Historic vs. New: Compare Your Options for a Home Purchase

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There is something charming about moving into a home with history. While many families love the feeling of new construction and a custom-built family home, other people prefer to buy an existing property with character. These historic homes have a rich history and carry the stories of people who lived there for so many years. It is a unique experience to move in and make the home your own.

Considerations When Purchasing a Historic Home

If you want to buy a home with character, then it is important to understand your limitations and the possibilities for the property. Often, homeowners invest a bit of money into renovation projects to not only update the living areas, but also to protect and preserve the history of the building.

Keep in mind that many historic towns have planning commissions that oversee the historical aspect of the neighborhood. Certain guidelines will need to be followed, and you might need to obtain approval before making changes that affect the facade of the property.

Also, architectural elements need to be evaluated. You can’t just knock out walls or match the crown moldings and wainscoting without a consultation with an architectural expert. Most of these historic homes are in conditions that are less than perfect, which means a little bit of TLC will likely be required to ensure the home matches the needs of your family. You might even consider the services of an architectural salvage company or a restoration contractor that specializes in historic renovations.

Avoiding Extensive Maintenance and Repair Work

When buying an older, historic home, you need to know that maintenance and repair work will be part of the package. Not only do you need to think about the appearance and comfort of the home, but there are possibilities of problems with major systems such as electrical or plumbing.

If you don’t want to spend money, time, or energy on these tasks, then it might make sense to choose a newer, move-in ready property instead. A real estate agent can help you find the right home that offers the comfort levels you desire, without the need for major updates or renovations.

There are pros and cons to new construction and historic homes, so it’s up to you to decide on the property that will be a good fit for your preferences and personality. History buffs find it fulfilling to put in the money and time commitment to create a one-of-a-kind home. If you are someone who appreciates the architecture and you enjoy DIY renovation projects, then a historic home might be the right solution for your needs.

The best way to get started is to share your vision and wish list with an experienced real estate team. DUFFY Realty can help you find the property that will be perfect for your family. Call today: (678) 318-1700

Design Tips to Make a Small Bathroom Look Spacious

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You don’t need to increase the square footage in your property to create a home that is spacious and comfortable. A little bit of design magic can go a long way to open up your rooms and give you the feeling that you are living in an open floorplan.

One area that should be considered is the design and layout of your bathroom. Here are a few tips to help:

  • Add Mirrors: It is common for a mirror to be placed over the sink, but that doesn’t need to be the only location for mirrors in the room. Look for other wall space where mirrors can be installed. Multiple mirrors help to increase reflected light and make the room feel bigger.
  • Improve the Lighting: Not only should you add brighter lightbulbs; also consider replacing the light fixtures. When the room is dark, it will feel smaller than it actually is. On the other hand, bringing in more light will brighten the corners and improve the feeling of the room.
  • Repaint the Walls: Another option to brighten the bathroom is to add a lighter shade of paint on the walls. Use the same color of paint on the walls and ceiling. When different paint colors are used, then it chops up the space into different sections, making it feel smaller.
  • Improve Storage and Clutter: One of the fastest ways to make a bathroom look small is by filling the counters and cupboards with a lot of stuff. Look for ways that you can streamline the storage systems to avoid storage containers that stick out from the walls. Also, get rid of anything that isn’t used regularly. If you aren’t using the item, then don’t store it in the bathroom.
  • Glass Doors: Consider the option to install a glass door on the shower. Swinging doors and shower curtains block off half of the room, making a small bathroom feel smaller. On the other hand, glass is a great solution so that you can protect the bathroom from the water without closing off the space. For the best results, choose a clear, frameless shower door and skip the frosted glass and bulky hardware.
  • Eliminate Cupboards Under the Sink: A pedestal sink is a way to remove some of the bulk in the room. If you don’t have much to store in the vanity, then a pedestal is the way to go so that you can use a smaller amount of space.

DUFFY Realty is here to help you create the home of your dreams. Whether you are preparing to sell your current home or you want to make a few changes to a home that you are buying, these tips can be used to make the bathroom look great. Contact us any time for more information about the ways that you can improve your home before selling without spending a lot of money on major renovations: (678) 318-1700

Easy Solutions to Make Your Home Appealing to Buyers

Easy Solutions to Make Your Home Appealing to Buyers

 

Slapping a few cell phone photos onto an online home listing won’t be good enough to sell your property in this real estate market. Your real estate listing is an opportunity to capture the attention of potential buyers and encourage them to schedule a time to visit your home.

If you want to maximize your home value and ensure that it sells quickly, then there are a few things that need to happen before the property is listed on the real estate market. It’s a seller’s market, which means that you can get your desired price if you are willing to put in a little bit of work.

Easy Home Improvement Projects

It might not be necessary to tackle massive home renovation projects before you are ready to sell. Instead, look for the small, simple techniques that will upgrade the appearance of the property and appeal to potential buyers. Here are a few tips to help:

  • Clean and Declutter: The first thing a potential buyer will notice is the cleanliness of the home. Pull out the rags and mop and spend the time to deep clean every room. Scrub the kitchen and bathrooms, have the carpets professionally cleaned, and clear the piled-up clutter in the closets.
  • Fresh Paint: A new coat of paint is helpful to cover up any aesthetic blemishes and create a neutral theme. Research the latest paint trends and stick with basic colors such as white, gray, tan, and more.
  • Cosmetic Upgrades: You don’t have to remodel the entire bathroom and kitchen. But a few cosmetic upgrades will update the appearance of these rooms. For example, add new hardware on the cabinets and replace the faucets to match. Decorate with new, fluffy towels and shower curtains to make the room look cozy and welcoming.
  • Add Lighting: A bright home creates feelings of comfort and beauty. Change out the lightbulbs, bring in a few more lamps, and make sure that all of the curtains are open when a potential buyer is touring the property. Don’t forget to evaluate the outdoor light bulbs to ensure that everything is lit when the buyers walk to the door.
  • Energy Efficiency: Not only do home buyers want to save money on utilities, but they also want to be proactive in protecting the environment. Add energy efficient upgrades by installing a smart thermostat, Energy Star rated appliances, and energy efficient light bulbs. Also, evaluate the insulation and weatherstripping around the doors and windows.

One of the most effective steps to ensure that your home sells quickly and easily is choosing an experienced real estate team in the area. You can learn more about your options to by talking to our experts at DUFFY Realty. Call to schedule a consultation so that you can learn more about the recommendations to prepare your home for the real estate market: (678) 318-1700

Don’t Overlook These Important Homeownership Costs

Don't Overlook These Important Homeownership Costs

What costs do you need to anticipate if you are planning to buy a home? Often, first-time buyers only look at the cost of the mortgage and utilities… but they fail to consider other expenses that might be incurred. If you are preparing for homeownership, then it is important that you evaluate all of the money that will be needed for the transition. These are some of the most common costs that are incurred when buying a new home:

Moving Expenses

Moving costs will vary based on your decision to hire a moving company. Even if you are planning a DIY move, you still need cash to rent a moving truck. Also, there are always expenses for moving boxes, tape, and other packing supplies. Plan a bigger budget if you have a lot of things that need to be moved.

Home Renovations

There are probably a few small items that need to be addressed in the home before you move in. For example, it is common for new homeowners to change the locks on the doors for security purposes. Some people want to upgrade the flooring or repaint the walls to match the furniture that will be used. If you are planning to buy a fixer-upper, then make sure to have a large budget for these renovation costs.

Maintenance

Even though you put in your due-diligence with a home inspection, there are a few maintenance tasks that might need to be addressed after you move in. Pay attention to some of the common maintenance tasks that are coming up: roof replacement, plumbing, HVAC, windows, and more. Experts say that most homeowners spend between 1 – 3% of the purchase price on home maintenance tasks each year. So, make sure you are ready with a maintenance savings account.

Furniture and Décor

Upgrading to a larger home is essential if your family is growing. But, you also need to consider the cost of the furnishings that will be needed. More rooms mean that you need more furniture. It is common for homeowners to use moving as an opportunity for a fresh start by creating a new theme for the décor.

Utility Bills

Monthly utility costs can be a big surprise if you are moving from an apartment to a home. Find out the anticipated costs for water, garbage collection, electricity, gas, and HOA fees. These costs will change based on the way you use your home. So, you can also make adjustments to the thermostat and electricity usage if you are looking for ways to save money.

Talk to the Best Real Estate Team in Atlanta

Yes, there are extra expenses that will be incurred when you are buying a home. But, it doesn’t mean that you can’t afford to be a homeowner. Talk to us at DUFFY Realty to learn more about the expenses that will need to be paid when you are preparing for homeownership. We are here to help: (678) 318-1700

Planning Your Budget for Home Renovations

Planning Your Budget for Home Renovations

Whether you are investing in repairs for your current home, or you are renovating a dream home for your family, it is essential that you consider your budget for the anticipated costs of the project. Home repair expenses can be worth the cost because of the many lifestyle benefits that you will enjoy after the renovations are complete.

As a homeowner, it is important that you consider the cost of the repairs and how they will impact the value of your home. Putting a budget in place will help you control the expenses and maximize your ROI. Here are a few tips to help you decide on the budget for your home renovations:

How Much Money is Available?

The first step is to consider the amount of money that you have available to spend. Just because you have a savings account for home projects, doesn’t mean that you need to spend the full amount. But, it might be a good idea to keep the renovation costs within the limit of the cash that you want to spend.

Another way to consider the money that is available is by looking at financing options. Don’t be stressed about financing the costs of the renovations because these home improvement projects will boost the value of your home. Many people find that they can take out a home equity line of credit, and then quickly recover the money in the increased value of the home after the renovations are done.

Itemize the Project Costs

Now that you know the amount of money that is available, the next step is to itemize the individual projects that are on your to-do list. Write out the details about the projects that you would like to complete, and estimate the costs for each project.

Looking at a list of itemized costs can be a great way to prioritize your renovations based on the money that is available. For example, if you see that is going to cost the same amount of money to upgrade the bathroom or rebuild the deck, then you might choose the deck first and wait to do the bathroom renovations next year. Consider the benefits that are available from each line item to determine the value that your family will receive.

Most families choose to improve the quality of the master bedroom, kitchen, bathrooms, and yard area. These are places where people spend a majority of their time, so it makes sense that the renovations should be focused on these parts of the home.

The great thing about renovation projects is that you have the opportunity to customize your plan. You can choose the designs and styles that will best fit the needs of your family, creating the dream home that you have always wanted.

Are you ready to buy a new home and fix it up to meet the needs of your family? Then right now is a great time to talk to our team at DUFFY Realty. Call us at (678) 318-1700

Important Factors to Consider if You Are Going to Invest in a Fixer-Upper

Important Factors to Consider if You Are Going to Invest in a Fixer-Upper

 

It is amazing to see the equity that can be gained for homeowners or investors who are willing to put in the work to renovate a fixer-upper. If you are considering the financial benefits that are available for your family, it is essential that you understand what you are getting into when you buy a home that needs renovations.

The benefits of a fixer-upper are that you can tap into the charm of the home, and still have the opportunity to customize the features and details to match the needs of your spouse and children. Here are a few things that to consider to increase the likelihood of success in your endeavors:

Hire an Inspector

You might be able to see that the home needs aesthetic upgrades, such as new flooring and paint. But, there could be structural problems that can’t be seen during your walk-through.

Make sure that you hire a home inspector to look at the details of the property, helping you understand the big renovations that will need to be addressed. An inspector will look at details such as the quality of the roof, the safety of the electrical system, and whether the plumbing is in good condition.

Work with the Professionals

Some of the renovations might be great do-it-yourself options, such as designing the flower beds or painting a fun mural on the wall of the playroom. But, don’t undertake big renovations without tapping into the experience of a professional contractor.

For example, you could be setting yourself up for failure if you attempt DIY electrical or plumbing work. Also, you need to be sure that you bring in an experienced team who will get the job done right. For big jobs, it can be beneficial to hire an architect to manage the load-bearing walls and floor plan changes.

Compare Other Properties in the Area

Don’t overlook the many resources that are available through your real estate agent. Look at the comparable homes in the area, so that you can estimate the equity that might be available for your investment. If you plan to invest $50,000 for home renovations, but your value will only go up by $30,000, then you might pass on the opportunity and look for a better investment property.

A good Atlanta real estate agent will be familiar with the industry, and they can make recommendations to help you learn more about your options. This information can be invaluable, giving you the foundation that you need to maximize your equity. Additionally, real estate agents are usually well-connected in the industry and can provide recommendations for contractors and other professionals who can help with the service.

If you are planning to buy a fixer-upper, then make sure that you hire the best real estate team to help: DUFFY Realty. We are the leading real estate group in the area, and our team would love to offer the assistance that you need. Call to learn more: (678) 318-1700

Always Hire a Contractor for These Home Renovations

Always Hire a Contractor for These Home Renovations

 

How do you know when to draw the line between do-it-yourself projects and hiring a contractor to help with home renovations? If you enjoy spending time with your family on home improvement projects, then you might consider the benefits of undertaking a few DIY projects together. But, there are times when you should sit back and relax while the professionals handle the heavy lifting.

Building Family Memories

The main advantage of a DIY project is that you can build memories with your kids. It is a fun and exciting experience for kids to pick out the wall color or décor items for their bedroom. Or, you can create a family memory garden by choosing the flowers and shrubs to create the backyard of your dreams.

On the other hand, some families prefer to outsource the work so that they can focus their time on fun activities with the family. You might plan a weekend trip away while the contractors are working. Then, you can come home to a newly designed home.

When to Hire a Contractor

Even if you enjoy DIY projects, there are certain activities that should always be done by an experienced home contractor. These are a few examples of times when you need to call the pros:

  • Plumbing: Water damage can lead to thousands of dollars in renovation costs. Instead of taking the risk of something going wrong, it is best to bring in a plumber to help if you are having issues with the pipes. Not only will you avoid the lengthy process of pipe replacement, but you could also save money on the overall costs of the project.
  • Roofing: Remember that time is money, and there is no reason for you to sit in the sun to replace the roof shingles. The roof is one of the most important parts of the house because it is the first line of defense against the harsh weather elements. Make sure that you have a strong, leak-proof roof by bringing in the experts to help.
  • Structural Changes: It is trendy for homeowners to change the floor plan to create the open floor plans that are so popular. But, don’t start knocking down walls if you don’t understand the architecture of the building. Taking out a load-bearing wall could lead to terrible results that compromise the structural integrity of the home. It might be fun to take a sledgehammer to a wall with your teenage son, but you need to be sure that you get a professional recommendation before starting on the work.

Spending a little money on these expert services can be a great way to ensure that you build the home equity that you desire. Whether you are buying a fixer-upper or renovating your home so that you can sell, our team at DUFFY Realty is here to help. Call for more information about the real estate services that we offer: (678) 318-1700

Planning Your Budget for Home Renovations

Planning Your Budget for Home Renovations

Whether you are investing in repairs for your current home, or you are renovating a dream home for your family, it is essential that you consider your budget for the anticipated costs of the project. Home repair expenses can be worth the cost because of the many lifestyle benefits that you will enjoy after the renovations are complete.

As a homeowner, it is important that you consider the cost of the repairs and how they will impact the value of your home. Putting a budget in place will help you control the expenses and maximize your ROI. Here are a few tips to help you decide on the budget for your home renovations:

How Much Money is Available?

The first step is to consider the amount of money that you have available to spend. Just because you have a savings account for home projects, doesn’t mean that you need to spend the full amount. But, it might be a good idea to keep the renovation costs within the limit of the cash that you want to spend.

Another way to consider the money that is available is by looking at financing options. Don’t be stressed about financing the costs of the renovations because these home improvement projects will boost the value of your home. Many people find that they can take out a home equity line of credit, and then quickly recover the money in the increased value of the home after the renovations are done.

Itemize the Project Costs

Now that you know the amount of money that is available, the next step is to itemize the individual projects that are on your to-do list. Write out the details about the projects that you would like to complete, and estimate the costs for each project.

Looking at a list of itemized costs can be a great way to prioritize your renovations based on the money that is available. For example, if you see that is going to cost the same amount of money to upgrade the bathroom or rebuild the deck, then you might choose the deck first and wait to do the bathroom renovations next year. Consider the benefits that are available from each line item to determine the value that your family will receive.

Most families choose to improve the quality of the master bedroom, kitchen, bathrooms, and yard area. These are places where people spend a majority of their time, so it makes sense that the renovations should be focused on these parts of the home.

The great thing about renovation projects is that you have the opportunity to customize your plan. You can choose the designs and styles that will best fit the needs of your family, creating the dream home that you have always wanted.

Are you ready to buy a new home and fix it up to meet the needs of your family? Then right now is a great time to talk to our team at DUFFY Realty. Call us at (678) 318-1700

The Money Pit Revisited: A Funny Movie from the 80s with Lessons for Today

The Money Pit Revisited: A Funny Movie from the 80s with Lessons for Today

Did you watch “The Money Pit” in the 80’s? This movie came out in 1986, and it might be a great option for a family movie night if you are looking for a good throwback feature film. Grab a bowl of popcorn and a few cold drinks to have a great laugh and build memories with your kids!

What is the Money Pit?

While this movie offers many funny moments to keep your family laughing, there are some good lessons that we can learn from the plot. In the movie, a couple is looking for a new house, but they have a hard time finding a property within their price range. Finally, they meet a con artist who sells them a gorgeous mansion at a shockingly low price. They quickly learn that it was too good to be true, finding out that everything is falling apart in the house.

In the movie, the couple moves from one problem to the next, finding issues with everything that you can imagine. As each problem is discovered, they realize that it will be necessary to invest even more money into the home to repair the problems.

Protect Your Family from Buying a Money Pit!

Every homeowner can watch this movie and relate to some of the issues that are encountered. Hopefully, you haven’t found yourself in the situation where you move into a new home and have to invest in multiple unforeseen repairs.

Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to keep your family protected from having this kind of experience. Instead of inadvertently buying a money pit of your own, you can proactively check every property you are considering to purchase to avoid the issues that were encountered in the movie.

There are two essential steps so that you don’t run into these same problems. First, make sure that you are working with a trusted real estate agent. By having a good agent by your side, they will offer suggestions and advice to help you evaluate the value of a property and how much money will be needed to make various renovations.

The second step is to ensure that you have each home thoroughly inspected before closing on the property. When a property goes under contract, you have a certain period when you can bring in an inspector to look at the property. Find an inspector that will offer a thorough report, detailing everything such as the electrical, plumbing, structural components, and more.

Here at DUFFY Realty, our goal is to help you protect your family. By choosing the right home, you can invest in a property that will require minimal repairs so that you can spend more time with your family enjoying your new home, instead of worrying about fixing problems around the house. For more information about investing in a high-quality home, we invite you to contact our team right away: (678) 318-1700

Flip or Flop? Can You Learn the Investor Game of Buying, Fixing, and Selling?

Flip or Flop? Can You Learn the Investor Game of Buying, Fixing, and Selling?

Real estate investing sounds like a glamorous business to many people, and it might be a great solution to increase your income and improve your quality of life. Instead of working a corporate 9-5 job, there can be some real benefits to focusing your efforts on buying and flipping homes.

Here are a few things that you need to know before putting your hard-earned money into an investment property.

Talk to the Professionals

Before you jump into the real estate investing area, make sure that you understand enough about buying and flipping so that you can maximize your investment. An experienced real estate agent can be a great way to help you understand the market so that you can choose properties that will turn a profit.

Another great option is to talk to someone else who is profitable with this type of investment. You can take classes about real estate investing, but you need to be careful about the source to ensure they aren’t trying to scam you for money. The best solution is to get a recommendation from friends or family so that you can talk to a contact who understands real estate investing.

Know Your Market

Be clear about the prices for the homes in the area where you are planning to buy and sell. If you are selective about the home that you purchase, you will be more likely to maximize your profit. For example, if you buy a property in a cheaper neighborhood and add luxury finishes inside, you might not be able to sell the house for as much as you could had you added the upgrades to the same type of house in a nicer neighborhood.

Before you make a purchase, you need to understand comparable properties in the same area. Your real estate agent can look at homes that have recently sold, helping you to choose a fixer-upper with the highest potential of a successful return on your investment of time and money.

Choose Proven Contractors and Suppliers

If you are planning to flip homes on a regular basis, you should try to negotiate deals with good contractors. When a contractor know that you will be sending them consistent work, they are often willing to offer a discount to their prices on materials and supplies. The best way to connect with contractors that you can trust is by asking for a referral from your real estate agent. Another option is to talk to someone else in the home flipping business to find out about their preferred vendors.

With a little bit of work and an investment in the right property, you will see that you can turn a profit by buying and selling homes. Contact us at DUFFY Realty, and we will gladly help you find properties that meet your specifications: (678) 318-1700