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Remodel & Renovate in Riverside County : Real Estate Advice

  • All144
  • Local Info6
  • Home Buying81
  • Home Selling14
  • Market Conditions4

Activity 18
Sat Nov 5, 2016
Derek Jones answered:
Depends on your market. In my market working central heat and air is a standard feature and wouldn't be considered a premium. Just replace it and enjoy it for 3 years and chalk it up to home maintenance. ... more
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Sat Jul 16, 2016
Arpad Racz answered:
Hi Bartay,

Flooring can be a first-impression item, and may be one of the items that could be replaced, depending on the priority of other items that need attention at the property. Have an RE agent walk through the property with you to get an idea of priorities may add some benefit.

Kind regards,

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Wed Mar 6, 2013
Kevin and Julie McLaughlin answered:
When I asked this of a few of our Buyers, all said they are looking for a master bedroom with a walk-in closet and its own bathroom -

I wish you well with whatever decision is made!

Kevin McLaughlin, Broker Owner
Berkshire West Realty
Murrieta, CA
DRE Broker #01405309
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Mon Aug 20, 2012
Steven Ornellas answered:

To avoid any issues, and possible waste of your money, contact the City/County Building Permit Office and find out what you CAN build - and, as John states, your HOA may have the last word.

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Wed Sep 28, 2011
Paul Kaplan answered:
Many of my Canadian clients have asked me this question; apparently somewhere, its written that Canadians aren't allowed to do remodeling work themselves on properties in the US>; I've not read this anywhere myself, but have heard of other Canadians being concerned about this.

Regardless, I have many buyers from Canada, doing a variety of renovations to their homes themselves here in Palm Springs, from putting in new pool, adding bedrooms, etc... I don't think painting, and replacing flooring will be an issue, (as long as you abide by your condo's CC&Rs).
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Wed Aug 17, 2011
Tyler, Daniel did a nice job of listing the parameters of ths HomePath, let's answer your question. With only 35K available on the HomePath Renovation loan, the first requirements are going to be to correct any deferred maintainence or defects in the property to pass muster for mortgage financing. IF there is any "leftover", the borrower could elect to do some additional upgrades. In short, required items will take precedence.

There are lots of benefits to the HomePath loan (like the 3.5% closing costs credit for owner occupied properties currently offered, no mortgage insurance is a definite plus and the ability to purchase as an investor with only 10% down is killer). However, the downside of having to purchase a specific FannieMae Home severely limits the potential for a prospective home buyer. I would recommend buying a HomePath home if a client wanted to buy THAT specific home anyway (investor, different story...there may be reasons to shop for a HomePath property).

If a borrower is interested in upgrading a property, I much prefer the FHA 203K loan. Of course, the deferred maintainence and defects must be corrected just as with the HomePath Renovation Loan; however, the borrower has much, much more latitude with what improvements they can make to the property. With the exception of luxury items (no new swimming pools), the sky is pretty much the limit. As long as the project "pencils" to no more than 110% of the future value of the property, the borrower can call many of their own shots.

On the 203K loan: Interview and report by FHA consultant preceded contractor. Contractor bid next. Third, appraisal "as is" and as "future value" adding FHA consultant report and contract plans and specs. Any questions, please feel free to contact me. I specialize in the 203K and have written several blogs about the product and opportunities. Best to you!
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Thu Aug 11, 2011
Robbin L Robinson answered:
Best place to check with are asset companies that handle foreclosures such as Atlas, nationstar, and others. You can google for further names. Also, register with Fannie Mae as a service provider. Good Luck! ... more
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Wed Oct 27, 2010
brian foote answered:
None of what you mention is permit work. Even in a condo. You would need to check with the HOA but I will say inside work is up to you. I can recommend some good contractors.


Brian Foote
Realty Execs
DRE 01815209
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Mon Sep 27, 2010
Terry Bell answered:
Every county and city has their own building codes and laws. When buying a house, your agent should make sure that you have an "inspection period" that you are allowed to back out of the contract and get back your deposit, and find out the answer to good questions like this! Your agent is a very important person in the transaction process, to help to make sure that they explain all the information that is pertinent to being a homeowner! Best, Terry Bell, CPS RE, Santa Rosa, CA ... more
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Thu May 20, 2010
In these difficult times it is good to be resourceful in exploring ways to keep employed. As a local mortgage lender in Riverside, I, too, am interested in finding investors who buy and flip properties. I can help them by helping the new buyers arrange for a new mortgage to finance their purchase, even if it is within the first 90 days of the investor's ownership.

I suggest you call around to a few large real estate offices and ask the office manager to direct you to their top agent who has a track record for working with that kind of investor and then ask the realtor. I will also email you with a few leads for you to pursue.

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Tue Jan 26, 2010
Robert Claro asked:
Thu Jan 21, 2010
Jesse Madison answered:
On the surface it would appear as a bad idea considering most people would prefer the 4th bedroom and the cost to convert would be close to $10,000. However, it depends on what you would be doing and if it would add value to the home in any way. Are you converting the area to a formal dining area, Are you adding a formal living room or creating a great room? Is there functional obsolescence the way the floor plan is currently laid out?

In short the answer depends. However, if you are simply breaking down a wall and there is not an increased value to your future prospective buyer then I would recommend leaving it as is.
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Fri Oct 9, 2009
CCC answered:
Hi, get two bids from different local contractors, maybe even 3. Then Ask your uncle for his bid.
Then you will have 4 estimates on the cost to do the changes on your new home.

Appliances, go online to lowes, home depot, menards, do it yourself companies (some of this you migth not have in LA!) , best buy and sears on prices. Depending on credit and propmotions some companies offer minimun payments for 12 months. Also, you should see options, LG is not going to be moderate price you could be talking around 2,000 to 3,600.

Congratulations on your new Home!

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Mon May 25, 2009
Will answered:
Please clarify your question so that we can answer your question
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Mon Jan 5, 2009
Keith Sorem answered:
The square footage of the house does include the garage or carport for percent improvement computations, but not for living area. Contact the Riverside Dept of Building and Safety for applicable codes. In most areas there is a limited ratio of improved to unimproved.

For example, in Glendale you can improve up to 36%, which includes the garage. So if the house was 1600 sf, the garage was 400 sf, that 2,000, if the lot was 6,000, you are at 33% already.
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Fri Dec 26, 2008
Shel-lee Davis answered:

Coming from a background which includes construction, real estate investing and real estate consulting I would recommend the following. Of course, you would want to check with your county / city building department and tax assessor regarding the advantages of new construction over remodel, as this is just my personal experience:

1. If you plan to live in the home then do a remodel / addition (this would include a total rebuild with one corner of the existing foundation being retained) as this may minimize the property tax implications of the construction and also the plan check and city fees. This way you end up living in a home of your dreams and making, not making do with something someone else liked.
2. If you do plan on living in the home, you might want to look into an FHA 203K - remodel / rennovation loan. This would require a minimal out of pocket expenditure for the work, although it would require FHA inspections (which can be a bit tough at times). The good news, the work will be done well, as FHA is pretty strict on their inspections.
3. If you just intend to rent it out, then do a little cosmetic fix up to make it attractive, minimize your out of pocket expenses, and maximize your rents.

Hope this helps you think through the process. Dare to Dream.

Shel-lee Davis
Real Estate Consultant
RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty
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