How to Choose the Right Insurance Company for your Home Owners Insurance

 

Buying a home is a huge financial decision. Some adequate measures should be taken when choosing the right insurance agency for your homeowners insurance. Properly detailed in this article are some tips to consider when shopping for the perfect home insurance agency.

At the inception of your insurance policy, you are offered the option of setting the homeowners insurance deductibles. The deductibles define how much you’d pay out of your pocket on a claim. Choosing a higher deductible lowers the monthly premium but also increases your personal spending before the insurance company pays out. On the other hand, choosing a lower deductible means paying less of your personal money after a claim, but higher monthly premiums. The rate of deductibles paid each has its pros and cons, the perfect side boils down to personal circumstances and financial security.

Make Sure You Have All the Proper Documents

Have all the proper documents of your new home in place. If you recently purchased a home then it’s necessary to get a claims report from the seller. The claims report contains a detailed history of flooding, fires and other incidents. It keeps you informed on the home defects that could increase home owner’s insurance rates or even make it difficult to get insurance. The insurance industry uses the comprehensive loss underwriting exchange which is a database that provides a history of damages to the home that results in a claim being filed. The database details the date, type and amount paid for the claim as well as other

Consider factors like inflation and the general costs. You’re going to want your house insured for its replacement value, not its market cost. The replacement value entails the expenses taken to rebuild or repair the entire home. Also consider the transportation and labor it would take to get and install the materials at the site.

Be Honest When Getting Insurance Quotes

When getting quotes for home insurance coverage it is important to be honest with answering questions. Providing incorrect information could lead to an incorrect quote or worst still cancellation of your policy.  For example, if you plan on upgrading your kitchen this would reflect positively on the value of your home and your insurance coverage needs to be upgraded for your protection. Likewise, if you plan on having a home office, you have to ensure you have the proper liability coverage just in case a client slips on the vinegar floor you forgot to towel dry.

Newer homes are always in better conditions than older homes and therefore cheaper to insure. Factors like plumbing, light fixtures, electrical systems and other components within the home are considered in insurance premiums, gathering information about them can curb potential issues.

Ask Google to Help

Using the internet is a very effective way of researching for the right insurance company for your home. Simply type in “homeowner’s insurance quotes” on google or any given search engine and you will be provided with a number of pertinent information and options.

Save money by taking advantage of discounts, most companies offer home owners insurance discounts for complying to instructions that mitigate risks, it’s awesome to take advantage of them. From home detectors to shutter installations to burglar alarms and water safety systems, you will be able to save some extra cash on your home insurance premiums. Most home insurance companies offer special discounts for being a new home buyer.

Increase Your Chances of Getting a Better Rate

Credit score plays a vital role in getting an incredible insurance rate. The higher your credit score the lower your perceived risk may be. This could increase your chance of getting a better rate.

The location of your home also determines how much you pay for insurance, this should be taken into consideration when purchasing a home.  Premiums could be on the high side if a home is located on a geographical location that is vulnerable to natural disasters like tornadoes or wildfires. On the flip side if the house is in a hamlet with emergency fire services, and free from catastrophic events then rates could be lower.

Communication With Your Insurer is Paramount

Make market research and analysis for coverage, to find a policy, consider getting quotes from different home insurance companies and access their coverages, limits and deductibles.  The perfect deal should strike a balance between protection and price. Communication with your insurer is also necessary, a company well known for flamboyant customer services is necessary to avoid stressful negotiations. Your policy is important, if you’re in doubt of anything speak with your insurer as it is their obligation to simplify all the terms for you.

Ensure to rigorously read the home owners insurance policy manual. Most homeowners do not have knowledge of the coverage and this is a very reoccurring issue. The cause of the error is quite understanding because a standard home owner’s insurance policy manual is quite an intricate piece of literature. It outlines the nuances of what is and isn’t covered –it doesn’t make for a particularly fascinating read.

Builders Showcase Fox Cities

Black Raven Media LLC Announces the Launch of Builders Showcase Television Fox Cities

Contact Information:
Builders Showcase Television Fox Cities
Debra Lopez
Email: dlopez@builders-showcase.com
Phone: 262-989-0604

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Builders Showcase Fox CitiesAppleton-Green Bay, WIBlack Raven Media LLC is excited to announce the launch of Builders Showcase Fox Cities, a local home building, and remodeling television show that will feature the best that Fox Cities has to offer.

Builders Showcase Television will air three times every week on NBC-26 and will also stream weekly on Facebook Live and YouTube. The television show and the show’s website aim to create a one stop resource resulting in a much more efficient way for consumers to shop versus those consumers having to explore numerous sites for the information they are in search of.

Black Raven Media is confident that Builders Showcase Television Fox Cities will duplicate the show’s proven formula for success the Milwaukee and Madison television shows have created for the home building and improvement industry.

“There’s nothing like Builders Showcase Television in the market place where Fox Valley home builders and remodeling companies can share their story with their local audience every week.  And although we acknowledge how the digital age has transformed the marketing landscape, our show demos still watch television,” noted Black Raven Media LLC President, Debra Lopez. “We also offer a comprehensive digital marketing division that focuses solely on the home improvement industry offering our advertisers the best of both worlds,” she added.

Builders Showcase Fox Cities airs on WGBA NBC-26 on Sunday mornings at 9 AM, 7:30 AM on WACY and Saturdays at 4:30 AM on WGBA NBC -26. The show will also stream weekly on Facebook Live, YouTube Live Streaming and 24/7 at Builders-Showcase.com.

About Black Raven Media, LLC

Black Raven Media is a full-service advertising and marketing firm focusing on the home building, remodeling and home improvement Industry. The agency includes digital marketing, video production, television production and Public Relations services.

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5 Steps to Buying a Newly Constructed Home

Milwaukee Home BuildersIf you’re in the market to purchase a new home, you have an important choice to make – do you buy a previously owned home or one that is newly constructed? Both have definite advantages. With either choice, financing could be a big part of the picture. Additionally, the budget is decidedly different depending on which home you purchase but is an essential component of the equation. Let’s take a look at the steps a buyer might consider if a newly constructed home seems like the best option.

Find Out What Is Considered Extra and What Is Standard

What we are referring to here are upgrades and amenities. Upgrades will enhance your home but also something that you’re going to pay extra for (i.e. granite countertops, high-end appliances, etc.). Amenities, on the other hand, are things that come with the home. Amenities in certain communities, for example, could include a gated entrance, fitness center, clubhouse, community pool, etc.

When It Comes to Real Estate Agents, Builders, and Neighborhoods, Do Your Research

Here are a few things to consider when researching your potential new neighborhood:

  • What are the plans for the area (your agent or the city planner’s office may know)?
  • What are the zoning laws and will they be changing in the future?
  • If the development is still in the midst of construction, can you live with jackhammers and trucks starting at 7 AM?
  • Are Internet and cable readily available, what company offers service to you, and is the home already wired?
  • Do HOA rules and fees apply (is there a homeowners’ association)?
  • Talk to the neighbors and get a good feel for the community. Drive or walk around.

The Good, the Bad, and the Options

When you buy a newly constructed home, there are three ways in which to do so. You may choose to have a home designed and built precisely to your exact specifications. You can choose a home that has already been constructed on spec. Or you could go with a house that is somewhere in between – a semi-custom built home where you choose upgrades, finishes, etc.

Regardless, there are ups and downs to buying a brand-new house. Consider the following situations which can typically apply where homes/neighborhoods are being freshly built:

  • Can you deal with the marginal lack of privacy presented by homes being built so close to each other?
  • If a cookie-cutter type look exists, will it drive you crazy?
  • Can you wait a couple of decades for freshly planted foliage and trees to mature? And do you have the time, money, and patience to deal with planting or sodding a new lawn?
  • If the home is far from the city, will the commute be too much?

Demand a Home Warranty and Inspection

Home warranties vary, but typically they can run for up to 10 years. And though new homes come with a builder warranty that is implied, demand a builder’s warranty that will cover a specific period (i.e. one year following the move-in). This will cover any craftsmanship defects and should have an insurance company’s backing.

Never assume that just because the house is new, nothing will go wrong. For that very reason, place a contingency in your sales contract that specifies the successful completion of a professionally executed home inspection (and you get to choose the inspector).

It’s Time to Wrap up the Deal

You need to decide whether you’re going to find your own financing or, as is frequently the case, use the builders’ ties with outside lenders or their in-house mortgage lender. Because most mortgages can last 30 years on average, find out everything you possibly can about the entire process of mortgaging.

Don’t let any papers put before you go unexamined. In fact, getting an attorney (even if you are relatively comfortable with the legal process) is a good idea. If you don’t understand the meaning of every word in any legal form, do not sign it. And don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Making a Great Home Buying Experience!

Are you considering уоur first home рurсhаѕе? If ѕо, the fоllоwіng 7 ѕtерѕ wіll help mаkе sure thе process goes wеll fоr уоu.

 

1: Analyze thе Financial Side оf Rent vѕ. Buу 

When уоu’rе considering a mоvе from renting tо owning a home, you muѕt fіrѕt соnѕіdеr thе fіnаnсіаl ramifications of соntіnuіng tо rеnt vеrѕuѕ taking оn a mоrtgаgе. Things tо tаkе іntо соnѕіdеrаtіоn іnсludе thе соѕtѕ оf оbtаіnіng уоur mortgage (сlоѕіng соѕtѕ, dоwn payment, еtс), аѕ wеll as the соѕt оf regular home maintenance, hаzаrd insurance, and рrореrtу tаxеѕ. Fаіlіng tо crunch thеѕе numbers саn really hаunt уоu dоwn thе lіnе.

2: Gеt Prеаррrоvеd bу a Mortgage Lеndеr 

This is kеу. You must get mоrtgаgе рrеаррrоvаl before beginning your hоmе purchase ѕеаrсh. No Rеаltоr оr seller wіll take уоu ѕеrіоuѕlу unlеѕѕ you саn furnіѕh a lеttеr from уоur hоmе lоаn lender ѕауіng thаt you have bееn pre approved fоr ѕеt lоаn amount.

3: Decide Exасtlу Whаt Size аnd Tуре Hоmе Yоu Wаnt

After gaining a gооd іdеа of whеrе buуіng vѕ. Renting wіll рut you – ѕреnd tіmе dесіdіng exactly whаt ѕоrt оf hоmе you want. Knоwіng thіѕ information wіll hеlр уоur Rеаl Eѕtаtе Agеnt do a better job for уоu. Things to соnѕіdеr іnсludе hоmе ѕіzе, numbеr оf bеdrооmѕ аnd bаthrооmѕ, аgе, neighborhood, аnd extras.

4: Tаkе Tіmе to Fіnd thе Right Real Eѕtаtе Agent or Home Builder

Sеlесtіng a good hоmе buуеr rеаl estate аgеnt іѕ nо easy task. Sоmе rеаl estate аgеntѕ аrе more fаmіlіаr than оthеrѕ wіth thе ԛuеѕtіоnѕ аnd concerns of ѕоmеоnе nеw tо buуіng hоmеѕ. Yоu’ll need thіѕ еxреrtіѕе tо bе ѕurе thіngѕ go well. Frіеndѕ аnd fаmіlу are grеаt rеfеrrаl ѕоurсеѕ.

5: Vіѕіt Prореrtіеѕ

Rеvіеwіng рrореrtіеѕ іѕ thе next and most еxсіtіng ѕtер. If уоur budget is limited, you mіght nееd tо mоdіfу ѕоmе оf your еxресtаtіоnѕ. Don’t wоrrу. It’ѕ nоrmаl to hаvе tо аmеnd ѕоmе оf уоur “muѕt haves,” as you саn аdd ѕоmе оf these lаtеr оnсе уоu’rе іn the home. Hоwеvеr, knоw whаt уоu can and саnnоt live wіthоut. Some things juѕt саn’t bе аddеd later.

Onсе уоu have seen a fеw hоmеѕ thаt you like, mаkе a lіѕt оf the bеѕt options аnd go bасk to ѕее thе hоmеѕ оn your short lіѕt. Whеn уоu dо thіѕ, bе ѕurе tо take аnоthеr lооk аt thеіr lосаtіоnѕ, pricing options, еxtrаѕ, аnd hоw much work, іf any, wіll bе rеԛuіrеd in оrdеr tо fix them uр.

6: Drаft Your Offеr and Gеt Ready tо Nеgоtіаtе

Gеt with уоur Rеаltоr аnd dесіdе what will mаkе a fаіr оffеr. Always lеаvе rооm fоr nеgоtіаtіоn, and you should bе able tо arrive аt a рlасе where bоth уоu and thе ѕеllеr аrе hарру. Remember, thаt good negotiations lеаvе both раrtіеѕ fееlіng аѕ іf thеу’vе gained ѕоmеthіng.

7: Review thе Final Offer, Sіgn, аnd Close 

Thе transaction сlоѕіng іѕ nоrmаllу a fаіrlу hаѕѕlе frее еffоrt, but іt саn be mаdе difficult if your ѕаlеѕ contract оr mоrtgаgе fіnаnсіng present аnу dіffісultіеѕ. Always review уоur соntrасtuаl аnd mortgage paperwork bеfоrе уоu ѕіgn аnуthіng, аnd request thаt items bе mаdе сlеаr іf аnd whеn needed. Lеаn heavily on уоur real еѕtаtе аgеnt аnd mortgage brоkеr. All оf thіѕ mау seem lіkе a lоt, but уоu’ll be hарру уоu followed thrоugh wіth еvеrуthіng іn dеtаіl.

Alternatives

As a financing alternative, a few home builders offer Turnkey Construction. When purchasing a new home with Joseph Douglas homes, they can offer you turn-key pricing. Turnkey pricing offers you the convenience of moving into an existing home with all the advantages of a new construction home. There are NO pre-construction loans or monthly payments. Yet, you get to make as many of the selections as you’d like.

In addition, Joseph Douglas Homes offers “Ready-to-Go Homes™.  Their “Ready-to-go-homes consists of their most popular plans under construction in many of Southeastern Wisconsin’s most attractive neighborhoods and ready for you to move in.

Joseph Douglas keeps an impressive inventory of fully decorated models to view. Visit any one of their several models during model hours or call the sales office for a private tour.

Do Not DIY: 4 Projects Home Owners Shouldn’t Attempt Themselves

DIY home improvement projectsEveryone loves saving money. Why pay someone to do work on your house when you can buy the supplies and do it yourself? Especially when HGTV makes it look so easy! Well, there are plenty of projects you can do on your own at home, but we have compiled four projects that you should never try on your own.

1. Tiling

Installing tile isn’t the most complicated process, that’s for sure. There are plenty of DIY-ers that can install tile floors or backsplashes. However, most contractors would agree that you should leave it to professionals. A professional flooring company will always install the best looking tiling. Homeowners can’t match experts with the planning and precision that is necessary for installing tile. Cutting tile, laying it out, and spacing it just right are only a few of the reasons that homeowners should hire a contractor. There’s nothing worse than seeing a mistake in your tile work, and then always second-guessing your DIY decision.

2. Floor refinishing

Watch enough YouTube videos and you may think that refinishing floors would be a breeze. All you have to do is rent the machinery, spend an afternoon working on it, and it’s all done, right? Wrong. Spend too much time with the sander on a specific spot, even for just a second too long, and you will have a mark that will require fixing. Suddenly, that easy floor refinishing is going to cost more than you originally thought. Flooring professionals have worked day in and day out with these machines, and know exactly how to operate them with ease. Don’t even worry about doing this yourself, and hire a professional who has done this a million times before.

3. Electrical work

If you mess up tiling or floor refinishing, you’re left with marks or visible mistakes that you can hire someone to come and fix. If you mess up with electrical work, you could end up seriously injured or, perhaps, dead. Obviously there are projects you can do yourself. There are plenty of YouTube tutorials about electrical projects. However, most experts would agree that you shouldn’t take chances and leave it to professionals. If you are unsure about what you’re doing, the best case is that your electrical work won’t function properly. Worst case, and you end up injured. It’s just not worth it.

4. Roofing

Installing a new roof, or even fixing your existing one, can be one of the highest ticket projects in your whole home. With a price tag as high as that, it’s always tempting to see if you can DIY your roof. Professionals would highly advise that you steer clear of roofing projects. First, they’re normally large projects that can be overwhelming to homeowners. Second, and perhaps most importantly, these are dangerous projects. Working at excessive heights can lead to injury, and like electrical work, it’s just not worth it.

There are so many videos online about how to successfully complete DIY projects in your home. The confidence you get from saving money and doing these projects on your own could lead to taking on too much. If you’re unsure about a project, or worried about injury, always speak to a professional.

Spring Home Maintenance Checklist

The winter weather can be tough on your home, even when it’s a mild winter, like we had this year. That means, as the weather warms, you should take a look at your home to see if there are any issues that came about during those harsh winter months. Here is a quick checklist that every home owner should look over for Spring.

1. Check your roof

Perhaps the most important maintenance tip for Spring is to check your roof for any damage from the winter weather. Even in more mild winters, cold weather and snow can damage your shingles and create leaks. While they don’t seem like a major issue now, but roof damage could lead to incredibly expensive maintenance issues down the line.

2. Look at the foundation

Inspecting your foundation isn’t the most glamorous jobs, but it needs to be done. Cracks in your foundation can lead to massive bills, and winter weather is known to cause many issues with foundations. Also, be on the lookout for pooling water spots around your home. Any low spots could collect water, which can cause damage as well as become a place for insects to thrive.

3. Clean your windows

Windows get beat up during the winter months. When the sun starts to come out and warm up, it’s a great idea to just have those windows sparkly clean! The sunshine can come through as well as making your home look nice to passersby.

4. Check window seals

As mentioned in the previous section, windows are definitely casualties of the winter storms. Not just aesthetically, but also in a more serious way. As Spring approaches, it’s important to check the seals and caulking in your windows. Little gaps in your window seals can lead to higher energy bills as air passes through. Plus, it’s a fairly easy fix, so it’s well worth your time!

5. Inspect walkways and your driveway

Similar to the issues surrounding your foundation, walkways and driveways get beaten up during winter. The same way roads are destroyed by snow and the products used to make them drivable, your driveways and walkways suffer the same fate. Salt treatments and large amounts of snow can lead to cracks, which are not only eye sores, they also can lead to larger maintenance down the line.

The Rising Trend Of “Design-Build” Remodeling

Design-Build RemodelingIn most home remodeling projects, the client works with a designer who comes up with the plans. Those plans are then sent over to the builder (or multiple contractors) who will then perform the work. Unfortunately, due to the disconnect with the two steps, there are openings for the end product to not be exactly what you envisioned. Wouldn’t a remodeling project be simple if you talked to a designer and explained your wants and needs, then they went off and made it happen? That’s the philosophy behind “design-build” remodeling.

What is “design-build” remodeling?

In “design-build” remodeling, the person who works with you to design the project is the same person who then implements the designs and does the work. It’s one stop shopping for a client. It’s a complete “turn-key” approach to home remodeling. If done correctly, the client can be 100% satisfied with the work, and not worry about the hassle of dealing with multiple contractors.

Benefits of “design-build” remodeling

As a homeowner, your job shouldn’t be to play mediator. Unfortunately, with some remodeling projects, you have to be the middle person between your designer and builder. With “design-build,” you don’t have to be concerned with that.

Another major benefit is the idea that a designer might not be fully equipped to look at an existing structure and decide what would make it better. There might be underlying issues that a builder is better suited to see. However, the opposite is also true, the builder isn’t equipped to help make design choices for the homeowner like a designer would be able to. Having both designer and builder in one would eliminate that problem.

Finally, if there is any issue during the remodel, you won’t have the finger pointing between the multiple parties involved. The remodeler is the same company as the designer, so they worked together to come up with the plans. There’s no one to point the finger at.

When beginning a large home renovation, it’s important to understand all your options. A “design-build” remodeler might be the best opportunity for you to achieve the remodel of your dreams.

5 New Year’s Resolutions For Home Owners

new years resolutions for your homIt’s a new year, and you know what that means – Resolutions! No, these aren’t the resolutions that everyone breaks, like going to the gym or eating better. We are talking about resolutions for your home. These resolutions aren’t just going to make your life in your home a little easier, they can also save you quite a bit of money!

1. Take off your shoes!

This may be a no-brainer for some, but there are tons of people who still wear their shoes as they enter their home. In Wisconsin, it’s a lot more difficult to do this, especially with our winter gear, but it’s important to be mindful of this throughout the year. Dirt can ruin carpeting and rugs. Allergens and other nasty things will enter your home on the bottoms of your shoes, so take them off when you enter. We all want our carpet and floors to last as long as possible, so take off your shoes!

2. Clean your windows!

How often do you clean the inside AND the outside of your windows? For most, this isn’t a common occurrence. However, just cleaning your windows thoroughly once or twice a quarter can make a huge difference. Not only will they look nicer and add a feeling of space to your home, they also save you money! Yes, clean windows let that precious sun in, which can help decrease heating bills.

3. Start a maintenance fund!

Experts agree that a maintenance fund is an important thing to have for all homeowners. There’s nothing worse than unexpected maintenance issues. Busted HVAC, faulty appliances, and a variety of other issues can cost an arm and a leg to fix! So, you should put aside money regularly to a fund, so when these headaches occur, you have the money available. It’s recommended that you stash $1 per square foot of your home each year.

4. Change your HVAC filters regularly!

Another no-brainer that seems to be forgotten quite a bit is replacing your HVAC filters. While it’s recommended that you replace them at least every 3 months, it’s important to check on them regularly. Depending on usage, you may need to replace them sooner. Replacing these will allow easier air flow which can help lower those heating and cooling costs, while also extending the life of your furnace and A/C unit.

5. Conduct mini-inspections!

Unfortunately, homes don’t last forever. Roofs need to be replaced. Exterior cracks form. Chimneys need cleaned. There are potential issues that can hit you at any time. However, if you regularly walk around and inspect these things, you can notice when things begin and take actions to prevent a catastrophe. Walk around as if you are on an inspection. Look at the roof, chimney, exterior, heating units, etc., and you will begin to notice when things take a turn for the worst. This can save you money and headaches down the line.

Following these five resolutions in 2017 will not only save you money, but they will also alleviate stress throughout the year. Perhaps then you can follow through on those other pesky resolutions that seem to fall through the cracks!

Google’s Mobile-First Indexing: How Will It Affect Your Business?

Google Mobile SearchWhat device do you use to do your Google searches?

The answer to that question has changed greatly over the last 5 years. There was a point in time when consumers would sit at their computer and do research about businesses. With smartphones and tablets becoming so prevalent, most searches are coming from your mobile device of choice. Whether you’re walking around or sitting on the couch at home, when you need to do a web search, you grab your phone or tablet.

Google is well aware of the public’s change in searching habits. To reflect this change in search behavior, Google is going to roll out a new way to index websites. Google will soon go to “mobile-first” indexing. That means they’re going to look at mobile sites instead of desktop sites when ranking their search results. This is huge news for businesses that hope to rank high on Google.

Why is Google going mobile-first?

A mobile version of your company’s website is critical. Digital Marketing experts have been preaching this for years. If your business just has a website optimized for desktop viewing, it’s almost impossible to navigate from a smartphone. With most people using their phones for web searches, this alienates the majority of potential customers. That’s why your business NEEDS a mobile-optimized website.

Now, it’s becoming even more important as Google has said they’re going to ONLY look at the mobile versions of websites when ranking them. Google understands that a majority of their web searches are coming from mobile devices and wants to ensure that their users are sent to websites that are mobile-optimized. While Google has said in the past that they tend to give companies with better mobile sites a better ranking, this is just the final word on the subject. If you don’t have a mobile-optimized site, you will be negatively affected.

How does “mobile-first” affect your business?

So, now that Google is beginning to implement this change to their indexing, what does that mean to your business? Unfortunately, for those companies that have waited to have a mobile-optimized website, your ranking will suffer. Your business needs a mobile site, and it needs one NOW. If your business has already implemented a mobile-optimized website, then you’re on the right track.

However, it’s important that you update both versions of the site to have the same content. If you’re concerned that your mobile website isn’t updating at the same time as your desktop site, then you might need to speak with a marketing expert who can provide a solution, such as responsive web design.

Is your business prepared for mobile-first indexing?

We understand that you care about your business. As a business owner or manager, it’s in your best interest to understand how your website ranks on the largest search engine. That’s why it’s recommended that no matter what, you take the time to do a proper website audit to ensure you’re ready for this change.

That means your business needs a responsive website design. This means that your website automatically adjusts it’s layout depending on the device viewing it. The information, graphics, and basic look will all be the same, but it’ll automatically optimize itself based on whether you view it on a smartphone, tablet, or desktop computer.

At Builders Showcase, we pride ourselves on being the best resource for builders in the Milwaukee area. Our Builders Showcase 360 program is a great tool for builders and contractors in the area looking to optimize their web presence, and we would love to provide a free consultation today! Contact us if you have any questions!

Which Home Improvements And Remodels Actually Make Money?

Construction workers painting wallsWhen homebuyers purchase a “fixer upper,” they’re expecting to systematically make home improvements that will see a huge return on their investment when they eventually sell their home. That’s the whole point of buying a “fixer upper” to begin with, right? Well, don’t get ahead of yourself. While TV shows might make it seem like every bit of work you do to your home will pay dividends down the line, that’s not always the case.

What Improvements To Avoid

It’s always a great idea in theory to add a bathroom to a home. When you go through older homes, especially, homeowners can always assume they’ll add a new bathroom and that will greatly increase their return. Wrong. The average cost to add a new bathroom to a house is $50,000. Unfortunately, that only leads to about a 52% return on your investment when you sell. Not good. So only add that bathroom if you need it and want it, not for an investment.

Similar to adding a bathroom, adding a huge master bedroom addition seems logical, but isn’t a good investment. Like a new bathroom, the return on a brand new master bedroom addition is just above 50%. The big difference is adding an addition can be twice the cost of a bathroom.

Not all the bad investments are huge costs. Take, for instance, renovating closet space. A relatively small project, which normally is around $3,000 to $4,000, should easily see a return. However, these projects only return around 57% upon sale. Not a huge loss, but a loss nonetheless.

Where Are Good Investments?

The improvements that are going to give you the most bang for your buck aren’t the ones you might immediately consider. These are not the most flashy and awe-inspiring changes, but these will recoup your costs, or perhaps even turn a profit.

Look at your siding, for example. Replacing siding is relatively inexpensive and is almost a guarantee to pay dividends when you sell. Along the same lines, replacing your roof and windows also will break even for you. These are things that people love to see and help extend the life of the home, especially in inclement climates such as winters in Wisconsin.

As tempting as it is to completely gut your kitchen and build your HGTV kitchen of your dreams, it’s not always a good investment. Look at the smaller renovations first. Countertops, appliances, and smaller renovations will definitely help. It’s a good rule of thumb to keep those under $15,000 total. Same goes for a nice bathroom. Adding the finishing touches and modern fixtures can go a long way and pay almost 200% back upon sale.

Also, think of curb appeal. This is the first impression your home makes, and is the easiest way to recoup money spent. Having a great first impression just enhances the rest of the home in the eyes of buyers.

Trust The Experts

Lastly, don’t assume you can do these projects yourself. DIY home projects are some of the easiest to spot. If done correctly, you can save a little money, but if done improperly, or just not up to par with a professional, these projects can backfire. How many times have you seen a home with a door that hits something when it opens or a tile floor that is bumpy or uneven? Trust the professionals. That’s the real way to get your money back when you sell.