Customizing a Used Home For Sale Will Cost More Than You Think

January 12th, 2015

Buying a new home vs. a used home

Perhaps you’ve heard that getting a used home for sale, rather than a new one, is a better value. After all, older houses have bigger lots, require no spending for mature landscaping, and use higher-quality materials. So even if used real estate doesn’t contain everything you want, you figure some remodeling will bring it up to your standard. All those decorating shows on TV reveal that the cost of renovation isn’t too high.

Bear in mind that those remodeling programs generally do not include the cost of labor in their price quotes, since the work is usually supplied the show host. Unfortunately, the biggest part of any renovation is labor, which makes any project cost far higher than you think it will. The 2014 “Cost vs Value” report produced by Remodeling Magazine reveals a more accurate picture of redo pricing according to area.

For example, in Southern California, a mid-range minor remodel of a kitchen averages about $22,718. A major remodel can run upwards of $65,216. Prefer higher-quality materials, premium appliances, and decorator touches? Then an upscale major kitchen remodel can start at $124,544.

Buying a new home eliminates this expense because you can usually choose among several options in floor covering, countertop material, and paint with your purchase. Some of the selections are part of the standard price and others cost extra. But what you spend is generally less than a major remodel because your changes are cosmetic. The spaces in a new house will most likely already meet your modern standards because they were recently built and rely on the latest design trends and construction technologies.

If you’re interested in looking at the advantage of buying a new home for sale, or have additional questions, please contact us.

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5 Things to Consider When Looking at Orange County Homes for Sale

January 5th, 2015

Are you just making the jump from renting to buying?  Or are you getting a bigger home because you’re planning to expand your family?  Whether your aim is to get a “starter” home or a long-term domicile, there are certain things that you need to look for, such as safety and basic amenities in your area.  If you have children, you might want to find out if there are good schools in the area.  If you’re a runner, you’ll probably want to know if there are any good trails around.  So keep the following things in mind when you’re looking at homes for sale.

  1. Groceries.  This is the most basic thing that everyone needs to look for when buying a home.  You may not cook a lot but you’ll still need to have some groceries lying around, such as cereal for breakfast or frozen food.  If you like cooking, it might be important to you to have a good grocery store in the area, with a variety of produce.  If you have certain dietary restrictions as well, you’ll have to check for the availability of the things you can eat.
  2. Shopping.  Other than groceries, there are certain things that everyone needs to have in their neighborhood.  The presence of a pharmacy means that you won’t have to go far to get medication and household things.  If you love shopping for clothes and jewelry, it helps to have a shopping mall in your area.
  3. Restaurants, Bars, Coffee Shops, Movie Theaters.  If you’re a very social person, you’ll probably like to live in an area where there are many restaurants, bars, coffee shops and movie theaters.  So check to find out whether the area you’re thinking about buying in has many places to go out.
  4. Schools and Playgrounds.  People who have children will want to make sure that the schools in the neighborhood are good ones, which you can do by researching them on the internet and asking other parents.  Playgrounds and parks are also an added bonus when you have kids.  You might want to find out if the area has mostly singles or families so that you’ll be able to take your kids out on play dates with other kids in the neighborhood.
  5. Gyms, Trails, Pools etc.  If you’re into health and fitness, you’ll want to make sure that your new neighborhood has some resources for you.  Are there gyms or walking/running trails around?  What about pools or yoga/dance centers?  Some neighborhoods have more of these resources than others.

Contact us for more great tips on what to look for in homes for sale.

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