Category: Home improvement

Springtime repairs around the house can be pretty big chores, eating up your spare time and cutting into your household budget, but they are an important part of keeping your home in great shape. Taking care of little maintenance issues now can help prevent big problems down the road, which can save you quite a bit of money and a lot of stress. However, the key with DIY projects is to ensure that you are prepared to call a professional if you need help with a big job so that it will be done safely and correctly.

 

It’s also crucial to have the right tools and a plan for the task at hand. Taking care of repairs around the home can include anything from plugging up holes in the drywall to replacing shingles or tiles on the roof, and these jobs vary greatly in cost and the amount of time it will take to complete them. Having a good idea of how you’ll get started will allow you to get the job done right the first time without any issues.

 

Here are a few things to consider when it’s time to do some maintenance around the house.

 

Start with the Right Tools

 

As with any task, it’s imperative to start with the right tools. After all, you wouldn’t start drawing a picture without a sharpened pencil and a good eraser, so it just makes sense that you would have specific tools at the ready when you’re tackling a home repair job. In general, most homeowners will want a hammer, wrenches, screwdrivers, a drill, and a sharp utility knife to handle common repair jobs around the house. If you don’t have these, look online for tool buying guides, and read the reviews before making purchases.

 

Find the Right Help

 

No matter what tasks you need to complete, it’s important to make sure they can be done as a DIY job before you get started. Many big projects — such as roofing, plumbing, and electrical work — will require a professional’s touch, if for no other reason than the potential safety issues. Look online for contractors near you to get an idea of your choices and to compare prices, and make sure you read the reviews before making a final decision.

 

Think of the Cost of Winter

 

The thing about spring repairs is that they need to be focused on the things that took the most hit during a hard winter. Cold weather, excess water, and high winds can all do quite a bit of damage to various parts of the home, from the gutters to the pipes, so make a checklist of all the things you want to take a look at. Getting organized will help greatly when it comes to starting any repair project, and it will also help you stay motivated if you have a physical list in front of you.

 

Prioritize

 

If you have a tight budget and there aren’t any repairs that require your immediate attention, you can start with the smaller things first, such as cleaning out the gutters or investing in an insulation cover for the hot water heater. These little tasks won’t cost much, but they will allow you to take care of the small things first and get them out of the way. Just make sure there are no pressing jobs, such as leaky pipes or broken roof shingles.

 

Springtime repairs around the house don’t have to break your budget or your patience. With a little planning and some research online, you can figure out the best ways to tackle projects around the house when the weather warms up a bit and save money throughout the year.

There are always people with too much stuff looking to make some extra money by getting rid of it, and there are always people looking to save a little money by avoiding buying new products. This is the general principle that keeps the second-hand economy booming. If you’re looking to sell, here are some essential tips for turning your unwanted household items into cash (and doing a little healthy decluttering in the process).

 

Get the Things You Can’t Sell Out of the Way

 

This step will save you some time and some sanity — get rid of the stuff that you simply can’t sell. Whether it’s something that is broken, ugly, or in noticeably poor condition, you’ll do yourself a great service to just throw away the items on which you have no chance of turning a profit (or that even a donation center wouldn’t want).

 

Clearing this “junk” out of your house will make it easier for you to sell what you can. It may be smart to use a dumpster rental service or all-in-one junk removal service. Both are helpful, but dumpster rental allows you to fill up a dumpster over time (better for longer, larger removal projects), whereas a junk removal service will do everything for you.

 

Don’t Just Put It All on eBay or Craigslist

 

Yes, eBay and Craigslist are the two easiest online options for selling you stuff. That’s because they both have millions of users and you can sell basically anything on there. However, sometimes you need to value specificity of the second-hand marketplace, as well as understand which items are the most desired by shoppers. There are dozens upon dozens of other marketplaces that may allow you to fetch better prices for certain items. These include, but are not limited to, Swappa for cellphones and tablets, Poshmark for clothing, and Glyde for video games. The massive, well-known online marketplaces are awesome, of course, but don’t be afraid to experiment with where you list your items.

 

Don’t Assume That Online Is Always Better

 

No, you will not always get more for your stuff online. This is a common myth (especially among the younger crowd). It’s worth your time to try to sell your stuff in actual, physical, brick-and-mortar stores as well. Just make sure you know the right stores to hit for specific items. Second-hand electronics and clothing stores are always good bets for good cash.

 

Be Wary of Pawn Shops

 

The good thing about pawn shops is that they take a wide range of items and you get the money then and there — it’s instant gratification. The pros pretty much end there, however. You can almost always get more money on an online marketplace or a specialty second-hand store than you can at a pawn shop, and many pawn shops are skilled at paying low-dollar for top-dollar items. If you do plan to go this route, make sure to have a plan in place.

 

Embrace the Grind

 

While it’s nice to sell a big-ticket item for a few hundred dollars, the real key to successfully selling your old items and making a nice profit is to prepare for and then embrace the grind — selling many smaller items over time for less money a pop. You may not get excited about that $10 sale here and that $15 sale there, but soon enough you’ll have amassed hundreds.

 

The second-hand economy presents an amazing opportunity to people of all backgrounds with all different sorts of things to sell. Not only will you make good money if you follow these tips, but you’ll also get rid of clutter and make your living space more, well, livable. The former benefit is great, but the latter is priceless.

 

Photo via Unsplash

Whether it is with the goal of saving money or for the satisfaction of living in the fruits of one’s labors, it has become increasingly popular for homeowners to take on home renovation projects themselves. One of the most common types of do-it-yourself projects is a bathroom remodel. Not only can bathroom remodels help to improve your overall quality of life, but they can also dramatically increase the value of your home if you ever decide to sell.

 

However, there are a number of potentially complicated or dangerous parts of every bathroom renovation, such as electrical and plumbing work, that you should be aware of before attempting the project. Here are some things to keep in mind when you are tackling a bathroom renovation for the first time so that your project can be quick, easy, and fun.

 

Plan out the Entire Project Beforehand

 

As with any kind of renovation, the first thing you need to do is plan out the scope of the entire project. The more you prepare, the fewer unexpected costs you will have to endure down the road. Start by listing all the things you would like to do to your bathroom. Don’t factor in cost at this point — instead, just list them all. You may want to include things like a walk in shower, a clawfoot tub, a heated floor, a double sink, and so forth.

 

Next, organize the list in order of desire — put your must-haves at the top, all the way down to negligible or “bonus” projects. Then, it is time to do some research online. Find the average costs of each type of project and put the numbers next to each line on your list. Finally, compare these costs to your total budget. This way, you can make sure that you have enough money for the most important projects, allowing for extras if you happen to come in under budget.

 

However, Remember to Have Fun

 

Even though it is tempting to get bogged down in the minutia of planning and money management, don’t let yourself forget to have fun. A bathroom remodel is a great way to boost your bathroom’s appeal, both for yourself and for potential buyers if you ever decide to sell your home. For instance, a renovated bathroom can provide you with a 40 to 80 percent return on investment, depending on the current state of the real estate market.

 

Think About Ways to Come in Under Budget

 

It is common for do-it-yourself projects to end up going over budget, but there are a few things you can do that will keep your costs lower. First, if you need to buy power tools for your renovation, you may want to try borrowing them from a handy friend or family member. If you end up having to buy them after all, look at previously used tools to save money. Next, while part of the reason you may want to be doing the project yourself is to save on the cost of a professional, in certain cases, a professional can actually save you money, such as with walls damaged by water. Furthermore, certain plumbing and electrical projects can be dangerous for you to attempt on your own — always hire a professional contractor in those cases.

 

When you are renovating your bathroom, remember to consider all the possible angles that will need to be covered, both from the financial and design sides of the process. Doing so will allow you to relax and have fun with the project.

 

Photo Credit: Pexels

Thank you to guest writer, Erin Reynolds

Young people looking to purchase their first home are often put off by the cost involved, including the downpayment and the mortgage process. Fixer-uppers can be a perfectly viable option as long as you’re up to handling the extensive renovations that go along with buying a house in a state of disrepair. Bear in mind that buying a fixer-upper can end up being more of a financial burden than you’d anticipated. Some turn out to be the dreaded “money pit,” the house that always seems to have another problem. There are several things to consider carefully before choosing to take on a fixer upper project.

Location

You’ve probably heard that location is the most important factor when it comes to real estate. The same holds true for fixer uppers. Consider location first, since you’ll be fixing up the house. Once you’ve identified the area in which you want to live, begin searching for fixer uppers. There are real estate agents who specialize in these kinds of properties. Once you’ve talked to lenders and been pre-qualified for a home loan, spend some time on the internet looking for agents who specialize in fixer uppers. Homes for sale in Naperville, Illinois, have an average list price of $450,000.

Assess your handyman skills

Think carefully about what you’re proposing, and assess your skills honestly and objectively. Fixer uppers are almost always a challenge, and you could be facing a job that requires tools and experience that you may not possess. You’re going to need power drills, sanders, jigsaws and a host of other robust power tools. Crowbars, a mallet, joists and a full set of reliable hand tools are also essential. Then there’s the time commitment. Remember, this is more than two or three weekends of work. You could be renovating and fine tuning for years to come until you get it just right. There are many examples of eager, over-optimistic buyers who found out too late they’d bitten off more than they could chew. Don’t pursue such an opportunity until you’ve had a home inspection done and have a good idea of what fixes are necessary and whether they’re within your capabilities.

A big investment

Buying the house is only the first step. There’s a considerable ongoing investment involved in a fixer upper, which means you’ll need to have a considerable nest egg socked away for the work that’s yet to come. The home inspection should help you determine whether your finances are up to the challenge or not. Make a careful list of everything that needs to be repaired, get estimates for each, and then decide whether it’s within your reach.

What are your long-term plans?

People who purchase a fixer upper are usually committed to it for a period of years. If your job may require you to move at any given time, you’ll probably want to pass on a home that’ll need a lot of money and time to fix up. If for some reason you’re called on to relocate while you’re renovating, you could lose a lot of money if you find yourself having to sell.

Priorities

The first projects to tackle will depend largely on what the inspector has to say. Often, windows, flooring, electricity and roofing are priorities when moving into a project home. If there are serious structural, foundation or plumbing problems, you’re probably better off continuing your search. Once you’ve completed renovations, check out home values and prices in your area. You might consider selling if it’s a seller’s market and you can be pretty sure of getting maximum value for your investment and the sweat equity that went into it.

Purchasing a new home is always a big investment. Between the cost and the improvements you make, a fixer upper can be a tremendous investment if the market’s in your favor. Think of yours as a big investment in your financial future.

 

Courtesy of Pixabay.com.

 

How Rising Prices Will Help You Build Family Wealth in 2018 | Keeping Current Matters

Over the next five years, home prices are expected to appreciate on average by 3.35% per year and to grow by 24.34% cumulatively, according to Pulsenomics’ most recent Home Price Expectation Survey.

So, what does this mean for homeowners and their equity position?

As an example, let’s assume a young couple purchases and closes on a $250,000 home this month (January). If we only look at the projected increase in the price of that home, how much equity will they earn over the next 5 years?

How Rising Prices Will Help You Build Family Wealth in 2018 | Keeping Current Matters

Since the experts predict that home prices will increase by 4.2% in 2018, the young homeowners will have gained $10,500 in equity in just one year.

Over a five-year period, their equity will increase by nearly $45,000! This figure does not even take into account their monthly principal mortgage payments. In many cases, home equity is one of the largest portions of a family’s overall net worth.

Bottom Line

Not only is homeownership something to be proud of, but it also offers you and your family the ability to build equity you can borrow against in the future. If you are ready and willing to buy, find out if you are able to today!

So, you’ve decided to sell your house in Naperville. You’ve hired Bill White Homes to help you with the entire process, and Bill White has asked you what level of access you want to provide to potential buyers.

There are four elements to a quality listing. At the top of the list is Access, followed by Condition, Financing, and Price. There are many levels of access that you can provide to Bill White Homes so that they can show your home.

Here are five levels of access that you can give to buyers, along with a brief description:

  1. Lockbox on the Door – this allows buyers the ability to see the home as soon as they are aware of the listing, or at their convenience.
  2. Providing a Key to the Home – although the buyer’s agent may need to stop by an office to pick up the key, there is little delay in being able to show the home.
  3. Open Access with a Phone Call – the seller allows showings with just a phone call’s notice.
  4. By Appointment Only (example: 48-Hour Notice) – Many buyers who are relocating for a new career or promotion start working in that area prior to purchasing their home. They often like to take advantage of free time during business hours (such as their lunch break) to view potential homes. Because of this, they may not be able to plan their availability far in advance or may be unable to wait 48 hours to see the house.
  5. Limited Access (example: the home is only available on Mondays or Tuesdays at 2pm or for only a couple of hours a day) – This is the most difficult way to be able to show your house to potential buyers.

In a competitive marketplace, especially in Naperville, access can make or break your ability to get the price you are looking for, or even sell your house at all.

naperville house for saleAt Bill White Homes, we strive to help every client find their perfect Naperville house for sale. When it comes to finding your forever home, we not only offer our real estate services but we like to help you come up with fun ideas to enjoy your new space. Below we have three easy ways to increase your new home’s curb appeal on a budget.

Paint Your Front Door

Add an easy pop of color to your home’s décor through your front door. Make a bold statement with a bright red door, or make a positive statement by painting a cheerful yellow door. Whichever color you decide on, grab an inexpensive paint brush and gallon of paint for a budget-friendly home makeover.

Spruce Up Your Flower Bed

Showing your flower bed some TLC is a great way to increase your curb appeal on a budget. We recommend adding seasonal blooms to brighten your yard and adding darker mulch for a beautiful contrast.

New Mailbox                                                                           

Enhancing your curb appeal can be as simple as updating your old mailbox post for a new modern and sleek design. Many contemporary mailboxes feature iron and wood.

If you are interested in finding your dream Naperville house for sale, contact us today at bill@billwhitehomes.com to help you through the buying process.

Naperville home for salePurchasing a home is an investment towards your future. Many prospective homeowners like the idea of buying a place that is older yet cheaper, to remodel and make their own, otherwise known as a fixer-upper. When it comes to purchasing your fixer-upper, there are many items one should consider before making an offer.

  • Time

They say time is money, which is why when purchasing a fixer-upper you should understand the time it takes to achieve your dream home. Remodeling a fixer-upper is no simple task. When considering buying a home, it is imperative to give yourself time to fix the items that need repairing and adding new construction to improve the layout of your space.

  • Budget

Although fixer-uppers are perfect for finding a bargain, older homes tend to have hidden problems within the structural foundation that could cause a financial burden. It is best to budget for unexpected costs that could arise during your renovation.

  • Home inspection

Requesting a comprehensive home inspection will allow you to have peace of mind before you make an offer. Home inspections check your future home for hidden issues such as water damage, unsecured wiring, and other structural integrity hazards. We recommend requesting a few home inspections from multiple companies to ensure no defects have been overlooked.

If you are looking for a Naperville home for sale, contact our helpful Realtors at bill@billwhitehomes.com to begin your search for your dream home.

 

Often times when looking for a home, first time buyers might skip their home inspections to speed up their closing process. While this makes sense Naperville houseswhen it comes to shortening the timeframe of you getting into your new place, it’s not wise in the long run. Here are three reasons why you should never, ever skip the inspection process to speed up closing on a home.

It allows you to make up your mind – When it comes to buying a home; you want to make sure you have all the facts on the table before you sign on the dotted line. A part of making up your mind is having a pre-sale home inspection by a professional, which helps to see things that maybe you don’t see as the buyer. This includes things like a faulty septic system, heating issues, and other problems.

It keeps you safe – If you’re thinking about skipping the pre-sale inspection, think of your safety. Many times, having a professional come in and inspect the home is crucial because it identifies hazardous issues that a seller might not be aware of or expose. This helps to keep you, your family, and anyone who comes into your home safe.

It allows you to see everything for what it is – When you’re home shopping, it can be tough to see things that could be potentially dangerous, hazardous, or costly in a home you really love. An inspection by a professional allows you to see the home for exactly what it is – flaws and all – and really put your potential purchase into perspective.

If you’re looking for Naperville houses for sale, turn to the professionals at Bill White Homes. Contact us today at BillWhiteHomes.com.

If you’re getting ready to sell your home, chances are you’ve heard about staging from your realtor. Staging refers to taking your lived in home and realtor in Naperville, ILmaking it more aesthetically pleasing to the potential buyer. It also refers to adding a clean-looking, blank slate look to the home so the buyer can imagine their own life in it someday. While it seems like staging could be a large project to take on, it is worth it in selling your home. Here are some reasons why staging your home for potential buyers is crucial in the selling process.

It wipes out personal touches to your home – While this may seem like a bad thing, staging your home erases all of the quirky and more sentimental things your home has in it. Many times when buying a home, a potential buyer wants to see their type of personality in a home. Staging removes the personal touches to a house and leaves only the characteristics that would be seen when it’s empty.

It clears clutter – One common thing that realtors hear when they put a house up online for sale is that it seems too “cluttered”. While staging can be quite the undertaking before a move, it does help when you’re clearing any clutter or cramped areas in your home. It also shows the exact size of a home, allowing only for the bare-minimum furniture to take up space.

If you’re looking for a realtor in Naperville, IL to help sell your home, we can help. Contact us today at bill@billwhitehomes.com, and we’ll be sure to help you sell your house the right way.