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Zeller's Blog

By Doug & Bud Zeller | Agent in Placerville, CA
  • Survey: Majority of Home Owners Planning to Renovate

    Sixty-seven percent of consumers say they're planning a home renovation within the next six months, according to realtor.com®'s Home Improvement Survey of more than 1,500 home owners. They're planning to spend more money on their renovations than last year, the survey found.

    The most common budget range for home improvements was between $2,001 and $5,000. Eighteen percent of respondents who say they plan to renovate before the end of the year are budgeting $10,000 to $20,000 on their renovation.

    "With 32 percent of consumers planning to spend money on improving the look and feel of their homes, home buyers should think about purchasing homes that require renovations," says Barbara O'Connor, chief marketing officer for Move Inc., the operator of realtor.com. "By considering these kinds of homes, buyers open themselves up to more affordable options and the ability to renovate their homes to fit their specific needs and tastes."

    Respondents indicated that these are the most popular areas of the home to renovate: the kitchen (61%), bathrooms (59%), backyards or patios (33%), and the exterior of the home (32%).

    Additional survey findings at: Source  Move Inc.

  • Reality TV Skewing Home Remodeling Picture?

    Posted Under: Remodel & Renovate in Placer County, Design & Decor in Placer County, Home Ownership in Placer County  |  June 16, 2014 2:29 PM  |  314 views  |  No comments

    Reality television shows that feature instant home makeovers are popular, but some remodelers say that such shows paint an unrealistic picture of the time and money required to remodel a home.

    “A lot of these shows tend to glorify the low cost,” says Craig Knott, owner of Houseworks Unlimited in Washington, D.C. “Not just that it can get done in three hours, but that the costs are very low.”

    Still, remodelers say that these home improvement shows—fromProperty Brothers and Vanilla Ice Project to This Old House and Holmes Makes It Right—are giving clients new ideas and helping the remodeling industry to recover after a decrease in business in recent years. The shows also force remodelers to keep pace with the latest trends. The popularity of these shows is evident in the ratings: HGTV was the second most-watched channel on weekend cable programming among viewers aged 25 to 54.

    “Anyone in the industry, period, should be watching these shows,” says Mike Holmes, host of Holmes on Homes, who admits to also being a cynic of some of the reality shows that make the remodeling process look too easy. He says reality TV shows like his can help professionals speak home owners’ language and can be used as an education tool.

    Source: “Reality Shows Distort Client Relations—Here’s How to Change Channels,” Remodeling Magazine (June 11, 2014)

  • J.D Power Ranks Top Home Improvement Retailers

    Posted Under: Shopping & Local Amenities in El Dorado Hills, Remodel & Renovate in El Dorado Hills, How To... in El Dorado Hills  |  June 6, 2014 5:24 PM  |  280 views  |  No comments

    When it comes to choosing a primary home improvement retailer, customers place a lot of weight on price, according to J.D. Power’s 2014 Home Improvement Retailer Satisfaction Study, a survey of more than 2,900 customers who purchased a home improvement product or service within the previous 12 months.

    Fifty-three percent of the customers surveyed say they look at the original price first and then sales and promotions when considering which home improvement retailer to select as their primary store, the survey found. 

    The J.D. Power survey found that customers spend, on average, about $1,780 per year on home improvement merchandise, up slightly from $1,626 last year. 

    To find which stores had customers the most satisfied, J.D. Power evaluated five factors of customer satisfaction with home improvement retail stores, including merchandise (e.g. availability and selection of brands); store facility (e.g. cleanliness and convenience); price; sales and promotions; and staff and service. 

    The following home improvement retailers rated highest for overall customer satisfaction, according to the 2014 J.D. Power survey: 

    1. Ace Hardware 
    2. Menards
    3. Lowe’s
    4. The Home Depot
    5. True Value
    6. Sears

    Source: J.D. Power 

  • A Dozen Ways to Make Kitchens Sizzle

    Posted Under: Remodel & Renovate in Cameron Park, Design & Decor in Cameron Park, How To... in Cameron Park  |  May 28, 2014 11:10 AM  |  345 views  |  No comments
    Whether they’re getting their house ready for the market or creating a dream kitchen in a home they just bought, clients considering a major kitchen redo will need guidance. Here are tips and trends to help you serve as their resource.

    Home buyers and sellers planning a kitchen redo have a lot of questions they need answered: What style of cabinets are in? What’s the newest color for countertops? What appliances should I install when there are so many? How do I ensure that my kitchen will be a gathering hub?

    The cost of redoing a kitchen is on the rise, averaging $109,000 for an upscale renovation and $55,000 for a mid-range transformation, according to the 2014 Cost vs. Value Report. You can serve as a much-needed resource for clients, advising them on the dos and don’ts when considering a kitchen remodel and helping them identify improvements within their budget.

    We asked some favorite kitchen pundits, including John Petrie, president of the National Kitchen & Bath Association and his firm, Mother Hubbard’s Custom Cabinetry in Mechanicsburg, Pa., about everything from paint to hardware to snazzy light fixtures.

    Experts say the following dozen trends are generating the hottest buzz in kitchens this year.  Check out: http://realtormag.realtor.org/home-and-design/architecture-coach/article/2014/04/dozen-ways-make-kitchens-sizzle?om_rid=AACb6$&om_mid=_BTe8 

  • Survey Reveals What’s Hot and Not in Home Features

    What are some of the most popular home features luring home buyers? The real estate brokerage Redfin surveyed 435 of its real estate professionals across the country to find out what the biggest real estate trends are with home features.

    According to the survey, real estate professionals identified the following features as the most popular among home buyers:

    •    Open floor plans
    •    Move-in-ready homes
    •    Granite in areas such as bathrooms or kitchens
    •    Upgraded windows
    •    Locations near public transportation
    •    Energy-saving appliances
    •    Large closets
    •    Updated lighting fixtures
    •    Two-story home with a bedroom on the main floor
    •    Wood floors

    The survey revealed the following home features are not popular with home buyers:

    •    Popcorn ceilings
    •    Carpet
    •    Lack of parking
    •    Small kitchens and bathrooms
    •    Minimal amount of natural light
    •    Dated homes
    •    Wallpaper
    •    Low ceilings
    •    Limited storage space
    •    Loud location on a busy street

    Source: “Real Estate Trends: Redfin Agents Tell Us What’s HOT and What’s NOT,” Redfin Blog (May 13, 2014)

  • Builder Confidence Subdued This Spring

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Elk Grove, Remodel & Renovate in Elk Grove  |  April 19, 2014 6:52 PM  |  466 views  |  No comments

    Builder confidence in the new single-family home market held mostly steady in April, showing a slow start to the spring-selling season. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index shows that builder confidence rose one point to 47 in April. Any number below 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as “poor” rather than “good.”

    “Builder confidence has been in a holding pattern the past three months,” says NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly. “Looking ahead, as the spring home buying season gets into full swing and demand increases, builders are expecting sales prospects to improve in the months ahead.”

    Still, builders are facing several challenges — tight credit conditions as well as lot and labor shortages — that are holding back a more robust recovery, says NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

    The index gauges builders’ perceptions on current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months, as well as buyer traffic. The index gauge measuring current sales conditions in April held steady at 51. The measure for prospective buyer traffic also held steady at 32. The component measuring expectations for future sales in the next six months, however, rose four points to 57.

    Source: National Association of Home Builders

  • Builder Confidence Subdued This Spring

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Sacramento, Remodel & Renovate in Sacramento  |  April 18, 2014 8:48 AM  |  341 views  |  No comments

    Builder confidence in the new single-family home market held mostly steady in April, showing a slow start to the spring-selling season. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index shows that builder confidence rose one point to 47 in April. Any number below 50 indicates that more builders view conditions as “poor” rather than “good.”

    “Builder confidence has been in a holding pattern the past three months,” says NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly. “Looking ahead, as the spring home buying season gets into full swing and demand increases, builders are expecting sales prospects to improve in the months ahead.”

    Still, builders are facing several challenges — tight credit conditions as well as lot and labor shortages — that are holding back a more robust recovery, says NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

    The index gauges builders’ perceptions on current single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months, as well as buyer traffic. The index gauge measuring current sales conditions in April held steady at 51. The measure for prospective buyer traffic also held steady at 32. The component measuring expectations for future sales in the next six months, however, rose four points to 57.

    Source: National Association of Home Builders

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