Home Renovations You've Been Dreaming About—Cost & ROI

On today's show Dave and Robert talk about those home renovation projects you've been dreaming about—what'll they'll cost you, plus what you'll get in return for them when you go to sell (return on investment—or ROI). See the short list below and listen to the show for all the details!

Modern Kitchen with Teal Base Cabinets
Elegant bathroom with long white vanity cabinet
  1. Adding a deck or patio
    • Cost: $6,000-$10,000
    • ROI: More than 100%!
  2. Updating your garage door
    • Cost: $1,000
    • ROI: 85% when you hire it out and 235% ROI if you do it yourself
  3. New vinyl windows
    • Cost: Average $550/window if you hire the project out
    • ROI: About 80% ROI, plus savings on energy costs
  4. Hardwood flooring
    • Cost: About $5,000-$7,000 depending on the size of your home
    • ROI: 91% and a lifetime of beautiful floors
  5. Full kitchen renovation
    • Cost: Average of about $65,000
    • ROI: You'll get about $45,000 back
  6. Bathroom remodel
    • Cost: $35,000+
    • ROI: 50% and a bit more if you DIY the project
  7. Landscaping upgrade
    • Cost: Varies depending on your landscaping plan
    • ROI: 100% or more
  8. Basement conversion
    • Cost: $40,000-$50,000
    • ROI: 60% or more

How to Find the Best Real Estate Agent for You

Finding the right real estate agent for you is one of the most vital parts of the home buying or selling process. A great real estate agent will make the experience smooth, enjoyable and help you meet your real estate goals. Despite being one of the most important parts of the process, a lot of people don't put a lot of time or thought into choosing an agent. On today's show, Robert and Dave talk about how you can find the right agent for you and make sure you have an enjoyable experience! Read the short list below and listen to the show for more details.

Female Real Estate agent offer home ownership and life insurance to young couple.
  1. Ask your friends and family for any suggestions.
  2. Check online to verify that the agent has great reviews and at least 25 sales in the last year. Experience matters when it comes to problem solving during each unique home buying or selling experience.
  3. Interview the agent in person to get a feel for their personality, work style and communication techniques. You won't be a personality match with every agent. Find one that you like and trust your gut!
  4. Make sure the agent is responsive and quick to answer your questions. This will make a huge difference in how you experience the home buying or selling process.

Common Emotional Mistakes Home Buyers Make

Buying a home is an emotional process, but don't let emotions get in the way of making good decisions during the home buying process. Today on the show, Dave and Robert talk about the most common emotional mistakes home buyers make and how you can avoid them yourself! See the short list below and listen to the show for more details.

couple looking on house
  1. Falling in love with a house you can't afford!
  2. Not looking into all your different mortgage options that will have long-term effects.
  3. Assuming that there's not a better home out there for you. If there are snags with one home, chances are you can find a similar home with a better situation!
  4. Becoming desperate during the home buying process.
  5. Overlooking important flaws in a home you think you love. Some things are very difficult or almost impossible to change!
  6. Overestimating your handyman skills.
  7. Rushing to put in your offer before you are ready.

Grandma's Secret Tips for Household Savings - PART TWO

Dave and Robert continue last week's show with more of Grandma's Secret Tips for Household Savings. Read the short list below and listen to the show for more details! See the tips from last week's show HERE.

Money coins stack growing graph and piggy bank nature background, business concept.
  1. Research the problem before you hire someone to fix it. You might find out that it's super easy to fix on your own (and much more affordable!).
  2. Stock up the refrigerator. A full refrigerator is more efficient and will save you on energy costs.
  3. Get free stuff from your utility company! Give them a call and see if they have any energy rebates available or if they are giving away free LED bulbs, etc.
  4. Watch your Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). Once your loan hits that 20% paid to owe ratio, you don't have to pay PMI anymore. Call your lender and make sure the insurance is taken off!
  5. Resist the urge to file petty insurance claims. Think about how much you are willing to pay out of pocket before you file a claim. Filing a claim could make your insurance rate rise.
  6. Shop around when hiring someone to do repairs. Make sure to get multiple quotes and choose the best price!
  7. Make sure to set-up yearly meetings with your insurance agent. Over time your insurance coverage needs will change. You don't want to be paying for coverage you don't need.

Grandma's Secret Tips for Household Savings - PART ONE

Dave and Robert start today's show with a Grand Valley Real Estate Market recap for April 2018. Then they discuss a few of Grandma's secret tips for household savings, and James Pulsipher visits the show with ways to save on your mortgage. Check out the short list of tips below and listen to the show for all the details!

Money coins stack growing graph and piggy bank nature background, business concept.
  1. Rent out your extra rooms to earn a little extra cash! This is even easier than back in Grandma's day with VRBO and Airbnb.
  2. Make an extra mortgage payment each year if you can. You'll pay off your mortgage about 6 1/2 years sooner plus save on interest.
  3. Revisit your insurance. Make sure you're not paying for double coverage or coverage you don't need anymore.

Things to Know When Researching Your Home Value Online

Chances are you've researched your home value online, but there are some things you should beforehand to make sure you're coming up with an accurate number. It is essential to use a combination of a listing agent's expertise and guidance, plus online websites to help you find your home's value. Local market information is available online, but only a listing agent can help you value the small nuances of your home. 

Listen to today's show to learn everything you need to know about researching your home value online!


10 Things to Avoid if You Want to Make the Most Money for Your Home

When you go to sell your home, you want to make sure you get as much money back as possible on your big ticket investment! Today Dave and Robert talk about some key things to avoid if you want to maximize your home sale price. Who doesn't want to get the most money for their home?! See the short list below and listen to the show for more details!

Sprout growing on money pile of glass jar bank
  1. Follow your agent's advice! A good listing agent will assist you with pricing, marketing, negotiating and guiding you through the contract and closing process. If you don't trust an agent, don't hire them!
  2. Don't neglect important home repairs before you go to list your home. Stay up-to-date with your home maintenance and you won't have a long to-do list when you sell your home.
  3. Don't settle for less than professional photography and a virtual tour. Photos are your home's first impression online and you want to make sure that impression is a good one!
  4. When in doubt, start with a lower asking price. Multiple offers could push your final price up! Starting your price out too high could mean your home sits on the market.
  5. Don't be restrictive on showing times. Be open to the greatest number of potential buyers that you can!
  6. Keep your home tidy for showings.
  7. Fresh carpet and paint make a huge difference! Don't underestimate their power!
  8. Don't be present for showings. Leave your home when a showing is scheduled.
  9. Don't let pets spoil your showings either! Take them out for a walk during showings.
  10. Don't ever look at an offer with a closed mind. As a seller in this market you are negotiating from a place of power, use that to your advantage. 

8 Quick & Easy Spring Home Maintenance Tasks

We are so excited that spring is here! Before you invite the friends over for endless barbecue and Moscow Mules remember that in the game of home ownership a pound of prevention could save you thousands in repair costs. We have a list of quick and easy maintenance tasks that will save you money in the long run. Read the short list below and listen to the show for all the details! 

Beautiful colorful tulips in front of a house
  1. Walk around your house and assess its condition. Look for damaged downspouts, cracked paint, missing shingles on the roof, etc.
  2. Check out your deck and make sure there's nothing that needs special attention. Look for wobbly posts, settling, missing flashing ledger boards, etc.
  3. Test and replace batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
  4. Check that your sprinklers and watering systems are working properly.
  5. Give your flower beds a fresh start with new flowers and fresh mulch.
  6. Tune up your lawn mower with new oil and filters.
  7. Make sure to clear your home's gutters of debris.
  8. Take a quick look in your crawl space and make sure there's no water inside.