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Elizabethdiriego's Blog

By Elizabeth DiRiego | Agent in New Jersey
  • How to Assess the Real Cost of a Fixer-Upper House

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Marlton, Property Q&A in Marlton, Home Ownership in Marlton  |  March 24, 2013 8:28 AM  |  785 views  |  No comments

    By: G. M. Filisko

    Published: August 24, 2010

    When you buy a fixer-upper house, you can save a ton of money, or get yourself in a financial fix.

    1. Decide what you can do yourself

    TV remodeling shows make home improvement work look like a snap. In the real world, attempting a difficult remodeling job that you don’t know how to do will take longer than you think and can lead to less-than-professional results that won’t increase the value of your fixer-upper house. 

    • Do you really have the skills to do it? Some tasks, like stripping wallpaper and painting, are relatively easy. Others, like electrical work, can be dangerous when done by amateurs.
    • Do you really have the time and desire to do it? Can you take time off work to renovate your fixer-upper house? If not, will you be stressed out by living in a work zone for months while you complete projects on the weekends?

    2. Price the cost of repairs and remodeling before you make an offer

    • Get your contractor into the house to do a walk-through, so he can give you a written cost estimate on the tasks he’s going to do.
    • If you’re doing the work yourself, price the supplies.
    • Either way, tack on 10% to 20% to cover unforeseen problems that often arise with a fixer-upper house.

    3. Check permit costs

    • Ask local officials if the work you’re going to do requires a permit and how much that permit costs. Doing work without a permit may save money, but it'll cause problems when you resell your home.
    • Decide if you want to get the permits yourself or have the contractor arrange for them. Getting permits can be time-consuming and frustrating. Inspectors may force you to do additional work, or change the way you want to do a project, before they give you the permit.
    • Factor the time and aggravation of permits into your plans.

    4. Doublecheck pricing on structural work

    If your fixer-upper home needs major structural work, hire a structural engineer for $500 to $700 to inspect the home before you put in an offer so you can be confident you’ve uncovered and conservatively budgeted for the full extent of the problems.

    Get written estimates for repairs before you commit to buying a home with structural issues.

    Don't purchase a home that needs major structural work unless:

    • You’re getting it at a steep discount
    • You’re sure you’ve uncovered the extent of the problem
    • You know the problem can be fixed
    • You have a binding written estimate for the repairs

    5. Check the cost of financing

    Be sure you have enough money for a downpayment, closing costs, and repairs without draining your savings.

    If you’re planning to fund the repairs with a home equity or home improvement loan:

    • Get yourself pre-approved for both loans before you make an offer.
    • Make the deal contingent on getting both the purchase money loan and the renovation money loan, so you’re not forced to close the sale when you have no loan to fix the house.
    • Consider the Federal Housing Administration’s Section 203(k) program, which is designed to help home owners who are purchasing or refinancing a home that needs rehabilitation. The program wraps the purchase/refinance and rehabilitation costs into a single mortgage. To qualify for the loan, the total value of the property must fall within the FHA mortgage limit for your area, as with other FHA loans. A streamlined 203(k) program provides an additional amount for rehabilitation, up to $35,000, on top of an existing mortgage. It’s a simpler process than obtaining the standard 203(k).

    6. Calculate your fair purchase offer

    Take the fair market value of the property (what it would be worth if it were in good condition and remodeled to current tastes) and subtract the upgrade and repair costs.

    For example: Your target fixer-upper house has a 1960s kitchen, metallic wallpaper, shag carpet, and high levels of radon in the basement.

    Your comparison house, in the same subdivision, sold last month for $200,000. That house had a newer kitchen, no wallpaper, was recently recarpeted, and has a radon mitigation system in its basement.

    The cost to remodel the kitchen, remove the wallpaper, carpet the house, and put in a radon mitigation system is $40,000. Your bid for the house should be $160,000.

    Ask your real estate agent if it’s a good idea to share your cost estimates with the sellers, to prove your offer is fair. 

    7. Include inspection contingencies in your offer

    Don’t rely on your friends or your contractor to eyeball your fixer-upper house. Hire pros to do common inspections like:

    • Home inspection. This is key in a fixer-upper assessment. The home inspector will uncover hidden issues in need of replacement or repair. You may know you want to replace those 1970s kitchen cabinets, but the home inspector has a meter that will detect the water leak behind them.
    • Radon, mold, lead-based paint
    • Septic and well
    • Pest

    Most home inspection contingencies let you go back to the sellers and ask them to do the repairs, or give you cash at closing to pay for the repairs. The seller can also opt to simply back out of the deal, as can you, if the inspection turns up something you don’t want to deal with.

    If that happens, this isn’t the right fixer-upper house for you. Go back to the top of this list and start again.

    More from HouseLogic

    What you need to know about foundation repairs

    Budgeting for a home remodel

    Tips on hiring a contractor

    Other web resources

    This Old House remodeling cost estimates

    G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer whose parents bought and renovated a fixer-upper when she was a teen. A regular contributor to many national publications including Bankrate.com, REALTOR® Magazine, and the American Bar Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, business, personal finance, and legal topics.

    Disclaimer:

    Elizabeth “Betsy” DiRiego of Re/Max Connection Realtors is not a licensed financial advisor, and is not providing any financial advice; you should consult with a licensed financial advisor prior to making any financial decisions.  Elizabeth “Betsy” DiRiego of Re/Max Connection Realtors is only providing this statement for informational purposes.

    Elizabeth “Betsy” DiRiego of Re/Max Connection Realtors accepts no liability for the content of this blog, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided. Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.

    Elizabeth “Betsy” DiRiego of Re/Max Connection Realtors, 1000 East Lincoln Drive, Suite 2, Marlton, NJ 08053 www.HomesToBetsy.com and http://hosted.cdpe.com/HeavensToBetsy

     

     

     

     

  • Finding the Energy Leaks

    Posted Under: Remodel & Renovate in Marlton, Property Q&A in Marlton, Home Ownership in Marlton  |  March 23, 2013 4:47 PM  |  812 views  |  1 comment

    Help owners seal the gaps and make their homes more energy efficient.

    February 2008 | By Robert Freedman

    Charm radiates throughout the beautiful old house your clients just bought — but so does cold air in the winter and hot air in the summer. Should you suggest that your clients install new windows to increase the energy efficiency of their house?

    Not necessarily. What you could do is recommend that they get an energy audit conducted by a professional third-party energy efficiency certification company.

    Better yet, offer to pay for the energy audit yourself, giving it to them as a closing gift.

    It’s a pricey gift, at about $350. But Candace Lightner, a sales associate with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Alexandria, Va., says you’ll garner widespread customer goodwill.

    “We thought it was a fantastic gift, and what we’re learning about our house is invaluable,” says a buyer who had an energy audit conducted on her home late last year at Lightner’s expense.

    The audits, which take about two-and-a-half hours, are designed to identify major energy leaks in a house. Home owners are given a thick report showing where the top leaks are and how to fix them.

    Older Means Less Efficient

    Surprisingly, drafty windows and doors are typi­cally not the greatest sources of energy loss, says Lee O’Neal of NSpects, an energy inspection company based in Chantilly, Va. The biggest culprits are construction shortcuts such as:

    • The absence of external building wrap around the joists between the floor and walls
    • Improperly insulated attics
    • Improperly insulated basements and crawl spaces

    As you’d expect, homes that are 40 or more years old are typically far less efficient than newer ones that have been built to updated codes, says O’Neal.

    New homes are more likely to have building wrap and well-insulated attics and basements. Also, newer homes tend to come with more efficient double-paned windows and heating and air conditioning systems.

    Both older and newer homes tend to be inefficient when it comes to the places where pipes and wires come into them. “The holes never get sealed,” explains O’Neal.

    Another problem area, even in new homes, he says, is recessed lighting. Recessed lights sit in big ceiling holes and carpenters rarely think to seal around the edges.

    The Nuts and Bolts of Audits

    The heart of any energy audit is what’s known as the blower-door test. It involves sealing a front door opening with an airtight nylon tarp penetrated by a large fan. The fan depressurizes the house by drawing out indoor air. This pulls in air from the outside, so every gap in the house, large and small, acts like a vacuum, and anyone in the house can feel the air streaming in from all directions. Inspectors identify the smallest penetrations using a device called a smoke pencil, which releases a thin stream of gray smoke that billows in the presence of leaks.

    To get an especially detailed picture of leakage, inspectors use a camera with infrared film to photograph problem areas like chimney flues and crawl spaces. Areas with leaks will be visible in the pictures by differences in color density.

    By the end of the audit, your clients should know the house’s main problem areas. The inspection report, which takes a few days to compile, will give them suggestions for repairs. It’s unlikely the auditor will recommend that everything be fixed, says O’Neal. Auditors usually focus on repairs that will provide the greatest efficiency at a reasonable cost.

    “It doesn’t make sense to spend thousands of dollars to get small improvements in efficiency,” says O’Neal. “But it does make sense to spend a few thousand to get efficiencies that’ll pay for themselves in a few years.”

    Reduced utility payments aren’t the only benefit your clients will see; they’ll also enjoy more creature comfort and — down the road — potentially a greater resale value.

    Disclaimer:

    Elizabeth “Betsy” DiRiego of Re/Max Connection Realtors is not a licensed financial advisor, and is not providing any financial advice; you should consult with a licensed financial advisor prior to making any financial decisions.  Elizabeth “Betsy” DiRiego of Re/Max Connection Realtors is only providing this statement for informational purposes.

    Elizabeth “Betsy” DiRiego of Re/Max Connection Realtors accepts no liability for the content of this blog, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided. Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.

    Elizabeth “Betsy” DiRiego of Re/Max Connection Realtors, 1000 East Lincoln Drive, Suite 2, Marlton, NJ 08053 www.HomesToBetsy.com and http://hosted.cdpe.com/HeavensToBetsy

     

     

     

     

  • 6 Tips for Buying a Home in a Short Sale

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Marlton, Financing in Marlton, Property Q&A in Marlton  |  March 7, 2013 2:49 PM  |  398 views  |  No comments

    By: G. M. Filisko

    Published: March 19, 2010

    By preparing for a real estate short sale, you can emerge with a great home at a favorable price.

    1. Get help from a short sale expert

    A real estate agent experienced in short sales can identify which homes are being offered as short sales, help you determine a purchase price, and advise you on what to include in your offer to make the lender view it favorably. Ask agents how many buyers they've represented in short sales and, of those, how many successfully closed the transaction.

    2. Build a team

    Ask agents to recommend real estate attorneys knowledgeable in short sales and title experts. A title officer can do a title search to identify all the liens attached to a property you’re interested in. Because each lienholder must consent to a short sale, a property with multiple liens, like first and second mortgages, mechanic’s and condominium liens, or homeowners association liens, will be harder to purchase.

    A title search may cost $250 to $300 up front, but it can help weed out less desirable properties requiring multiple approvals.

    3. Know the home’s fair market value

    By agreeing to a short sale, lenders are consenting to lose money on the loan they made to the sellers to purchase the home. Their goal is to keep those losses as low as possible. If your offer is dramatically less than the home’s fair market value, it may be rejected. Your agent can help you identify the price that’s good for you. The lender will determine whether approval is in its best interest.

    4. Expect delays

    There are two stages to a short sale. First, the sellers must consent to your purchase offer. Then they must submit it to their lender, along with documentation to convince the lender to agree to the sale.

    The lender approval process can take weeks or months, even longer if the lender counteroffers. Expect bigger delays if several lienholders are involved; each can make a counteroffer or reject your offer.

    5. Firm up your financing

    Lenders will weigh your ability to close the transaction. If you're preapproved for a mortgage, have a large downpayment, and can close at any time, they’ll consider your offer stronger than that of a buyer whose financing is less secure.

    6. Avoid contingencies

    If you must sell your current home before you can close on the short-sale property, or you need to close by a firm deadline, your offer may present too many moving parts for a lender to approve it.

    Also, consider ordering an inspection so you’re fully informed about the home. Keep in mind that lenders are unlikely to approve an offer seeking repairs or credits for such work. You’ll probably have to purchase the home “as is,” which means in its present condition.

    This article includes general information about tax laws and consequences, but isn't intended to be relied upon by readers as tax or legal advice applicable to particular transactions or circumstances. Consult a tax professional for such advice; tax laws may vary by jurisdiction.

    More from HouseLogic

    What you need to know about the homebuyer tax credit
    How to claim your homebuyer tax credit

    Other web resources

    Real-life discussions of short sales

    G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer who luckily has avoided the need for a short sale on her properties. A frequent contributor to many national publications including Bankrate.com, REALTOR® Magazine, and the American Bar Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, business, personal finance, and legal topics.

    Disclaimer:

    Elizabeth “Betsy” DiRiego of Re/Max Connection Realtors is not a licensed financial advisor, and is not providing any financial advice; you should consult with a licensed financial advisor prior to making any financial decisions.  Elizabeth “Betsy” DiRiego of Re/Max Connection Realtors is only providing this statement for informational purposes.

    Elizabeth “Betsy” DiRiego of Re/Max Connection Realtors accepts no liability for the content of this blog, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided. Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.

    Elizabeth “Betsy” DiRiego of Re/Max Connection Realtors, 1000 East Lincoln Drive, Suite 2, Marlton, NJ 08053 www.HomesToBetsy.com and http://hosted.cdpe.com/HeavensToBetsy

     

     

     

     

  • Save Money by Beefing Up Your Insulation

    Posted Under: Quality of Life in Marlton, Property Q&A in Marlton  |  March 4, 2013 3:07 PM  |  486 views  |  4 comments

    By: Jeanne Huber

    Published: September 10, 2009

    Beefing up inadequate insulation is one of the quickest energy-payback projects you can do, resulting in lower heating and cooling bills and increased comfort.

    How to compare different types of insulation

    On each type of insulation, a label states the R-value per inch, a measure of resistance to heat transfer. The bigger the number, the more effective the insulation.Where space is tight, such as within wall cavities, you need a high R-value per inch. In an attic or under a floor, where there is more room, you can boost the insulation value of a lower-rated material simply by using a thicker layer. As a rule, the more insulation you add, the more money you'll save. But there is a point beyond which you can spend more on materials than you'll recoup in lower energy bills. The tipping point varies depending on where you live. Consult the Department of Energy's zip-code specific recommendations for the right amount of insulation for your climate.

    Adding insulation in the attic 

    The attic is a great place to start, because adding insulation there is quick, easy, and cost-effective. (To make any insulation upgrade more cost-effective, it's a good idea to seal air leaks first.) In the Northeast, for example, upgrading attic insulation from R-11 to R-49 would cost around $1,500 if you hire a pro—half as much if you do it yourself—and, depending on the type of heat you have, save about $600.

    To determine how much to add, look up the recommended amount for your area, then subtract the value of your existing insulation. If you don't know, you can figure it out using the Home Energy Saver online energy audit tool.

    There are two ways to improve attic insulation. In unfinished space, you can simply add layers to what is already on the floor. Or, if you're thinking about finishing the attic, you can put the insulation against the roof. Insulating the roof is the better method if heating and cooling ducts pass through the space, or if you live in a humid climate and want to cut down on musty smells coming from the attic.

    If you're doing the job yourself, blanket-type material is easiest to work with. Just be careful not to compress it or it won't be as effective. If you're hiring a contractor, go with loose-fill cellulose or fiberglass, which fills crevices better. You'll pay a pro around $1 a square foot to blow in material; DIY batts cost about half that.

    If you're insulating the roof, sprayed foam polyurethane works best because it molds to rafters, blocks water vapor, and has a high R-rating per inch. Expect to pay about double the cost of loose-fill insulation.

    No matter which method you choose, federal tax credits of up to $500 are available to defray the cost of materials. 

    Adding insulation to walls on main floors

    It's fairly easy to add insulation in stud bays where none exists. (To check, cut the power to a few outlets on exterior walls, then unscrew and look behind the cover plates.) A contractor drills small holes through the inside or outside wall and blows in material. Costs range from around $1.25 per square foot for loose-fill fiberglass, cellulose, or rock wool to $4.40 for polyurethane foam, which insulates about twice as well.

    If your walls already have some insulation, you probably can't add more without tearing into the drywall or plaster. That's not cost effective unless you're remodeling, so the best strategy may be to wait until you need to replace siding. Then you can add insulating sheathing underneath it.

    Basements and crawl spaces

    Even though hot air rises, homes lose heat in all directions. So besides insulating the top and sides of your house, you also need to insulate the bottom, where as much as 30% of energy loss can occur. As with the attic, you have two choices: Insulate under the bottom floor and treat the crawl space or basement as outdoor space, or insulate the walls and treat the area as indoor space. In that case, you would close off all exterior vents except those needed for combustion air or exhaust.

    Though floor insulation is more common, wall insulation has many advantages, including cost—it takes about a third less material to insulate the walls of a 36-by-48-foot basement as to insulate the subfloor above. A key detail, not understood by all builders, is to place a layer of rigid foam insulation against the foundation to keep moisture from condensing against the cold walls. If you want to finish the basement, you can cover the foam with a stud wall, fill it with unfaced fiberglass insulation, and cover with drywall.

    Disclaimer:

    Elizabeth “Betsy” DiRiego of Re/Max Connection Realtors is not a licensed financial advisor, and is not providing any financial advice; you should consult with a licensed financial advisor prior to making any financial decisions.  Elizabeth “Betsy” DiRiego of Re/Max Connection Realtors is only providing this statement for informational purposes.

    Elizabeth “Betsy” DiRiego of Re/Max Connection Realtors accepts no liability for the content of this blog, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided. Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.

    Elizabeth “Betsy” DiRiego of Re/Max Connection Realtors, 1000 East Lincoln Drive, Suite 2, Marlton, NJ 08053 www.HomesToBetsy.com and http://hosted.cdpe.com/HeavensToBetsy

     

     

     

     

  • Your Top Home Ownership Tax Questions Answered

    Posted Under: Property Q&A in Marlton  |  March 3, 2013 8:07 AM  |  485 views  |  2 comments

    Article From HouseLogic.com
    By: Natasha Padgitt
    Published: December 31, 2012

    Which tax benefits do home owners miss? Will you get audited if you take the home office deduction? Find out the answers to these questions and more before Tax Day.


    There are a lot of home ownership tax benefits (http://www.houselogic.com/home-taxes-financing/taxes-incentives/) - if you don't forget to take them. To make sure you get your due, HouseLogic asked tax expert Abe Schneier, a senior technical manager with the American Institute of CPAs (http://www.aicpa.org), for tax-filing tips.

    HouseLogic: What's the most common home-related tax deduction or credit claimed by home owners?

    Abe Schneier: The mortgage interest deduction, [which the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® estimates amounts to about $3,000 in tax savings for the average itemizing home owner] and [the deduction for] real property taxes (http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/property-taxes/property-tax-appeal/).

    HL: Which tax provision do home owners often overlook?

    AS: You can deduct mortgage insurance premiums (http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/tax-deductions/deducting-private-mortgage-insurance/) [or PMI] if you were required to get PMI as a condition of receiving financing on your home. Some people will overlook that, although it's typically disclosed on the 1099 that you receive from the bank, along with all the deductible information you need.

    HL note: The PMI deduction has been extended through 2013 and is retroactive for 2012.

    [Another area of tax-filing confusion is] whether you've correctly treated any points you paid if you refinanced. In a new home purchase, the points can be deducted [in the tax year you paid them]. But typically in a refinancing, you have to amortize and deduct any points you paid over the life of the mortgage, and people tend to forget that after a couple of years.

    HL: What's the No. 1 mistake home owners make when filing their taxes (http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/taxes-incentives/common-tax-mistakes/)?

    AS: Because you receive a statement from the bank with details [such as] how much mortgage interest (http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/mortgage-interest-deduction/mortgage-interest-deductions/) you paid over the year, and how much the bank pays on your behalf in real estate taxes, the number of mistakes has dropped.

    But if you're in a state where you pay the real estate taxes on your own - the bank doesn't handle it for you - [people] make mistakes because sometimes real estate tax bills include other items besides pure real estate taxes. It could be trash collection fees; it could be snow removal fees that the state or county is assessing on the real estate tax bill. Since the items are included in the same bill, home owners sometimes deduct [those fees] regardless of whether the items are actually taxes.

    HL: What's the single most important piece of advice for people filing their taxes as a first-time home owner?

    AS: You have to take a look at your closing statement from when you bought the house. It's commonly called the HUD-1 form and you receive it at the closing. Occasionally, there are fees such as prepaid taxes or interest at closing that can be deductible.

    HL: What tax advice do you have for someone who's owned their home for 10 or 20 years?

    AS: If you've been a longtime home owner and you've been through refinancings, you have to be careful about how much interest you've deducted, especially if you have a home equity loan (http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/tax-deductions/deduct-mortgage-interest/) or equity line. A lot of people who've refinanced have sizable equity lines. The maximum outstanding home equity debt that's deductible is $100,000; the maximum deductible amount of interest paid on mortgage debt is $1 million.

    HL: What home improvement-related records should home owners keep?

    AS: Absolutely keep your receipts for couple of reasons:

    1. You want to make sure - if there are any warranties attached to the work that was done - that you maintain those records and you have something to go back to the person who did the work in case something doesn't function properly.

    2. If you've added value to the home - you've added a deck, you've added a room, you've added something new to house - you'll need to know what the gain is on that capital improvement when you sell the house.

    HL note: Tax rules let you add capital improvement expenses to the cost basis of your home, and a higher cost basis lowers the total profit or capital gain you're required to pay taxes on. Of course, most home owners are exempted from taxes on the first $500,000 in profit for joint filers ($250,000 for single filers). So it doesn't apply to too many people.

    HL: How do I tell the difference between a capital improvement and a repair?

    AS: Typically a repair is [done] to allow an item, like a home furnace or air conditioner, to continue. But if you were to replace the heating unit, that's not a repair.

    HL: Does taking any home-related tax benefits, such as the home office deduction, make a taxpayer more likely to be audited?

    AS: Only if numbers look out of the ordinary - for instance, if one year you were writing off $20,000 in mortgage interest debt and the next year you're writing off $100,000 in mortgage interest. Taking the home office deduction in and of itself doesn't usually generate an audit. However, if you claim nominal income and significantly higher expenses in an effort to create artificial losses, the IRS will see that there's something else going on there.

    HL: Once filing season is over, when should home owners start thinking about next year's taxes?

    AS: Well, hopefully, when you visit your CPA to give information about or pick up [this year's] tax return, your CPA has spoken with you about your plans for [next year]:

      •If any major improvements are scheduled

      •If you're planning on moving

      •How to organize any expenditures for fixing up the home before sale

    If you're planning to do any of those things, talk with your CPA so that you're prepared with documentation and so that the [tax pro] can help minimize your tax situation.

     Disclaimer:

    Elizabeth “Betsy” DiRiego of Re/Max Connection Realtors is not a licensed financial advisor, and is not providing any financial advice; you should consult with a licensed financial advisor prior to making any financial decisions.  Elizabeth “Betsy” DiRiego of Re/Max Connection Realtors is only providing this statement for informational purposes.

    Elizabeth “Betsy” DiRiego of Re/Max Connection Realtors accepts no liability for the content of this blog, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided. Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.

    Elizabeth “Betsy” DiRiego of Re/Max Connection Realtors, 1000 East Lincoln Drive, Suite 2, Marlton, NJ 08053 www.HomesToBetsy.com and http://hosted.cdpe.com/HeavensToBetsy

     

     

     

     

  • If a Home Gets Hit by a Meteor, Who Pays?

    Posted Under: Property Q&A in Marlton, Home Ownership in Marlton  |  February 23, 2013 7:58 AM  |  474 views  |  3 comments

    Daily Real Estate News | Monday, February 18, 2013

    After a meteor struck western Siberia and more meteors threatened the entire globe on Friday, CNN Money asked the question: Who pays for damage to a home if hit by a space object?

    Rest easy, “your insurance covers falling objects," says Robert Hartwig, president of the Insurance Information Institute. In the rare events when meteors have crashed through home owners’ roofs over the years, insurers have paid the damage for those insured, Hartwig says. 

    “Blue ice” — the frozen sewage that sometimes falls from airplanes — is more common and is also covered if it falls from the sky onto your home, Hartwig told CNNMoney.

    A remnant of a meteor struck in the Urals region of western Siberia Friday injuring more than 700 people and damaging nearly 300 buildings. It was referred to as a “once-in-a-century” event. 

    "The earth is pelted with 40 tons of space debris a year," says Laurie Leshin, a former NASA scientist. "Most of that is in teeny dust particles" and rarely does it injure people or damage property.

    Disclaimer:

    Elizabeth “Betsy” DiRiego of Re/Max Connection Realtors is not a licensed financial advisor, and is not providing any financial advice; you should consult with a licensed financial advisor prior to making any financial decisions.  Elizabeth “Betsy” DiRiego of Re/Max Connection Realtors is only providing this statement for informational purposes.

    Elizabeth “Betsy” DiRiego of Re/Max Connection Realtors accepts no liability for the content of this blog, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided. Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.

    Elizabeth “Betsy” DiRiego of Re/Max Connection Realtors, 1000 East Lincoln Drive, Suite 2, Marlton, NJ 08053 www.HomesToBetsy.com and http://hosted.cdpe.com/HeavensToBetsy

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Kitchen Remodeling: The Do’s and Don’ts of Improving Resale Value

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Marlton, Property Q&A in Marlton  |  December 31, 2012 9:01 AM  |  1,342 views  |  No comments

    By Stephen Jones, DIYTools.co.uk

    People generally love a beautiful new kitchen. With state of the art appliances, they feel as though they are master chefs in the comfort of their own homes. However, many people also remodel their kitchens to improve the resale value of their homes. Perhaps they plan to sell in the near future, or they just want to be prepared for down the road. In any case, be sure to follow these do’s and don’ts of kitchen remodeling.

    Don’t Go Crazy with the Refinance!

    One idea home owners might have is to refinance their home with a cash-out option and then use that money to rebuild the kitchen. However, this might wind up just letting them break even.Let’s say a home owner purchased his home for $300,000. The cash out of his refinance is $20,000, and he uses that to create an entirely new kitchen. A couple years later, he goes to sell the house. It appraises for $330,000, but people are only making lower offers. He is basically forced to not move or accept a lower offer of say $310,000. This will then leave the home owner short on the house, which is not good at all!

    Do Observe Trends

    Try to find out what types of kitchens are selling in the area. Do people prefer stainless steel or black for the appliances? Are people looking for eat-in kitchens, or do they prefer ones that have just an island in them? Look at pictures of recently sold homes in your area, or take note of kitchens at open houses to help gauge trends.

    Consider Available Space

    Turning a small kitchen into a larger one is sometimes a “do” and sometimes a “don’t.” It’s a “do” if the extra space is within the budget and if it will not take over another part of the house. However, let’s imagine that in order to make your kitchen larger, you need to take out part of the living room or dining room. Home owners need to carefully consider what this could do to the resale value of their home. Will people prefer a huge kitchen with either a tiny or nonexistent dining room, or would they rather have moderately sized spaces for all of these rooms that are generally considered “must haves”?

    Clearly, remodeling a kitchen is a huge undertaking that will likely leave home owners without cooking space for awhile. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of all the components that go into such a remodeling, particularly how it may affect resale if they plan to sell their home in the near future.

    Disclaimer:

    Elizabeth “Betsy” DiRiego of Re/Max Connection Realtors is not a licensed financial advisor, and is not providing any financial advice; you should consult with a licensed financial advisor prior to making any financial decisions.  Elizabeth “Betsy” DiRiego of Re/Max Connection Realtors is only providing this statement for informational purposes.

    Elizabeth “Betsy” DiRiego of Re/Max Connection Realtors accepts no liability for the content of this blog, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided. Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.

    Elizabeth “Betsy” DiRiego of Re/Max Connection Realtors, 1000 East Lincoln Drive, Suite 2, Marlton, NJ 08053 www.HomesToBetsy.com and http://hosted.cdpe.com/HeavensToBetsy

     

     

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