Reverse Osmosis Water Filter: Crystal-Clear Tap Water In Your Home

Reverse Osmosis Water Filter

Reverse osmosis sounds like something we learned in science class, but what does a reverse osmosis water filter do?

In a nutshell, it helps homeowners get better-tasting water by removing certain elements. After installing a reverse osmosis system, many folks appreciate the high-quality water that comes out of their taps; the water tends to taste and smell better, and the ice cubes are clear.

“It’s as if you’re drinking bottled water without the bottles,” says Mike Paice, a water specialist with the Sunny Plumber in Las Vegas.

Evian-quality water flowing freely from your kitchen faucet? It sounds like a real money saver, especially if you frequently buy bottled water. Read on to learn if installing an RO water filter in your home is a good decision for you.

What is a reverse osmosis water filter?

Water that runs through an RO system is filtered a number of times: through two different types of liquids and a permeable film that allows through only the water molecules. Therefore, the water that comes out of your faucet will be rid of impurities but still have important minerals.

RO systems are typically installed under the kitchen sink, and the filtered water comes out of a separate faucet. The filtration system can have anywhere from two to five filters, but the number of filters isn’t as important as the integrity of the filters, says Paice.

The two filters you’ll want to look for are carbon and sediment. These filters will remove contaminants such as Giardia, salmonella, E. coli, and Norovirus, and common chemicals, including sodium, chloride, copper, chromium, and lead, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Paice says to make sure the water filter you purchase is certified by the Water Quality Association.

RO water filters last about 10 years.

Reasons to not install a reverse osmosis filter

If your home’s water pressure is below 65 psi (pounds per square inch) or higher than 100 psi, you might have issues with an RO system.

When you put water in a filter system, it reduces the water pressure. If the water pressure is too low, your ice maker won’t get enough water and your showers will be miserable.

But if the pressure is too high, the pipes on the RO system can break and potentially flood your home. This is rare, but it can happen. If you’re seriously considering installing an RO filter, the smartest thing to do is consult a plumber to determine if it will work with your home’s water system.

If you want to test your home’s water pressure yourself, place a pressure gauge on your hose bibb, aka the faucet on your home’s exterior. If water pressure is an issue, you can still get a filter, but you’re more likely to have problems, says Mike Donley, president of Phoenix-based Donley Plumbing and Air Conditioning.

Demineralizing the water can remove beneficial elements such as calcium or fluoride from the water. But cooking with demineralized water is also shown to keep essential elements from food, so it might be wise to speak with your doctor before installing an RO filter.

Maintenance

One of the biggest advantages of an RO system is that you can install it and not bother with it for a while. They’re very low maintenance, and the filters need to be changed only once a year. You can do this yourself or hire a pro. If you go the DIY route, make sure you’re buying the appropriate filter for your system and that you shut the water off before you change the filters. The cost of a visit from a plumber is about $150, says Donley.

Every few years, you’ll have to repressurize the storage tank, which is a job for your plumber.

Installation and cost

The average cost of an RO system, including installation, is $500 to $700, according to Donley.

If you’re having a system installed, you’ll want to clear out the space underneath the sink for the plumber. Installation will take a few hours. Afterward, you’ll have to flush the system out a few times. You also won’t be able to drink from the faucet when the system is being flushed out and the storage tank fills with water. But within a half-day, you should have fresh drinking water.

Original Source

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com

Spring’s Here: 7 Must-Do Home Maintenance Tasks To Tackle This Season

Spring-Home-Maintenance-Tips-2

Spring has officially sprung, and we are psyched. Seriously, we couldn’t be more stoked to put away our floor-length parkas and our stupid hats, break out the shorts and sandals, and start planning a big backyard barbecue.

But before you get too carried away, remember this: In the great game of homeownership, a pound of prevention could save you thousands of dollars in repair costs.

Don’t know where to start? We’ve done the heavy lifting for you, focusing on the most crucial spring chores to tackle—and how to take ’em on, whether you’re up for some DIY action or need to call in the pros. So go ahead and set aside a Saturday (soon!) for these essential maintenance tasks, and prep your home for all those spring soirees.

1. Take a walk
A lot can happen between winter and spring, and experts agree a visual inspection is crucial to stopping small problems before they turn into big ones. So grab a camera, notebook, and even binoculars, and take a few laps around the perimeter of your place.

“The first circuit should be from about 60 feet out, so you can get the big picture,” says home inspector Lisa Turner, author of “House Keys: The Essential Homeowner’s Guide.”

On the first pass, look for siding damage, missing paint, holes, large cracks, damaged downspouts, and areas where water is accumulating near the foundation. Check your decks for levelness, and use binoculars to examine the roof.

Next, bring it in closer: Examine soffits, doors, windows, screens, and vents, and make a note of any damage.

DIY: If you feel comfortable, shimmy up a ladder to get a view of your gutters. Check for debris, and run water through your downspouts to make sure they aren’t clogged.

Call in the pros: Roofing, siding, and soffit damage should all be tackled by a pro. The average cost per hour will vary by region, but Turner says to figure $65 to $95 per hour for a licensed professional plus materials.

2. Peek in your crawl space
We know, we know—you’re probably not stoked for this one. But here’s the cold, hard fact: A lot can happen down there during the frigid months. Critters can set up house, pipes can freeze or break loose from their brackets, and too much moisture can lead to (shudder) mold.

DIY: “Unless your crawl space is full of rooms, you can do a very thorough inspection from the entry door,” Turner says. Open the door, kneel down, and train a high-powered flashlight on the ground. Most homes have a vapor barrier or plastic sheet covering the entire dirt floor, which prevents humidity from seeping into your insulation (and your home). Make sure this sheet is intact and hasn’t shifted or been ripped by animals during the winter months.

Next, run your light on the underfloor structure and check for moisture, dripping, falling insulation, mold, or sagging. If you do decide to fully enter your crawl space, be sure to wear a Tyvek (polyethylene) suit, a mask over your mouth, and safety goggles.

Call in the pros: If your floor is sagging—or if you spy serious mold, water leaks, or a pest infestation—call in a professional. The average cost will vary by region, but figure $65 to $95 per hour for a licensed professional, according to Turner.

3. Survey (and repair) winter’s damage in the yard
lawn repair
Kick off the growing and mowing season with a spring-cleaning of your yard. Grab a rake to clear out dead grass, weeds, and sticks, and use a mulching mower to recycle it all. Then, if the soil has warmed in your neck of the woods, apply mulch.

DIY: Apply a 2- to 3-inch layer around plants, recommends Phil Dwyer, a turf grass scientist for Scotts Miracle-Grow. And keep a bare ring between mulch and tree trunks. (“Volcano mulching,” or piling mulch up against the trunk of a tree, can attract fungus and pests.)

If your yard has seen better days (and thanks to the epic storms of this past winter, chances are it has), patch and thicken your grass with an overseeding product.

“Timing is crucial for success,” Dwyer says. “Aim for an early spring seeding for cool-season grass and a late spring sowing for warm-season grass.”

Call in the pros: Landscapers typically charge between $150 and $270 for professional mulching, plus materials.

4. Give your flowers a fresh start
planting flowers

Prepare the soil before planting new flowers.iStock
We all know that April showers bring May flowers—but only if you’ve done the requisite prep work.

“Pick up a handful of soil and squeeze it,” recommends Ashleigh Lemon, research specialist at Scotts Miracle-Gro. “If it crumbles easily, you can start preparing your beds. If it sticks together in a clump, it’s still too wet to work in.”

DIY: Begin preparing flower and vegetable beds by removing any dead plants. Then work in compost, which will provide your soil with rich ingredients as well as continuous-release plant food.

Next, pull out weeds and use a pre-emergent weed preventer.

“The more weeds you eliminate now, the less competition your garden plants will face for sunlight, nutrients, and moisture,” Lemon says.

Call in the pros: If you don’t have anything even remotely resembling a green thumb, consider hiring a professional gardener or landscaper. But know that the price you’ll pay will largely depend on how big an area you want planted.

5. Tune up your mower
tune up the mower

Check the oil in your lawn mower.iStock
After months of hibernation, your lawn mower will need a quick tuneup; clean the exterior, change your oil and spark plugs, and fill the tank with fresh fuel.

DIY: Use compressed air or a leaf blower to clear grass, dirt, and debris that have accumulated in your mower. Let your machine run for a bit before changing the oil and filter. Clean foam air filters with soap and water, and make sure your machine’s deck height is at the highest possible setting for your grass type. (Cutting too short can put stress on your lawn.)

Call in the pros: On average, a professional tuneup for a push mower will cost $50 to $100.

6. Check your AC
“The last thing you want is for your appliances or HVAC to stop working just as the weather warms up,” says Chip Smith, chief marketing officer at Sears Home Services.

DIY: Change the unit’s filter, and spray the outside of the condenser with a garden hose to remove dust. (Don’t use a pressure washer, which can damage fins.)

Call in the pros: Professional HVAC services run between $100 to $250, and include cleaning the condenser and lubricating the fan motor.

7. Prep your dishwasher
prepping dishwasher

Make sure your dishwasher’s drain is free of debris.iStock
With gatherings for Easter, Passover, Mother’s Day, and even graduations right around the corner, you’ll want to make sure your dishwasher can handle all those dirty dishes.

DIY: Make sure your dishwasher’s drain is free of debris to prevent clogging. If your unit has a removable filter, clean it regularly with a mild detergent.

Call in the pros: If removing the filter doesn’t solve your dishwasher woes, a professional appliance repair service will likely set you back $150.

Original Source

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com

What’s Cooking: The 7 Hottest Kitchen Design Trends For 2018

Kitchen Design Trends 2018

Kitchen Design Trends 2018

It can be dangerous to blindly follow a trend. And that’s a tough pill to swallow when it comes to interior design; gotta-have-it features that once burned brightly can turn so yesterday fast.

But in the kitchen—arguably the definitive focal point and gathering place of your home—experts agree it can pay to take a chance on a white-hot trend.

“The kitchen is the room in every house now,” says Chicago interior designer Rae Duncan. As a result, “our clients are lavishing details on their spaces. Elaborate moldings, spectacular lighting, and high-quality art now have as much a right to be in the kitchen as the refrigerator and stove.”

Luckily for you, we’ve got you covered with the ultimate scoop on what’ll dominate kitchen trends in the upcoming year—whether you’re looking for an easy way to freshen your space or have an eye turned toward a major reno.

1. Bold colors

Photo by Loop Design

“Neutrals still have strong appeal with our clients, but we’re beginning to see more emphasis on color,” says Elissa Morgante, co-principal of Evanston, IL–based Morgante Wilson Architects. (She predicts blue will be hot this year, especially on kitchen islands.)

Embrace the trend by using different colors for your island and countertops, or choose complementary shades to highlight the lower cabinets from the upper ones.

“This concept really helps the kitchen feel more integrated with the rest of the home by connecting the color palette of the kitchen with the colors used throughout the home,” notes Leigh Meadows-McAlpin, a designer in Charleston, SC.

2. New twists on white-on-white

Morgante Wilson Architects

People still love a white kitchen (guilty!), but the all-white schemes that have reigned supreme in recent years have some obvious limitations: They’re hard to keep clean and can appear a bit, well, sterile.

To mix up the monochromatic vibe, designers are introducing vibrant lacquers and bold countertops. Or, for a more nuanced fresh take, pair painted gray cabinets with large expanses of white countertops and walls.

“This will evoke the same clean, fresh aesthetic of a white kitchen—without actually using white cabinets,” Morgante says.

3. Anything but stainless-steel appliances

Photo by Terracotta Design Build

Speaking of sterile, the stainless steel that’s long dominated our kitchens is also expected to see some competition in 2018. As today’s homeowners lust after color and flair in their kitchen, they’re trading in their metallic appliances for ones in vibrant colors or unique designs.

In particular, vintage-inspired, European-style ranges—complete with metal-wrapped accents—will be big this year, Meadows-McAlpin predicts.

“They’re typically available in a variety of colors and are somewhat reminiscent of an early-1900s steamer trunk, although much more beautiful,” she says.

Ready to take the plunge with a statement piece? Consider a retro pink range from appliance maker Smeg or a jewel-toned piece from BlueStar.

4. Durable materials

Photo courtesy of Cosentino

Balancing form with function is tough, especially in the high-traffic, well-used spaces like the kitchen. That’s why the No. 1 request designers get these days is for durable surfaces that require zero maintenance, says interior designer and architect Daniel Germani.

My clients “hate the idea of investing in something that will inevitably stain or requires constant sealing,” Germani says. “People are busy—they want their kitchens to keep up with everyday wear and tear without the hassle of maintenance.”

Germani likes quartz surfacing such as Silestone (he recommends the “truly stunning” Eternal Calacatta Gold, which resembles the look of Calacatta marble) and Dekton, a stain- and heat-resistant surface he bills as “the most durable option on the market.”

And he’s in good company. According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s 2018 design trends report, a whopping 94% of respondents named quartz as the top surface trend for kitchens in the coming year.

5. Geometric tiles

Photo by Trevor Brown Architect

Sayonara, subway tile! Designers across the board predict a shift to larger-format tile (and even slab-size sheets of porcelain) placed in a geometric pattern.

“We’re seeing a shift toward simplistic, yet bold patterns that stand the test of time,” designer Stacy Garcia says. “These patterns help improve the perception of kitchen spaces—they create a layer of contemporary sophistication.”

6. Workhorse islands

Photo by j witzel interior design

A customized island that incorporates everything (including the kitchen sink)? Sign us up! This new darling of kitchen design promises to offer the ultimate blend of style and function.

“Everything from bar seating and open shelving to dishwashers and wine refrigerators can be found tucked into a well-designed kitchen island,” Meadows-McAlpin notes.

But resist the urge to order online and call it a day. Instead, study your space carefully before committing to a does-it-all solution.

7. Farmhouse looks (yes, still)

Photo by Caesarstone

Love it or hate it, farmhouse chic is here to stay—at least according to the 800 U.S. and Canadian pros surveyed by the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s annual trends report. Designers and homeowners alike have yet to tire of the back-to-basics look, which uses natural materials, like reclaimed wood, and rich, polished metals for kitchen plumbing fixtures, lighting, and hardware.

“Farmhouse style has an inviting ‘sit down and stay a while’ quality that resonates with people from all walks of life,” Meadows-McAlpin says. “Its friendly, unpretentious nature makes it well-suited for those who want their homes to be both a retreat to unwind and a gathering place for friends and family.”

“Farmhouse is always in,” adds Tina Anastasia, a partner at Mark P. Finlay Architects. But she predicts the look will shift in the coming year to incorporate more clean and contemporary lines.

“The totally-reclaimed look has been overdone, and we’ll see a more simple cabinet face with less hardware,” she says.

To keep your farmhouse look fresh, pair your wood-topped islands with quartz or stone counters and modern metallic hardware.

Original Source

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com

8 Most Beautiful Bedroom Design Trends For 2018: Making Magic Happen

FOTOGRAFIA INC./iStock

It’s easy to regard the bedroom as a design afterthought. After all, how many people actually see it? But you do spend a third of your life in there—it should be a retreat from the chaos of the world outside. And designers are always coming up with new ideas to improve the space.

Repeat after us: In 2018, your bedroom will be boring no more. If you’re looking for some quick ways to shake up your sleep sanctuary, we’ve got you covered. Read on for of-the-now inspiration that’s certain to take your boudoir from dowdy to downright dreamy.

1. A return to luxury

modern-bedroom

Photo by Amy Noel Design

“Luxury is back in a big way,” says designer Mark Cutler. Think: fabrics such as mohair, velvet, cashmere, and faux fur, and color palettes of rich, saturated jewel tones.

Punch up your bedroom style a notch—and create a dreamy retreat—with a new set of textured linens. Or paint your trim and walls in similarly jewel-toned hues for a luxe, tone-on-tone feel.

Our fave shades include Sherwin-Williams’ 2018 color of the year (Oceanside SW 6496), an intense blue-green, and regal Ultra Violet, Pantone’s color of the year for 2018.

2. Wallpaper

farmhouse-bedroom

Photo by Modern Organic Interiors

No, not your mama’s wallpaper that you spent hours—nay, days—scraping off. Today’s prints have modern flair and intricate designs that fuse with any style, from glam to bohemian.

“Wallpaper adds a layer of depth and interest to any space, and is available in amazing textures, colorful stripes, geometrics, and countless other options,” says Charleston, SC, designer Leigh Meadows-McAlpert.

Add texture with sisal or patterned prints, and score major bonus points for choosing a floral pattern (yep, that’s back in, too—more on that later).

If you want to ease in with this one, try removable wallpaper, or papering just one wall for a patterned accent.

3. Ceilings with flair

transitional-bedroom

Photo by FrontDoor Communities

Ceilings will be seen in 2018, designers say, whether wallpapered, gilded, or painted a bold hue.

“From creative moldings and interesting coffers to fantastic paint and plaster treatments, the ceiling has become another surface equivalent to the complexity of a Persian rug,” says designer Ana Cummings. “No room will be completely finished without a ceiling treatment.”

Not feeling committed enough for paint? Swap out your dated ceiling fan for a dramatic chandelier or drum pendant.

“A unique light fixture can provide that pop you need without breaking the bank,” says Kayla Hein, creative director at Modern Castle.

4. New twists on old headboards

contemporary-bedroom

Photo by Clifton Interiors Ltd

Ditch your tired, old headboard, and experiment with the new crop of head-of-the-bed accents such as accent wallpaper, painted decals, or textured wall tapestries.

If you’re a DIYer, you can even create a rustic chic look by upcycling old barn doors or benches. Or take an entirely new twist by hanging a large vintage map or custom painting, or cover the entire wall with a soft fabric.

“I love taking the upholstered headboard to new heights, literally,” says Gretchen Kennelly, an interior designer and owner of Gretchen Kennelly Design Group, in San Diego. “I love to do a fully upholstered wall behind the bed to create a soft, cozy space and an extra layer of texture in the room.”

5. Concrete

industrial-bedroom

Photo by Michelle Chaplin Interiors

Love it or hate it, this versatile composite is making a huge splash this year.

If you dig a more contemporary style, consider a concrete accent wall in a master bedroom. Just make sure to balance it with accents such as walnut-stained ceiling beams, whitewashed wood floors, and soft bed linens to warm things up.

“This creates a style that’s cozy, not cold,” says Monica Mangin, host of Lowe’s DIY webisode series “The Weekender.”

6. Funky florals

eclectic-bedroom

Photo by eleven11DESIGN

Ready or not, florals are back in bloom. Designers predict they’ll be big in the bedroom, in contrasting colors (especially in bold jewel tones) and large, oversize patterns.

“Floral prints have always been popular, but this year we’ll see them veer away from feeling incredibly feminine and more toward an interesting, funky vibe,” says Erin Davis, lead designer of Mosaik Design & Remodeling in Portland, OR. “Think contrasting colors and casual, bohemian styling.”

Try this trend in linens, rugs, upholstery, or even window treatments—or if you’re feeling especially wild, add floral wallpaper to an accent wall.

7. Gen Z yellow

contemporary-bedroom (1)

Photo by Shaw Coates

This sunny color has taken over the runway and is now making its way into our homes as the new darling of interior design. Risk-taking homeowners love how the hue can make any room feel happy—and isn’t that what you’re looking for in the boudoir?

“Incorporating Gen Z yellow in a bedroom gives you unlimited possibilities,” says Nikki James, the design studio manager for homebuilder Ashton Woods Dallas. “You can make it as simple as a few throw pillows and curtains, or you can bring in an attractive yellow reading chair, a fun piece of yellow art, and some stunning lamps with yellow bases. The options are truly endless.”

8. Distraction-free zones

contemporary-bedroom (2)

Photo by Su Casa Designs

“Bedrooms that are oasis from the chaos of everyday life will be huge this year,” predicts Chicago designer Rae Duncan. “It’s not about having a TV screen in front of your face anymore; it’s about escaping and being with yourself and the people you love.”

Create your own oasis by banning electronics, creating cozy sitting areas, and adding room-darkening window treatments to keep yourself cocooned from the world outside. Now that’s a trend we can get behind!

Original Source 

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com

What’s Cooking: The 7 Hottest Kitchen Design Trends For 2018

Kitchen Trends 2018

It can be dangerous to blindly follow a trend. And that’s a tough pill to swallow when it comes to interior design; gotta-have-it features that once burned brightly can turn so yesterday fast.

But in the kitchen—arguably the definitive focal point and gathering place of your home—experts agree it can pay to take a chance on a white-hot trend.

“The kitchen is the room in every house now,” says Chicago interior designer Rae Duncan. As a result, “our clients are lavishing details on their spaces. Elaborate moldings, spectacular lighting, and high-quality art now have as much a right to be in the kitchen as the refrigerator and stove.”

Luckily for you, we’ve got you covered with the ultimate scoop on what’ll dominate kitchen trends in the upcoming year—whether you’re looking for an easy way to freshen your space or have an eye turned toward a major reno.

1. Bold colors

contemporary-kitchen

Photo by Look Design

“Neutrals still have strong appeal with our clients, but we’re beginning to see more emphasis on color,” says Elissa Morgante, co-principal of Evanston, IL–based Morgante Wilson Architects. (She predicts blue will be hot this year, especially on kitchen islands.)

Embrace the trend by using different colors for your island and countertops, or choose complementary shades to highlight the lower cabinets from the upper ones.

“This concept really helps the kitchen feel more integrated with the rest of the home by connecting the color palette of the kitchen with the colors used throughout the home,” notes Leigh Meadows-McAlpin, a designer in Charleston, SC.

2. New twists on white-on-white

Morgante-Wilson_Gray-Kitchen-791x1024

Morgante Wilson Architects

People still love a white kitchen (guilty!), but the all-white schemes that have reigned supreme in recent years have some obvious limitations: They’re hard to keep clean and can appear a bit, well, sterile.

To mix up the monochromatic vibe, designers are introducing vibrant lacquers and bold countertops. Or, for a more nuanced fresh take, pair painted gray cabinets with large expanses of white countertops and walls.

“This will evoke the same clean, fresh aesthetic of a white kitchen—without actually using white cabinets,” Morgante says.

3. Anything but stainless-steel appliances

traditional-kitchen

Photo by Terracotta Design Build

Speaking of sterile, the stainless steel that’s long dominated our kitchens is also expected to see some competition in 2018. As today’s homeowners lust after color and flair in their kitchen, they’re trading in their metallic appliances for ones in vibrant colors or unique designs.

In particular, vintage-inspired, European-style ranges—complete with metal-wrapped accents—will be big this year, Meadows-McAlpin predicts.

“They’re typically available in a variety of colors and are somewhat reminiscent of an early-1900s steamer trunk, although much more beautiful,” she says.

Ready to take the plunge with a statement piece? Consider a retro pink range from appliance maker Smeg or a jewel-toned piece from BlueStar.

4. Durable materials

Silestone®-Eternal-Calacatta-Gold_Kitchen-1024x768

Photo courtesy of Cosentino

Balancing form with function is tough, especially in the high-traffic, well-used spaces like the kitchen. That’s why the No. 1 request designers get these days is for durable surfaces that require zero maintenance, says interior designer and architect Daniel Germani.

My clients “hate the idea of investing in something that will inevitably stain or requires constant sealing,” Germani says. “People are busy—they want their kitchens to keep up with everyday wear and tear without the hassle of maintenance.”

Germani likes quartz surfacing such as Silestone (he recommends the “truly stunning” Eternal Calacatta Gold, which resembles the look of Calacatta marble) and Dekton, a stain- and heat-resistant surface he bills as “the most durable option on the market.”

And he’s in good company. According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s 2018 design trends report, a whopping 94% of respondents named quartz as the top surface trend for kitchens in the coming year.

5. Geometric tiles

contemporary-kitchen (1)

Photo by Trevor Brown Architect

Sayonara, subway tile! Designers across the board predict a shift to larger-format tile (and even slab-size sheets of porcelain) placed in a geometric pattern.

“We’re seeing a shift toward simplistic, yet bold patterns that stand the test of time,” designer Stacy Garcia says. “These patterns help improve the perception of kitchen spaces—they create a layer of contemporary sophistication.”

6. Workhorse islands

contemporary-kitchen (2)

Photo by j witzel interior design

A customized island that incorporates everything (including the kitchen sink)? Sign us up! This new darling of kitchen design promises to offer the ultimate blend of style and function.

“Everything from bar seating and open shelving to dishwashers and wine refrigerators can be found tucked into a well-designed kitchen island,” Meadows-McAlpin notes.

But resist the urge to order online and call it a day. Instead, study your space carefully before committing to a does-it-all solution.

7. Farmhouse looks (yes, still)

farmhouse-kitchen

Photo by Caesarstone

Love it or hate it, farmhouse chic is here to stay—at least according to the 800 U.S. and Canadian pros surveyed by the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s annual trends report. Designers and homeowners alike have yet to tire of the back-to-basics look, which uses natural materials, like reclaimed wood, and rich, polished metals for kitchen plumbing fixtures, lighting, and hardware.

“Farmhouse style has an inviting ‘sit down and stay a while’ quality that resonates with people from all walks of life,” Meadows-McAlpin says. “Its friendly, unpretentious nature makes it well-suited for those who want their homes to be both a retreat to unwind and a gathering place for friends and family.”

“Farmhouse is always in,” adds Tina Anastasia, a partner at Mark P. Finlay Architects. But she predicts the look will shift in the coming year to incorporate more clean and contemporary lines.

“The totally-reclaimed look has been overdone, and we’ll see a more simple cabinet face with less hardware,” she says.

To keep your farmhouse look fresh, pair your wood-topped islands with quartz or stone counters and modern metallic hardware.

Original Source

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com

The 9 Hottest Interior Design And Decor Trends To Look For In 2018

Interior Design Trends 2018

When it comes to home design and decor, we’ll be the first to tell you to stick with what you love, no matter what the pros say. But if you can’t escape that sinking feeling each time you walk through your front door that your decor is looking a little tired, well, don’t despair. We’ve got you covered! We’ve already talked about the design trends you should ditch in the coming year. Now let’s take a look at some of the hot new designs you might want to use for 2018 to give your home a fresh lease on life.

From splashy color palettes to bright yellow sofas and mixed metal everything, our stable of designers and tastemakers have given us the ultimate insiders’ scoop on what’ll be hot in 2018. And trust us: It’ll be a gorgeous year.

Here’s what to watch:

1. Bold colors

Photo by Charlotte Crosland Interiors

Designers haven’t yet had their fill of spaces decked out in deep, bold shades; this decor trend is appearing on our hot list for the second year in a row.

“As much as I love an all-white interior, rich jewel tones are making their way onto our walls and moldings in a big way—think ‘English library,’ but with peacock teal, black, or rich burnt orange colors,” says Oregon-based interior designer Arlene Lord.

The proof is in the paint: Sherwin-Williams’ 2018 Color of the Year(Oceanside SW 6496) is an intense shade of blue-green, while Pantone recently announced the rich and regal Ultra Violet will reign supreme in the coming year.

Lord recommends pairing these jewel tones with bold, dustier shades to create a lush, layered look. (We like PPG’s Black Flame, an indigo-hued black that’s great for modern interiors; Glidden’s Deep Onyx, a classic no-fuss shade; and Olympic’s Black Magic.)

“Dipping a room in a dramatic shade like midnight navy, eggplant, or charcoal is a fun way to embrace a deep, rich color, and the result is deliciously inviting,” says Elissa Morgante, co-principal of Morgante Wilson Architects in Illinois.

Ready to really commit? Go all-in on this trend with dark or black trim.

“Outlining the room or windows in dark trim helps punctuate and call attention to unique features,” she says.

2. Mixed metallics

Photo by Jim Schmid Photography – Search kitchen pictures

A few years back, mixing metals was a total no-no. But experts now agree that today’s homeowners want more than simple one or two copper or brass fixtures—they like seeing the stuff throughout a room or house.

“Buyers really love to see modern, eclectic choices such as a hammered copper light fixture above the kitchen island paired with sleek chrome faucets and cabinet hardware,” says Ken Fixler of Barnett Homes in Chicago.

To warm up the industrial feel of some metals, pair them with a natural stone like marble or limestone, and look for unexpected finishes like matte black, satin brass, black nickel, and unlacquered brass. Amp up the visual interest another notch by layering your metals across a variety of locations, from faucets to hardware to lighting and furniture.

3. Gen Z yellow

Photo by Oliver Grahame Photography

As usual, Beyoncé was way ahead of the curve on this one, smashing car windows and security cameras in an unforgettable yellow Cavalli dress in her epic video for “Lemonade.” And as designers, fashionistas, and millennials will all tell you, the hue that’s being dubbed “Gen Z yellow” is the one to watch.

Karen Wolf, of Karen B Wolf Interiors, calls it “positive, confident, vibrant, and enthusiastic.”

“We have not seen this color emerge for quite some time,” Wolf adds. “It feels fresh, happy, and young.”

Designer Sarah Hullinger agrees, predicting the color will continue to be huge well into 2018.

“It’ll certainly make an impression, whether a bright ‘minion’ color or a burnt shade resembling curry or turmeric,” she says.

If you can’t quite warm up to the idea of, say, a bright yellow sectional, test the waters with an accent chair or painted side table.

4. Quartz

Photo by Eddy Homes

In the kitchen, sleek quartz is taking the place of the ubiquitous granite and hard-to-clean marble.

“Quartz products are appealing to the ease of living that we all crave, and the surfaces are much more modern, clean, and versatile,” Lord says.

5. Light, textured wood floors

Photo by Anders Lasater Architects

“Red-toned woods are fading in popularity, along with tropical exotic species” like Brazilian cherry or walnut, says Armstrong Flooring design manager Sara Babinski.

Instead, flooring trends are moving toward lighter color palettes in domestic American woods such as maple, pine, or hickory, she says.

Why? Light-hued woods—including natural tones and blond and whitewashed woods—brighten interior spaces and hide imperfections more easily, making them a great choice for families and households with pets. For extra credit, choose a distressed or wire-brushed wood, which offers vintage appeal with a less aggressive look than a scraped floor, and choose 5-inch-wide planks, which create a sense of openness and interior space.

If you decide to stick with dark flooring, designers recommend that you pair it with light walls and white trim for contrast.

6. Natural materials

Photo by Darden Design Group

“In interior design we’re seeing a strong push toward eco-consciousness—looking toward items that are made of sustainable materials and have a natural feel to them,” says Ana Zuravliova, an interior designer at Roman Blinds Direct. “People care about the production, the history, and the story of their furniture more than they ever have before.”

While the sustainability element is a plus, the visual airiness of the materials is indicative of a move toward more minimalist interiors, says designer Erin Powell, virtual staging coordinator at 3-D rendering company roOmy.

“The less-is-more approach will continue—[think] lacy hammocks and daybeds and wicker and rattan furniture with a more modern edge,” she says.

7. Concrete in unexpected places

Photo by CHRISTIAN DEAN ARCHITECTURE, LLC

Tired of basic granite in your kitchen and bath? Ditch it in favor of cool concrete—and then take your design up a notch by extending the material elsewhere in your house.

“From fireplaces to bath tubs, concrete is no longer the countertop alternative,” says designer Ana Cummings. “I’m seeing entire walls in concrete panels that look fantastic juxtaposed next to antiques or contemporary furnishings.”

8. Black fixtures

Photo by ilumus photography & marketing

Black fixtures will take the place of brass as the new hot home hardware, predicts Ryan Brown of Brown Design Group in Southern California. The first reason is easy: Black pretty much goes with everything. The second? Black fixtures—especially in matte finishes—are much easier to clean (and don’t need to be cleaned as often) than lighter, polished metals.

“They look great in modern applications as well as transitional homes,” Brown says. “And the best part is, no water spots to clean off.”

9. Larger tiles

Photo by Pearl Interiors – Browse bathroom ideas

For years, white subway tile has been the go-to choice in many a modern (or renovated) bathroom and kitchen. But designer Karen Asprea of Whitehall Interiors notes a recent shift toward larger-format tile (and even slab-size sheets of porcelain).

“This shift is not only aesthetic but one of function, as larger tile has less grout and is both easier to install and maintain,” Asprea says.

But if you’re not on board with big, don’t fret—designers agree the subway tile trend has life left in it.

“Clients want a really clean look for their homes and that doesn’t appear to be a trend that’s going away,” says Katie Jaydan, senior designer with White Crane Construction, a residential remodeling company in Minneapolis.

To mix things up a little and add visual interest, consider swapping out tired old cabinetry hardware with mixed metals (oh, hi, Tip No. 2) for a look that’s oh-so-2018. (In a good way.)

Original Source

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com

Selling Your Home: 7 Small Home Flaws That Can Be Big Deals For Buyers

Home Flaw Deal-Breakers

After living in the same home for a while, it’s amazing what you can get used to. A creaky floorboard, for instance. A chipped tile that you’ve been meaning to replace but haven’t gotten around to. A doorknob that needs a little coaxing to turn. No big deal, right?

Well, these small flaws can be huge deal-breakers when you decide to sell your home.

“Prospective buyers are going to add all the ‘flaws’ they find to the price of the property, and that’s when they start trying to discount the price,” cautions Jane Peters, a real estate broker and owner of Home Jane Realty in Los Angeles.

Curious what some of these seemingly small problems are?

Check out this list of minuscule (to you) things that buyers see as big hurdles to closing a sale.

1. An old electrical panel
Recently, the home buyer made a controversial request for a repair at a property listed by Cedric Stewart, a real estate consultant at Keller Williams in the Washington, DC, area.

Apparently, their home inspector claimed that $2,000 worth of repairs were needed on an electrical panel to get it “up to code.” The sellers insisted the current panel worked just fine.

“To the sellers, it was a small issue,” says Stewart, “but to the buyers, it was an electrical panel that could fail them at any time.”

To end this particular dispute, Stewart received bids from four electricians and got the repair quote knocked down to $1,200. The sellers offered that amount as a credit in lieu of repair at closing.

“The buyers grumbled,” Stewart recalls, “but they took it.”

2. Ripped window screens
Window screens will wear out over time, but if yours are torn, take it seriously.

“They’re a pain for anyone to replace,” says Stewart. “Therefore, sellers don’t want to do it and buyers will insist that they do. If the sellers refuse to fix it, the buyers will demand a credit. This can be a major point of contention, and we’ve seen it delay progress before.”

Stewart recalls one seller who agreed to replace a damaged window screen. But on the final walk-through, it still hadn’t been done—and the buyer threatened to walk away from the deal.

“It worked out,” says Stewart, “but it wasn’t pretty.”

3. The location of your laundry room
Even if you own a state-of-the-art washer and dryer—and plan to bestow both on your lucky buyers—they may not be so thrilled with these nice appliances if they aren’t situated in what they think is the “right” place.

“Some buyers have a problem with the laundry being on the ‘wrong’ level, especially in a three-level house or townhouse-style condo,” Peters explains.

In other words, you might be fine lugging your laundry to the basement, but don’t expect all buyers to feel the same way. Offer to move these items to a new locale to warm buyers up.

4. Sticky door locks
Live in a house long enough, and you’ll encounter a malfunctioning door latch or lock. That may be no big deal to you, but it may alarm buyers big-time.

If it’s an exterior door, they will likely view this as a major safety issue, explains Stewart. And although it may seem like a simple fix, it’s often a complex one, he says.

Think about it: The company that installed the doors may no longer be around, the model may not be in production anymore, and/or it could be tough to get someone to replace the exact hardware. Consider fixing this problem before a buyer notices it.

5. Your bathtub or shower
Some people prefer showers, others want baths (particularly parents who must clean up small kids). So if you’re missing one or the other, watch out.

In an ideal world, you’ll have both: a bath with a showerhead above. But even if your bathtub works just fine, make sure the style isn’t too off. Not everyone is excited to soak in a tub straight out of “Stranger Things” in avocado green. If that’s you, luckily there is an easy fix: Consider slapping on a new coat of paint (yes, you can do that). Here’s how to paint a bathtub.

6. Small closets
“Many buyers focus on closets,” says Peters. “Are there enough? Are they large enough? Walk-in closets are also preferred.”

There are a few things you can do to ease these concerns. For one, try to make your closets look roomier by decluttering them as much as possible. Put excess items elsewhere (like a rented storage unit). You might also consider hiring a contractor to build or extend closets where needed—or at least point out to buyers that they can do this themselves.

7. The walls of your kitchen
Some people like—no, make that love— open kitchens. So if your kitchen currently has four walls, you could be in trouble.

“Buyers may look at the possibility of breaking down a wall,” Peters says. But be warned, many might not want to do the work, or just get such a bad first impression of your kitchen that they move on. If you think your kitchen’s four walls feel cramped and is stalling your sale, consider opening it up yourself. Here’s how to knock down a wall.

Original Source

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com

Home Maintenance: 6 Tasks You May Not Even Realize You Have to Do

Home maintenance and ownership go hand in hand, so you’re no doubt aware that there’s plenty you should be doing (hello, gutter cleaning!). 

Sorry to lengthen your to-do list, but we thought you should know that there are actually a few more home maintenance tasks that may require your attention—and odds are you don’t even realize it.

Curious what you might be overlooking? Here are some home maintenance chores that might be flying under your radar—and why they’re important to cross off your list.

1. Clean your refrigerator drip pan
Did you know many refrigerators have drip pans? I did not. But as you can imagine from the name, it’s a thing you really should be cleaning once in a while.

Doug Rogers, president of Mr. Appliance, puts it this way: “Failing to clean the refrigerator drip pan will result in mold growth.” Yuck.

How to do it: To clean it, first you have to find it.

“Remove the kick panel at the bottom of your fridge, and trace the defrost drain line to the pan, which is where it empties out,” says Rogers. Use a flashlight if you need to.

“Be sure to gently pull the pan out as it may be full of water, and dump any excess liquid in the sink before cleaning with an all-purpose cleaner,” he says.

2. Flush the water heater
“Flush” the water heater? What does that even mean? Great question. According to Doyle James, president of Mr. Rooter plumbing, you need to remove the water sitting in your water heater to remove any sediment that may collect there.

“Sediment causes corrosion, reduces efficiency, and shortens your water heater’s lifespan,” James explains.

How to do it: First, turn off the electricity or gas to the heater. Open a bathroom hot water tap and let the hot water run for a few minutes to lower the temperature of the water in the heater. Then shut off the cold water valve at the top of the tank, and put a bucket under the water heater drain valve. Open the valve and drain the water until it runs clear, with no sandy stuff. Be careful, because the water can come out hot! When it’s clear, put everything back the way it was and you’re done until next time.

To keep your water heater running at its best, James advises setting the temperature no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Reseal your grout
When your tile was installed, whether it’s floor tile, bathroom surround tile, or countertop tile, the grout was sealed to protect it from wear and tear. But did you know that you’re supposed to reseal it every year? If you said no, you’re not alone.

“You have to reseal grout every year, and most people don’t,” says Debbie Gartner of The Flooring Girl blog.

The reason: Most grout is a mixture of sand and cement, which can absorb water, bacteria, and stains.

“A grout sealer protects your grout so it’s waterproof,” explains Gartner. Sealing will help your grout look better and last longer. The only exception is epoxy grout, which is generally used with glass tile.

How to do it: To reseal grout, apply grout sealant, wipe off any excess that gets on tiles, wait 15 minutes, apply a second coat, then clean the tiles again. Let it cure for 24 to 48 hours. After it cures, test it: Water should bead on top of the grout instead of being absorbed.

4. Test for water leaks
Checking for water leaks around the home—even small, slow ones—will pay off big-time down the road. Why? It can help you save water (and money on your water bill); but more importantly, it will eliminate damage to your house done by water behind the walls or in other hard-to-see places.

How to do it: “Take a water meter reading and avoid using your water for a couple of hours. After two hours, if the reading changes, you have a leak,” James says.

If you have a leak, inspect the pipes of your water-using appliances like the dishwasher and washing machine for cracked, bulging, or damaged hoses. Leaky hoses are easy to replace yourself. If, however, the damage is more extensive, you can hire a plumber.

5. Reseal stone countertops
If you have granite or marble countertops, you should be sealing those babies every year, or possibly more often. The only exception is if you have a presealed countertop. In that case, you’re excused from this one. Not sure if you need to seal? Put some water on your countertop. The more quickly it is absorbed, the more porous your stone is, and the more frequently you should be sealing. That’s also a good test to see if your sealer has worn off: If the water doesn’t bead on the countertop, it’s time.

How to do it: Wash your countertop with mild soap and water, and wipe it dry. Apply a stone sealer, let it sit 15 minutes, then wipe away the extra.

6. Wash your dryer lint screen
You know that thing gets gross, right? You’re always scraping piles of lint, shredded tissues, and other weird substances off of it. But it can get clogged in less obvious ways, too. The residue from dryer sheets and fabric softener can start to build up on the screen, blocking the airflow. That can lead to less efficient drying and even fires.

How to do it: “Soak it in hot water and dishwashing soap designed to remove grease and oil,” says Rogers. “Gently scrub the screen with a soft brush, rinse it, and let it air-dry before reinserting it into the slot.”

It’s a small thing, but it’ll help extend the life of your dryer, reduce your energy bills, and keep your home safer.

Original Source

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com

Remodeling 101: 4 Rock-Solid Reasons To Remodel Your Home In 2018

remodeling in 2018

As 2018 begins, there’s no question the real estate market is, well, a little crazy. Home values are surging, money is relatively cheap, and inventory is tighter than tight.

That’s all downright welcome news for owners who’ve been considering remodeling.

“Remodeling remains a very attractive option to increase your home’s value,” says Javier Vivas, director of economic research for realtor.com®. And that can be a smart move whether you’re prepping your place for sale, or giving it a refresh for the long haul.

“The big variable here is location,” says Vivas. “If you’re happy with your neighborhood and your place has some value, there’s an advantage over trying to move—because there may not be somewhere else for you to move to in your price range, or you may have to make a bigger cost jump than you would if you were simply remodeling.”

Still wondering whether to grab a sledgehammer and get swinging? Here’s the thing: The longer you wait, the more expensive renovating or remodeling gets. If you’ve been on the fence, this may be the year to get off it. Better yet, rebuild it! Here’s why you should get moving now.

1. You (likely) have more cash
Consumer confidence is high, unemployment is low, and incomes are growing—which means you likely have more money in your pocket. Plus, if you’re a homeowner, chances are good that your home equity has increased along with skyrocketing home prices over the past few years.

So when it comes to spending cash on all those get-to-it-later home projects, you’re probably in good standing.

In fact, the remodeling market is expected to grow 7% this year, saysRobert Dietz, chief economist with the National Association of Home Builders.

“This market should be sustained by the fact that homeowners are remaining in their homes longer,” Dietz says.

2. Interest rates for building loans are low
Interest rates for home equity lines of credit—which offer a flexible way of obtaining funds to pay for things such as home improvements—are still historically low. And even though interest paid on HELOCs is no longer deductible under the new tax reform legislation, experts say the building loans remain a good deal.

“Interest rates are still quite friendly but will likely go up this year—and lenders are competing for loan business,” says Tom Miller, president of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, who also owns a remodeling company in the Pacific Northwest.

Simply put: Take advantage of those low rates now before more increases hit.

3. It could be cheaper than buying a new home
If you live in a high-cost metro area and already have a foothold in the real estate market, remodeling your existing place could be cheaper than buying a new one. Maybe a lot cheaper (unless, of course, you were planning on downsizing).

There are a lot of factors to consider, however: How much equity you have in your place, what your current mortgage rate is, and whether major renovations are even feasible. But experts agree that, in many cases, the current seller’s market makes renovating a more palatable option than buying.

“We think remodeling will be a major trend in 2018, because we’ve seen prices grow so much that a lot of potential buyers are being priced out of their own markets,” Vivas says. “And that’s where you see a turn toward giving up on trading up and buying again and considering other options like renovating.”

This is especially true in expensive markets such as New York and California. Plus, these high-cost areas are expected to feel the heaviest burden of the tax reform provisions that limit mortgage interest deductions and eliminate the deduction for state and local property taxes.

“Some of the tax benefits linked with purchasing will be sidelined or diluted,” Dietz says.

4. Costs will go up the longer you wait
The construction industry is facing a major shortage of skilled laborers and rising materials costs, and there’s little indication this trend will reverse anytime in the future. This higher demand translates into higher pay scales for available, qualified workers—and those costs ultimately get passed along to you, the consumer. The situation is expected to get worse over time.

“Labor costs will continue to escalate as remodelers pay up to get and keep construction trades on the jobs,” says Fred Ulreich, chief executive officer of the NARI.

Furthermore, the multibillion-dollar cleanups of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma drove materials prices even higher—and the effects are expected to last into 2018. The NARI predicts materials costs will rise about 5% this year, especially for supplies such as lumber, drywall, and concrete.

What’s more? Labor shortages will not be resolved overnight, Miller says. For the would-be remodeler, that means your costs will likely go up the longer you wait.

“There are no signs that remodeling demand or costs will taper off over the next several years, but will continue to rise,” Miller says. “Holding off on a project—if you can find a reputable remodeler available now— will only cost you more next year.”

Original Source

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com

Home Renovations: Remodels That Can Hurt (and Help) Property Value

Home renovations

If you’re into renovation projects, then updating and revamping your home can be a lot of fun. But before you get too excited about knocking down walls and setting up a custom movie room, you might want to consider resale value. Flashy renovations don’t always yield the best returns, so you’ll need to take care when picking projects.

To make things easier for you, here are four remodels to avoid and four to invest in:

Remodels to Avoid

Luxury Rooms
An indoor basketball court, wine cellar, sauna, or even a movie theater won’t often recoup the high building costs. Luxury add-on rooms are hard to pitch to buyers unless you’re living in an upscale housing market—the average homebuyer won’t be willing to pay for them. Further, rooms that depend heavily on wired electronics, like home theaters, are hard to keep current because TVs and speakers are constantly advancing.

Swimming Pool
The average cost to build a pool is $39,084, a hefty price tag that is seldom recovered once the home is sold. It’s widely accepted throughout the industry that a homeowner will lose money by adding a swimming pool. Homebuyers don’t want to deal with the maintenance cost of a pool (which can cost as much as $2,000 a year), the added insurance premiums, and—if they have young kids—the safety issues.

Gaudy Accents
Though gold-plated crown molding or mosaic-tile backsplashes may feature prominently in your ideal vision for your home, they often turn out to be the average homebuyer’s worst nightmare. Passing fads or niche trends rarely stick around long, so if you miss the brief window when your remodeling choices are in, you’ll end up paying for it later.

Changes Contrary to Area Standards
If you aren’t watching the trends common to your area, you could end up losing a lot of money. A home that totals $600,000 after all the renovations won’t sell in a neighborhood where homes are netting half that price. Likewise, knocking down the walls of extra bedrooms for an open layout won’t be appealing in a family-oriented neighborhood.

Remodels that Pay

Steel Doors
You don’t want to go cheap on a standard front door. At roughly $1,000, steel doors are comparatively affordable, durable, low maintenance and burglar resistant. As an added bonus, the National Association of Realtors® reports that steel door upgrades show the highest return on investment of any home remodel, at over 100 percent of the cost.

Solar Panels
As the price of solar panels continues to drop, the energy payback on installing them is becoming greater and greater. The average rooftop solar system is now paid off in seven and a half years. After that, panels are a big money-saving asset. A study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory notes that homebuyers “consistently have been willing to pay more for a property” with solar panels—a premium of around $4 per installed watt, on average.

New Siding
The exterior of your house is the first thing potential homebuyers see when they come to your home, and you want to make the best first impression. This is part of the reason redoing your siding is so profitable. New siding recoups around 80 percent of the initial cost, according to the National Association of Realtors®, thanks largely to the increased curb appeal and improved energy efficiency it provides.

Broadband Access
Access to broadband speeds is considered an essential utility for today’s connected homebuyer. Research shows that faster internet speeds increase your home value by as much as 3 percent. Homeowners can prepare their homes for higher broadband connectivity by working with area providers to install requisite equipment and wiring. Building out wall ports and cable-hiding baseboards is a good move to attract buyers, too.

Even if you’re not considering selling your home just yet, keep potential selling benefits in mind. Intrepid homeowners know that the best remodels will increase both quality of life and listing price, so take care to invest in projects that will net the biggest returns.

Original Source

BONNIE ROTUNDO
Realtor/Broker NC-SC
ABR, SRES, SFR, RRS, CRSP, CBPIS
Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
16 Causeway Drive
Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
Direct: 910.443.0398
Toll-Free: 800.237.4609 X206
Fax: 910.579.5877

*Search Coastal Carolina Real Estate in real time on your own. No obligation. FREE sign-up below:
http://coastalrealestateproperty.com