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Remodel & Renovate in California : Real Estate Advice

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  • Local Info96
  • Home Buying1K
  • Home Selling181
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Activity 391
Tue Apr 16, 2013
jbush9 asked:
Mon Apr 15, 2013
Terry Bell answered:
With only six units, I don't think it takes to much effort to do a survey of how many residents have any plans of selling withing the next 5 years! If you are the only residents planning on selling then you should probably start interviewing several realtors from your area who can best advise you of the benefits of investing some money on that particular project. People generally forget that Realtors are happy to consult with you even if you are not going to sell immediately. Trulia makes it easy to look up realtors by zip code where you live! Best, Terry Bell, CPS RE Santa Rosa, CA ... more
0 votes 3 answers Share Flag
Wed May 20, 2015
Terri Vellios answered:
It will be up to the Building Department. You can go to the city and meet with an inspector to discuss the scope of your work.
0 votes 8 answers Share Flag
Fri Apr 12, 2013
Sean Schwilling answered:
In general, home owners get the best return on investment for money spent on Kitchens & Bathrooms.
However, simple inexpensive improvements in the yard can result in significantly higher offers when selling. Contact me at your convenience for a no obligation consultation. 510-409-6946.
Sean Schwilling @ Your Service.
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0 votes 3 answers Share Flag
Mon Apr 8, 2013
jan detomaso answered:
Hi Michelle, I think you have a great idea and since you have to do some extensive work anyway it is the perfect time to do it. I am a real estate agent and would not dream of projecting cost for a project that will need a professional contractor plus plans and some re-engineering. Your best bet would be to talk to a licensed contractor and get at least 3 bids and make sure that they are including all the items you want fixed, added and upgraded. I will give you the name and contact of a local contractor that I have used and recommended with no complaints.....The contractor is ACI general contractor....661-379-7373. The roofer I have used on many projects is Armstrong Roofing...661-319-7566. Both of these companies will come out and give you a quote and tell you what scope of work they can provide to help you accomplish your goal of a home more suited to your needs. If they can't help you, they may be able to direct you to others who can get the job done in a timely manner at a good price. Good luck Jan DeTomaso ... more
0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Tue Apr 9, 2013
Terry Bell answered:
I think they make rooms look smaller, and nowadays the trend is towards open space and great rooms, even including the kitchen into the mix. Also, if you have any plans of selling in the future, you only narrow your buyer pool by not making the house as accessible and disability friendly as possible for the future, or maybe some new friends while you're still living there!. It doesn't sound like something you planned or wanted, so I vote to update the area! And when you're ready for a vacation home up here in the wine country, drop me a line! Best,
Terry Bell, CPS RE, Sonoma County, CA
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0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Mon Nov 25, 2013
David Kelsey answered:

The best option would be to contact a few contractors/companies that specialize in solar heating installation. There are a few here in the Bay Area that are very reputable and will come to your home and give you an estimate. After discussing the process with them and reviewing the estimates, hopefully you will feel informed to make the decision to move forward with your project. If you would like some referrals of specific companies, email me and I will provide you with some local area companies that will help you. Good luck! ... more
0 votes 2 answers Share Flag
Fri Aug 16, 2013
The Medford Team answered:
Trulia Fremont:

Couple of questions:

(1) For what type of property?

(2) Since FAR is a measurement used to determine density in urban planning which most Realtors have never heard of, let alone know how to calculate, what does it have to do with buying or selling homes? ... more
0 votes 2 answers Share Flag
Fri May 24, 2013
Debra (Debbie) Rose answered:
Although it's more expensive, hardwood flooring will really add more value than laminate flooring...but if your budget is limited, and you like laminate flooring , then go for it.

Are you planning to sell in the near future, or just curious as to how the price might be affected down the road?

If you have no plans to move, then definitely install whatever you prefer!

Best wishes...........
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0 votes 6 answers Share Flag
Wed Apr 3, 2013
Jason Richards answered:
It depends on many factors

1. Is the major issue repairable or not?
2. The type of transaction determines what realistic paths exist. REO,Short Sale, etc
3. Is the client capable of taking on the issue.

Bottom line is that you should never advise a client to proceed with something they cannot feel 100% comfortable with but at the same time, problems create opportunities.
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0 votes 7 answers Share Flag
Thu Mar 28, 2013
carlos parrague answered:
Too many variables.
Have you checked with the City? Is it allowed? Will you have to do additional site work to add parking?
Will it require sprinklers?
What material for outside walls? Masonry, steel stud and stucco, other?
What type of roof?
Are you including any light and/or power in your definition of shell?
How about a bathroom or just extension of plumbing?
Is the addition to the front, side or rear of the building?
The entire building will probably have to be brought up to code, do you also include that in the price?
Give me a call, I can work design/build with you to minimize your cost.
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0 votes 1 answer Share Flag
Mon Jun 17, 2013
Pacita Dimacali answered:

Do you have a question?

Or are you answering someone's question?

Or are you getting ready to post a blog?
0 votes 4 answers Share Flag
Mon Jul 15, 2013
Elena Talis answered:
It depends... If the general floor plan is acceptable then remodel. I don't think you want to be a buyer on this market anywhere in Bay Area.
0 votes 7 answers Share Flag
Fri Apr 12, 2013
Jed Lane answered:
Realtors might be able to tell you about past experience but that infomration isn't going to be absolute or reliable for what you might experience. DBI's enforcement waxes and wanes depending on the political will and budget.
If you were my client and were asking me this question I'd recommend that you walk into the DBI office and ask the question. My expereince is that they will answer the question without asking the address.
Yes though you could be forced to abate the extension, pay fines, get permits for and inspections of the extension etc. They can do many things but will they, who knows.
But rather than go through your life in the house not knowing and being afraid of the consequences go find out what they will be and move forward.
It is good that you took out the kitchen. The city doesn't look favorably on removal of dwelling units even if they are illegal.

I will confirm what Cary said, DBI is helpfull for the most part as long as you don't go in with an attitude.
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0 votes 5 answers Share Flag
Tue Apr 16, 2013
Katherine Johnson answered:
If it is chipping and peeling NO.It will need to be removed otherwise flat walls yes.
0 votes 4 answers Share Flag
Thu Mar 14, 2013
Bob Phillips answered:
As long as your remodel is TASTEFULLY and professionally done, and it has some cohesiveness with the rest of the house - AND you make sure to get all the proper permits - your project should enhance the value of your house by at least the amount you put into the remodel.

Such a project should not jeopardize your Prop 13 standing, although any added space ( That is now between the main house and your current pool room, for example.) might make for a slightly higher assessment from the tax man.
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0 votes 6 answers Share Flag
Mon Aug 5, 2013
Sinead McAllister answered:
IMO, kitchen! (That is assuming you don't have some glaring other issues :) )
0 votes 23 answers Share Flag
Fri Feb 22, 2013
Ramon Concepcion answered:
An in law unit would increase their resale value as there is another liveable structure on the lot. For property taxes I don't see how it would be affected as property taxes are based on assessed value, unless the property is reassessed after the the inlaw unit is built then there should be no change in value.

Hope this helps
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0 votes 6 answers Share Flag
Sun Feb 17, 2013
Edwin answered:
Rosemary, I can refer you to someone who did my kitchen. He works for a granite company, but does his own work on the side for less money, but his quality is very good. E-mail me at

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