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.

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Coldwell Banker Sloane Realty
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Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469
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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


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

Realtor/Broker NC-SC
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

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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

Realtor/Broker NC-SC
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

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Fixer-Upper: Are You Buying One? Better Read This First

Buying Fixer-Upper

Buying a fixer-upper is one of those endeavors that looks so fun on TV. But make no mistake: In real life, it’s a huge risk, and a whole lot of work.

So before you set out to swoon over some hovel you dream of transforming into your dream home, you should learn a few things about how to find a diamond in the rough rather than a money pit—and how to do the math to make sure it’s worth all the sweat equity you’re about to pour into it. So here’s what you really need to know about buying a fixer-upper.

Find the worst house on the best block

Rule No. 1? You can’t go wrong with the age-old adage of buying “the worst house on the best block,” says Dan Bawden, Remodelers Chair of the National Association of Homebuilders and veteran fixer-upper contractor. The reason: The high price of comps—i.e., homes of similar size nearby—will have a positive effect on the price of the homely bargain you’re buying. Once it’s fixed up, of course.

Bawden’s rule of thumb is that you should aim to spend 20% to 25% less than what a property in good condition would cost in the area. Do your research and make sure you’re comparing apples to apples: Look at price per square foot and numbers of bathrooms and bedrooms. And understand that price isn’t the only factor to consider (more on that next).

Find a fixer-upper that needs cosmetic changes

Bawden cautions against buying anything with major flaws that will eat up your renovation budget. The best fixer-uppers are ones that mostly need cosmetic updates—things like kitchen and bathroom renovations, new floors, siding repair, or wallpaper removal. When it comes to big things like foundation problems, termite damage, or evidence of water damage (especially in coastal areas), these should be deal-killers. If you’re considering a house that needs serious upgrades to the electrical systems, roof, or HVAC, make sure you’re getting enough of a discount to cover the expense of these repairs, which can be sizable.

Get a contractor to estimate how much it’ll cost

If you are planning to hire a contractor to do the work, have him give you a bid for the job before you make an offer on the house. You may have to pay the professional a few hundred dollars to walk through a potential home and estimate the renovation costs, but it’s worth it.

“Think of it like another home inspector,” suggests Bawden. Once you have your figure for the remodeling work, add at least 5% for unforeseen issues, since there will always be some surprises. Even the best contractor can’t see through walls, and you don’t want to blow your budget if you pull up the linoleum in the kitchen and find rotten boards below.

Do the math before you make an offer

The time to figure out if a fixer-upper is really a good deal is before you buy it. It’s easy to get swept up in planning a major renovation, but for your long-term financial well-being, you have to make sure the numbers work first.

To get the green light, you should know confidently that after your renovations are complete, you can sell the place for at least as much money as you’ve put in (ideally more). Got that? Even if you plan to live there forever, this is key. Because life is unpredictable. You never know when you’re going to have to move unexpectedly, so you should never invest in a home where you can’t recoup the costs, if need be.

So first, determine what the house would sell for with the upgrades you’re planning. Let’s say hypothetically $300,000. Let’s also say that your contractor tells you it’s going to cost $80,000 to do your repairs (including your 5% wiggle room). To make the numbers work, you should not pay more than $220,000 for the house. If, for instance, the home seller won’t accept less than $240,000, that may mean you should rethink your renovations and spend only $60,000.

Finally, determine whether you can live in the house while doing the renovations. If not, you’ll have to factor in rent during the time it takes to renovate (and you’ll want to give yourself a few months’ padding there, too).

Stick to your budget

While totaling your reno budget, make sure you’ve picked out the finishes you want, too, because it’s very easy to splurge when shopping for things like faucets, backsplash tile, or appliances.

“You can go to the store expecting to spend $60 on a faucet and fall in love with a lever-handled faucet that looks like angel wings … and costs $250,” says Bawden. “It’s human nature to say, ‘Why are we spending all this money to cheap out on the little things?’ But it can add up fast and really inflate your budget.”

Look into home improvement loans

Lack all the cash you need to finance your fixer-upper? There are ways to renovate with borrowed money, such as via FHA 203(k) and Fannie Mae HomeStyle loans. As with the mortgage on your house, you have to approach lenders for approval, make a small down payment, then pay it back over time. Keep in mind that you also have to hire an “approved” contractor, who’ll submit a bid for the project with the loan paperwork. So if you go this route, prepare for some extra red tape. Here’s a guide to types of home improvement loans, and their pros and cons. Just keep in mind that the more you borrow, the more you’ll have to pay back!

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Realtor/Broker NC-SC
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

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Open Floor Plan: How To Make The Open Concept Work for You

open floor plan home design ideas

Once a trend, open floor plans have become a staple of most modern homes. An open floor plan generally means the living room, kitchen, and dining room are combined into a large space or great room. Before taking a hammer to all interior walls, it’s important to know the structure of your home, as well as the benefits and ways you can accomplish an open concept.

Benefits of an Open Floor Plan:


Small, cluttered homes can be transformed into airy, more breathable spaces by knocking down a few dividing walls. A demolition project may seem daunting, but the average cost is just over $3,000. Just be sure to have a professional take a look before wielding a sledgehammer. Hiring a structural engineer will cost you about $500, but you’ll save yourself the headache of rebuilds, fines, or structural problems.

If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at this article on HomeAdvisor and find out when to hire an engineer. Once you have a professional’s input, you’ll be amazed at how much larger your home seems.

Natural Light 

Without walls blocking the windows, natural light is able to stream in your home, making the open space seem even larger and more airy. Along with knocking down walls, you can bring natural light into your home by connecting the outdoors to your home’s interior with large patio doors. On average, you can install glass doors for about $1,600. You may even consider widening your windows to allow more natural light into your home.


It’s right there in the title: an open floor plan means more openness and inclusivity in your home. When you’re preparing dinner in the kitchen, for example, you won’t be closed off from the rest of the house. This is great for both entertaining and every day. When you’re entertaining, you can still be a part of the party, even while preparing food and drinks. And as an everyday solution, you’re able to keep an eye on children, pets, or—let’s be honest—the TV, while still going about your daily tasks.

Open Floor Plans and Storage

The benefits of an open floor plan are clear, but what about storage? It’s easier than you think to create creative storage solutions in your open floor plan design. Consider spaces that may be wasted in your home. Corners are a great place to start:

  • Look for corner storage units with shelves and cabinets to store your things without detracting from your open concept. Wall storage units are another great option.
  • Add shelving and cabinets to a large wall to utilize vertical space up to the ceiling. This will make your great room appear taller, adding to the airiness of the design.
  • Add drawers or cabinets beneath a staircase to maximize storage in what is often wasted or inaccessible space. This project can be done for as little as $200.
  • Opt for convertible furniture. Consider dual solutions like an ottoman, bench, or a coffee table with built-in storage. By getting creative, you can enjoy all the benefits of your open floor plan without sacrificing storage.

Attics and Basements

Many homeowners have had success opening their attics and basements to the rest of the home. The cost to convert an attic into livable square footage is an average of $49,500; however, a 2015 report by the National Association of REALTORS® and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) found that attic conversions retain 61 percent of their value at resale. The same is true of basements. See how one homeowner opened their basement to the rest of their home.

The extra space, natural light, and social inclusivity of an open floor plan continues to appeal to buyers. In fact, increasing the light and space in your home can increase the resale value of your home. Get creative with storage, consult a professional before you knock down any walls, and enjoy your light and airy space!

Original Source

Realtor/Broker NC-SC
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

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Master Bathroom Trends: Homeowners Are Splurging To Scrub Up

Master Bath Trends

Thumb through any home decor magazine, and you’ll see a master bathroom with a soaker or shower as the showpiece. Ta-da!

Homeowners, it turns out, are splurging to scrub up, according to the recently released U.S. Houzz Bathroom Trends Study. Ninety-one percent of homeowners in the study added a spacious shower to their master bathroom (after tearing out the tub), and many added on deluxe features, like a body sprayer or rainfall showerhead, for an improved, spa-like space.

Master Bathroom Remodel

The average cost for a large-scale remodel of a master bath (sized over 100 square feet) was $21,000, shows the study. Master bath renovations cost more in pricey markets, however. In San Francisco, Calif., for example, a major remodel averages $34,100.

Accompanying a luxury shower is a soothing gray and white color palette, according to the study. Nineteen percent of homeowners installed white countertops in the master bath, and 40 percent painted its walls white. Fourteen percent added gray cabinets, as well, to complete the tone-on-tone look. The majority of homeowners (90 percent) changed the overall style of the room, some to contemporary (25 percent), some to transitional (17 percent), and some, still, to modern (15 percent).

Master Bathroom Accents

As with other areas at home, homeowners are also integrating technology into their master baths. Atmospheric lighting, digital controls and smart toilets are all popular upgrades, shows the study.

Bathrooms—master bathrooms, especially—are key at resale. The 2017 Cost vs. Value Report by Remodeling magazine estimates the resale value of a “mid-range” bath renovation at $12,024 (a 64.8 percent return on investment), and the resale value of an “upscale” bath renovation at $35,456 (a 59.1 percent return on investment).

Beyond a master bath overhaul, another bathroom anywhere in the home can make homeowners happier with their house, a recent report by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) showed. A bathroom earned a perfect 10 “Joy Score” in the report.

Original Source

Realtor/Broker NC-SC
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

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Home Repairs: 5 Common (and Costly) Unexpected Repairs

home repairs

Unexpected repairs can cause financial stress for homeowners.

When crises occur, homeowners can find themselves in a financial pinch, needing to rely on professionals like a general contractor to get the issue fixed quickly. Emergency repairs typically come with hefty price tags, but with proper planning, you can avoid draining your bank account.

1-Experiencing Unexpected Roof Repairs
One of the most important things to maintain is a solid roof over your head, so when that starts to deteriorate, it can quickly descend into a nightmare. Although many roofs are guaranteed for around 30 years, it’s better to take preventive action than wait until a crisis occurs to start thinking about how your house can weather the next storm.

A new roof for an average-sized house—using medium-priced asphalt shingles—can cost at least $5,000 in most parts of the country, assuming that the sheathing is still sound, says Timothy G. Wiedman, a retired professor of management from Doane University in Nebraska. Wiedman—who has bought, maintained, upgraded and sold several homes—says homeowners would be wise to start putting $600 to $700 per year into a roof replacement fund.

2-Handling an Unplanned HVAC Breakdown
When it comes to maintaining your heating system, don’t find yourself left out in the cold.

“This equipment will last 12 to 15 years before it should be replaced,” says Gene Amick with Climate Control Heating near Kansas City, Mo. Depending on size and efficiency, he says replacement costs range from $5,000 to $14,000.

Your best bet would be to find a local heating and cooling contractor who offers a maintenance program.

“This will prolong the life of your existing equipment,” Amick adds. “The proactive approach of being ready for the eventual changing of your equipment will save you money.”

3-Managing Old Window Emergencies
Old, drafty windows are a significant source of heat loss in a home.

“You’re literally throwing money right out the window,” cautions Phil Eby, owner of Eby Exteriors, Inc. in Lancaster, Pa. “Replacement windows are a home improvement necessity you should be saving for.”

In addition, he pointed out energy-efficient windows can be tax deductible, and to save more money, homeowners should look for window manufacturer rebates. In Eby’s area, replacement windows can range anywhere from $4,500 to nearly $9,000.

“It really depends on how many windows need replacing and sizes,” Eby says.

4-Mending Crumbling Driveways
A compromised driveway can be dangerous. Not only can someone fall, but also vehicles can be damaged. A quick fix can cost only a few hundred dollars, but depending on the length, some repairs can easily cost over $1,000, according to Teris Pantazes, CEO of home improvement platform EFynch.

For a complete repaving project, a good place to start is to ask a trusted neighbor for a recommendation. A smooth driveway not only has aesthetic appeal, but could also increase your home’s curb appeal and value should you choose to sell.

5-Understanding Chimney Maintenance
Blocked chimneys are a serious fire hazard, so proper cleaning is a must.

“With each chimney sweep, the professional should also inspect the chimney for cracks, nests or damage,” says Pantazes. “Gas should be every two years; wood every year.”

Typical costs are about $100 per sweep, and a maintenance contract with a reputable chimney sweep company might reduce some of these costs. DIY-ers beware: Leave this job to a professional.

Original Source

Realtor/Broker NC-SC
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

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The 8 Top Upgrades To Personalize Your New Home

Top Upgrades For Home

Before you move into your new house, you may want to make upgrades. These add value to your investment, improve your home’s function and allow you to express your personality. Plus, making upgrades before you move in reduces inconvenience later. Consider the following upgrades to make your new house feel like home.

1- Enhance the Kitchen
Quality kitchen upgrades ensure the room meets your family’s needs, and add value to your home. Consider several changes that improve the quality and function of your kitchen:

  • Get high-end, energy- or water-saving appliances.
  • Lower the bar counter from 42 to 36 inches so it’s more accessible.
  • Install quartz countertops.
  • Add lighting under the counters.
  • Choose matching fixtures and hardware.

Worried about staying on budget while renovating the most expensive room in the house? According to HomeAdvisor’s Kitchen Cost Guide, it costs the average homeowner between $12,500 and $33,500 for a full kitchen remodel.

2- Redo the Flooring
It’s definitely easier and more affordable to upgrade a house’s flooring before you arrange all the furniture. Consider stain-resistant carpeting in high-traffic areas, or install hardwood in connected rooms for a sleek appearance.

3- Update the Bathroom
Spruce up a bathroom already in the house or add an additional bathroom before your move. When renovating a bathroom, consider your current and future needs, such as your family size or entertaining habits. Several possible changes include:

  • Install a double sink.
  • Install a walk-in shower or Jacuzzi tub.
  • Choose decorative shower, floor or wall tile.
  • Customize the lighting or fixtures.
  • Hang extra shelves for storage.

4- Bring in New Cabinetry
Before you unpack all your possessions, install new cabinetry that helps you get and stay organized. The kitchen and bathroom cabinets have a big effect on your home’s function and appearance. Choose cabinet finishes and designs that match your personal style and color scheme. You can hang the old cabinets in the garage or attic to expand your storage space.

5- Update Electrical Wiring
Older houses may have outdated wiring, or you may find that you need additional outlets in certain rooms. Walk through your house, visualize how you will use each room and plan any electrical wiring updates. With help from an electrician, you can add outlets in the living room to accommodate your gaming systems or wire the den ceiling for a new fan.

6- Wire for Internet Service
Improve security and speed in your new home with wired internet throughout the house. It allows you to install and use a variety of electronics, including security cameras, in any room. Full-house wired internet also prevents outside users and hackers from accessing your network and potentially harming your family.

7- Add Lots of Storage
Getting extra storage throughout your house before you move helps you completely unpack and organize your home the way you want. The price of installing a new closet is about $1,800, as found on HomeAdvisor. Choose from a variety of cabinet types, shelving, and overhead storage designs and materials that match your needs and preferences.

8- Transform the Laundry Room
While you probably plan to use your laundry room primarily for laundry, you may wish to transform it into a functioning pantry, drop zone or mud room. Rearrange the washing machine and dryer hookup to make room for pantry storage. Consider adding a bench and hooks for shoes, backpacks and umbrellas, too.

Original Source

Realtor/Broker NC-SC
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:

The Fixer-Upper: Should I Buy? 6 Reasons to Make the Leap

buying a fixer-upper

“Should I buy a fixer-upper?”

If this thought has crossed your mind, we don’t blame you. Many home buyers fantasize about purchasing a run-down shack and transforming it into a palace (thank you, Chip and Joanna Gaines). Still, pipe dreams aside, should you actually do it?

While they aren’t for everyone, experts do say that there are many real reasons to buy a fixer-upper. Here are a few to help you figure out whether this type of house is right for you.

1. Because fixer-uppers are bargains
Probably the most obvious reason to go for a fixer-upper is to get a great deal on a house.

In fact, Dan Bawden, remodelers chair of the National Association of Homebuilders, says people shopping for a fixer-upper can expect to spend 20% to 25% less than what they’d have to shell out for comparable homes that are move-in ready. Homes with serious issues—such as with the foundation, termites, or flooding—should command an even deeper discount.

All that said, keep in mind that fixer-uppers will require that you spend more money on renovations. So make sure to have a contractor walk through the house and estimate what these repairs will run so you have a good handle on the full cost.

Bawden also suggests you pad your renovation budget by at least 5% to cover any surprises. “There are always unforeseeable things, and you need to be able to cover that,” he says.

2. Because you want to make a home your own
If your dream is to live in a home where everything is done precisely to your taste, then a fixer-upper is a great fit. Sure, you can build a house from the ground up, but that’s an expensive prospect, costing a median of $289,415 (cost of the land and many other necessities not included). Besides, building a home from scratch takes time, too—so if you need a place to live now, a fixer-upper might allow you to move in before you start turning it into your own personal Pinterest-board come to life.

Just keep in mind that living in a demolition zone can be dangerous or just an enormous hassle, so talk with your contractors about what to expect once renovations get rolling—and if there’s a way to divvy up what they’re working on to carve out a peaceful corner so all the commotion doesn’t drive you nuts.

3. Because you love a home with history and character
Fixer-uppers are often old—constructed back in the days before cookie-cutter plans ruled the landscape. As such, they’re often steeped in history and personality and just need a little love to shine. For instance, those solid oak doors will look amazing if you just stripped off those many coats of paint, or you might get a kick out of preserving that outdated dumbwaiter or coal chute. That doesn’t mean you have to leave it some defunct relic; imagine all the fun you’ll have reimagining that milk door as a quaint mailbox.

4. Because you’re a DIY buff
DIY buffs are always looking to take on new challenges, and fixing up a house is the granddaddy of challenges. Rest assured, your sweat equity will buy you bragging rights—is there anything sweeter than hearing a compliment on your kitchen and being able to say, “Thanks, I did it myself”?

Just make sure you’re realistic about what you can safely do, and contract out the rest.

“I wouldn’t do my own electrical work,” says Bawden. “Making a mistake there could be deadly.”

It’s worth it to hire an engineer to help figure out which walls can be safely removed, or a plumber to do work you’re not licensed or experienced enough to try yourself. Remember, even if you’re not doing the remodel with your own bare hands, overseeing such a project is still work.

5. Because you want to flip a house for profit
If you really catch the fixer-upper bug, you could start flipping houses as a business. RealtyTrac reported an average gross flipping profit of $62,624 per home in 2016—that’s some serious money. But despite what TV would have you believe, house flipping is a skill that takes time (and often money) to hone. Whether you actually make a profit depends on how good you are at assessing what kind of work a house needs and doing that work at or under budget.

“You can make some really good money if you’re good at it, but be prepared not to at first,” says Bawden. “It’s not for the faint of heart.”

Last year, 12% of flips sold at break-even or a loss after all expenses.

6. Because fixer-uppers are an adventure
Let’s face it, fixer-uppers are a reality TV show fodder for good reason.

“It’s a lot of fun,” says Bawden. “It’s very creative and tangible, and it’s exciting to see a project come together. I’ve been doing it for 35 years, and I still get excited, and so do my customers. It’s an adventure.”

Original Source

Realtor/Broker NC-SC
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:

10 Impressive Home Improvements You Can Make This Weekend

weekend home improvement projects

Want to transform the look and function of your home? It doesn’t need to cost a fortune or even require much time. There are hundreds of home improvements you can make to update your home over a weekend, from upgrading home security to giving your bathroom a much-needed makeover.

Here are 10 impressive home improvement projects you can wrap up this weekend:

1- Add halogen track lighting
Need more task lighting in the kitchen or bathroom? Track lighting is practical and easy to install on your own. Most track lighting systems work on household voltage so you can connect it directly to an existing junction box in your ceiling. It can take as little as one hour to install track lighting with kits that start at around $150.

2- Minor bathroom update
Does your bathroom show its age? Give your bathroom a breath of fresh air with a few easy renovations. A fresh coat of paint can go a long way, especially if you have a vanity that’s in good shape but not your taste. Easy ideas for updating your bathroom include:

  • Paint an old vanity to freshen it up
  • Replace cabinet hardware
  • Replace old fixtures
  • Update the mirror by adding a frame
  • Add wallpaper to one wall as an accent
  • Install a new granite countertop

3- Improve kitchen storage with rollouts
A rollout is an easy upgrade you can make to your kitchen storage and something you will appreciate every day. A rollout maximizes space in your cabinets by allowing you to quickly access items in the back of your cabinets. Make sure you measure your opening and cabinets carefully and order the right size of rollout for a fast, simple installation. Most rollout kits can be mounted to existing shelves with a few screws.

4- Freshen your front door
Your front door is your home’s smile, so make sure it’s looking its best. A fresh coat of bright paint can do wonders for cheering up a gloomy entry while new hardware can give your front door an easy facelift. You can also improve the approach to the entry by adding a border of bricks along the walkway that are set in a trench with sand.

5- Step up your home security
Technology has come a long way. Home security cameras are no longer the ugly gray blocks mounted to your wall that you may envision; instead, a home security system can be aesthetic and understated while incorporating wireless technology to keep an eye on what matters most, even from your smartphone on vacation or while you’re at work. A home security camera at your front door allows you to make sure the kids got home safely, check who is knocking on the door, and monitor activity outside of your home. While some security systems can be installed yourself, professional security system installation is typically cost-effective.

6- Install a backsplash
A backsplash can make a big statement in your kitchen while protecting your walls and making cleanup a bit easier. You don’t need to opt for an expensive and time-consuming tile blacksplash: try easy, DIY options like wallpaper, tin tiles, or peel-and-stick subway tiles.

7- Add a flagstone outdoor patio
Wish you had more outdoor living space? With flagstone, you can build an outdoor patio in a weekend without mortar. Excavate the area to at least six inches for drainage then add a base material like crushed limestone or gravel to keep the patio from shifting. Tamp down the base then add two inches of builder’s sand with a rake. Install some edging and add your flagstones over the sand, keeping the pieces close together for a cohesive look or farther apart if you want to add ground cover. Fill spaces with sand and enjoy!

8- Replace your kitchen faucet
A beautiful faucet can be the centerpiece of your kitchen. You spend a lot of time at your kitchen sink, so why not make it a more enjoyable task with a gorgeous wall-mounted sink, a commercial-style faucet to make a statement, or a touchless faucet to make life cleaner and easier.

9- Create a hidden charging station
Want to declutter your home? Turn a drawer into a simple but effective charging station. Outfit a drawer with a divided drawer organizer and a power strip to serve as a charging dock and organizer. Drill a hole in the back of the drawer for cords and you’re all set.

10- Upgrade your laundry station
Doing the laundry doesn’t need to be an unpleasant chore if you have the right setup. If your laundry room is lacking storage and workspace, a quick trip to a home improvement store and a few hours is all you need to fix the problem. Purchase a stock countertop and caps then assemble do-it-yourself shelving to support it. Hang utility wall cabinets over your counters to store your cleaning supplies and add an adjustable rod for hanging clothes. For better lighting, go with 90-plus CRI fluorescent bulbs and a four-bulb fixture to better see what you’re doing.

Original Source

Realtor/Broker NC-SC
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: