The show will be held in the United Bank parking lot and will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 2. Registration is $15.00 per car.
The 2015 Barnesville Battle of the Bones event will certainly be an event you will not want to miss. We encourage you to participate as a spectator, pro-cook team, musician, or vendor. For more information, please contact the Chamber at (770) 358-5884.
When it comes to home improvement, some dollars stretch more than others. And if you’re on a limited budget, it becomes even more important to spend those dollars wisely.
Here are eight affordable (under $5,000) home improvement projects that’ll help you enjoy your home more today and provide excellent financial return in the future.
#1. Add the Finishing Touch of Molding
Image: Crazy Wonderful
Decorative molding is a classic touch that’s been around since the ancient Greeks and Romans first installed it to add grandeur to their buildings. Centuries later, molding is still one of the most dramatic ways to dress up a room. It’s a budget-friendly improvement that trims a room for a finished and expensive look.
Today’s wood moldings come in hundreds of options — from simple to ornate — that you can stain, paint, or leave natural. You can also find moldings in flexible materials, such as foam, that make installation a whole lot easier. Some moldings even include lighting that casts a soft, ambient glow.
Buyers consistently rank both crown molding and chair railing in their list of most desirable decorative features they seek in a home (#3 and #7 respectively), according to the annual National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) survey, “What Home Buyers Really Want.”
And at $1.50/foot if you DIY it, or $8 per foot if you hire, it’s a no-brainer in terms of personalizing your home while adding value. (Although we don’t recommend DIY unless you’ve got above-par mitering skills.)
A few tips about molding:
- Use crown molding to make a room seem bigger and taller. But be careful about proportions. If your ceiling height is 9 feet or less, go with simpler styles to avoid overwhelming the room.
- Chair railing placed incorrectly can make a room seem out of proportion. Rule of thumb: Place chair railing at one-third the distance of the ceiling height.
- Don’t forget entryways, doors, and windows: Bump up the trim around these areas to give rooms a completed and expensive feel.
#2. Install Quality Ceiling Fans
Image: Kate from This American Wife
If crown molding and chair railing were #3 and #7 on buyers’ decorative wish lists, what was #1?
Over the years, ceiling fans have become quite the crowd pleaser. Once they were just a cheap solution to rising energy costs — ugly, wobbly, noisy eyesores endured because they were cheaper than air conditioning.
Today, ceiling fans have evolved into an essential component of American homes as energy prices continue to rise. And since designs have caught up with the times, they come in a variety of styles and colors to complement any room. If your ceiling fans are old and outdated, new ones (coupled with a fresh paint job and crown molding) could give your rooms a refreshing update while saving money.
Some tips about ceiling fans:
- Ceiling fans should hang 7-8 feet above the floor. If you’ve got a low ceiling, buy a hugger ceiling fan that’s flush-mounted.
- Size matters more than the number of fan blades. Go for the biggest Energy Star-rated fan that will fit the space.
- Choose quality. You’ll get better cooling results, less noise, and good looks at a digestible price point of $200-$600.
#3. Plant Some Trees
Image: M. Williams
Say what? Adding trees doesn’t instantly pop into your head when you think of adding value to your home. But trees are moneymakers that get better with age.
A mature tree could be worth between $1,000-$10,000, says the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers. A 16-inch silver maple could be worth $2,562, according to a formula worked out by the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service.
In urban areas, money really does grow on trees. A recent study of home sales by the Pacific Northwest Research Station of Portland showed that street trees growing in front of or near a house boosted its sale price by an average of $8,870 and shaved two days off its time on the market.
There’s more. Trees also:
- Save $100-$250 annually in energy costs
- Lower stress
- Prevent erosion from downpours and roof runoff
- Protect your home from wind, rain, and sun
But don’t just run out and plant trees willy-nilly. Here are some tips:
- Follow the sun. Plant shade trees on the south side of the house where the sun beats strongest and longest.
- Follow the wind. Plant windbreak trees, which can lower winter energy costs by 30%, on the north and northwest sides of your property.
- Don’t plant too close. If you do, branches can scrape roofs and siding, causing expensive damage. Rule of thumb: Don’t plant trees any closer than the tree’s mature height plus one-fourth of that height. So, for example, if a tree reaches 40 feet, it should be planted at least 50 feet from any other trees.
#4. Install a Patio
Image: Suzanne Davis at bebehblog
Patios are a great cost-effective way to increase your home’s living space without actually adding on. Plus you’ll recover 30% to 60% of your investment. A $2,000 patio would return around $900 at resale.
But don’t go crazy and trick out your patio with high-end amenities, like an outdoor kitchen — especially if you’d be the only one on the block with one. When it’s time to sell, you won’t get back much — if any — of your investment on kitchens and other high-end amenities. Instead, keep it simple and functional. (And, really, how often would you use an outdoor kitchen?)
Some wise advice when planning a patio:
- Check property for slope, sun, and shade patterns.
- Remember ‘dig alerts’ that utilities provide free of charge.
- Don’t skimp on patio lighting. It can make all the difference in functionality and beautification.
Related: How to Plan a Patio for Your Home
#5. Pump Up Your Home Security
The peace of mind that comes with installing a home security system is priceless.
In reality, price varies. You can buy and install it yourself for $50 to $300, or a security company can sell and install a system from $0 to $1,500. The “zero” is the hook companies use to lure you into signing a multi-year monitoring contract that ranges from $95 to $480 per year.
If a monitored system suits your needs, you’ll also get a break on your home insurance. Most companies will discount your annual rate 15% to 20% if you have a security service.
Home security systems also make your home more marketable: 50% of homebuyers (in the NAHB survey) say a home security system — particularly security cameras — tops their list of most-wanted technology features.
You can go over the top and install high-tech security gadgets, like smartphone-operated locks and a laser trip wire. Or you can keep it simple with a keypad that communicates with sensors and motion detectors throughout your house.
- If you do decide to go with a monitoring system, choose a company with a 10-year track record to ensure reliability.
- Don’t rely on any system as your sole means of security. Locking doors and windows is still your best first-line of defense.
#6. Do Almost Any Energy-Efficient Upgrade
The value of energy-efficient houses just keeps going up and up. A UCLA study examined the sales prices of 1.6 million California homes from 2007 to 2012 and found that homes with Energy Star, LEED, or GreenPoint certification had, on average, a 9% higher price.
That finding is echoed in NAHB’s report that surveyed homebuyers across the nation: Nine out of 10 potential buyers would select an efficient home with lower utility bills over a less efficient home priced 2% to 3% less.
One energy-saving home improvement project that not only saves energy but gives you tons of enjoyment, too, is converting a wood-burning fireplace into a gas one. If you like to crunch energy numbers, gas fireplaces have energy-efficient ratings as high as 77%, compared with wood-burning fireplaces that convert only 15% of wood’s energy into useful heat.
In fact, 39% of homebuyers say a gas fireplace is an essential or desirable feature of the next home they purchase. So when it comes time to sell your home, more than one-third of potential buyers will be looking for a gas fireplace.
In the meantime, it’ll be paying for itself in reduced heating costs.
Some tips for converting to gas:
- A direct-vent gas insert most closely replicates the wood-burning experience at a cost of about $3,000 to $4,000, installed.
- If you don’t have an existing fireplace, you can install a direct-vent (vents directly outside so you don’t need a chimney) gas fireplace for about $5,000 (installed and finished).
#7. Add Some Creative Storage
We don’t have to sell you on the value of storage and built-in organization. Since when have you heard someone complain about too much storage? Never, we bet.
Adding storage is a no-brainer, but it does take a little brainpower to find your home’s hidden storage.
Here are a few ways to think outside of the toy box:
- Open drywall to create storage cubbies between your wall’s studs. See how.
- Install platform storage that hangs from your garage ceiling.
- Even stairs can give you more storage. One clever mom repurposed an old chest of drawers and created storage within a basement staircase. See how she did it.
#8. Light Up the Outdoors
Exterior lighting makes your home shine in the evening, accents features you like most about your house, and helps keep burglars away. A hard-wired lighting fixture can cost $150 to $250 to install. On the plus side, you could get a 50% return on your investment, says Judith Patriski, a Cleveland appraiser and REALTOR®. Installing motion-detecting lights can even lower some homeowners’ insurance premiums. (Check with your agent).
And with technological advances in solar lighting, it’s easier and more cost-effective than ever to boost your home’s nighttime curb appeal.
Plus, 90% of buyers say outdoor lighting is on their list of desired home features.
- Place accent lights under your favorite trees to show off your landscaping’s top earners.
- If your lights are hard-wired, put them on a timer so you don’t waste energy running them during the day.
- Choose a warm white light. It’ll make your home look and feel welcoming.