Happy New Year! Welcome to 2020.
Happy New Year! Welcome to 2020.
When it comes to selecting a contractor to do any type of work on your home, you want them to have what it takes to do the job right.
First, ask around. Word-of-mouth referrals are a great way to narrow down your list of contractor candidates. Once you’ve created your short list, here are some important questions to be sure you ask each of the contenders:
1) How long have you been in business?
A newer business isn’t necessarily a red flag, but multiple years in the industry indicate that the contractor not only has experience but they have the customer service and project management skills needed to remain in business for the long-haul.
2) Are you licensed and insured in this state (if required)?
Not every state requires licensing—for example, commercial and residential contractors in California must be licensed, but in New York, a state license is required only for asbestos abatement)—but you’ll want to see proof that the contractor has liability insurance to cover them if something goes wrong or if a worker is injured on your property.
3) How many other projects are you currently working on?
You want the contractor to be busy, but not TOO busy. Having multiple ongoing projects suggests that they are in demand, which is a good sign for the quality of the work they do. But if a contractor is overbooked, it is likely that your project will get put on the backburner and take longer than anticipated.
4) What is the total cost?
Don’t assume the cheapest estimate is the best. Here, you’re looking for an itemized cost estimate including labor and materials. This is a great way to do an apples-to-apples comparison between two bids.
5) When will the project be complete?
This is a clutch question. Home renovation projects are inherently inconvenient, so you want the project done as expeditiously as possible so you aren’t languishing sans kitchen or bath for an extended period of time. Be sure an end date is stated in the contact you sign, including whatever time is necessary to obtain the proper building permits and, if applicable, homeowners’ association approval.
6) May I talk with some recent clients?
A solid recommendation from people who have used this contractor is a great way to know if they will be a good fit for your project. Ask the contractor for referrals directly, and look for recommendations from neighbors on the contractor’s Nextdoor business page to get insights into the caliber of their work.
Your home is likely your biggest investment, so you want to be sure it’s in good hands when undertaking any type of renovation! What questions have you asked on previous projects to ensure you chose the right contractor?
If 2020 is the year for you to buy a home, consider making these 5 New Year’s resolutions to help you be as prepared as possible to become a homeowner.
1. Cut down on monthly subscriptions.
With each month, there is a new subscription service out there. What starts as convenience turns into an endless list of subscriptions that we often don’t use enough to justify the costs. Sit down and go through your monthly/yearly subscriptions and cancel whatever you don’t use. Set aside that extra money with the rest of your savings so your down payment can continue to grow.
2. Build a better credit history.
Paying bills on time and paying off debts will help create a solid credit history. Make sure you have some utilities or rent in your name so that you can pay them on time and continue to build a solid credit history.
3. Avoid changing careers.
Alongside income, your employment history will be a major factor during your mortgage application evaluation. While a new job could be a good career move, most evaluators are looking for a steady job history with little to no gaps in your employment over the last few years.
4. Check your credit.
If you don’t know where your credit is at currently, now is the best time to check. Most credit sites will tell you what is impacting your credit, and you can use those tips to change your choices heading into the new year. If large debts are negatively impacting your credit, get started on a pay off plan so your score can improve in the new year.
5. Avoid large purchases.
Your debt-to-credit ratio makes a major impact on your mortgage approval. If you buy a brand new car or fund a large vacation, that ratio could sway in the wrong direction. If you want your lender to be willing to give you the maximum amount possible, make sure you aren’t making any large purchases heading into the new year.
When you’re ready to start looking for your new home call us at The Wheaton Team, 719-536-4581
If you’re on the home-buying journey for the first time, you may have the image of the perfect home in mind. Every wall a color you love, the best flooring, and the perfect backyard. While there’s a chance you may find your dream house, it is more likely that you’ll find that house with a few exceptions. So where should you draw the line? Are there things you should ignore if the price and location are right? The answer is yes! There are some things you can ignore while home shopping if it means checking the rest of your boxes. Here are some of the things you can overlook if you are considering making an offer on a home that has the perfect location or layout.
While it may be tempting to wait for a home with new carpet or freshly painted white walls, overlooking old carpet or vibrant wallpaper can help you get your otherwise dream-home. Replacing the carpet or painting the walls doesn’t have to be an expense for you, and it is something you can negotiate with the seller to get the best deal on your home.
ROOMS BEING ‘MISUSED’
You may walk into a house and see workout equipment next to a fridge, or a bed in a living room. Don’t let a room being used for something seemingly odd keep you from loving a house. It may be hard to picture your furniture somewhere, but use your imagination and give the room, and house, a chance. An exercise room today can easily be your kitchen next week!
Some sellers choose to not remove personalized items before putting their house up for sale. It can be overwhelming to enter a home covered with photos of someone else’s family. While that may be the case, it is important to keep in mind that all of that personalization will be gone if you buy the home. Ignore what you can change, and just consider whether you can make the home your own.
Let The Wheaton Team help you in your search for that perfect home…Call today: 719-536-4581
While house hunting in the winter was never really a thing of the past, today’s culture keeps things going year-round – which means finding a home can be done at any time of the year. While exploring in the cold might be your focus or concern, house-hunting in less-than-ideal conditions can show you things you can’t always see on a warm, sunny day. Here are some things to keep in mind as you try to find a home before the holidays.
Winter Weather Can Help You See Hidden Flaws
Even if you don’t love the cold and snowy weather, it can help you see household flaws that you may not see in the warmth of summer. Maybe the windows are drafty or there is a major loss in privacy when the trees are bare from the cold. It will also help you to love your home for its’ bones, and only love it more when warmer seasons arrive bringing flowers, grass, and colorful foliage.
Photos Can Help Fill In The Blanks
It can be hard to picture what a poolside oasis looks like when it is covered in snow. This is where photos can save the day. Whether they are listing photos or images from previous owners, seeing certain parts of the home in better weather may check the final box for a home you are falling in love with.
Know How To Handle Features Unavailable In The Winter
If that pool you fell in love with isn’t operational in the winter, you should request that they leave money in escrow or extend the closing time frame so that you can inspect the pool when warm weather returns. Sellers are responsible for remedying any issues unless they provide a disclosure about some part of the pool not working.
As the days get shorter and shorter, you’re probably spending more time curled up on the couch than you were on those long summer days. Instead of letting the cold weather get you down, take the time to turn your space into a warm and cozy escape from the outdoors. Here are some tips to turn your house from cold to cozy.
Bake Your Favorite Dessert
Not only will the smell fill your home with sweet, warm scents but baking and the process it requires can fill your home with joy. Plus, you have a great snack to cuddle up with the couch!
Light Some Candles
Lighting candles will add to your comfy atmosphere. They will give soft light and welcoming scents for every corner of your home.
Add Texture To Your Decor
The right decor can make your space even more inviting. Plush cushions and throws paired with the perfect cable-knit blankets will make you and your guests want to spend the weekends binge-watching from the couch.
Have Guests Over
Instead of locking yourself in alone this winter, make sure you invite guests over to enjoy your cozy home with you! Have them bring their favorite snack or winter beverage and share your coziness.
Perfect A Winter Beverage
The best thing to have with your baked goods is a warm beverage to enjoy. Crock-Pot hot chocolate and apple cider is great for the kids and hot toddies or mulled wine will warm you up quick!
Make A Winter Playlist
The final step to making your space cozy this season is making the perfect playlist to play in the background while you are snuggled in. Grab your mulled wine + fresh cookies and enjoy the sounds of the winter from the comfort of your cozy home!
Don’t miss our weekly Blog for great ideas and the latest trends….www.TheWheatonTeam.com
The Wheaton Team
When you’re preparing to put your house on the market, you are probably already aware that most of the first impressions made on potential buyers will be via your listing photos. It is important to take the time and make sure you are taking photos that will attract those buyers, not send them running. Here are some do’s and don’ts to help you make the best of your listing photos and get the attention you want it to have.
Make your house look welcoming. A warm entryway and open front door will set the tone for the rest of your images.
Consider other perspectives. If you have access to an aerial photographer, having a bird’s eye view photo will help show off your property if you’ve got a great location.
Capture the best parts of your home. While you may think skipping certain rooms is the norm, it is better to show off what it is that makes you love your home. Do you have a beautiful garage? Make sure you get great photos of it!
Stage your rooms. Make sure potential buyers can see how great your space can be so they can picture themselves in it.
Show off the view – if you have one. If you’ve got a beautiful porch where you love to have your morning coffee because of the tree line, make sure you get a photo of that.
Take a curb shot. A buyer will want to know what to expect when they pull up to your home, so make sure there aren’t any surprises.
Try to get creative with angles. Real estate photography isn’t the time to try out new angles. Your clients will want to know what the home actually looks like, and making it look like there is a landslide with an artsy angle won’t help sell your home.
Use a fisheye lens. Extreme fisheye lenses can actually make your home and the rooms inside look smaller, and the distorted images can leave a bad taste in a potential buyer’s mouth.
Snag selfies while you’re photographing rooms. Buyers don’t want to see you in listing photos. Make sure you avoid angles that put your full reflection in any photo you use to list your home.
Capture the everyday mess of life. While in most cases it is important to show reality, this is the one case where it is key to not capture what your home actually looks like on a day to day basis. Your home should be clean and organized when listing photos are taken because potential buyers may have a hard time picturing themselves living in your home if they can’t look past the mess.
Show of your furry children. While there are plenty of pet lovers out there, featuring your pups or kittens will often detract from what your home looks like and lead clients to worry about potential pet damage or smells.
If you are a fan of HGTV, you have probably seen your fair share of fixer-uppers. TV shows tend to make everything look easy, especially home flipping or updating. So how do you decide if a fixer upper is worth your time? Here are a few scenarios where diving in usually pays off.
1. The upgrades are simple.
First, you need to find out what types of issues are going to need updated and recognize your personal skills. If a home has foundation, electrical, or plumbing issues, chances are those aren’t easy fixes unless you are a contractor yourself. When it comes to cosmetic fixes, there is usually less of a safety risk so if you’re willing to do the work, those are the houses for you.
2. When the numbers pencil out.
You need to ask yourself if all the work you will put in is going to make the property worth as much or more after you’re finished. Sit down and run the numbers, and decide if you are willing and able to stick to a budget. If you’re handy and willing to put in the hours, your budget may be much smaller than what you would spend on a move-in ready home.
3. You have the time and resources.
Sometimes when investing in a fixer-upper, there will be work that needs done where you may not be able to be in the house. Do you have a friend of family member close by where you can crash while the house is getting rewired, or the insulation is getting installed? If not, is there wiggle room in your budget for a night or two in a hotel when there’s a small emergency with the water pipes? It is important to recognize where you are in life and if you are mentally, physically, and fiscally able to invest in a fixer-upper.
If you’re interested in a fixer-upper give us a call today: 719-536-4581
Don’t miss any of The Wheaton Team’s Blogs…Be in the Know.
It is easy to get caught up in decorating to fit the current styles in home decor. Instead of focusing on what is ‘in’ right now, consider incorporating your passions and what you love into your decor, so that for you, it will never go out of style. Here are some ways to use your talent, skills, and hobbies to decorate your home.
Use Your Talents
Do you enjoy calligraphy on the side? Maybe you are a hobby photographer who loves taking outdoor photos. Create a canvas using your writing skills or print your photos and frame them to display in your home. There is a way for each creative to apply their talents in the home decorating process. Find out what you love and use it to make your house a home.
Decorate With Your Tools
If you hobby includes tools of any sort, use them as a decor piece. If you’ve got paintbrushes or cameras or needles and yarn, show them off! Use your tools as a statement piece in your decor so whenever you are inspired, they will be within arm’s reach!
Display Conversation Starters
Everyone loves to talk about their hobbies and talents. If you have a favorite book series, find a way to use them as a decor piece. If you are an avid broadway show fan, create a talk piece from your favorite show. Frame your program and place it in the room where you typically have guests. If you are entertaining guests and are able to draw conversation from your decor, you will enjoy it that much more.
Let Us at The Wheaton Team help you with all your Real Estate needs, call today: 719-536-4581.