Robin V. Wish - Real Living Suburban Lifestyle Real Estate



Posted by Robin V. Wish on 6/24/2019

If you live in an older home that needs a face-lift, you might be tempted just to paint it white or one of the many neutral colors you see around you. But sometimes neutrals just fade into the background. So, if you want your home to stand out, consider being bold and expressive with your exterior.

As you drive through older neighborhoods, make a note of the colors you love and the combinations that stand out to you. Depending on the exterior materialsóstucco, brick, block, rock, vinyl, wood siding, shakes, etc. - and the architectural details you want to highlight, you can locate samples that ďspeak to youĒ and express your homeís personality.

Beware the covenants

If you live in an association operated development, check your covenants before hiring that paint crew. Some associations require submission of color choices and alternatives to an architectural or aesthetic committee for approval. Others have pre-selected color schemes from which to choose. In those cases, your options are more limited than if you can freely decide for yourself. So, select a combination that differs from your nearest neighbors and from other houses with your same facade. Opt for colorful shutters and doors instead to give your home some extra visibility.

Be brave, not obnoxious

On the other hand, if you have available any choice in the world, choose combinations that reflect the region, enhance the neighborhood, and reveal your homeís unique features. In many cases, subtlety adds more value to your home than a glaring hue. But if youíre showcasing a Mid-Century or ultra-modern home, go ahead and shout it out!

If youíre not sure what works for you, take a trip to your local specialty paint store. There, an in-house designer can show you combinations of color and materials, finishes and sheen. Youíll learn what colors can fade in bright sunshine or dull with the weather, and which paints will hold up to your local environmental conditions.

Also, take note of the preparation required to give your new exterior a long, full life. You may need to clean and power wash brick, repair cracked or broken stucco, and scrape peeling paint from wood siding and window trim.

While fiber-cement-based siding often accepts paint, vinyl likely does not, or it only accepts specific paint applications with an adhesive primer and quality, acrylic paint. Do not attempt to paint vinyl siding yourself without practicing the techniques on a hidden area first. If your home has vinyl siding, you may want to change the siding to change the color instead. Check the pricing both ways to see which is more economical for your home.

If youíre painting your home to sell it, get the opinion of your real estate professional for colors that attract buyers in your area.





Posted by Robin V. Wish on 6/17/2019

Homeowners make changes and improvements to their property for several reasons including to increase aesthetic appeal, provide mechanical upgrades, and boost the house's value. Regardless of your intentions, it is vital to know what your home needs so that you don't end up undertaking a project that is a waste of money and adds little utility or value. 

Before starting any house renovation project, make sure you carry out thorough research to see what improvements can raise your property value. Check out these home upgrades that would cost you a pretty penny but offer low returns when it is time to sell your home. 

Built-in aquariums

Building an aquarium into the wall or cabinets of your home will make your home look beautiful. However, these stunning upgrades can turn off potential buyers because not everyone wants to deal with the high cost of maintenance.

Swimming pool

As expensive as it is to install a swimming pool, it does not significantly increase the value of your property. A swimming pool requires constant attention and many home buyers can't deal with the upkeep. Apart from the high maintenance, home buyers that have little children see pools as a potential danger because of the fear of drowning accidents.

Built-in electronics

Having a floor-to-ceiling media center may look stunning and fit your love for big screens and entertainment, but some potential buyers may view it as a drain of energy costs and a waste of space. A high-end surround sound system or home theater doesn't work for everyone and may limit your pool of potential buyers. Besides, electronics change year to year, so anything you install will be out of date by the time you sell.

Home office

Even though freelancing is now common, and everybody seems to be working from home, adding a home office is a bad idea. Prospective buyers may be turned off by a room that can't function or substitute as an extra bedroom. However, if there is already a home office, keep the room simple; a chair, desk and good lighting are enough. Keeping the area simple will allow buyers to visualize the place for another purpose easily.

Luxurious bathroom 

Adding waterfall showers, imported tiles, hot tubs, steam room, or a sauna will cost you a lot of money but rather than attracting buyers, these luxuries will scare off many of them. You should consider doing more in the kitchen to which more buyers are likely to pay attention.

Installing an over-the-top chandelier

Every buyer wants to buy a home with bright light, but if you empty your wallet buying an expensive chandelier, you probably won't get a dime back. Chandeliers are something of a personal choice. You may spend thousands of dollars to install it, only to have it removed after you sold your home.

Consult your real estate agent to find out what home improvements are in high demand in your area before starting your next home renovation project.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Robin V. Wish on 4/15/2019

Moving into a new home is an exciting time. There is so much to do with packing up the old place, closing on the purchase, and moving in that you probably havenít spent much time wondering what your new home is like early in the morning, or late in the afternoon. After visiting your new home just a few times during the buying process, you may be unprepared for how your home appears at different times of the day.

Then, one morning, you wake up, look around and think itís still night because you donít see light streaming into your home the way it did into your fourth-floor walk-up apartment. You feel the walls closing in and wonder if it was all a mistake.

Whatís up with that?
If the home is older, it might have fewer windows. In an effort to conserve energy and lower heat and air conditioning bills, older home designs had less glass exposure. Of course, modern improvements to thermal windows makes this less necessary, but if youíve purchased an older home, or are planning to, consider some of these alternatives for brightening up your space.

Lighten up!

  • Remove heavy window coverings and curtains and opt for more sheer versions or install adjustable blinds to let in more light. Not only will this brighten things up, but it will also give your home a modern, clean, minimalist vibe. Lighter colored blinds reflect more light than wood, and lighter natural woods reflect more than darker ones.
  • Shine light on the walls and the ceiling. Adding a couple of floor lamps that direct light up the walls and onto the ceiling can brighten up any room. Or, add sconces to brighten things up in dark hallways and smaller rooms. Choose lamps without shades, or with very light shades to maximize the brightness.
  • Use paint to add light to the room. Interior paints are rated by their LRV (light reflective values). Before choosing a paint color, learn where it falls on the scale (from zero to 100%). Paint dealers can help you choose colors that have a higher LVR so that your home reflects more light. Often, the LRV is listed in the color ďfanbookĒ or on the paint swatch. The higher the value, the more light reflects into the room.
    Consider buying sample sizes and paint swatches on the walls so that you can view the paint in all light ranges throughout the day. If painting swatches on your walls makes you cringe, hang up a piece of butcher paper and paint the swatches on it. That way, you can quickly take it down when your mother-in-law pops in for an unexpected visit.
  • Make glass and metal your friend. Reflective surfaces found in mirrors, blown glass decorations, and metallic art helps bounce light around the room. Placing two mirrors opposite each other gives infinite reflections that open a room or give life to a dark hallway. Or, place crystal vases or brass candle holders in the darker area. Frame photos and art with metallic frames.
  • In the kitchen and bath, add reflective surfaces such as glass or metallic tile to backsplashes and showers. Chrome reflects more that brushed surfaces such as nickel, so opt for those in your bath and kitchen fixtures.
  • If renovations are in your future, consider a more open concept, enlarging windows, or adding skylights to increase your light exposure.
  • Pay attention to your landscaping as well. Older homes often come with mature trees that cast larger shadows. Give yourself the opportunity to experience all four seasons before removing them, though, because that shade might come in handy in the warmer months.

Check with your real estate professional for recommendations on local contractors to help with addressing structural changes and extensive landscaping alterations.





Posted by Robin V. Wish on 2/27/2017

If youíre trying to decide whether itís best to move from your current home or to make the necessary improvements on the home, itís not an easy decision. One thing you may have to consider is how to get the capital in order to have those home improvements done. 

Thereís a variety of options available to you in order to secure a loan to renovate your home. Whether you need to renovate the kitchen, build out from your current property, or replace the heating system, thereís ways that you can get the money to complete these necessary updates. 


One thing to consider about any of the options discussed is that you donít want to be paying for home improvement loans until you need to update everything once again. If youíre preparing to sell your home, making improvements is a wise choice, as it can increase the return that youíll get on your home. 

Donít Run Out Of Cash


 If you cannot complete the improvements that you started, you may not be able to get another loan to complete them. You can typically borrow between 80 and 90% of your home equity. The downside to refinancing your home or taking out home equity lines of credit is that youíll need to pay closing costs once the loan is approved. In other words, youíll need to put out some cash in order to get some cash. 

Use Your Own Cash

If you have some cash saved up, itís wise to just do one project at a time. This can take some time, but can be more economical in the long run. If you donít need to complete your repairs in a hurry, then using your own savings is a good idea.

Refinance Your Home

If you would benefit from a lower interest rate, refinancing your home can be a great option. As long as the cost of repairs doesnít exceed the number of years that the updates will last, refinancing makes sense. 

Home Equity Credit Line


If your mortgage is locked in and working for you, home equity lines of credit are always a good option. You can draw money out as you need it and pay it back as you go. You wonít need to pay interest until you use the money and the loan is good for 10 years. The downside is that if you donít make the payments, you could lose your home.   

Home Equity Loans

This type of loan allows you to borrow a fixed amount and then pay back the loan with a fixed monthly installment. A 15 year term is typical of this type of loan.


Construction Loans


A construction loan can be used to build a house or to make large-scale renovations. These loans are short-term and not always easy to find access to. Not to mention that they are heavily managed and perhaps the least popular option presented here. 


FHA 203K Loans


This type of loan is generally used to purchase a home that is in need of much repair. The downside is that youíll need mortgage insurance for the entire life of the loan. Less complicated repairs often offer a more streamlined FHA loan of up to $35,000. 


FHA Title 1 Loans


These loans provide up to $25,000 for home improvements. The money is insured by the federal government and can be obtained from approved lenders. Homeowners donít need access to equity in order to get one of these loans and they are available in 20 year terms. 


These are just some of the options that are available to you as a homeowner seeking ways to get cash to make improvements to your home. You can tap into other types of personal loans including credit cards. Really, you need to do whatís best for your finances. Itís good to know that thereís options available to you to improve your home.




Categories: Uncategorized  




Tags