Posts Tagged ‘Home Repairs’

7 Easy DIY Things Around The House

Looking to update your home, but don’t want to shell out big cash? Don’t have the DIY gene? You can still make noticeable and beautiful changes to your home. Here are the 7 things you can easily do yourself:

1. Painteasy do it yourself projects around the house

Painting is the easiest way to make a big impact on your space with little money and minimal effort. A must-do for painting: proper preparation. You can choose to tape the baseboards and lay down some drop cloths before you paint. On the flip-side, you can choose to scrape, scrub and be frustrated with the mess you made later. But you can’t have both.

You’ll also want to consider the type of paint you buy.

The lower grade the paint, the more you will usually deal with drips and coverage problems. If you don’t want to splurge on a pricy brands like Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams, wait for sales or go with the big box stores’ more high-end lines. You’ll see a difference.

2. Minor demo

Pulling up old carpet is easy with a few tools, a little time, and access to a dumpster to dispose of the old carpet. You can also pull up old tile, but be prepared to use your muscles.

3. Do your flooring

Although flooring typically falls into more of an advanced DIY job, it can be easy depending on the area being covered and the type of material being used. Carpet tiles or vinyl can be easier to install and care for.

4. Refinish furniture

Refinishing furniture is easy, fun, and a great way show off your creativity and personal style. All you need is a sander (or some old-fashioned sand paper), your paint or stain of choice, and something to apply it with. If you are using stain, make sure to have clean dry towels to remove the excess.

If you’re not sure you want to take the leap on something you already have, practice on a cheap garage sale find.

5. Landscape your yard

Even without a green thumb, you can create a great yard with a little work. If you need help easy diy around san diego housegetting started, attend a clinic at a local nursery. Be sure to bring pictures of your yard. You’ll want help determining what you can plant, which will depend on the amount of sun, shade, and water involved, along with the time of year.

6. Update your bathroom

Paint the walls, replace your bath mats and towels with something new and fresh, update the bathroom light fixture. That’s all it takes for an easy and cheap update to freshen the look of your bathroom. Looking at add more flair? Try peel-and-stick tiles in a decorative pattern or do an entire wall.

easy diy7. Change out your hardware

This super easy fix can have great impact in a kitchen or bathroom. Transform those dated cabinets and drawers into a more modern aesthetic. Remember to use a template to cut down on time and help keep uniformity among them all.

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Quick Tips For Pricing Your Home

determining an asking price for my homeWhen it comes time to sell your home, setting a realistic selling price is extremely important. Price it to low, and you may be leaving money on the table, despite getting extra interest from buyers. Price it too high, and your home risks becoming a “stale listing,” as it sits on the market with little interest.

· Consider nearby comparables. What have other similar homes in your neighborhood sold for recently? How do they compare to yours in terms of size, upkeep, and amenities?

· Consider the competition. How many other houses are for sale in your area? Are you competing against new homes?

· Consider your contingencies. Do you have special concerns that would affect the price you’ll receive? For example, do you want to be able to move in a few months instead of a few weeks?

· Get an appraisal. For $400-500, a licensed appraiser can give you an estimate of your home’s value. Be sure to ask for a market-value appraisal. To locate appraisers in your area, contact The Appraisal Institute ( or ask your REALTOR® for some recommendations.

· Be accurate. Studies show that homes priced more than 3% over the correct (market) price take longer to sell.

· Know what you’ll take. It’s critical to know what minimum price you’ll accept before beginning a negotiation with a buyer. Of course, there could be other terms on the offer that may change this number. Your agent can guide you further on this during contract negotiations.


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Home buyers-Asking For Repairs?

It is highly recommended that home buyers have a complete home inspection done before purchasing a home. But when it is all done, some buyers ask to have every little thing fixed, while others ask for almost nothing. Which home repairs should buyers ask for?

Some repairs do seem ridiculous, but having a furnace repaired so that it works again, or having a leaky pipe fixed is not so far fetched.

Making an offer on an older home and then asking to have all the windows replaced seems a bit home buyers asking for repairsover the top, and sellers will view it that way as well. Buyers have to understand a seller’s point of view when it comes to repairs. And the old adage, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” actually applies pretty well in this cases.

Sometimes buyers looking for craftsman style homes built in 1910 to 1940 expect them to have modern electrical systems where all of the electrical outlets are grounded.  Sellers often have owned a home and lived in it for a couple of decades with two pronged outlets, therefore they don’t see why they need to be changed over to grounded outlets for the buyers as a priority.

There are some things that a home has to have like working plumbing or a working furnace. I personally think that if something in a home leaks, the sellers should fix it. This is especially true with indoor plumbing or gas lines. It can both cause additional damage and can be downright dangerous.

Buyers should keep in mind that sellers might not have the money needed to make repairs.  Sellers should understand that often home buyers are short on cash and can not afford to have repairs made and buy a home all at the same time. Yet buyers need to know that there will be repairs in the future and they should budget for them.

Sellers should be prepared to fix anything that comes up as a hazard (safely issue) in the home inspection report like unsafe wiring or pressure release valves that don’t work.

Sellers can say no to any repair that the buyers ask for. And buyers can cancel the purchase agreement during the inspection period and find another home, if the inspection reveals too many issues.

The point of the inspection is for the buyers to know what they are buying. It also protects the sellers somewhat, because the inspector is finding the problems that could upset the buyers if they found out after they closed on the home.

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The All-Important Home Inspection

For San Diego home buyers, finding the right home can be an exciting time.  So exciting that sometimes home buyers forget some essential steps.  One of the most important steps in the whole home buying process is the home inspection. This is especially important in the case of purchasing an older home. A great majority of homes in Southern California were built in the 1950’s. Many still have original plumbing and electrical systems that likely have issues. Of course, your home inspector can guide you to separate the minor issues from the costly, major ones.

Before the sale is closed and the deed transferred, it’s highly recommended to have a professional inspection done anytime you purchase a home. A full report can be completed in about two hours and will leave you with peace of mind and an awareness of potential issues in your future home. You may even choose to have a professional licensed in asbestos, lead, chemicals, pool/spa, roof, mold, mildew, or pests inspect the home, too, to notify you of any unknown dangers.

Home inspections typically cover the following:

  • Walls
  • Ceilings
  • Floors
  • Roof
  • Windows
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical
  • Water supply and pressure
  • Gas lines

Landscaping, walkways and driveways will also be evaluated.  An inspector will note grading and drainage.  Any exposed general framing in beams, attics, roofing, HVAC and plumbing systems will be inspected, as well. Generally speaking the age and condition of roofing materials, plumbing and rain gutters will be noted, too, giving you an idea of your home’s maintenance history. Water heaters, fireplaces and the sprinkler systems, if applicable, should also be evaluated, as should appliances, alarms, and smoke detectors being left in the home to ensure a safe move-in.

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Upgrades to consider before Selling your Home

     Looking to sell your San Diego home? What sort of repairs or upgrades are worth considering? According to this year’s Cost vs. Value Report, real estate professionals ranked exterior improvement projects as the clear winners. They not only won buyers over, but provided sellers with the most return on investment.
     The best rule of thumb when it comes to home improvement is “curb appeal.” When buyers are shopping for a home, the exterior can make (or break) the first impression. According to the 2013 Cost vs. Value Report, exterior replacement projects are among the most valuable home improvements that sellers can currently invest in, starting with the front door.

     A steel entry door topped this year’s survey with an estimated 85.6 percent of the costs recouped at resale. The steel door replacement is also the least expensive of the 35 midrange and upscale remodeling projects included in the survey, costing $1,137 on average.

This is the 15th year that Remodeling magazine — in cooperation with REALTOR® Magazine. Exterior projects dominated the list with six of the top 10 most cost-effective midrange projects and eight of the top 10 upscale projects.ine — has released the Cost vs. Value Report. This year’s survey included more than 3,900 appraisers, sales agents, and brokers across the country who provided their opinions and estimates.

Because this is a national survey, many of the items listed below aren’t popular here in San Diego (fiber-cement siding, for example). Note that most of the items listed are focused on the outside of the home.

Top 10 Midrange Projects

1. Entry Door Replacement (steel) 
Job Cost: $1,137
Resale Value: $974
Cost Recouped: 85.6 percent

2. Deck Addition (wood)
Job Cost: $9,327
Resale Value: $7,213
Cost Recouped: 77.3 percent

3. Garage Door Replacement 
Job Cost: $1,496
Resale Value: $1,132
Cost Recouped: 75.7 percent

4. Minor Kitchen Remodel 
Job Cost: $18,527
Resale Value: $13,977
Cost Recouped: 75.4 percent

5. Window Replacement (wood)
Job Cost: $10,708
Resale Value: $7,852
Cost Recouped: 73.3 percent

(tie) 6. Attic Bedroom Addition 
Job Cost: $47,919
Resale Value: $34,916
Cost Recouped: 72.9 percent

(tie) 6. Siding Replacement (vinyl) 
Job Cost: $11,192
Resale Value: $8,154
Cost Recouped: 72.9 percent

7. Window Replacement (vinyl)
Job Cost: $9,770
Resale Value: $6,961
Cost Recouped: 71.2 percent

8. Basement Remodel 
Job Cost: $61,303
Resale Value: $43,095
Cost Recouped: 70.3 percent

9. Major Kitchen Remodel 
Job Cost: $53,931
Resale Value: $37,139
Cost Recouped: 68.9 percent

10. Deck Addition (composite) 
Job Cost: $15,084
Resale Value: $10,184
Cost Recouped: 67.5 percent

Top 10 Upscale Projects

1. Siding Replacement (fiber-cement)
Job Cost: $13,083
Resale Value: $10,379
Cost Recouped: 79.3 percent

2. Garage Door Replacement
Job Cost: $2,720
Resale Value: $2,046
Cost Recouped: 75.2 percent

3. Siding Replacement (foam-backed vinyl)
Job Cost: $13,818
Resale Value: $9,926
Cost Recouped: 71.8 percent

4. Window Replacement (vinyl)
Job Cost: $13,055
Resale Value: $9,295
Cost Recouped: 71.2 percent

5. Window Replacement (wood)
Job Cost: $16,361
Resale Value: $11,194
Cost Recouped: 68.4 percent

6. Grand Entrance (fiberglass)
Job Cost: $7,088
Resale Value: $4,528
Cost Recouped: 63.9 percent

7. Deck Addition (composite)
Job Cost: $34,403
Resale Value: $20,532
Cost Recouped: 59.7 percent

8. Major Kitchen Remodel
Job Cost: $107,406
Resale Value: $64,113
Cost Recouped: 59.7 percent

9. Bathroom Remodel
Job Cost: $50,007
Resale Value: $29,162
Cost Recouped: 58.3 percent

10. Roofing Replacement
Job Cost: $33,880
Resale Value: $19,194
Cost Recouped: 56.7 percent

*Source: Remodeling Magazine

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Should I Fix the Roof Before Selling?

Home sellers often wonder what sort of repairs or upgrades should be done before putting their home on the market. When it comes to a home, one of the biggest expenses people worry about (and with good reason) is the roof. Roofs are a home’s number one defense against the elements. Not only are they very expensive, but leaky roofs can be the culprit of water damage, mold, and a host other problems. A new roof is often worth a lot to potential buyers, because it puts their minds at ease about any looming future problems.

sell home fast san diegoIn general, roofs last about 25-30 years (longer for tile). If you are about to sell, should you replace the roof? That depends on the situation, so the first step is to get roofing contractor to look at it. The inspector can examine the roof and let you know what may be needed so that you can make an informed choice. Having your own inspection also prepares you for what the buyer’s inspector may recommend.

If the inspector determines that a new roof is needed, a few key questions can help you arrive at a decision on whether to replace it.

1. Do you own the home outright? Your decision about replacing the roof may depend on whether you are looking to get a lot of money for the home. If you already own the home, you may not need as much of a return as someone who has a large mortgage and still hopes to leave with some cash in pocket.

2. Can you afford the cost, or will you need a home-equity loan? A home-equity loan can be used to make repairs, but that loan will also need to be satisfied when the house is sold.

3. What is the housing market like? At least for now, the San Diego housing market is hot enough that your home will likely receive multiple offers. Examine whether there are other homes for sale in the area that are priced in your range and, if so, what condition they are in. In a sellers market like this one, sellers are in control and don’t need to do much (if any) repairs such as a roof. Of course, when the market eventually turns,  a major incentive to potential buyers is a new or repaired roof.

4. Will leaving the roof as is have a negative impact? Is it necessary to put a new roof on the property to prevent other damage to the home? If you have already seen leaking, you must act immediately. It may be hard for the buyer to get a mortgage if the roof is in bad shape.

If you aren’t interested in replacing the roof, you could investigate a partial repair to address immediate problems. Another option is to offer buyers a lower price or credit that factors in the potential cost of the roof. Some buyers may be more interested in replacing the roof themselves. This can also be good for a seller because it reduces their liability, should the roofing company do a sub-par job.


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