Real Estate

Good habits are the foundation of wealth. If you watch successful people you will see their day is filled with consistent habits that save time, improve focus and ultimately help accomplish more daily. Successful people get up early, learn daily, make lists & set goals and track their progress.

• Get Up Early.

Make the first two hours of your day the most important. It will not only set the tone for the day but will give you a game plan for everything else that follows. These two hours can be used for activities you enjoy such as exercise, meditation or completion of a project or activity from the previous day. The early morning is free from distraction allowing you to do more of whatever you enjoy.

• 20 Minutes Of Learning Daily.

It is important in any business to know what is going on at all times. Trying to master every aspect of the business may seem intimidating but is less difficult if you spend some time on it daily. Regardless of how busy you may be you can squeeze twenty minutes of learning into your daily routine. You can find this time on an audiobook driving to or from an appointment or on the treadmill as you get some exercise in.

• Make Lists & Set Goals.

Success is often easier if you plan exactly what needs to get done. Before you go to bed you should plan for the next day. Tackle the toughest task first and go from there. Planning your goals not only makes you efficient but gives you a sense of direction and purpose. The most successful people in the world have one thing in common, they all say their goals out loud three times daily. This helps to reinforce their direction and keeps them on track in accomplishing their goals. Try it and see how much closer you get to reaching your goals!

• Track Progress.

If you don’t know what is working, is impossible to gauge the results? At the end of every day you should take some time to evaluate what you did to build on your progress. If you failed to do anything, you need to ask yourself why and then develop a new plan to stay on track.

You ultimately control where you go in Life. Changing habits is never easy but is essential for growth. Start by incorporating these four habits into your daily life and see the difference it makes towards your success.

 

Real Estate

Many homeowners, at a variety of points – of – time, decide to pursue certain repairs and/ alterations. Some are out of necessity, because of damage, and/ or wear – and – tear, while others, are for cosmetic, and/ or taste – related reasons! One should consider a variety of factors, before undergoing costly expenses/ expenditures. These include: how long you will be living in this house; your alternatives; the Return on Investment (R.O.I.), etc. This article will review 5 positives (pros) and/ or negatives (cons), related to home repairs and/ or alterations.

1. Cosmetic changes: This category includes items, which improve the appearance of the property, but usually are minor, in nature! For example, inside or outside painting might be cosmetic. If you are painting, simply to change the look, color, theme, etc, it falls into the category, but if it is necessitated, because of structural damage (for example, from water damage, etc), it’s a far different scenario! If you plan to keep the home, for a substantial period of time, you have far more flexibility, in terms of color, etc, than if you are planning to sell it in the foreseeable, near future!

2. Kitchen: Does your kitchen need remodeling and/ or renovation, for structural reasons, or to improve its look and appearance? How much you spend on remodeling your kitchen, must be put into perspective! A well – considered amount of spending, usually makes sense and has a reasonable Return on Investment (R.O.I.), but exorbitant spending is another thing. A homeowner can spend whatever he decides, but should have a somewhat, realistic perspective of its value, especially to prospective buyers.

3. Bathrooms: What is the reason, you wish to renovate/ upgrade your bathrooms? Compare the options and alternatives, including determining, if a system, such as Bath Fitters, makes sense, as opposed to a complete demolition and rebuilding! Again, upgrading bathrooms, might. either, make financial sense, or not!

4. HVAC: What is the condition of your heating, ventilating and air conditioning, system (HVAC)? What is the useful life of your heating system, and should you change it (for example, converting from oil to gas)? Consider any decisions related to conversions, carefully and thoroughly. If you wish to put a central air conditioning system, into the house, should you go, the convention route, or the ductless one? Consider costs, economies, space – sacrifices, and the positives, versus the negatives! Before acting, always get several bids, and compare apples – to – apples!

5. Grounds maintenance: How much money, should you commit to grounds maintenance, landscaping, trees, bushes, plants, flowers, etc? Those thinking of selling, in the near future, should focus on curb appeal, etc!

Homeowners have options, in terms of the best way to proceed, for home repairs and alternatives. Know what you need, and want, and thoroughly consider!

 

Real Estate

Buying a real estate property, repairing and selling it quickly tends to be a profitable recipe. However, a key component of this recipe to success is access to capital. If one does not have sufficient funds but is interested in rehabbing a property, a hard money lender who offers a fix and flip loans could be a great financing option. These loans are structured in such a way that allow a purchaser to quickly acquire the property and have access to a reserve of funds for construction and renovation costs.

Buying a real estate property, repairing and selling it quickly tends to be a profitable recipe.

Advantages of Fix and Flip Loans

There are many advantages to fix and flip loans and the demand for this source of funding is steadily increasing in the real estate investment industry.

Four key benefits include:

    • Quick Approval: Getting approved for a fix and flip loan is a far quicker process when compared against the traditional banking system. If the borrower has submitted the requested documents, a private lender can approve the loan within a couple of days whereas a traditional financial institution can take at least a month. In addition to the significant longer wait time for bank loan approvals, the borrower will be required to submit numerous documents and clear multiple conditions as part of the process.

 

    • Any Property: Properties in varying states of the condition can qualify for a fix and flip loans. Whether the property is bank owned, a short sale, a foreclosure, or in a dilapidated state, a borrower is still likely to find a hard money lender willing to fund the deal. Once again, a borrower may not have the option of funding these types of real estate opportunities with a bank. Banks are very risk averse and have strict rules in place as to what type of property they can accept as part of their loan portfolio.

 

    • Zero Prepayment Penalties: If you take out a loan from an established bank, you may be hit with penalties should you have the opportunity to pay the loan off before the maturation date. This is called a prepayment penalty. Most fix and flip lenders will not subject you to this fee.

 

  • Repairs Covered: When you buy a property with the intention to flip it, a significant portion of your budget will be spent on construction and renovation costs. A fix and flip lender will usually set up a loan reserve which will cover repair costs of the property in addition to interest. This can alleviate a lot of stress and pressure for builders and developers since they don’t have to worry about spending money out of pocket for repairs or payments.

Teaming up with a solid lender who understands your property, the local real estate market, and is willing to help you throughout the acquisition, construction and selling process is vital. When choosing a hard money lender, keep the following in mind:

    • The lender must have sufficient experience in the industry. A private lender that has deep roots in the real estate investment market will not only be able to offer you a better deal but will also have numerous contacts that will prove helpful along the way – from recommended settlement companies, to permit expeditors and other preferred vendors. This can prove to be a great asset as speed, quality and efficiency is the name of the game in the fix and flip world. The less time you need to spend vetting companies and contractors is more money in your pocket.

 

    • Check the history of the lenders to ensure that they are genuine and have a good track record. It may be worth taking a closer look at lenders that tempt borrowers with “teaser rates” or a “no documents” underwriting process. As with most things in life, if it seems too good to be true – it usually is.

 

  • Finally, you should check out what previous or current customers have to say. Is the lender responsive and knowledgeable? How many loans do they have on the street? Do they have good ratings on Google or the BBB? Just as the lender performs due diligence on their borrowers, the borrowers should, in turn, conduct due diligence on the hard money lender. It’s a partnership and both parties need to be solid and committed to the process in order to ensure success.

 

Real Estate

“What does affordable housing in Gurgaon, with its high-lifestyle, urbanization, and posh-societies look like?” You may think, given that Residential Flats varies in its meaning for different demographic profiles. Especially in the Indian real estate market, affordable housing has a connotation for housing for the lower income group (LIG), by which they too can enjoy a comfortable living and security. With the incumbent government’s focus on this section and more on the affordable housing, it seems like the real estate sector has been able to get the boost that it had been waiting for of late.

However, there is an important trend that needs to be taken note of before the government claims that its affordable housing project is a success. The term affordable housing, in different contexts, also has a local meaning. According to this, affordable housing includes housing options for a segment of population that can become potential home buyers in a city. If we take this definition into consideration, there is a sizeable population in every city, which although it will not identify with or fall under the LIG, is equally incapable of allotting a large budget for buying homes. It is not only sensitive and cost-wary but is looking forward to finding a house of a decent budget-size within the realms of the city. A typical example is of the residential flats in Gurgaon, which although are well-furnished, but do not still fall under the budget for the middle class.

When we take this population’s demands and needs a little more seriously, we find that there is a dearth of properties in good locations within the city, which buyers can afford. These buyers often have a budget of INR 30-40 lakhs, but more cities including Delhi NCR have a deficit in properties which match this budget range. Usually properties which are around INR 20 lakhs are still on the outskirts lacking good transportation and other facilities required by the urban middle class. This means that there is indeed a requirement for more housing under the affordable housing section, where different demographic profiles can find properties for themselves.

There is an urgent need for developers to come up with budget housing projects in the larger cities. As modern India moves towards development and rising aspirations, affordable housing and the security that comes with it, is increasing. This appears to be a very high opportunity for developers who can count on a boost in the real estate industry. More absorption of the housing projects in the urban cities is also a strong indicator of the socio-economic growth in the country, thereby projecting a positive image. While the demand is strong and only increasing, there are a lot of policy-level changes that need to be introduced.

Not only will the affordable housing for the middle class prove to be a sustainable business model for the future, it will also allow more cities to come up to ranks. More affordable housing projects will assure developers that they do not struggle with inflation or even setbacks in the economy. Another trend that one needs to channelize is that more real estate investors are now eyeing budget and affordable housing projects. Where luxury homes and premium homes find it hard to make it through a rough economy, affordable housing is still on the move. The healthy demand in addition with more money coming in steady from investors means a healthy micro-economy. It is now time for builders and the government to give this proposition a try, ensuring that the overall development of the country happens throughout.

Gurgaon based real estate company’s residential flats in Gurgaon include their massive projects of Solera (Sector 107), Synera (Sector 81, NH8) Andour Heights (Sector 71), Orchard Avenue (Sector 93), Grand Iva (Sector 103), Roselia (Sector 95A), Serenas (Sector 36) and The Millennia (Sector 37D). At present, Gurgaon based real estate company’s Signum project offers retail shops in Gurugram in sector 36, 95A, 93, 103, 71, 81, and 107.

 

Real Estate

Real estate investors live and die by their ability to add value. With no added value, there are no profits. This is true with any business, but what makes real estate such a great business and a great investment, is the number of ways you can add value and cash in on big profits. Here are three ways you can add value to your properties.

Upgrades and Repairs: OK, this is the obvious one and is the reason fix and flippers can make money. Some repairs add a lot more value than it costs to do. The more creative you are with the improvements, the more value you can add. For example, I have a client that adds square footage to every house he buys. He really likes the inner city properties because they are the hardest to add square footage. You either need to finish an unfinished basement, or add a second story. There is not typically enough land on the lot to add an addition by increasing the foot print of the property. This client does a lot of basement finishes and “pop tops,” but where he has made the most money is the basement that is only 5 or 6 feet deep. He will go in and dig out the basement to a full 8 or 9 foot height and then finish it. Something most investors would not think of, so he is able to get the deal most other investors pass on. I have also seen some investors find houses that don’t really fit into a neighborhood and they make them fit. This could be limited bedrooms or bathrooms or funky floor plans. All of that can be changed. Obviously many cosmetic fixes like kitchens and bathrooms add a lot of value too. There is a lot more to it than this, but the idea is to buy a property at its true ‘as is’ value, (don’t over pay), and then add value with the repairs and upgrades.

Owner Finance: I love this one because it is so easy to add value with very little to no work. You will need to wait to cash in on your profits, but it is a way to increase a sell price significantly. You can also use this strategy to defer tax gains over a few years, instead of taking a big hit all in one year. When you have a property for sale there are a limited number of buyers for the house, although right now that pool of buyers seems pretty big. If you can increase the pool of buyers, the demand for that one house increases, which forces the price to go up. Someone that cannot qualify for an ordinary loan, limiting the supply of houses to choose from for that buyer, will likely buy your property. That also increases the price. You are adding value by giving them the chance to own a home that they normally would not be able to own. For this value, you should be compensated with a higher price and a decent interest rate on the profits, while you wait for the buyer to refinance and pay you off in full.

Shared Units: This is one area of real estate that I have not dabbled in, but it is extremely inviting. The idea here is to sell your property to multiple buyers. You are seeing this a lot in resort towns. It is always a vacation or second home. Have you ever been to a time share presentation? They are pretty enticing aren’t they? About 13 years ago my ex wife and I were in Florida and got sucked into a time share sales pitch. We decided to go because they offered us free tickets to Disney. We sat there for about an hour and a half and then the hard sale came. They were very good at selling the “idea” of the time share and had my ex wife sold. She asked me to move forward with the deal, but I could not bring myself to do it. I told her that I was not comfortable with an emotional purchase and that we needed time to think it through. “Can I please have our Disney tickets?” was my response. As we rode back to the hotel that afternoon, I started thinking about the math. Each unit can be sold to 52 different people because your purchase only gets you 1 week a year. Add that to the annual maintenance fees and the numbers are staggering. I know people who have flipped time shares successfully, because you can get them for free or near free on Craigslist, but it is not an investment I was interested in. With that said, I have considered doing a half or quarter share on a house in a ski town in Colorado. In this scenario, you are sharing a house with 1 to 3 other people so there is a ton more flexibility. You can use or rent out your weeks and you can be guaranteed valuable high demand weeks every year. It is a way to get a second home without the full expense. From the seller’s point of view, it is a way to get more for the house. ½ a share of a house is going to cost the buyer more than ½ of the fair market value. I have seen business plans from investors that would buy a house and quarter share it out. The idea was that after they improved the property and sold ¾ of the house to 3 different buyers, they would own the last ¼ free and clear. Obviously this strategy will work best in areas where people want second homes. The downside is if there are any improvements or major issues. I can see there being disagreements, so this is something you would want, as a buyer, to work out with all the other owners in writing before you buy.

 

Real Estate

Want to invest in real estate with no financial risk and no money or credit? Wholesaling houses is a popular choice. I personally think wholesaling can be a challenging way to get started, but the fact that you can get started in real estate investing without any barrier of entry makes wholesaling an attractive option. If you can get good at this side of the business, you will be success with anything you want to do. The reason I say that is finding deals is what makes a wholesaler successful. If you can get good at finding deals, you have unlimited potential.

Once you find a deal, you need to understand how to sell it to make your profit. Here are four ways you can structure your wholesale properties.

Contract Assignment: This is the easiest, but comes with some risks if not done correctly. It is also somewhat restrictive as bank owned properties will prevent this. This works well when you negotiate your deals directly with the seller. The way this works is you will get a house under contract and then you will assign your rights in the contract to another buyer for a fee. That new buyer will take on the rights and responsibilities in the contract and will close in your place. It is best to get your fee paid up front, but it is very common to get your fee when your buyer buys the house. Here are a few things to keep in mind when assigning contracts.

Be sure that you always disclose to your seller that you are or may assign the agreement to another buyer for a fee. I suggest you actually put this in the contract. Sellers should be OK with this if you are transparent that you are an investor who buys houses for a profit before you start to negotiate.

I would get money from your money that is at least enough to cover any earnest money you put up with your seller. That way if your buyer defaults on the agreement you at least cover your costs. Always try to get the entire fee paid when you assign the contract.

I like this way the best because it is easy to do on your end, it is easy for the buyer and the buyer’s lender, and it is the cheapest way to go.

Double Close: This just means that you actually buy the house and then resell it. There are several ways to do this, but the most common is to buy and sell in the same day or within a day. Typically, you will need to bring in financing to get your closing done with the seller, which is why this is my least preferred method to wholesale. Also, because you have two closings you will have two sets of closing costs, so it is the most expensive way too. With that said, some wholesalers prefer this method because they do not have to disclose to the seller their intent to resell and they can both keep their deal with the seller and their deal with their buyer private. It is believed by some that this is a good way to protect your profits. The information will all become public record at some point, but that is well after the closing.

This is the method you will use by default if you do not do your contract on the front end correctly, so we do see double closing frequently.

Flip the Entity: This has become the most common way to wholesale in my market. Most, if not all, the successful wholesalers will use this strategy. Especially when wholesaling foreclosures where contract assignments are forbidden.

The way this works is the wholesaler will set up a separate entity, like an LLC or a Trust, and put that entity as the buyer of the house to be wholesaled. They will then sell the entity itself for a fee. The benefit with using this strategy is that actual contract on the house does not change. Since the buyer of the house is the entity, there are no issues with any regulation or assignment restrictions. The downside is it could be more work because of the extra step to set up the entity, and there could be additional fees to register the entity with the state. The risk for the buyer is whenever you buy a company you are buying all of it. So, if the entity was used in another transaction and owes money to anyone, the new buyer could be on the hook. Knowing this, the best way to do this transaction is with a brand-new entity used for this one purpose.

Relationship Close: I don’t know if there is an actual name for this method. In fact, it is rarely seen. What I mean by relationship close is that you have such a strong relationship with a buyer that you write offers in the buyer’s name. For this to work, you should be a licensed agent and preview houses for your buyer. You would need to understand their criteria and only offer on houses they will want to buy. I have a client that works this way. He has an agent write his offers and the agent/wholesaler gets paid a commission with each successful closing. They do 2 to 3 deals a month with this strategy. My client just signs contracts without looking at them at this point and trusts what the wholesaler is putting together solid offers. There is always an inspection clause protecting the buyer and the agent, but more than 9 out of 10 houses that go under contract close. That is because the agent/wholesaler knows the business and knows what this buyer will buy.

 

Real Estate

Make your fortune in real estate. It is not that hard once you get the hang of it. Real estate flipping can be an extremely high paying career, but I see way too many people give up on it. The turnover in this industry is exceptionally high. I noticed the high turnover early on and have watched to learn why some people kill it while others disappear. This has been important to monitor to help myself and my clients last in this amazing business.

I have been in the real estate field for the last 16 years and my hard money lending company finances around 150 deals a year. Here is what that experience has taught me about being a successful fix and flipper.

Mindset: This is where it all starts. For the last 3 years, I have felt myself fall into a little lull and have realized that this occurred because of my mindset. Your mindset could be a lot of things, but the basic concept is that what you believe will happen… does. Sometimes just convincing your mind that you will hit a goal takes work. Not to mention the work that it takes to actually hit that goal.

Focusing your mind on positivity is a great start, but you really need to believe you deserve the success you desire. Meditation and affirmations are fantastic ways to accomplish this.

Hustle: Nothing is going to be given to you. When I was going through my struggles to hit some financial goals, I had to keep reminding myself of this. Times can get hard and things can feel unfair, but the reality is, no matter how much you don’t want to believe it, you are the only one responsible for your success. I would tell myself this over and over. “If I want it, I need to earn it” I had to get up in the morning. I had to deal with the problem on my plate. I had to stay up late or work on the weekend. I had to put in the work to get the results. Because I decided to be successful, I decided to work hard.

Network: As we have learned. It is not what you know, it is who you know. I constantly try to team up with people smarter than me, that can both help me learn and help me get results. This has resulted in millions in profits. I also feel very lucky to have a network that can solve just about any problem I run into. If I am rehabbing a house and run into a problem, I have a list of people I can call for help. If they don’t know how to help they will know someone who does. I lean on my attorneys, my CPA, partners, wholesalers, and other professionals on a regular basis.

Education: To make my top five list you know I believe this is important in your success. Constant improvement is essential and the exciting thing about this, especially early in your career, is that growth is exponential. As you learn and implement ideas into your business, your business grows at a faster and faster pace. Obviously, for this to work you will need to learn AND implement. Many people learn all about investing and never invest. That comes down to the investor mindset. That’s why, I believe, you need all five of these essential keys to be a great fix and flipper. The good thing is this is possible for everyone, including you.

Access to Money: So, this one might be self-servicing because I am a lender, and this could fall within the Network category but let’s face it, if you don’t have money you don’t do deals. Money can come from many sources including cash you have in the bank, money you borrower from institutions, partners, private and hard money loans. Many times, you will need a combination of these sources to get a deal done or to maximize profits. This can all be learned as part of your education or you can choose to work with a professional that can advise you on the best way to navigate this complicated subject.

 

Real Estate

If you are buying and planning on re-selling or renting out, to get the most out of your property you might want to do some upgrades to give it curb appeal. The amount of upgrades needed would depend on a case by case scenario. Obviously if the roof, foundation, etc, needs to be done, that’s without question. I am talking about major renovations, but upgrades. That curb appeal and that make a buyer go, “wow” and pay a little extra for the place.

If you aren’t going to work with a designer and you would like to do it yourself, I suggest going to the library or buying a bunch of up-to-date home style magazine to get ideas of what’s in right now. Knowing your market isn’t such a big deal because most everyone wants something chic and stylish. Something I like to call “urban chic”; a lot of clean lines, minimalism and bright open spaces. A Zen like approach. That look is selling to the mass market right now.

First impressions are always important, so the outside of the house needs the most love. Don’t go boring either. Chose exciting colours like grey/mauve, terracotta or sage. Paint everything that needs it, wood, railing, mailbox, light fixtures, etc. I’m not talking all one colour, have some black or white in their for contrast. If they can’t be painted, replace.

If there isn’t any landscaping or it’s shot, you need to revamp the look. Take out or trim everything that is overgrown. Be ruthless if necessary. Cedars are great when they are green and small, however if they are yellow and too tall, get rid of them. Keep the look short, so you can see the entrance way. Weed the grass if any, add more seed. Clean out the dirt of debris and weeds, add more dark earth and mulch. Make a nice clean line between the grass and garden. I would invest in a couple of bushes that contrast each other and some bright annuals that light up the front.

Floors are the most important. They make such a big impact. They have to be nice. If there is hardwood I suggest refinishing them. Staining them dark is always a nice touch. Parquetry looks incredible stained chocolate. It goes from a bad 1970’s look to something modern and Asian looking. If the floors need to be replaced, bamboo and other sustainable flooring are trendy right now. If the lino is old, change it. If you can afford tile, do it.

Kitchen. If the kitchen is an old wood 1950’s style, no need to rip that out and redo it and spend all that extra money. Paint it glossy cream and add stylish knobs. You could even add a moulding.

If it’s white melamine, you could either paint it with special paint, or keep it as is. Sometimes it’s the surrounding area that can buff it up and make it not look so “melaminy”. Meaning, add a trendy tiled backsplash, a new countertop, and knobs. If the melamine has a 1980’s boarder that can be taken off, remove it for a cleaner look.

If you have the 1990 oak cabinets, they look incredible painted as well. If the cabinetry is hanging from the ceiling dividing the eating area, you could take those down and reuse them somewhere else, like an island.

Extra touches:

  • Faucets are important. They can be such a focal point to the room. You don’t have to go high end to have a polished modern look.
  • I think the investment of crown moulding adds so much value to the place if it’s done right (no need in the bathroom). Paint it glossy to give it a vintage look.
  • Keep paint colours simple and light. Painting one wall in a room dark grey or another trendy colour is fine, however use minimally.
  • Dark on light is very trendy right now.
  • Make sure the flow of colour from one room to the next is there.
  • Clean, clean windows are a must.
  • Tear down a wall if necessary to give the space more of an open feel. For example opening the kitchen to the living room. You must verify with a structural engineer before tearing anything down.
  • Pot lights and dimmers.
  • Trendy light fixtures and knobs. Don’t go high end. Places like Ikea are fine or places that reclaim vintage.

Bathrooms are easy because it all lies in the choice of the tile and counter top. White tub, sink and toilet are always in and if they are in good condition they won’t need replacing. The cabinetry can be painted a black, chocolate, white or cream. It will update any look.

 

Real Estate

When doing renovations, people rarely think about long-term resale value. Most families just want a really nice place to live and they work to create their forever home. However, life can be unpredictable. So while it is joyful to make a dream home, those dreams need to be balanced with an understanding of whether or not those granite countertops or that second story are good investments in the long run.

What is resale value?

We hear the idea of resale value quite often pertaining to real estate. The ideal is to buy a property that is a good investment and to have its value appreciate. Good maintenance and appropriate renovations help ensure that when it comes time to sell again, the property has gained equity and you’ll make money.

However, the amount of money you’ll make depends on market appreciation. Which is why it’s important to make improvements that fit the property and the neighborhood.

Location the key factor to consider

If you’ve bought a property by a highway or another not-so-great location, you probably got it for a good price. If that location’s value doesn’t increase during the time you own it, you’ll probably have to sell it for a similarly good price, even if you’ve done a lot of work on it.

Many property owners invest in renovations that aren’t in keeping with the neighbourhood. As a result, they end up selling for less than they invested, which can be heartbreaking.

Before you renovate, look at what has been selling around you – at what cost for what quality? If the most expensive home in your neighborhood sold for $400,000 after being completely renovated, it doesn’t make sense to style your house to a value any higher.

And really, how special are those $10-per-square-foot tiles anyway? Go with the $5 tiles instead.

Focus your investment to one or two elements per room. Make pricey items such as granite countertops, a fancy backsplash, or a higher end faucet; work like show pieces, similar to a piece of art.

Smallest may be best when it comes to resale
As for adding a second story to create more space for an expanding family, it may be worth it in the long run to hunt for a bigger home.

If you invest an extra $100,000 on a two-bedroom bungalow in a neighborhood full of two-bedroom bungalows, you may never recover that full investment. It may be a much better idea to take your equity and find a larger home in a neighborhood where your investment will hold and even grow in time.

When it comes to resale value, it’s always better to have the smallest house in an area with mansions rather than a $600K house surrounded by $300K houses.

Of course, creating a joyful home should always be the first priority. Just make wise decisions that will bring you prosperity and happiness for years to come.

 

Real Estate

If you are buying and planning on re-selling or renting out, to get the most out of your property you might want to do some upgrades to give it curb appeal. The amount of upgrades needed would depend on a case by case scenario. Obviously if the roof, foundation, etc, needs to be done, that’s without question. I am talking about major renovations, but upgrades. That curb appeal and that make a buyer go, “wow” and pay a little extra for the place.

If you aren’t going to work with a designer and you would like to do it yourself, I suggest going to the library or buying a bunch of up-to-date home style magazine to get ideas of what’s in right now. Knowing your market isn’t such a big deal because most everyone wants something chic and stylish. Something I like to call “urban chic”; a lot of clean lines, minimalism and bright open spaces. A Zen like approach. That look is selling to the mass market right now.

First impressions are always important, so the outside of the house needs the most love. Don’t go boring either. Chose exciting colours like grey/mauve, terracotta or sage. Paint everything that needs it, wood, railing, mailbox, light fixtures, etc. I’m not talking all one colour, have some black or white in their for contrast. If they can’t be painted, replace.

If there isn’t any landscaping or it’s shot, you need to revamp the look. Take out or trim everything that is overgrown. Be ruthless if necessary. Cedars are great when they are green and small, however if they are yellow and too tall, get rid of them. Keep the look short, so you can see the entrance way. Weed the grass if any, add more seed. Clean out the dirt of debris and weeds, add more dark earth and mulch. Make a nice clean line between the grass and garden. I would invest in a couple of bushes that contrast each other and some bright annuals that light up the front.

Floors are the most important. They make such a big impact. They have to be nice. If there is hardwood I suggest refinishing them. Staining them dark is always a nice touch. Parquetry looks incredible stained chocolate. It goes from a bad 1970’s look to something modern and Asian looking. If the floors need to be replaced, bamboo and other sustainable flooring are trendy right now. If the lino is old, change it. If you can afford tile, do it.

Kitchen. If the kitchen is an old wood 1950’s style, no need to rip that out and redo it and spend all that extra money. Paint it glossy cream and add stylish knobs. You could even add a moulding.

If it’s white melamine, you could either paint it with special paint, or keep it as is. Sometimes it’s the surrounding area that can buff it up and make it not look so “melaminy”. Meaning, add a trendy tiled backsplash, a new countertop, and knobs. If the melamine has a 1980’s boarder that can be taken off, remove it for a cleaner look.

If you have the 1990 oak cabinets, they look incredible painted as well. If the cabinetry is hanging from the ceiling dividing the eating area, you could take those down and reuse them somewhere else, like an island.

Extra touches:

  • Faucets are important. They can be such a focal point to the room. You don’t have to go high end to have a polished modern look.
  • I think the investment of crown moulding adds so much value to the place if it’s done right (no need in the bathroom). Paint it glossy to give it a vintage look.
  • Keep paint colours simple and light. Painting one wall in a room dark grey or another trendy colour is fine, however use minimally.
  • Dark on light is very trendy right now.
  • Make sure the flow of colour from one room to the next is there.
  • Clean, clean windows are a must.
  • Tear down a wall if necessary to give the space more of an open feel. For example opening the kitchen to the living room. You must verify with a structural engineer before tearing anything down.
  • Pot lights and dimmers.
  • Trendy light fixtures and knobs. Don’t go high end. Places like Ikea are fine or places that reclaim vintage.

Bathrooms are easy because it all lies in the choice of the tile and counter top. White tub, sink and toilet are always in and if they are in good condition they won’t need replacing. The cabinetry can be painted a black, chocolate, white or cream. It will update any look.