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The Voice of Orange County

By Michael Caruso | Broker in Orange County, CA
  • Cost vs. Value with Caruso!

    Posted Under: Financing in Orange County, Remodel & Renovate in Orange County, Design & Decor in Orange County  |  February 3, 2012 4:57 PM  |  819 views  |  No comments

    When tackling home remodeling projects, you’ll find some projects pay off more than others at times of resale. Remodeling Magazine, in conjunction with REALTOR® Magazine, recently released findings of its annual Cost vs. Value report for 2011-2012, revealing which remodeling projects offer the biggest bang for your buck.

    Overall, the trend right now is replacement over remodeling–swapping out the old for the new rather than doing a total gut job, which can be much more costly.

    This year’s Cost vs. Value report found that exterior replacement projects–such as new garage doors and a new entry door–offer some of the best returns at resale, allowing home owners to recoup close to 70 percent or more of the costs of the project at times of resale.

    The following are the top, mid-range projects from this year’s report, based on what home owners stand to recoup at time of resale:

    1. Replacing the entry door to steel

    Estimated cost: $1,238

    Cost recouped at resale: 73%

    2. Attic bedroom (converting unfinished attic space into a bedroom with bathroom and shower)

    Estimated cost: $50,148

    Cost recouped at resale: 72.5%

    3. Minor kitchen remodel (including new cabinets and drawers, countertops, hardware, and appliances)

    Estimated cost: $19,588

    Cost recouped at resale: 72.1%

    4. Garage door replacement

    Estimated cost: $1,512

    Cost recouped at resale: 71.9%

    5. Deck addition (wood)

    Estimated cost: $10,350

    Cost recouped at resale: 70.1%

    6. Siding replacement (vinyl)

    Estimated cost: $11,729

    Cost recouped at resale: 69.5%


    And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.  

    www.MichaelCarusoRealEstate.com

    Best regards,

    Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI

    Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900

    Be Michael Caruso's Friend! Watch Caruso TV! Are You LinkedIn with Michael? The Voice of Orange County Review Michael Caruso! Tweet Michael Caruso!

    Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist  Member of The Institute Luxury Home Marketing   Million Dollar Guild Member  Member of Proxio Pro - The International MLS


  • Got Aggressive Pipes?

    Posted Under: Remodel & Renovate in Orange County, Design & Decor in Orange County, How To... in Orange County  |  August 23, 2011 1:56 PM  |  1,069 views  |  1 comment

    Got destructive pipes? Aggressive pipe problems demand real solutions! Corrosion occurs in a short span of time inside copper pipes. It causes numerous problems including annoying green stains and costly leaks. If you chose to undress these symptoms could lead to serious pipe failure. If your pope system is experiencing corrosion problems here’s the great news; a proven technology has made pipe replacement virtually obsolete. Introducing The CuraFlo, an epoxy pipe lining process which resolves leaks and other problems associated with corrosion by removing all signs of corrosion inside the pipe and lining the pipe with a strong and long lasting epoxy.

     

    With CuraFlo epoxy pipe lining you can forget about the disruption of opening up the walls and ceilings housing the copper pipe. Instead, a CuraFlo installation will thoroughly clean your entire copper pipe system before installing an inert super strong and durable epoxy lining. The CuraFlo process does not require the disruption of cutting your walls and ceiling to remove and replace defective pipes. It’s like getting a new pipe system inside your old pipe system.

     

    The CuraFlo system is great cost effective solution compared to pipe replacement, not to mention it only requires a fraction of time to complete. In addition, a CuraFlo epoxy pipe lining application has a life expectancy of 50 to 75 years compared to an unlined copper pipe installation with a 10 to 15 year life expectancy. With the CuraFlo system you will receive all the great benefits of a modern solution to your pipe problems in one package.

     

    For more information you can visit www.curaflo.com or call NOW for your free home estimate at 888.260.1733 or Orange County Line 949-493-2426.

     

     

     

    And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.  

    www.MichaelCarusoRealEstate.com

    Best regards,

    Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI

    Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900

    Be Michael Caruso's Friend! Watch Caruso TV! Are You LinkedIn with Michael? The Voice of Orange County Review Michael Caruso! Tweet Michael Caruso!

    Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist  Member of The Institute Luxury Home Marketing   Million Dollar Guild Member  Member of Proxio Pro - The International MLS



  • Did You Know with Caruso...

    Posted Under: Remodel & Renovate in Orange County, Design & Decor in Orange County, Property Q&A in Orange County  |  July 7, 2011 1:47 PM  |  1,212 views  |  1 comment

    Did you know homeowners dreaming of a new bathroom or a beautifully landscaped yard must be feeling more financially secure these days, as home improvements projects are on the rise, according to a recent study from Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies. More that $125 billion is the estimated spend for home remodeling in this years first quarter, up 9.1% from this time last year. And that number is predicted to rise, with an estimated $132.9 billion projected for the second quarter of 2011! And now you know.


    And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.  

    www.MichaelCarusoRealEstate.com

    Best regards,

    Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI

    Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900

    Be Michael Caruso's Friend! Watch Caruso TV! Are You LinkedIn with Michael? The Voice of Orange County Review Michael Caruso! Tweet Michael Caruso!

    Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist  Member of The Institute Luxury Home Marketing   Million Dollar Guild Member  Member of Proxio Pro - The International MLS



  • Your Peaceful Sanctuary with Caruso!

    Posted Under: Remodel & Renovate in Orange County, Design & Decor in Orange County, How To... in Orange County  |  March 10, 2011 11:21 AM  |  1,194 views  |  No comments

    Stress; we deal with it daily. Society has been using the word stress for years now and finding a peaceful place or peaceful time for solitude is a challenge for most.  But, have you ever thought of creating that peaceful place in or around your own home? We seem to always go to places to find peace or solitude like: the gym, yoga or pilates classes, the beach, church, library, a hike, a coffee shop or quiet restaurant etc. Sometimes though, we just don't want to leave our home.

    With that said, every home has enough space to create your own peaceful place. Whether it be inside the home or outside with thoughtful planning & landscaping, an out of the way area can become your peaceful place.  Most likely your peaceful place is going to be outside in your backyard away from the chaos inside. Think about spirit gardens, meditation gardens, herb gardens, dripping water fountains...all sensory and spirit rich, fun to work on and not difficult to do.  The 3 key elements in gardens for reflection and meditation are: water, lush green plants and comfortable seating.  Moving or dripping water can mask distractions like noise from traffic and plants provide shade, visual interest and oxygen. Your "look" should be minimalist, artistic and practical.  That way, your peaceful place doesn't become another work place.

    Even better, when it comes time to sell your home, having your very own peaceful place on your property can be a very good advertising tool when it comes to marketing your home.  The majority of people would like to have a secluded, private area on their property so they can take a minute to themselves during their hectic days. In realty, not a lot of people think of actually making a peaceful area in their very own home because they feel the idea will never really work and think "how private can they really be in their own home?" So, when potential buyers view your home it will be a nice surprise for them to see something different, yet very beneficial to them. For the most part people expect to see the usual; bedrooms, office, living room etc. Imagine the surprise when they see a peaceful sanctuary just for them!


    And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.  

    www.MichaelCarusoRealEstate.com

    Best regards,

    Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI

    Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900

  • A Green Wedding with Caruso

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in Orange County, Going Green in Orange County, Design & Decor in Orange County  |  January 20, 2011 11:41 AM  |  963 views  |  2 comments

     

    Wedding planning and trying to protect the environment at the same time!? It is possible! And having an environmentally friendly wedding doesn't have to mean giving up what you want. In a lot of cases, being environmentally friendly can even lessen the stresses of planning and make the special day more enjoyable. Here are a few ideas I have come across to help make your wedding green!

    Go organic. From flowers to food there are lots of ways to go organic. Many caterers offer organic and local produce options. You will be helping the environment by supporting products that use less pesticides, and likely have tastier food!

    Something borrowed. Consider borrowing items from friends or family. This will save resources and add a customized feel to the wedding.

    Go local. Consider a wedding location near where the majority of your guests are from. This will save on gas and jet fuel as your guests have less distance to travel. If a local venue isn't possible, consider reducing the impact on the environment by offsetting the emissions that contribute to climate change. Several Earth Share members offer special programs that you and your guests can use to calculate your carbon output and take steps to offset them.

    Ring true. Ask for rings with gold, silver, diamonds or other materials that were mined sustainably. Many mining practices are detrimental to the environment and local communities. Consider using materials from a ring in your family or looking at antiques.

    Digital photos. Most photographers can do digital photos of the event. You can then preview the photos and just order prints of the pictures you want-reducing the toxics and waste involved with printing pictures.

    One location. Consider having your ceremony and reception in the same location. This will simplify the day and save on gas as guests go from one site to another.

    Gift of giving. Picking a china pattern not your style? More couples are asking for donations to charities instead of a gift. Consider adding Earth Share or another environmental charity to your registry.


    And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.  

    www.MichaelCarusoRealEstate.com

    Best regards,

    Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI

    Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900

  • Owners Spend Less on Housing...

    Posted Under: Market Conditions, Remodel & Renovate, Design & Decor  |  October 2, 2010 3:07 PM  |  1,092 views  |  2 comments

    The percentage home owners with mortgages who spent 30% or more of their household income on housing, including mortgage payments, taxes, insurance, and utilities, was 37.6% in 2009, almost unchanged from 2008. At the same time, the median home price dropped about 6%, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

    Renters weren't so lucky. The number of renters spending 30% or more of their household income on housing-related costs rose to 51.5% of all renters in 2009, rising from 50% in 2008, according to the Census.

    Two factors affected housing affordability:

    · Median household income, adjusted for inflation, fell 2.9%  in 2009 as unemployment rose.
    · Median monthly housing costs, including rent and utilities, rose 3% in 2009 from $818 to $842.

    And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.  

    www.MichaelCarusoRealEstate.com

    Best regards,

    Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CRB CRS GREEN GRI

    2007 President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900

  • Home Construction

    Posted Under: Market Conditions, Remodel & Renovate, Design & Decor  |  September 29, 2010 12:02 PM  |  1,039 views  |  1 comment

     

    Recently I read that home construction increased last month and applications for building permits also grew. The gains were driven mainly by apartment and condominium construction, not the much larger single-family homes sector.

    Construction of new homes and apartments rose 10.5% in August from a month earlier to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 598,000. That's the highest level since April.

    Pulling the figures up was a 32 % monthly increase in the condominium and apartment market, a small portion of the market. Single-family homes, which represented about 73% of the market in August, grew more than 4%.

    Housing starts are up 25% from their bottom in April 2009. But they remain 74% below their peak in January 2006. Single-family housing starts are up 11% from their low point in January 2009, but down 78 % from their peak in January 2006.

    Builders are struggling with weak demand for new homes caused by high unemployment and a glut of foreclosed homes on the market. They benefited in the spring from federal tax credits, but those expired in April.

    Paul Dales, U.S. economist with Capital Economics, has said the high number of vacant homes, mounting expectations of renewed price falls and economic constraints on households will continue to weigh on the industry. Adding that homebuilding activity remains at an astoundingly weak leveland that construction has to be more than double current levels for the market to be considered healthy.

    Building permit applications, a sign of future activity, grew by nearly 2% to an annual rate of 569,000.

    It's been a tough summer. As September comes to a close, we're seeing a little bit of pickup in traffic, but according to investors, that shouldn't be cause to have a sigh of relief at this point.

    Construction activity rose 34% in the West and was up 22% in the Midwest and 7% in the South. However, construction fell by 24% in the Northeast.

    Most recently, the National Association of Home Builders said its monthly index of builders' sentiment was unchanged in September at 13. The index has now been at the lowest level since March 2009 for two straight months.

    www.MichaelCarusoRealEstate.com

    Best regards,

    Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CRB CRS GREEN GRI

    2007 President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900

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