Perfect Time for Home Remodeling and Renovation

kitchen remodel
Due to the slow recovery of the economy and housing market in Arizona, many people are unable to move from their homes or invest in other properties.

Despite its many drawbacks, this economic slump provides an amazing opportunity for homeowners to invest in their homes, enhance their standard of living, and prepare for the return of the housing market! Here’s a look at why now is the time for a kitchen, bathroom, or home renovation:

Affordable Financing

Low interest rates for home equity loans are making it easier than ever to begin a home renovation project. You can easily find a home equity line of credit for as low as 3% from banks and lenders who are eager to do business with you.

When the market starts to improve, you can expect the cost of financing your home, kitchen, or bath renovation to increase, making now the perfect time to start turning your house into the home of your dreams.

Low Cost of Materials

The cost of many raw materials used in the renovation process is lower because of limited construction and development. Working with a general contractor now could mean that these savings are passed on to you in the form of a more affordable remodel.

Opportunity to Prepare for the Future

The housing market in the Tucson area has historically been very competitive, so it’s only a matter of time before it bounces back. Investing in a home renovation project now will provide you with a huge return on investment once the market starts to pick up again.

Improved Standard of Living

Despite low home values, moving is impractical or impossible for many homeowners today. If you’re looking for a way to enhance the comfort of your living conditions without breaking the bank, home, kitchen, and bath renovations are the way to go.

The Vital Role of Kitchen Lighting

Does your kitchen feel dim and drab? Some well-placed kitchen lighting might be what you need to make it a more enjoyable, functional space in your home.

Renovate vs. Remodel: What’s the Difference and Which Is Right for You?

If you’re ready for a dramatic change in style and function, remodelling or renovating your home or apartment might be the way to go. Although the terms are used interchangeably, remodelling and renovating are actually two different processes.

Knowing the difference between the two will help you get what you want when working with your remodelling contractor. Here’s a look at the difference between remodelling and renovation:

The Differences Between Renovating and Remodelling

When people think of home remodelling or renovating, they often only focus on the end result—a beautiful kitchen or bathroom, new countertops and vanities, and so forth. However, everything that happens before the big reveal of a new room is what makes the difference between renovating and remodelling.

Depending on the amount of time you have, your budget, and your desire for change, you might be more interested in one option or the other.

Remodelling is typically a more in-depth process that involves removing or modifying architectural features of a room. Expanding your kitchen or bathroom, moving plumbing and fixtures, and altering a room’s layout are all examples of remodelling.

Renovating, on the other hand, only involves upgrading the contents or features of a room and doesn’t involve much structural change. Examples of renovating include installing new tile, upgrading fixtures, and updating cabinetry and appliances. 

In both cases you may need to rent a dumpster for renovation, depending how much construction debris you end of getting after all the work is done.

Determining What’s Right for You

As you can imagine, remodelling costs are usually higher than renovation costs because of the time and labor associated with structural changes to your home or apartment.

Remodelling also takes a lot longer, so you should plan on minimal kitchen or bathroom use for an extended period of time. However, remodelling offers homeowners greater control over the look and feel of their kitchen and other spaces, making the end result completely customized to their tastes and needs.

Updating the look of your home can not only improve your comfort levels but also increase the future resale value of your space.

Kitchen and bathroom renovations are the most profitable and popular of home renovation projects. To ensure you get the most out of your renovation project, make sure you appeal to future homebuyers by incorporating current design trends. Here are three popular kitchen and bath renovation trends in the Tucson area:

1. Bold Colors

If you’re looking to make a dramatic change in your kitchen or bathroom, then bold, bright colors are the way to go. Successful modern kitchen and bathroom renovations typically incorporate a blend of bright colors with a neutral backdrop. Perhaps you’ll accent your white walls with red cabinetry or incorporate a colorful tile backsplash to an otherwise tame kitchen. Just a bit of bright color will be enough to bring your kitchen or bathroom to life.

2. Bright Lighting

Show off your kitchen or bathroom renovation project with high-quality lighting. Great lighting will not only help to improve the functionality and comfort of your kitchen or bathroom, but can also give it a fresh look. Places to really emphasize lighting include counters, cabinets, food preparation surfaces, and vanities.

3. Quality Tile

Tile is a natural component of kitchen and bathroom renovations since it is durable, low maintenance, and waterproof. In addition to using tile to cover your floors, use tile on other surfaces to add a bit of personality to your kitchen and bathroom. Examples of great tile uses include vanities, countertops, backsplashes, and mirror frames.

Fires and California Real Estate

What can California do to better prepare for forest fires?

Climate change has created a new reality for the state of California, which suffers from increasingly destructive fires every year. Its inhabitants will have to learn to live with fire, experts believe. Forest fires are nothing unusual in this region, where the dry climate and the desert winds combine to create conditions particularly conducive to fire. But with global warming, the fire season is stretching and these are becoming more widespread and destructive.

Between 1972 and 2018, the area burned annually in the state increased fivefold, according to a study published in Earth’s Future in August 2019. The current fires in the San Francisco and Los Angeles area are the latest in a particularly devastating series of fires that have ravaged California in recent years. Five of the ten most destructive fires in the history of the state have occurred in the past ten years.

However, despite the astronomical losses and costs linked to these fires, little has yet been done to improve the resilience of communities, experts say. Since it will be difficult to reverse the warming trend in the medium term, they believe that it would rather be necessary for the most exposed communities to learn to live with an increasing threat of fire. A major problem is the fact that Californians, like many other Americans, build their homes too often in areas at risk of fire, without any thought or planning.

According to a report from the California government, 25% of the state’s population lives in peri-urban areas near forests, shrubs or meadows. This is also where we see the strongest growth in the construction of new homes. Insurance companies estimate that at least 15% of California homes are built in these areas and up to 77% in some northern California counties, such as Mariposa and Alpine.

Residential construction in these sectors is problematic for two reasons. First, because it increases the risk of fire. According to data from the California Department of Forests and Fire Protection (CalFIRE), 95% of fires in the state are caused by humans (badly extinguished butts, campfires left unattended, embers escaping BBQ, etc.). On the other hand, the presence of humans complicates the task of firefighters, who sometimes have to put firefighting in the background to focus on protecting homes.

According to a study jointly conducted by the United States Forest Service and the University of Madison, 82% of the buildings destroyed by fire between 1985 and 2013 in California were in this peri-urban area . California authorities however seem little concerned with urban sprawl. In the California government’s plan on forest fires and climate change, which talks about prevention and resilience, there is no mention of any construction restrictions in high-risk areas.

People want to live in good places to live according to the Western Regional Climate Center at the Desert Research Institute in Reno, Nevada. The problem is that some people may not realize how fire-prone the area they live in is. We need better communication on the subject so that it is better understood. After one of these big fires, an entire neighborhood can be burned to the ground. A constant flow of rolloff dumpsters will be needed to clean out the area and maybe rebuild, but with better guidelines against fire this time.

Insurers are reluctant to contribute. If the state does not act, the insurance companies are doing it. Some of them no longer want to take care of buildings at risk. According to the California Department of Insurance, there was a 6% increase in the number of insurance contracts not renewed by the insurer in peri-urban areas between 2017 and 2018. For residents of areas directly affected by the fires of 2017 and 2018, the increase is 10%. This is a wake-up call for the State Insurance Commissioner.

There is an upward trend in California, where insurers are not renewing policies for people at risk due to forest fires. Failure to obtain insurance can have a domino effect on the local economy, affecting home sales and property taxes. Not building in risky areas would be a first step to minimize the danger. But there are also ways to protect existing homes, including managing the fuel, that is, the flammable vegetation around the buildings. You can, for example, put hardwoods rather than conifers in certain places, since conifers are more flammable, or simply by removing the fuel around the infrastructure. Standards should also be put in place to ensure that the materials used to construct the buildings are non-flammable. Cedar shingle roofs should be avoided as an example.

Useful Tips When House Hunting

house to buyHouse hunting is one of the exciting parts when trying to acquire a home. However selecting the right house is not an easy thing to do. There are so many steps to take and various factors to consider. Moreover doing this all on your own can be the most daunting task you ever undertook.

When it comes to finding your next home, working with a real estate agent helps ease up the rigorous process. For example, you wouldn’t need to hunt a neighborhood on your own. By simply providing all your requirements to an agent, they can locate the best place for you. All you have to do now is go to the property itself, attend open houses, and see if the space and the area are perfect for you.

When it comes to house hunting, there are some things you need to know. Here are some of the tips you can follow.

Check if the property is a short sale

Before getting too in love with the property, it is critical that you understand what it is and what you can expect from a short sale. A short sale is a property in which the proceeds from the sale are going towards paying the balance of debts secured by liens against the property.

Most agents are open to these kinds of sales when their clients are patient enough and are not eager to move right away. More often than not, these properties are also usually in a disarrayed condition.

See foreclosure properties

This is also for the clients who are trying to save money. Foreclosures have a simple process that short sales. These are properties owned by the lender, and it is also essential that buyers know that foreclosure properties come as-is. So whatever condition the past owner has left it is the same condition you would need to deal with. Home flippers love these kinds of properties as they are cheap and easy to fix up.

Find out if the neighborhood is safe

Conduct some research about the neighborhood. If you are working with an excellent realtor from Kale Realty, consider this step done. Some real estate agents also ensure that they conduct a thorough research of where the house is, especially if their clients have little kids.

They inspect the growth of the local economy, taxes, crime rates, and amenities. These are pertinent information that will allow you and your agent to sum up an educated decision whether the property is worth buying.

Check how old the house is

Inspect the house and determine what is old, replaceable and new. Buyers should know the state of the roof, water heater, furnace, and air conditioning. An experienced realtor should be able to work with other professionals to identify the status of the different parts of the home. These professionals tend to speak with AC installers, professional roofers and contractors to recognize the actual state of the property.

These are just some of the simple tips realtors ensure that their clients follow. Although there is no specific number of homes you need to check before finding the perfect property, do not hesitate to look further if you are not satisfied with what your realtor has gound even if he or she has already shown you 30 properties.

How To Find Your Real Estate Agent

buying a houseWhen you are going to get help with the necessary maintenance and needs of your home home, hiring a professional can mean the difference between a job well done and a mistake that can cost you thousands of dollars. It is no different when you are selling or buying a home.

You do not have to opt for a real estate agent. You can put your house on the market or purchase your own home without a professional’s help. However, if you are not familiar with the selling or buying process, it is highly likely that you will skip over some important steps. You may also find yourself on an unfair playing field when it comes to negotiating deals, which can cause you to lose money or pay more than what you should.

Despite the number of real estate agents working in the market, not every one of them is going to be the right fit for you. Below are ways how you can find the right professional to help you out.

Identify Your Real Estate Needs

Identifying your real estate interests is a crucial step because you need to select an agent who specializes in what you need. Are you looking for the perfect home in a specific school districts? For example working with a location-specific agent will help you find a specific neighborhood that you might want to live in. Some agents’ expertise is also determining the perfect buyer for your property.

Are you looking for a house in a school district? Or do you prefer to live in a one-bedroom condominium? Are you a first-time buyer? These details are crucial in selecting your agent. For example, an agent with a strong profile of first-time home buyers should be an expert in finding a home for you. A location-specific agent must also have a wealth of knowledge about certain districts in the area where it is most favorable to raise a family.

Search Online

One of the first steps you can take is to check for agent listings online. Plenty of websites can refer agents to you, but you might need to do a bit more digging as these sites will likely not provide you with any check concerning their quality and work ethics. When you use google, type down the appropriate keywords.

For example, if you live in the Chicago area, you can simply type “best real estate agent in Chicago.” The search engine will automatically help you locate the professionals near you. For this specfic search one of the top results is for Kale Realty. After checking their website they appear to be a very solid company that you can trust.
After reaching a website, look for important details such as experience, reviews, comments and past listings.

Gather Referrals

Word-of-mouth remains an excellent source of intel on local real estate agents. You can ask your colleague, friends or neighbors for referrals. Social media is also a great place to find the perfect real estate agent. You can even find listings on the Facebook Marketplace.

Deals are moving fast, so it is also important to include social media on your roster of places to check. Moreover the instant messaging feature of the social media sites nowadays allow you to contact the agent and inquire about their listing immediately.

Attend Open Houses

Most real estate companies post open house schedules on their website. By attending one of these events, you can meet different agents in their working environment. As soon as you get to the location, interact with them. Pay attention to how they are showing the property and assess whether the professional is informative and polite.

Regardless of how the agent has behaved, make sure to collect his or her business card and take notes. That way as soon as you have multiple business cards, you can select the real estate agents to avoid and the ones to work with.

Before you finally work with a company and an agent, never forget to check for their license and their disciplinary actions if any, with your state’s regulatory board. Find out if the person you are thinking about working with has a license and if he or she has any disciplinary actions or complaints. In most cases, these elements of information are posted online.