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Remodel & Renovate in 90059 : Real Estate Advice

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  • Local Info2
  • Home Buying4
  • Home Selling0
  • Market Conditions0

Activity 37
Thu Dec 6, 2012
Dan Chase answered:
Chemical stripping and mechanical removal are the 2 ways to remove it.

Painting over lead paint still allows the lead to remain.

mechanical removal would come down to either scraping or sanding. Sanding will create a lot of dust. That will get into your lungs without a professional grade respirator ($30-50)

I would look at chemical stripping. Just keep the sunshine away until the stripper does its job. It will evaporate in sunlight and high heat to quickly.
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Sat Dec 25, 2010
Shel-lee Davis answered:
Congratulations on your purchase. Ask both your lender and the 203K consultant for a list of contractors they have worked with in the past. This would be a great first step. Also know, any contractor who carries the correct insurance coverages can be used for this work. It takes about 5 - 10 days to get them approved once they fill out the paperwork. And lastly, if you are doing mostly windows, doors, paint, flooring and kitchen remodel, then check out Home Depot and their contractors. I know that in 2009, Home Depot was an approved contractor for 203K work (you might want to verify with your lender that this is still the case). Have fun with this project, and Dare to Dream.

Shel-lee Davis, CDPE
Your Real Estate Consultant for Life
RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty
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Tue Sep 20, 2016
Emily Knell answered:
It all depends on how extravagant you want the home to be, this cost / sqft can vary greatly.

You can ask a respected builder in my neighborhood, his name is Paul Kalish with TKR construction, he's also my neighbor. 562-708-8926 or speak to an architect, also a neighbor of mine, Cheryl Williamsen with Paradigm Design at 714-381-3459. or see

Even if you just need answers to very preliminary questions, I know they can help, they're good people.
562-430-3053 cell
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0 votes 10 answers Share Flag
Tue Feb 16, 2010
Deborah Bremner answered:
Hi Kenyamae;

Converting unused attic space into a bedroom is an excellent way to gain valuable living area without having to build an addition. An attic bedroom is also a good investment. According to Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value survey, an attic conversion returns more than 83% of the original cost of construction.

To protect the value of your investment, you’ll want to make sure your remodeled attic is a pleasant, quiet retreat with adequate storage, sound insulation, and safety equipment. Be sure to get permits on all work, and follow all building codes.

Remodeling Magazine uses as a basis for their cost the following scope of work: Convert unfinished attic space to a 15-by-15-foot bedroom and a 5-by-7-foot bathroom with shower. Include a 15-foot shed dormer, four new windows, and closet space under the eaves. Insulate and finish ceiling and walls. Carpet floor. Extend existing HVAC to new space; provide electrical wiring and lighting to code. Retain existing stairs, but add rail and baluster around stairwell.

If you don't add a bath, the cost will go down; if you raise the roof, your cost will be higher.

Now for their estimates: The average cost per square foot to add an attic to an existing space is $225 per square foot. Look at the scope of work above to see how yours matches up.

Most important, return on investment: an attic remodel returns approximately 88% of investment at resale. Averages in the Los angeles area: $60,135 spent, $52,749 cost recouped at sale, for an 87.7% ROI. That's even higher than the national average of 81%.

Good luck on your remodel. Let me know if, or how, I can be of further assistance.

Deborah Bremner
Certified Short Sale Professional
Coldwell Banker Brentwood West
11999 San Vicente Blvd. Suite 100
Los Angeles, CA 90049
Direct (818) 564-6591
Blogging at:
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Thu May 7, 2015
Deborah Bremner answered:
I'v bee a local girl for 50 years, and have lived with gravity furnaces all my life. When they work,they are efficient and effective. Some concerns are whether or not there is a crack in the box, as that can be a source of leaking carbon monoxide. If you had it inspected before your purchase and it came up as ok, it should be more than adequate for southern California living, and affordable. If you are thinking of upgrading, consider upgrading to a "green" system which operates at 95% efficiency. Up until years end, you can receive a hefty tax credit on both heating and air conditioning systems. My recommendation would be to have someone come out and look at the property and give bids. The costs of HVAC systems are dependent on the size of your home, how many zones you want, and what ductwork and insulation needs to be installed. Only a professional who has seen the job site can answer your questions.
Do you need a few referrals of qualified, pre-screened HVAC providers? I'd be happy to help. We have a service, Coldwell Banker Concierge, which is available to all of our clients at no cost, that makes homeownership easy - before, during and after your move. This free service saves you valuable time and money by giving you instant access to our exclusive network of prescreened, quality service providers, carefully selected for their professional qualifications and customer service records. From moving and relocation services to maintenance and home improvement projects, Concierge Online can facilitate every aspect of homeownership to ensure that you have access to the highest level of service providers in California. I'd be happy to hook you up, free of charge. Just send me an email.
Deborah Bremner
Certified Short Sale Professional
Coldwell Banker Brentwood West
11999 San Vicente Blvd. Suite 100
Los Angeles, CA 90049
(D) 310.571.1364
(C) 310.422.4288
(F) 310.820.1457
Blogging at:
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Sat Dec 26, 2015
Don Tepper answered:
No. At least not in any area I know of.

It's at the discretion of the landlord. How often does it need to be replaced? Maybe more frequently than 7 years. Maybe less so. I expect that "7 years" is just some rule of thumb someone suggested somewhere. Or else it was some average based on some (possibly unreliable) survey. ... more
0 votes 9 answers Share Flag
Tue Feb 23, 2010
April Kass answered:
Hi Susan, I own a home inspection company in LA. We don't build or contract however I know many wonderful contractors and would be happy to give you their info. You can visit my website at and click on the contractor referrals page to view info on some great contractors. Please call our marketing director April Kass if you are interested in using our company or if you need any further assistance locating a contractor for your show. Her direct line is 818 951 2761 snd her cell is 818 319 2225.or email her at

John A LaRocca
LaRocca Inspections
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0 votes 5 answers Share Flag
Sun Sep 20, 2009
Jesse Sierra answered:
Hi Porkoil,
Get some business cards created along with nice looking flyers.
Do not list any prices, have the agents contact you and you can negotiate.
Go to real estate offices and talk to the manager or broker and ask if you can
leave some flyers and business cards or if you can meet the offices REO agents.
Do not send emails to agents (I hate that and it's inpersonal).
BTW, don't cut corners on the design and business cards. The better the presentation, the more likely they will call.

Best regards,

Jes Sierra, B.Sc.
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Sun Feb 10, 2013
Diane McDonald answered:
Hi Misterchino,

One of the contractors I recommend and have used personally recently did work for a buyer with a 203K loan. Contact me and I'll forward his information.

Diane McDonald
Keller Williams Realty, Los Feliz
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Wed Jan 6, 2010
Staci Siegel answered:
When a defect is not reported during an inspection, the inspector could be held liable if the defects were visible and accessible during the time of the inspection. If the kitchen sink was leaking from a pipe in the cabinet below and the inspector did not catch it, he would be liable. However, if there were bricks piled up in front of the kitchen sink that could not be moved, then the inspector could not be held accountable. Usually when there is something keeping the inspector from gaining access, that will be indicated in the report by a note that says something like, "could not get access, recommend further inspection." The inspector's contract will usually state limitations on liability, what kinds of things are not within the scope of his inspection, as well as limits on monetary damages which may or may not be enforceable in every state.

I don't know if you've gotten more than one opinion on your HVAC, but if you haven't, I would get another. If you find that the next vendor tells you the same thing and you believe the unit was accessible during the time of the inspection, and there is nothing on the report that indicates otherwise, then I would call your inspector and give him the opportunity to make amends. Have him explain whether it was in the scope of his inspection and if it was, and he missed it, give him the opportunity to replace it.

If you have further questions, please ask.
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Sat Jan 16, 2010
Gloria Commiso answered:
Hi melinda,I had an estimate for replacing a long driveway and repairing a walk way. I had estimates from 12k to 16k. I recently recieved 2 new estimates 7k and 9k. I also had paint estimates that were about 30% less. its a good time to get work done!
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Tue Mar 23, 2010
Monique and Joe Carrabba answered:
Hello Joe,

How fun. I know of a gentleman that I have worked with that is a designer that is great with design and restoring older homes. His name is Curtis B of Curtis B Designs. His email is and can assist you with the restoration of your Craftsmen home.


Monique Carrabba
The Carrabba Group
Keller Williams Hollywood Hills
(323) 899-2900
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Tue Mar 17, 2009
Homa Moaddel answered:
Hi Robert,

I would contact the city of Los Angeles Planning Department. For lender for a construction loan contact Dave Gaylord at (949)939-6011.


Prudential California Realty
Mission Viejo
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Tue Sep 20, 2016
Bill Eckler answered:

Exactly, it all depends on the scope of work, if wall, plumbing, and electicity etc. need to be significantly changed and you fondness for finer things.

The kitchen remodel would be considerably more than a bathroom simply because of the amount of cabinets, larger size, and appliances. The previous post is on the mark for a price range of between $5,000 and $50,000.

You can save yourself a lot of money by pulling the permits for the work yourself and having an experienced tradesman do the work for you on the side.

Good luck
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0 votes 13 answers Share Flag
Mon Oct 13, 2014
Jack answered:
A sewer inspection in the greater Los Angeles area typically cost anywhere from $275-$475 for homes ranging in size from a couple hundred square feet to several thousand square feet. Ive seen larger estates with several buildings on several acres costing as much as $1000-$2000.

Most companies charge anywhere from $80.00-$100.00 additional to remove, and reinstall a toilet during the inspection process.

They also charge additional if they have to access the mainline from difficult, or multiple locations such as the roof, crawlspace, guest house, or additional clean-outs. This usually runs an additional $50-$100 per location.
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Sun Aug 10, 2008
Shel-lee Davis answered:

Did Countrywide tell you that there were any conditions to the approval or did they tell you they were drawing documents? If there are conditions, then you must clear those first before they can finally fund the loan. What could go wrong now is that you cannot clear those conditions. If they are drawing documents, then you are probably done.

You should call your Countrywide loan officer and ask both your question (what can go wrong now) and my question (are there conditions or are you drawing documents). This is truly your best bet.

Congratulations on taking action to get the FHA refi and Dare to Dream.

Shel-lee Davis
Real Estate Consultant
RE/MAX Palos Verdes Realty
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Fri Jan 1, 2010
Luke Allison answered:

I can originate a 203k loan for you in California. When you are done with the rehab, you can either keep your loan/rate or refinance and try to lower your rate, eliminate MI, etc.

Please give me a call and I will get the process going.
Luke Allison
Flagstar Bank
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