RESIDENT REALTY REAL ESTATE BLOG

Dec. 7, 2017

A Texas Hill Country Holiday: Lights, Crafts & Performances

The Texas Hill Country pulls out all the stops for the holiday season! Whether you are searching for local, handmade gifts for your loved ones, a classic holiday performance or the lights of the season, the Central Texas area has the event for you and your family. Check out these Texas Hill Country holiday events for a merry and bright season:

 

 

Holiday Lights

Santa’s Ranch

November 3 – December 31
New Braunfels, TX
Take in the lights of the season from the comfort of your car at Santa’s Ranch. The one-mile trail of twinkling lights and Christmas displays won’t disappoint, we promise! For an even better holiday experience, stop by the concession stand for hot cocoa, kettle corn and other holiday snacks to enjoy on your drive-thru light tour. 

Mozart's Christmas Light Show

November 17 – January 1 (except Christmas Day)
Open through January 1 – 6 to 11 p.m. nightly
A light display set to holiday music is what you'll find on Mozart’s outdoor deck! Enjoy a cup of coffee or hot cocoa while watching this FREE to the public light display.  

Luminations

December 7 – 10 from 6 to 9 p.m.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center goes all out during the holiday season. Stop by to view the gorgeous gardens illuminated with enchanting lights. The event also features complimentary maple taffy and hot chocolate, and other items you can purchase from the on-site vendor. Cost to attend is as follows: non-members (ages 5 and up) is $15, members (ages 5 and up) is $10, and children under the age of four are FREE.

Winter Wonderland at The Circuit

December 8 – 30
Circuit of The Americas
Truly a winter wonderland (except for the snow), this holiday festival features everything you want during the holidays: a .8-mile circuit of lights, skating rink, Santa's Village, petting zoo, human snow globe, carnival rides, trips to the top of the North Pole and more!  

Austin Trail of Lights

December 9 – 23 from 7 to 10 p.m.
Zilker Park
With more than two million lights, Austin’s Trail of Lights is the most popular holiday event in the city! Stroll through the dazzling light displays with downtown Austin as a backdrop, while enjoying time with your loved ones and a taste of the season at one of the many food trucks located along the trail. Skip the lines by buying a $3 general admission ticket ahead of time!

Holiday Performances

ZACH Theatre Presents: "A Christmas Carol”

November 22 – December 31
ZACH Theatre
A modern twist on a classic tale, "A Christmas Carol" is the most popular show among Austinites over the holiday season. Buy tickets here.

Ballet Austin's "The Nutcracker"

December 8 - 23
Long Center for the Performing Arts
A long-standing tradition, Ballet Austin's "The Nutcracker" is hosting its 55th season. To get tickets to this popular Austin holiday event, click here

Holiday Craft Events

Blue Genie Art Bazaar

November 24 – December 24
Blue Genie Art Bazaar - 6100 Airport Blvd.
Featuring handmade artwork and gifts from local Austin vendors, the Blue Genie Art Bazaar is the ideal destination to buy all of your holiday gifts.

Please note, this list is not comprehensive. Austin and its surrounding areas have many more events you can enjoy this holiday season.

Resident Realty wishes you a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year!  

The New Year is nearly here! Are you searching for a new beginning in the New Year? Perhaps a new house? Give our team a call! We would be honored to help you find a new home in the greater Austin area!

Posted in Austin
Dec. 5, 2017

How to Find Your “Right-Size” Home

Choosing the “right-size” home for your family can impact your financial situation, comfort, overall happiness and more! While it may seem simple to determine your “right-size” home, it isn’t as easy as it may seem. In truth, it’s all about deciding what you “need” versus what you “want.” If you’re thinking about buying a home in the coming months or years, there are a couple of things you should do before beginning your online search. First, assess your financial picture. Once you know what you can actually afford, look at your current situation and your needs, now and in the future. To help you out, we’ve created this how-to guide to walk you through determining your “right-size” home:

 

 

Assess your financial picture

Buying a home is one of the most important financial decisions of your life. As such, the first step to buying a home should be assessing your financial picture. To do that, ask yourself, “what can I afford?” Keep in mind, reasonably is far different than actually. While your lender may approve you for a loan, they are telling you what you can reasonably afford – not what you can comfortably, or actually, afford. To determine what you are comfortable with, assess your current situation and future goals (i.e., retirement). From there, look at your monthly budget to determine how much you can afford for a monthly mortgage payment. Once you know how much you can afford monthly you can figure out your overall budget for a new home. For more advice, read our "how much house can you actually afford?" blog.

 

Consider now and future needs

Your needs now likely won’t be the same as your needs in the future. Be sure to take both into account to ensure you don’t need to move again in just a few years. Questions to ask yourself should include, but are not limited to, the following:

·      Do you plan on having children?

·      Do you think your parents or in-laws will move in with you at some point?

·      Do you work from home, or you think you might at some point in the future?

 

Assess your current situation

What are the specifics of your current home? Do you need more or less space? Do you need a larger kitchen or living area? To compare potential homes to your current home, do the following before beginning your search:

·      What size are the rooms in your home? While doing this, also jot down your impression of the space.

·      How do you like the size of the rooms? Are they too big? Too small? Just right?

·      How do you like the layout of the room? Is it awkwardly shaped? Situated weird for furniture?

·      How big are the closets? Do the rooms need more storage space?

·      Assess the front and backyard, plus other outdoor spaces. Are they big enough? Or, would you like more space? Do you want your backyard to be more private?

·      Where does your home sit on the lot? Is it too far back? Do you wish it was closer to the street?

·      Assess your deck/porch (if you have one)? Do you want a larger space? If you don’t have one, do you want one?

 

Are you done assessing the inside and outside of your current home? If so, you should now have a good grasp on what you need in a new home.

 

Do you need more space? Here are a couple of great reasons to go bigger:

·      More bedrooms – for current or future children, or if your parents or in-laws move in

·      Office space – if you work from home, or think you may in the future

·      Bonus space – craft, game or playroom for the kids

·      Storage space

·      Entertainment space

 

Is your space too big? Here are some reasons to go smaller:

·      Economical – cuts down on costs (home price, heating, cooling, furnishes, decorations, etc.)

·      Easier to maintain and clean

·      Too many rooms – once the children move out, you will likely have too much space

 

Evaluate your options within your price range

Your assessment is complete. Now, look at your observations and determine what you should look for in a new home. Once you have your list, contact a REALTOR® to help you locate homes within your price range with most of the needs you noted – as you likely won’t find an option with all. Please note: look at different size homes within your price range – as the layout and size of the rooms can change the overall feel of the property. You never know until you walk into a home.

 

Do you have any questions about searching for a home in the Austin area? We can help! Contact us to help you get more from your move.

 

Posted in Buyers
Nov. 15, 2017

Small Budget Remodel Projects

A home improvement may be just the thing to increase your home’s value. However, what you can improve depends entirely on your budget. If you don’t have a big budget, but you’re looking for something new, here’s a look at some small budget remodel projects that offer an excellent bang for your buck:

 

 

Add a Sliding Barn Door

Doors are necessary to divide one room from another. However, they can often be extremely cumbersome to a small space. If you want to separate two rooms, without chomping up square footage, add a sliding barn door. The barn door accomplishes the goal of a regular door without losing valuable space. 

Refinish Your Kitchen Cabinets & Update the Hardware

Is your kitchen space outdated? Spruce it up by re-facing or refinishing your kitchen cabinets and installing new hardware. New hardware is a minimal cost and can completely transform your kitchen. 

Revamp Your Kitchen Backsplash

Add a tile backsplash to your kitchen to increase its appeal. Ceramic and porcelain are the go-to options here. If you are looking to save some money, stick to ceramic.

Install Under-Cabinet Lighting in the Kitchen

Illuminate your countertops by installing under-cabinet lighting in your kitchen – the chef in your family will thank you! As the project likely requires wiring and drilling into cabinets, we recommend hiring a professional for this project.

Upgrade Storage in the Laundry Room

Add a few shelves to the laundry room to increase functionality. Open shelves are perfect as they increase storage without making a space feel too crowded.

Swap Bathroom Fixtures

Replace fixtures in your bathroom, like the toilet, faucets, and shower head, with high-efficiency versions. Not only will swapping these fixtures increase the aesthetic appeal, but they will also save you money.

 

Add Crown Molding in the Living Room

For a luxurious look in your living or dining room, add some crown molding. Installing crown molding in one room of your home will add a “WOW” factor without a wow price tag.

Add a Fresh Coat of Paint

A new look may be as simple as adding a fresh coat of paint! Focus the repainting effort on the most visible rooms of the home, like the entryway, kitchen, living room or dining room. Oh, and stick to a neutral color, like gray, beige, taupe or cream! A neutral color scheme will make any space appear larger.

Replace the Front Door

Are you searching for the most significant return on investment? This is your project! According to Remodeling Magazine's Cost vs. Value report, replacing your front door with a new steel door results in an 86 percent return on investment at resale. 
 

Several of these projects can be completed by the maintenance expert in your family, while some will require a professional. Would you like some contractor recommendations in the South Austin area? Give us a call! We would be happy to send you our vendor list.

 

Resources: 

http://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/remodeling/budget-remodels/mini-but-mighty-remodels/

 

https://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/real-estate/T029-S001-small-remodeling-budgets-big-upgrades/index.html

 

Posted in Home Improvement
Nov. 3, 2017

New Home Communities in South Austin

 

As Austin grows, so too does the number of housing communities. Where can you find a new build community in south Austin? The following are all located within minutes from downtown and offer a wide range of floor plans and nearby amenities for residents! Please call Kim or Todd Sherman if you'd like to explore these communities or look for your new home in the Austin area. 

Easton Park

 

 

Model Home Location: 7112 Cardinal Bloom Loop, Austin

Homes start from the $280s and go up to the $320s

Located in Southeast Austin, Easton Park is a 1500-acre urban master-planned community offering homes by Bluffington Homes. The community is located just 12 minutes from downtown Austin and will offer a 13.1-mile trail loop, 300 acres of parks, an ourdoor amphitheater and an amenity center (opening in 2018). Residents of the community can choose from a variety of different floorplans featuring three to four bedrooms, two to two and a half bathrooms and 1,632 to 2,695 square feet.

Schools: Hillcrest Elementary, John P Ojeda Middle School and Del Valle High School  

The Reserve at Southpark Meadows

 

 

Model Home Location: 9533 Hunter Lane, Austin

Homes start from the $270s and go up to the $330s

Offering single-family homes, the Reserve at Southpark Meadows is conveniently located near Mary Moore Searight Metropolitan Park, the Southpark Meadows Shopping Center, a retail development with more than 400 acres of shopping, dining, entertainment and activities and just eight miles from the heart of downtown Austin. Homes in the community are three to five bedrooms, two and a half to three bathrooms and 1,700 to 2,400 square feet.

AISD Schools: Williams Elementary, Paredes Middle School and Akins High School

Harper Park

 

Model Home Location: 5820 Harper Park Drive, Unit 76, Austin

Homes start from the $444s

Nestled in southwest Austin, Harper Park is a private, gated community featuring homes with three to four bedrooms, two to three full bathrooms and range from 1,963 to 2,974 square feet. Residents of this community enjoy a community pool, fire pit, nearby trails and parks and are just a short jaunt away from the Barton Creek Square, Sunset Valley Shopping Center and Hill Country Galleria.

School: Austin ISD

Facts and features of Harper Park.  

Searight Village

 

Model Home Location: 9301 Lost Bridge Lane, Austin

Homes start from the $280s

Nestled in the heart of southwest Austin, Searight Village is just minutes from downtown Austin and within walking distance to the Mary Moore Searight Metropolitan Park and Southpark Meadows Shopping center. Residents of this community enjoy homes with two to four bedrooms, two and a half to three and a half bathrooms in less than 2,000 square feet of living space.

School: Austin ISD  

Brentwood Villas

Model Home Location: 9116 Golden Leaf Drive, Austin

Homes start in the $270s and go up to the $320s

Brentwood Villas, located just minutes from downtown, is a commuter friendly community with easy access to IH-35 and Hwy.1 Loop (MoPac). The community’s single-family homes feature three to six bedrooms, two and a half to four bathrooms and 1,300 to 2,700 square feet, depending on the floor plan you select.

 

Does one of these community’s appeal to you? Let us know! We would be happy to help you get more from your move in the south Austin area!

Posted in Austin
Oct. 23, 2017

A Spooktacular Austin Halloween

Halloween in Austin is nothing short of festive and spooktacular. What events should you have on your calendar? Whether you’re looking for a haunted house a pumpkin carving contest or a fun location to trick-or-treat with the kids, the following are some of the best Halloween events the Austin area has to offer:

 

 

House of Torment: Haunted House

Open through November 11 (hours vary by day, check website)

House of Torment, 2632 Ridgepoint Drive, Austin

Cost: Varies by day (check website)

 

Scream Hollow Wicked Halloween Park

Open through November 4 (hours vary by day, check website)

Scream Hollow, 149 Split Rail Lane, Smithville

Cost: Varies by day (check website)

 

Fall Festival and Corn Maze

September 23 to November 5

Barton Hill Farms, Bastrop

 

Haunted Halloween Hustle

October 26 from 8 to 11 p.m.

Austin’s Most Haunted Spots

Cost: $10

 

Georgetown Halloween Festival

October 26 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Georgetown Community Center, 445 E. Morrow Street, Georgetown

 

Halloween Hootenanny

October 27 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Thinkery, 1830 Simond Ave., Austin

 

Spooktacular

October 27 from 5 to 8 p.m.

The Bullock Texas State History Museum, Austin

 

Boo at the Zoo

October 27 & 28 from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

Austin Zoo, 10808 Rawhide Trail, Austin

Cost: $17.50

 

Haunted Halloween Trails

October 27 & 28 from 7 to 11 p.m.

Pioneer Farms, 10621 Pioneer Farms Drive, Austin

Cost: $15

 

Austin Ghost Tours

Weekends in October at 8 p.m.

Starting Locations: Friday at the Omni Hotel Lobby (700 San Jacinto), Saturdays at the Moonshine Patio Bar and Grill (303 Red River) and JW Marriott Lobby (110 East 2nd Street)

Cost: $20

 

Boo-da Halloween

October 28

Downtown Buda

 

Farmer Fred’s Harvest Fall Carnival

October 28 from 6 to 9 p.m.

San Marcos Plaza Park

 

Halloween Costume Party

October 28 from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Speakeasy Rooftop, 412 Congress Avenue, Austin

 

Halloween at the Y

October 28 from 2 to 9 p.m.

Dell Diamond, Round Rock

Cost: $9

FREE parking available at the Dell Diamond

 

Hill Country Halloween Half Marathon

October 28 at 7:30 a.m.

Start and Finish: HEB Center, 2100 Avenue of the Stars, Cedar Park

 

Pumpkin Carving on the Carver Dock

October 28 at 11 a.m.

Carver Dock, Austin

Cost: FREE

 

Austin Symphony Halloween Children’s Concert

October 29 at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

AISD Performing Arts Center

FREE Parking in the Garage

 

UMLAUF Last Straw Fest

October 29 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Austin, 605 Robert E. Lee Road, Austin

Cost: FREE

 

Haunted Pub Crawl

October 29, November 23 and December 26 at 6:30 p.m.

Starting Location: Omni Hotel Lobby (700 San Jacinto)

 

No Tricks…Just Treats! Halloween Arts & Craft Beer Market

October 29 from 12 to 5 p.m.

Circle Brewing Company, 2340 W Braker Lane, Austin

 

Bastrop Trick-or-Treat Trail

October 31 from 5 to 8 p.m.

Costume contest in the park at 6 p.m.

Fisherman’s Park, Bastrop

 

Halloween Safe Trick-or-Treat Trail

October 31 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Veterans’ Memorial Park, Historic Downtown Elgin

Cost: FREE

 

Fall Fun Festival

October 31 at 9 to 11:30 a.m.

Old Settlers Park, 3300 E. Palm Valley Blvd., Round Rock

Theme: Dr. Seuss

 

Dia de los Muertos Concert

November 4

Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater

 

 

We wish you a festive and fun Halloween in the greater Austin area!

 

Do you have any questions about the real estate landscape in Austin? We would be happy to help you get more for your move. Contact our team today!

Posted in Austin
Oct. 13, 2017

Lawn Care Tip: Brown Patch

Hi there!  I hope you are enjoying this beautiful weather we're having here in Central Texas!  As you've probably heard me say before, your curb appeal and landscaping play a huge role in the value of your home.  This video by Jerry Naiser with Real Green Lawns gives a great explanation of brown patch, which affects St. Augustine grass, one of the most widely used grasses in Austin.  I hope you find this information helpful!  Have another problem or question with your home?  I'm here to help!  I've I don't know the answer, I'll find someone who does!  And don't forget, when it's time to sell, I have a GREAT program that could save you thousands in Realtor commissions!  Visit my web page at www.buyonesellonefree.com to find out more!  

Brown Patch Video

Posted in Home Improvement
Oct. 10, 2017

Reasons Fall is the Best Time to Buy a Home

What time of the year is the best for real estate? We're sure many of you said, "Spring." However, that might not be 100 percent accurate. While the spring market is the ideal time to sell your home…it turns out; it may not be the best time to buy a house. Why do we say this? Well, with less competition and lower home prices, fall might just be the season frontrunner for home buyers. What reasons attribute to fall being the best time to buy a home? Let's take a look at the top seven:

 

 

Lower home prices

Did you know October is the best time to snag a great deal on a new home? According to RealtyTrac's analysis of more than 32 million home sales in more than 15 years, October buyers paid 2.6 percent BELOW the estimated market value at the time for their homes. While 2.6 percent doesn't seem like much, it is more than you think! For example, if you're looking for a home worth $350,000 – 2.6 percent is a $9,100 discount. That discount can help you pay for any number of new homeowner expenses: closing costs, homeowner’s insurance, monthly mortgage payments, moving expenses and more. If you can help it, wait until fall to begin shopping for a bargain deal!

 

Less competition

If they can help it, most home sellers will wait until spring to list their home. Why? Simple. It is the best time to get the highest market value for your home. With an increased number of homes on the market, there is also an increased number of buyers perusing. To avoid high competition for homes, avoid searching during this time. Instead, be patient and wait until the fall to buy a home. Less competition means more time to consider a home before putting in an offer and a lower likelihood of competing offers.

 

Worn-out home sellers

If a seller has their home on the market in the fall, it's usually because they don't have any other option. How does this benefit you as a homebuyer? As they have their home on the market out of necessity, they are probably in a position where they NEED to sell their home and are open to negotiating, resulting in a potentially better deal for you.

 

Did you know that sellers price their home higher in the spring? It’s true. While some do sell, others remain on the market for one reason: they are priced above fair market value. As these homes often receive little attention in the spring, they will sometimes remain on the market until the fall. If they do, chances are the sellers are getting impatient and looking to sell their home fast – resulting in a better deal for you!

 

Holidays are around the corner

The holiday season is right around the corner. As a home seller, there is nothing worse than being in the middle of selling your home during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Why? Because instead of enjoying the holiday with friends and family, you have to accommodate home showings whenever a potential buyer would like to view your home. These home showings have the possibility of ruining holiday plans. If a home seller wants to get into a new home before the holiday season, they will likely be extremely motivated to get out of their current home FAST – possibly resulting in a great deal for you! Use this pre-holiday window (October) as an opportunity to find a new home for a great deal.

 

Year-end tax credits

While you don’t buy a home for the tax benefits, it is a nice incentive. If you close a home at the end of the fiscal year, you might reap the benefits of some nice tax deductions: closing costs, property tax and mortgage interest.

 

Real estate agent has more time

Fewer buyers and sellers on the market allow your REALTOR® to dedicate more time to help you locate a home. More time with your REALTOR® gives you the opportunity to ask questions and view more homes.

 

Home improvement bargains

According to Consumer Reports, December is the best month to get a bargain on your home’s major appliances: refrigerators, stoves, washers, dryers and more. If you are thinking you want to buy a home with the intention of fixing it up, waiting until the fall to buy and the winter to upgrade can save you a bundle of money! Bonus, the end of the year is also the best time to buy cookware and TVs.

 

Less competition, deals on home goods and lower home prices make fall the PERFECT time to buy a home. A little patience can go a long way.

 

Do you want to buy a home in the Austin area? Now is the ideal time to buy. Give us a call today to get more for your move.

 

 

Posted in Austin News, Sellers
Sept. 20, 2017

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Fall is in the air! And, while the temperatures haven’t cooled down much in the greater Austin area - make no mistake, they will! To ensure your home is prepared for the upcoming cooler season, we have created a fall home maintenance checklist. Follow these tips to ensure your home is ready for the season ahead: 

 

 

Interior

  • Hire an HVAC technician to service your furnace. A heating system will use fuel more efficiently, last longer and experience fewer problems if maintained properly.
  • Change the direction of your ceiling fan blade rotation. Blades should rotate clockwise (as you’re looking up at the fan), creating an upward draft that redistributes warm air from the ceiling. Look for a small toggle on the side of the base of the fan to make the switch.
  • Test and change the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Vacuum internal components of your air conditioner.
  • Apply weather stripping and caulk any air leaks around your windows and doors.
  • Ensure your fireplace is in working order by checking the insert’s door gasket for a tight seal and cleaning out your chimney.
  • Clean your humidifier regularly during the heating season. 

 

Exterior

  • Check your foundation. Look for cracks and caulk around where siding meets masonry, where pipes or wires enter the house and around windows and doors. This easy checkup can reveal issues early and prevent heat from escaping in chilly months.
  • Inspect exterior paint and make touch-ups as needed.
  • Inspect your roof. Wintry weather wreaks havoc on roofs and it’s better to proactively deal with repairs than to discover a leaking roof in a rainstorm.
  • Clean gutters. After leaves have fallen, take time to inspect and clean your gutters. Flush them with water, inspect the joints and tighten brackets if necessary.
  • Weather-strip your garage door. Ensure the seal between your garage door and the ground is snug to prevent drafts and small animals from entering.
  • Inspect your driveway. Look for cracks and repair damage with driveway filler, then coat with a commercial sealant.

 

Below is a printable checklist for your convenience. 

 

 

Be proactive and get started on this checklist today – before the temperatures really start to cool down. 

Do you have any questions about preparing your home for the fall season? Give us a call; we would be happy to send you a list of our preferred vendors around the greater Austin area.  

Posted in Home Improvement
Sept. 19, 2017

9 Interior Lighting Tips from Design Professionals

Lighting adds unique interest to your home’s interior design – it really can make a significant difference! What should you consider with your home's lighting? Consider these professional tips when selecting the location, style and function to ensure your home’s lighting is set to impress: 

Light Height

While some lights come with adjustable cables and rods - others don't! To ensure your light fixtures are at the proper height, keep the following measurement in mind: the bottom of the light should hang approximately 12 to 20 inches below a standard 8-foot ceiling – and, for each additional foot of ceiling height, add three inches.

Table Lighting

How far above the table surface should you hang your light? According to design professionals, 28 to 34 inches from the bottom of the light to the surface of the table or kitchen island is the industry standard. Keep in mind; these measurements do depend on the size of the fixture. In general, a smaller light can be lower, and a larger light can be higher.

Plan Ahead 

Are you designing your own home? If so, consider the lighting you want in your home during the initial design phase. It is important to decide what you want before construction starts, as once construction starts it may be too late to make changes! 

Innovate

If updating your lighting is part of your renovation, and you don't want a huge expense or hassle, consider cord swags. Basically, you can just swag the cord loosely over the bar or hook, or secure the cord tight to the ceiling for an industrial look.

Upward Lighting

Lighting doesn’t always have to angle down. In fact, upward lighting can create a softer ambiance to certain locations within the home. 

Glow

Different light bulbs give off a different glow. Typically, those glows range from warm to cool hues. Is the light bulb that important to the overall lighting of your home? Of course, it is! Just like the color of your décor, each individual prefers either a warm or cool hue. Not sure which glow you’d prefer? Here is a tip from the professionals: if your home's décor is mainly cooler tones, consider choosing the warm hue – as it will warm up the space. Of course, the opposite is true, too. If your home's décor is predominately warmer colors, consider the cooler hue to brighten up the darker space.

Light the Stairs

Why should you light the stairs? Other than the obvious reason of preventing a potentially dangerous situation at night, lighting your stairway can add a unique design element to your staircase. You can add lights to the risers or, if your stairway is enclosed, you can add them from the sides. 

Under-Cabinet Lighting

Consider adding some lighting below your upper cabinets to brighten up the kitchen and the counter space. This lighting also looks gorgeous at night. 

Add Color

If you have an isolated island in your kitchen, consider adding three colored pendants above. Not only do these lights create great lighting, but they also add interest and a “pop” of color to your kitchen. 

 

Follow these tips to ensure your home is lit to impress!  

Do you have any questions about adding any of these lighting ideas to your home? Reach out anytime; we are here to get you more for your move.  

Posted in Home Improvement
Aug. 16, 2017

Hidden Costs of a Home Remodel

A home renovation can be costly – even more so if hidden costs arise during the project. Before starting your home remodel, be aware of these hidden costs that may end up costing you more money than the project is worth: 

Changing your mind

It turns out; changing your mind is one of the largest costs of a home renovation. Did you know that approximately 95 percent of costs come from inadequate scopes of work and scope creep, also known as change orders? It’s true! How can you avoid this cost? Make sure you know what you want before you start – and don’t change your mind! 

Surprise structural changes

Unplanned structural changes can increase your budget by 10 to 15 percent. To avoid a hefty cost, explore all remodel options with your contractor before you begin work. 

Building standards – “up to code”

What was once “up to code,” may not be today. Always consider the current building standards when starting a remodel – and be mindful that if you discover something that is not up to code during a remodel, you have to bring it up to code - which is an added expense.

Higher utility bills

This expense is minimal – but do expect for your electric bill to increase during renovation months. The amount is entirely dependent on what you're renovating and how much electricity you're using.

Board pets

To ensure your pets are safe and out of the way, board them during the remodel. Boarding your pets may be expensive - depending on how long the remodel is going to take and the boarding rate. To save money, make plans with a family member or friend to watch your pets during the days you are renovating. 

Eating out

If you’re doing a kitchen remodel, expect to eat out a lot – as your kitchen will be a construction zone! 

Pest and rot damage

Unforeseen issues can come to light during a home remodel. Be aware of pests (termite damage) in the South and rot (rotting wood) in the North. If found, fixing the damage can be costly. 

Your time is money

During a remodel, you will most likely need to take time off work to meet with contractors and make selections on design materials (backsplash, flooring, countertops, etc.). Can your work schedule accommodate for this? Make sure your schedule and budget can endure this time off. 

Moving out/in

Do you have to vacate your home or move out belongings to make room for the renovation? Consider the costs of pods and storage units and a place to stay during the remodel. To save money, consider making arrangements to bunk with a family member or friend during the renovation.

 

Be proactive and consider these hidden costs before embarking on your home renovation – your sanity and bank account will thank you.

Do you have any questions about the Austin area housing landscape? We are here to help you get more from your move; contact us today! 

 

 

Posted in Home Improvement