Tag Archives: Increase in value

Updating Your House to Low-Flow Toilets

Changing Your Toilets to Low Volume Flushes

Conservation of water is something we all know we should do, but usually don’t. There are often advertisements or public service announcements that vilify the excessive use of water, but there’s also the fact that using lots of water costs you more. There are obvious ways for you to save water, like not running your tap the entire time you’re brushing your teeth, having normal length showers, and washes your dishes in still water rather than running the tap the whole time. There are also slightly more complex ways like converting your toilet so it consumes less water.

When toilets were originally invented in the 19th century, there was far less of a concern about the excessive use of water than there is now. At that time, it was completely fine to use massive amounts of water for trivial things, because it was not seen as a finite resource in developed countries. The toilets would use around 7 gallons of water until some time in the 90’s where legislation started getting passed that would bring the average flush down to 1.7 gallons per flush.

On the surface, this seems like a good thing because of the amount of water that is getting saved, but there was also a reason why so much water was being used before: it was necessary to wash away the waste. This created a market where you could either get poorly designed low-volume flushing toilets that wouldn’t work effectively, or highly inefficient toilets that cost you a lot of money on water.

Designs have started to catch up with the times, but it is highly probably that you have a toilet from pre 1990’s that is highly inefficient with its use of water. The good news is that there are plenty of simple things you can do to bring the volume of a flush down on your toilet.

The most effective fix is to buy an adjustable flapper for your toilet. A flapper controls how much water is allowed out of your tank and into your toilet bowl. With an adjustable one you can fine tune the process so the toilet still releases enough water to be effective, but a lot less than the toilet was originally designed to release.

Another great method of modifying your toilet for higher efficiency is installing a tank bag. This takes up space in your toilet tank so less water is in there and therefore less water can be released. Some people will try to do this with a brick, but that has been found to be much less effective since the brick can actually dissolve over time and that can lead to complications with your toilet.

Installing a tank bag is extremely simple and will help save you the same amount of water as the volume of the bag for every flush. The last thing you should do is check for leaks in your toilet since that will also help prevent the rest of your home from damage as well. Pick up a leak detection tablet from a home improvements store if you want to do this right.

Using these three methods, you should be able to save lots of water and money over time.

Add Value to Your Home with a Tankless Water Heater

Within the trend of home improvement, one of the changes that has been slow to catch on in North America is the use of tankless water heating systems, also known as on-demand hot water systems. These have been the standard in Europe and Asia for a while, but North Americans haven’t shown the same high adoption rate. This is strange because tankless systems are both more convenient, and more efficient.

You will often pay a high lump sum when putting the tankless heater in and updating the plumbing, but your monthly bills will be significantly less than they were before. This is attributed to not needing to spend money idly heating water. As the name suggests, tankless heaters have no tank, so no water is constantly being heated for potential use. Instead, the heater warms up the water nearly instantaneously.

This solves three problems. First, you can now get as much hot water as you want without exhausting your hot water tank. Second, now that you have no 60 litre tank in your basement, there is a ton more space available. Finally, you never have to worry about your hot water tanking blowing out and flooding your basement, because your tankless water heater doesn’t store any water.

There are a few downsides to tankless water heaters and it is good to understand them before installing one. A tankless heater can only provide a limited amount of hot water at a time. The throughput is limited, but unlike a water tank, it can consistently supply that hot water rather than needing hours to heat more up. Another issue with water heaters is the energy requirement. The instantaneous energy requirement can be up to four times more demanding than a water tank, so you should ensure this upgrade is possible before undergoing the change.

The cost of a tankless water heater is generally around $2,000-$4,000, but their lifespan can be up to 20 years, which means you get a significant amount of extra value out of it. As always, make sure to get a few quotes for the switch to tankless before you say yes, as this will save you lots of money in the long-run.

Tankless water heaters are available in a variety of fuel sources, electric, natural gas, and propane gas. Your choice will depend on costs of the unit, cost of the fuel, availability of fuel service, and the location in your home where the unit will be placed.

The process of replacing the water tank can take as little as a day, but first look into any other retrofits that might be necessary to do before you install the heater. Installing the tank is quite simple, but you will want to hire a professional who has experience with tankless water heaters, not just any plumber.

Furnace and boiler technology has evolved significantly over the last twenty years, but water tank technology hasn’t. If you don’t feel like making the change today because you are afraid of the high expenses associated with the switch, just wait until your water heater is up for a change and replace it with a tankless heater instead. The monthly amount you’ll save will quickly pay you back and you won’t regret the convenience factor of always being able to get warm water.

Is it a Cost or an Investment to have an Appraisal done on your home?

 A Professional Appraisal: Cost Vs Investment:

The cost of a typical professional residential real estate appraisal varies from area to area. Currently, the range is $300 to $650 for a full market value appraisal. A full market value appraisal with pre-market suggested listing price range could be an additional $50 to $100, depending again on the area that the subject property is located in.

The cost of an appraisal may be an expense and may be deductible from the proceeds in some tax areas and for some properties, and this will reduce the net cost of the appraisal. This is an area which each individual will need to consult their respective tax adviser on.

For instances where a property may have been under-priced or over-priced and the net selling price is higher than the net cost of the appraisal, one might say that an appraisal is a good investment. Where market forces or a person’s particular circumstances govern a lower price than fair market value, an appraisal may be a poor investment. Generally though, a professional opinion of value will be more beneficial to a property owner than an individual’s own limited experience can offer.

You Need an Independent & Objective Home Appraisal

A Professional Appraisal: Your Independent & Objective Opinion

Clients hire professional appraisers for their independent & objective opinions, not to rubber-stamp predetermined sales prices, lending values, assessment values, cost estimates by builders, reconstruction cost for damaged properties, or market values for third party uses such as the income tax department or financial projections. As mentioned in the previous section, a professional appraiser treasures his/her credibility and likewise his/her right to have an independent and objective opinion regarding the value of the particular property that he/she is appraising. This opinion may or may not confirm another party’s estimate of value, such as: a sales price, a lender’s indicated loan value, an assessment value, a cost estimate by a builder, or a price on a private or MLS listing. Where another person’s estimate of value accurately reflects current market value, the two should be in alignment.

Value Credibility

 A Professional Appraisal: The Credibility You Need To Value Your Property

Fee appraisers operate within a well-defined system that has been in place for generations. There are many checks and balances built into the system and an appraiser faces severe repercussions for any serious deviation from the accepted standards of practice. First of all there is the appraisal organization that the appraiser belongs to. Many, if not most, appraisal organizations, associations, institutes and governing bodies are self-regulating and carefully guard their reputation, thus each and every appraiser adheres to their regulations in order to maintain their accreditation, designation, licensing, and/or authority to represent their particular affiliation. The second level of checks and balances is the network of prime lenders who utilize residential real estate appraisals to confirm the lending values of the properties they are mortgaging or lending on. Often major lenders have an approval system that the individual appraiser or appraisal company must satisfy in order to be on the lender’s approved appraiser list. The third level of checks and balances is the appraiser himself/herself. The fee from doing one compromised appraisal hardly justifies damaging one’s career, reputation, lifetime of diligent work ethic, and/or financial security. In summary, the professional appraiser has nothing to gain by not being as credible as is humanly possible.

Do Home Appraisals Give Historic Present or Future Values?

A Professional Appraisal: Do You Need an Historic, Present, or Future Value?

Real estate fee appraisers rely on historic costs, historic comparable sales, and historic or present income to base their estimated values for residential properties. Other types of appraisals (i.e. for commercial, industrial, multi-family residential properties) may include future values, which are generally based on some method of expanding a projected future income stream from the subject property to arrive at a Future Value as of a certain date in time. A projected future income stream from a property may also be discounted using various formulas to arrive a Present Value of the income stream, which would be reconciled with other approaches to value to arrive at an Estimated Value for an income producing property.

The type of future value that many people think of is the value that their property will be worth in the future, i.e. 6 months, 2 years, 10 years. This is generally a projection of a short-range trend line; showing graphs of historic Multiple Listing Services (MLS) average sales prices that are popularized in the media. If one looks at the long-range trend line picture, one will see a number of corrections in which prices fall for periods of time. If one smooths out the overall long-range trend line it will be seen as rising over the past century, hence one can conclude that residential real estate appears to be a good investment. The only caveat is that one never quite knows when a correction in the real estate market will happen, so that accurately projecting a future value of an individual residence becomes a guessing game at best. In addition to never really knowing when a correction will happen, the depth of the correction (i.e. the percentage drop in market values) or how long it will be before the market recovers to previous levels (i.e. 6 months or 6 years) are also unknown factors.

When pricing a house for sale, owners often include a certain amount of negotiating room in the asking price, thus making the asking price somewhat higher than current market values. As a particular real estate sector becomes more in demand, prices rise because owners receive offers that are closer to their asking prices. As time goes on, these small increases amount to moving the real estate market higher and higher. This is also, in effect, the projection of future values. This analysis can also be done by an appraiser for an individual residential property by including an addendum section in an appraisal, which adjusts competing current listing prices to reflect a listing price for the subject property. This can give an indicated estimated listing price for a particular property, however this is not an appraised value as such, but an educated projection of what is reasonable to list a property for in order to obtain the current market value based on the standard appraisal practices according to USPAP (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice) or CUSPAP (Canadian Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice) standards.

A Professional Appraisal – What is it?

 A Professional Appraisal Defined

The type of appraisal we are talking about here is the one which is completed by a certified, designated, and/or licensed real estate fee appraiser. There are three Approaches to Value available to the appraiser. The Market Approach to Value considers recent comparable sales in the subject area. The appraiser utilizes dollar or percentage adjustments to the selling prices of these comparable sales to reflect the differences between the comparables and the subject property and arrives at an Indicated Market Value of the subject property. The appraiser may also include the Cost Approach to Value where appropriate, incorporating current building costs and depreciation for age, condition, location, deferred maintenance, and obsolescence, etc. to arrive at an Indicated Cost Value. The Cost Approach is not typically used by purchasers or sellers in the market place. Further, there is little or no evidence to support the rates of depreciation used in this approach. If the subject property is rented, the third approach, called the Income Approach to Value, may be included. The Income Approach basically takes the net income of the subject property and capitalizes that income using various methods to arrive at an Indicated Income Value of the subject property. The appropriate Approaches of Value are considered and reconciled within the residential appraisal report to arrive at a final Estimate of Value. It should be noted that the Market Approach to Value is generally the most prevalent indicator of value for most owner-occupied single family residences, since this is most reflective of the process most purchasers go through in their quest for a new home.

Should You Remodel Your Bathroom?

Why You Should Make the Decision to Remodel Your Bathroom.

Each year, thousands, if not millions, of homeowners make the decision to remodel their bathrooms. Are you looking to become one of those individuals? A large number of homeowners are, but despite wanting to remodel their bathrooms, many do not end up doing so. One of the reasons for that is because of uncertainty. You and other homeowners just like yourself often wonder whether or not they could benefit from having their bathrooms remodeled. Of course, the final decision is yours to make, but you will find that you can benefit a number of different ways from having your bathroom remodeled.

One of the many benefits of bathroom remodeling is the possibility of an increased home value. This bathroom remodeling benefit is one that is important, but it is also one that tends to go unnoticed. A large number of homeowners do not realize that by remodeling their bathrooms, the value of their homes could increase. Although most bathroom remodeling projects do result in an increased home value, not all do. The increase in value, if there is any at all, will depend on the type of bathroom remodeling that is done, as well as the quality of the remodeling. That is why it may be a good idea to have a professional remodel your bathroom for you.

Another one of the many reasons why you should make the decision to remodel your bathroom is because what a bathroom remodeling project can do for you. If you are even thinking about having your bathroom remodeled, there is a good chance that you are unhappy with the current state of your bathroom. Since the bathroom is often considered one of the most used rooms in a home, you will likely be spending a fairly large amount of time in there. When you are in your bathroom, it is important that you feel pride, not disgust. That is why if you are unhappy with the way that your bathroom looks or the way that it makes you feel, you may want to think about starting a bathroom remodeling project soon.

In addition to how a bathroom-remodeling project will make you feel, it is also important to examine what it can do for your home. Aside from increasing the value of your home, a bathroom-remodeling project will likely increase the appearance of your home. This appearance will not only be noticed by you, but your guests may also notice it. An attractive home or at least an attractive bathroom may help to make your home feel more welcoming and inviting. In fact, once you have your bathroom remodeled, there is a good chance that you may be more willing to invite your friends or relatives into your home, whether it is for a party or just a small social call.

As you can see, there are a number of different reasons why you should want to remodel your bathroom, or at least think about doing so. What is even more amazing is that the above mentioned reasons are just a few of the reasons why a bathroom remodeling project may be just what you need. In fact, there are not only a large number of reasons why you should remodel your bathroom, but there are also a large number of benefits too. That is why it is, at least, advised that you sit down and think about remodeling your bathroom. After a close examination, there is a good chance that you would like to get started right away.

 

Selling Tips To Increase Value of Your Property

Selling Tips for Selling Your Home

These are tips that won’t cost a lot but, can make a big difference on the appearance of your home. It is amazing how just a little attention to the details will add that special appeal that the buyer is looking for!
When selling your home, one thing you can do is to have your home inspected by a professional home inspector.
This way it allows you to see your home through the eyes of a critical third party. It permits you to make repairs ahead of time so those defects won’t become negotiating stumbling blocks later.
You have the time to get reasonably priced contractors or make the repairs yourself, if you are qualified. It may alert you of items of immediate personal concern, such as carpenter ants or active termite infestation.

Always make sure that when you are selling your house is make cleaning up the outside a priority.

Curb appeal is the first impression of your house. Keeping the grass cut and the area tidy will help make a great first impression. Paint or wash the exterior of the house including window casings, shutters, and doors. Wash the windows inside and out. Check the gutters and chimney.

Also make sure to touch up the interior of your house before selling, Put a fresh coat of paint in the most used areas of the home. This will clean as well as brighten up the rooms. Wash all floors and bathroom tiles.

Get rid of clutter. Clean out your closets, garage, basement, and attic. Use self-storage if necessary. Replacing air filters will help keep the dust down.

Remember that you do not need to spend money to improve to sell unless the house is in such poor condition that it cannot be sold without improvements. Your investment in extra improvements or upgrading to the property should add to the final selling price and/or make it sell quicker than if it did not have these extra improvements or upgrades.

For example: the house needs a new roof to keep out the rain, or a modern bath with a shower. It is usually a waste of money to install a new roof if the existing roof has more than 50% of its useful life remaining. The exception is if the style of the roof covering does not suit the style of the house, such as having an existing red inter-locking asphalt shingle roof in an area where all the roofs have been upgraded to modern hi-profile fiberglass shingle roofs.

Improvements might make sense if you can do the work yourself. If you can add or upgrade kitchen cabinets for $500 rather than $1,000, you can still expect the $990 increase in the value of the home.

On the other hand, shoddy work on those kitchen cabinets can reduce the value of your home.

Many home owners have the same question regarding selling their home –  How do I prepare my house to sell?

First and foremost, put it in the best condition possible, especially if you are in a market with few buyers and lots of homes for sale.

That means taking care of any major repairs that could deter a buyer, such as replacing any broken windows or replacing a leaky roof.

Next, work on your home’s curb appeal. Make sure your landscape is pristine. Mow the grass, clean up any debris and weed the garden beds. Plant a few annual flowers near the entrance or in pots to be placed by the door.

Eliminate the source of any bad smells, such as the kitty litter box. Use air freshener or bake a batch of cookies before your open house to ensure that the house smells inviting.

Invest in a couple of vases of fresh flowers to place around the house and next to any information about the house you have prepared for buyers.

Also make sure that when you are selling you home that you offer an adjustable sales plan. Come up with a sales strategy but make sure that it is flexible and can come into terms with almost all kinds of buyers.

Try to determine what will your initial asking price will be and how long will you be insisting on it before making an adjustment.

If you are unsure of what the real estate market is for your house, it might be a wise investment to have a professional appraisal done. It could prevent you from over-pricing or under-pricing your home in today’s market. A well-priced house sells quicker and for more money than an over-priced house. An under-priced house means that you might be losing $10,000’s of dollars that could have been yours, had you priced your house correctly.

You should also plan, before selling your home, what is the lowest price you are able to accept.

Just follow these rules and surely you will be able to succeed in selling your house.

Can Feng Shui Add Value, Prosperity and Abundance?

Can Feng Shui Add Value, Prosperity, and Abundance to Your Property?

Choosing Feng Shui symbols need not be hard. You don’t really need to stuff yourself with crystals, essential oils or other things that may not necessarily be in harmony with each other. The key to having good Feng Shui is balance, and you need to be able to have the qualities of balance to invite the good things and experience the pleasurable effects of Feng Shui in your life. There are many kinds of Feng Shui symbols, and you may have to orient yourself properly about these Feng Shui symbols before hanging any in your home.

In choosing the right Feng Shui symbol, you must have some emotional relationship to the object you are using as a Feng Shui symbol. Some of the Feng Shui symbols are meant to provide cures for bad luck. The others are meant to supplement what is already inherently there in your home or office. The mood that you want to convey must be established right from the very beginning before you shop around for Feng Shui symbols so that you will find the appropriate symbol that will fit your needs.

Crystals

There are quite a lot of crystals available for Feng Shui, and familiarizing yourself with each one of them and their functions will help you acquire what you need to be able to invite prosperity and abundance in your life. When you are using crystals, make sure that you take good care of it and wash it regularly to avoid dust or clutter from overpowering it.

Essential Oils

Some of the more relaxing oil varieties include the lavender oil, which is very good for helping you attain peace of mind in your environment. Essential oils are very conducive to providing a positive environment for your home or office. Just make sure that you use the right amount of oils so that you will not overpower your environment with too much oil. Also, for purposes of variety, have some stock of various oils so that you will be able to experience different modes of environment even by just changing the scent.

Fountains

Fountains provide serenity and the element of water in the environment. If you have a fountain that is quite unobtrusive and physically appealing, place it in such a way that it will complement metal and not overpower your fire elements. Fountains complement metal elements so make sure that you are able to position it with the metal elements in your home or office.

Bagua and other Feng Shui Tools

The right orientation for the Feng Shui bagua is also important if you are to use it in your home. The Feng Shui tools that you might need must also complement each other so that you will not find yourself in the middle of a clashed set of Feng Shui symbols. Chinese coins tied with a string are also another form of good luck charm.

Animals

Animals are also considered part of the Feng Shui symbols. Some of the attributes of the animal being used are actually assimilated by the environment according to Feng Shui experts.

The Color Factor

Color is also an important aspect of Feng Shui. The visual appeal must not only be derived on what goes with where, but it must also be grounded on the right colors you need. It all depends on the mood that you want to convey.

Bathroom Remodeling Ideas to Add Value to Your Property

Bathroom Remodeling Ideas to Add Value to Your Property

When we often think of home improvement projects, such as a bathroom-remodeling project, we tend to think of what that project can do for us, personally. While you can easily benefit, a number of different ways, from having your bathroom remodeled. Did you also know that your home could benefit as well? The truth is that your home, itself, can benefit from a bathroom-remodeling project, often in more ways than one.

Before you can begin to understand the benefits that your home may reap from a bathroom-remodeling project, it is a good idea to focus on what a bathroom-remodeling project is. Depending on whom you talk to, you may get different definitions of a home improvement project. Although there are some who say that a bathroom remodeling project can only be considered remodeling if all of it is changed, there are others who claim that simply replacing your bathtub is enough to constitute a bathroom remodeling project. Whatever your bathroom remodeling plans are, whether they only involve replacing your bathtub or changing around your whole bathroom, your home can still benefit from the changes made.

Perhaps, the greatest bathroom remodeling benefit that your home will see will be an increase in value. The majority of homes that undergo a bathroom-remodeling project end up seeing an increase in value. This is because almost all bathroom-remodeling projects result in something better. Even though a small bathroom-remodeling project may result in an increase in value, the larger projects are often ones that produce the biggest differences in value. Despite the fact that most homes do see an increase in value, after a bathroom remodeling project has been completed, it is important to note that not all homes to. If your bathroom-remodeling project was poorly done or never got completed, you may actually find that your home’s overall value decreases. That is why it is important that all projects not only get finished, but that they get finished right.

Aside from an increase in value, a bathroom-remodeling project may help to improve the appearance of your home. As previously mentioned, most bathroom remodeling projects are done to improve a bathroom, in other words, make it better than it was before. Whether your home just didn’t look attractive or if your bathroom needed repairs to make it safe again, your bathroom could greatly benefit from a new facelift. In fact, you may find that your bathroom not only looks better, but so does the rest of your home.

Although it is nice to know what a bathroom-remodeling project can do for your home, you may also be wondering what it can do for you. As stated above, homeowners often end up benefiting, in a number of different ways, from a bathroom-remodeling project. Many of these benefits are, in a way, related the appearance of your home or bathroom. Since bathroom-remodeling projects almost always result in something better, you, as a homeowner, may feel proud of your new bathroom. In fact, you may feel as if you got a whole new bathroom. Since there is a good chance that you will be pleased with the changes, you may find yourself more willing to invite your friends or family to come into your home; thus resulting in a whole other set of benefits.

As you can easily see, there are an unlimited number of benefits to having your bathroom remodeled; benefits that may not only apply to you, but to your home as well. If would like to reap many of the above-mentioned benefits, you are advised to get started today. The sooner you start your bathroom-remodeling project, the sooner you can be pleased with the end result.