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 Real Estate Blog 
Thursday, June 26 2014

Most homeowners dream of having a newly remodeled kitchen, complete with the latest appliances and updated countertops, without spending too much money. As with any remodel job the first and most important step is planning and research.  Plan what you really want to change, the updates you want; make a list and then prioritize it, what is most important and what you can live without.  Now begin your research, what does everything on your list cost, monetarily and time-wise.  Now you can realistically look at your want and need list of changes/upgrades and begin mapping out your budget.   Creating and sticking to your budget will help make this process easier on you, your family and your contractor.  (not to mention your finances) With a budget you can fight the temptation to remodel beyond your means; of course there will be the inevitable unplanned costs along the way – be sure to add a cushion into your budget for those costs!  With your research, planning and budget in hand you will be able to have the kitchen you dreamed of and you will add value to your home.  

Kitchens, according to most real estate agents, can really make or break a good first impression. Creating an on-trend kitchen, with appropriate upgrades, will go a long way towards increasing the value of your home. Here are some ideas, facts and thoughts to help you set the best kitchen remodeling budget for your home.

Understand what the average kitchen remodel costs
According to Remodeling Magazine, the national average cost of a mid-range, major kitchen remodel (which includes updating a 200-square-foot kitchen with 30 linear feet of semi-custom cabinets, a 3-by-5-foot island, laminate countertops, double-tub stainless-steel sink with single faucet, energy-efficient appliances, custom lighting, new flooring and fresh paint) costs $54,909 and has an average return on value of 74.2%.

The national average cost of a mid-range, minor kitchen remodel (using the same outdated, 200-square-foot kitchen and 30 linear feet of cabinetry boxes left in place but with new fronts and hardware, new energy-efficient appliances, new laminate countertops, sink and faucet, new resilient flooring and fresh paint) costs $18,856 and has an average return on value of 82.7%.

Know how much a typical kitchen remodel costs in your neighborhood
Before you set your budget, compare your kitchen remodel to comparable homes in your neighborhood. You want to be sure to keep your remodeling scope and costs comparable with your neighbors which will enable your home to be competitive in the re-sale market.  It’s important that your remodeling plans should relate to your type of
home. Prospective home buyers, for example, expect that a multi-million dollar home would incorporate top-end appliances, high-end materials, and employ a professional designer. Keeping your kitchen remodel proportionate to what is typical for your neighborhood, or your home’s valuation, will ensure that your home remains competitive when it’s time to sell.


Make a list of your kitchen priorities
Kitchens encompass a wide range of materials and components, all of which have varying degrees of cost. Setting the budget may mean making compromises. If you consider yourself an at-home chef and absolutely must have a high-end gas range, be prepared to allocate more of your budget towards appliances (and possibly installing a gas line). If an ecologically friendly kitchen is important to you, then realize you may be limited in your choices of materials. You may want marble countertops but might not be able to afford the higher installation and maintenance costs associated with that material. Be realistic about the components you need versus the items you want.


Know how to determine the kitchen remodel budget
In order to set an appropriate budget for your kitchen remodel, you’ll want to have clear expectations when it comes to the main motivation for remodeling. In determining how much money to spend on a kitchen remodel, many experts recommend using a percentage of your home’s valuation. It’s recommended to spend about 5% – 15% of your home’s valuation for a kitchen remodel. If your home was valued at $500,000, for example, and you’ve selected to use 15% of your home value for renovation, your budget would be $75,000 for a kitchen remodel.

Know where the money goes
Whether you choose a major or minor project, a kitchen remodel entails many components with varying costs. The below percentage allocation guide can be used as an estimate in setting your budget (note that this allocation model does not include design fees, permitting fees or any miscellaneous costs such as eating out more or living in a temporary home during the remodel).

•    Appliances: 19% (about 7% of this cost will be for labor)
•    Cabinetry: 48% (18% for labor)
•    Countertops: 15% (18% for labor)
•    Faucets and plumbing: 5% (30% for labor)
•    Flooring: 5% (40% for labor)
•    Lighting & Electrical: 5% (30% for labor)
•    Walls & Trim: 3% (50% for labor)

Be prepared for unexpected kitchen remodeling costs
Be sure to allocate about 20% of the budget for unexpected costs. Unexpected costs can include discovering damage due to water or termites, adding additional support for flooring or appliances, electrical or plumbing challenges, or any unforeseen, but necessary, subcontractors. You may also find yourself adding on to the kitchen remodeling project, commonly known as “scope creep.” Don’t forget that while remodeling your kitchen, you may have need for eating out more often or temporarily staying in another location. All of this may add to your bottom line.

Decide how you will finance your kitchen remodel
Sit down with your family and possibly your financial advisor to determine the right course of action for paying for your kitchen remodel. Borrowing a big chunk of cash is not always the best course of action, and being able to save before you spend is usually the most financially prudent way to remodel. Of course many homeowners look to securing a line of credit against their home or decide to refinance. Be sure to shop around for loan options. Before you meet with anyone, have a general idea of the overall budget amount, your income, your home’s valuation and any other expected costs for this project.


Find the right pro for your kitchen remodel
Finding the right remodeling contractor who will work within your budget and communicate with your needs is imperative. When searching for pros near you, pay attention to their average project costs and flip through their project photos. Once you’re ready to meet with a prospective pro, be sure to have your list of questions ready and make sure to interview several professionals.


Decide who will manage the budget
Some homeowners find it more successful to manage all expenses themselves. Others like their project manager to handle the expenses.  Whichever method you choose, regularly monitoring your budget is an important part of the process. Some homeowners use a simple spreadsheet to keep track of expenses, labor and other costs, as well as tracking shipments and lead times.

Be dedicated to your kitchen remodel budget
You may think that upgrading your cabinet hardware from the $5 drawer pull to the $10 drawer pull isn’t a big deal. But spending twice as much on any item is not a budget-friendly decision. If you really need to have an item for your kitchen remodel that is greater than what you had originally budgeted for, then be sure to augment your budget so that your overall costs remain the same.

We are always happy to offer our experienced opinions to you as you make remodel plans.   

Helping you buy or sell your home is our goal,

Getting you through the process is our expertise! 

Keith & Reechia Powell

Posted by: AT 05:31 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, June 18 2014

In our last article we discussed the importance of curb appeal and today we want to provide you a few tips to spruce up your curb appeal and help your home put its best foot forward!  

Follow these tricks for creating the best impression: 

  • Ensure that the yard and landscaping is neat, tidy, and well-maintained. Seek to flatter the home first, then to show off your gardening skills. Freshly pruned vegetation illustrates careful stewardship. 
  • If flowering plants are past their prime, trim them back and add in some seasonal plants for color. Re-edge and add mulch to existing beds. Plants in containers may be easily changed out or positioned where they are most needed, and if you invest in nice pots, you can take them with you. 
  • Control growth of large trees to optimize light and safety of the home and surrounding buildings and property. Remove debris under trees daily, if needed. 
  • Pay close attention to the front door and garage doors, including paint or stain condition and color, hardware and details so these doors command a lot of attention. Consider adding seasonal decorations like a wreath or potted plants near the door, but keep these tasteful and few and don't distract from the house itself. 
  • Clean steps, ensuring that they are free of scratches, chips, moss or signs of wear. Repair or upgrade handrails when appropriate. 
  • Welcome MatA new Welcome Mat at the door will not only make a statement, it is also an invitation for viewers to wipe their feet as they enter the home. 
  • Investing in new and unique numbers for your home not only makes it easy to identify, but can set it apart with flare.

  • Pressure wash the exterior of your home and ensure the gutters and roof are clean. 
  • Assess and improve the driveway and any walkways to and around the home. 
  • Upgrade lighting by doors and pathways. Providing safe and stylish lighting will make your home stand out in viewings throughout the day and evening. 
  • Upgrade your mailbox. Creating a secure and attractive mail receptacle is akin to having a plush welcome mat at the end of your driveway or by your door. 
  • Ensure that windows and screens are clean and well-maintained. Viewers from both the inside and outside of the home rely on being able to see through them. Shutters and screens should be in top shape. Easy-to-install PVC trim neatens and dresses up older windows and doors. Drapes and shades should be clean and in good working order. 
  • Familiarize yourself with views from decks and various rooms, and improve those views when possible.
  • Decks can be used year-round in many places. Spruce up your deck, porch or patio and show what an inviting space it can be to potential buyers. 

Helping you sell your home is our goal,

Getting you through the process is our expertise! 

Keith & Reechia Powell

Posted by: AT 12:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Monday, June 16 2014

When considering the mysteries of what attracts the ultimate buyer, few will deny that "curb-appeal" is a sort of magic bullet. The term is a buzz word for the enticing image of your home as seen from the street, and is similar to the adage of "judging a book by its cover." Buyers who rely upon this might overlook a treasure in the rough, but savvy sellers know curb appeal is a key tool to finding a buyer more quickly. 

Curb AppealCurb appeal is key when buyers are looking through multiple listings, getting a feel for neighborhoods from the comfort of their cars -- just "driving by." Often, buyers will look at advertisements and listings online or in print, and if they are local will take a peek on their way home from work. Because of the power of this "curb view," often the primary photographs used in advertisements and listings are from this angle. Money spent in improving this viewing angle is among the smartest investment. Simply put, painting and pruning trees and shrubbery can transform a home, helping to shed light on its features. 

Other aspects of the approach to a home can be equally enticing and help to pave the way for a successful interior viewing. After all, when care is taken to the outside of a home, people feel that the interior will also have what they are looking for. 

Driveways and walkways that are well maintained and artfully presented greet potential buyers as soon as they step out of their vehicles. 

One helpful exercise is to take time to view a home with curb-appeal in mind. At each juncture where a potential buyer might approach and view your home or property, stop and look around. Notice details. Take photographs. Look straight ahead, to the right and left, and even at the ground. If there are appealing features, play those up. If there are issues that block the enjoyment of the home, you can choose to address them. In each instance, seek to frame the view of the home or property in an appealing light, tending to the ground under foot, the areas close to the viewer, and that which they see. 

The Results of curb-appeal come when assessing views from inside the home and at various places on the Before & Afterproperty. Views are memorable, and a bad one can deter potential buyers. Whenever possible, seek to create eye-catching points around the home. (notice the small changes made to this front porch in these before and after photos?)

Here in the Plano area we tend to use our outdoor spaces more "year around" than in some parts of the country, therefore taking the time to be sure your deck or patio is well maintained is as important to assuring the view from the deck/patio is pleasant as well.   Take time to sit in various locations on your deck/patio and really scrutinize the view - does it need some sprucing up too?   

In our next post we will offers some quick and easy tips to enhancing your curb appeal.   Until then, remember we are here to help prepare your home for the market, contact us and we can offer curb appeal suggestions!   

Helping you sell your home is our goal,

Getting you through the process is our expertise! 

Keith & Reechia Powell

Posted by: AT 04:45 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, June 10 2014

This beautiful and spacious town home is ideally located in Plano! 

3 Bedrooms * 2.5 Baths * Garage * Backs to Greenbelt * Elegant & Easy Living

Details here!

Helping your find your home is our goal,

Getting you through the process is our expertise! 

Keith & Reechia Powell

Posted by: AT 08:56 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email
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Reechia Powell Realty Group
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Allen, TX 75013
Phone: (972) 979-9978


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