Minnesota renovations


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http://www.remodelminnesota.com Make the right choice in your remodel-how much value is remodeling the kitchen vs remodeling the bathroom or remodeling the lower level? Maybe you should replace windows or the siding?

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Minnesota renovations

  1. 1. SMART RENOVATOR THE HOW-TO GUIDE ON MAXIMIZING YOUR HOME RENOVATION INVESTMENT. remax.com RE/MAX Outstanding Agents. Outstanding Results. No one in the world sells more real estate than RE/MAX. NORTH Each office independently owned and operated. CENTRAL
  2. 2. RE/MAX SMART RENOVATOR The Survey Every year, RE/MAX associates sell hundreds of thousands of homes in every size, shape and style. In fact, when you work with RE/MAX, you’re working with the experienced professionals of the world’s most successful real estate company. So, when it comes to buying and selling smarter, there’s no doubt that we can show you how. But our commitment to helping you get the most out of your home begins long before that for sale sign goes in the yard. The knowledge we’ve gained from all of those home sales has now been used to develop the RE/MAX Smart Renovator Guide. It’s just one more way in which you can profit from our experience. According to our Smart Renovator survey, the majority of Minnesota and Wisconsin homeowners (54%) would rather remodel than relocate. Most site a genuine love for their home as the primary reason, but wanting to enhance future resale value runs a close second. That’s where home renovations usually come in. As a homeowner, you’re likely to resell at some point in the future and will want to consider the changing characteristics of your neighborhood. Remember the choices you make regarding improvements can drastically influence your home’s market value. Getting the biggest return for your renovation dollars means knowing what home buyers want and what choices make the most sense for your price range and prospective buyer. For instance, our survey revealed the most popular projects across Minnesota and Wisconsin markets include remodeling kitchens, renovating bathrooms, finishing basements, adding outdoor decks and replacing windows. Homeowners in all markets put a gourmet kitchen near the top of their wish lists (23%). But while an equal number of Twin Cities consumers said a three-stall heated garage would be their first choice for a new addition, those in Milwaukee and Madison are more likely to add a master suite. Our Smart Renovator program has also led to the development of the RE/MAX Return On Reno Index — a unique, proprietary guide that shows you which renovations generate the highest return on investment (ROI) based on the market in which you live. In many cases, we’ve also discovered that the relative return on your investment can vary significantly based the scope of the project you choose and the quality of materials you use. You’re sure to notice that some renovation projects are consistent winners in all markets. Investing in kitchen and bathroom remodeling or siding and window replacement are always wise decisions. But remember to tailor your decisions to fit the rest of your home. You’ll also want to evaluate the prospect of hiring professional help vs. the possibility of doing it yourself. More than half of all homeowners participating in our survey said they always or almost always tackle home improvements on their own — including 40% of female respondents. Of course, the RE/MAX Smart Renovator Guide is just that: A guide. This information isn’t meant to dictate your decision but provide a starting point for understanding the preferences of your potential buyer. Making the effort to discover which renovations will give you the best return on your investment will be time — and money — well spent. For more information, visit remax.com.
  3. 3. RENOVATION REVELATIONS Six Suggestions for Successful Home Improvements 1 Set Your Priorities. Everyone has different reasons for wanting to renovate. Sometimes it’s the simple need for a change. Other times, the motivation is more practical. A successful renovation can be a dream come true, but without careful planning and management, it can be a nightmare. Before you pick up a hammer, pick up some information. Talk to friends and neighbors. Explore all the options and remember the carpenter’s creed: Measure twice, cut once. Mistakes on paper are easy to fix. Mistakes on the job are not. If you’re considering several projects, rank them in order of importance. You’ll want to fix a leaky roof before refinishing the floor beneath it. 2 Know What’s Possible. Every house has unique strengths and weaknesses, so you may want to hire a professional inspector or architect to advise you on what can — or should — be done. It’s the best way to avoid costly complications later. That new addition may look great on paper, but can your heating, plumbing and electrical systems service it? Your house is a collection of components that interact continuously. You’ll need to understand how these factors are interrelated before you can upgrade effectively. Remember that building codes and local by-laws may also limit what and how you renovate. There’s nothing worse than discovering the project you’ve painstakingly planned is actually prohibited. 3 Do The Math. Can you really afford to renovate? To answer, you’ll need a clear idea of the costs involved. Get quotes from at least two reputable 10 contractors, architects or suppliers. Explain exactly what you want to do and discuss various options. Then take the most reasonable quote and add 10 to 15 percent for unexpected costs. Discuss the financial implications of the project with your real estate agent, banker or financial adviser. If you need financing, you may be able to renegotiate your mortgage or apply for a personal loan. You may even be eligible for assistance, as some utilities and municipal governments offer incentive programs for energy-efficiency upgrades. 4 Pick Your Partners. Many homeowners decide to make their own renovations and doing it yourself can save money. But there are other costs to consider. Are you prepared to draw up your own plans, get your own permits and schedule inspections? How much time can you spend away from your job, your family and TOP 10 CONTRACTOR QUESTIONS your other commitments? Can you be as efficient or skilled as those who do this every day? You may feel comfortable painting a room, but specialized tasks that involve wiring, plumbing or heating are usually best left to professionals. How long have you been in business? In fact, some municipalities may require certain kinds of work to be done by What types of work are you licensed to perform? What is your license number? certified professionals. There’s also the question of equipment. If you don’t own the tools, you’ll have to buy or rent them. If you run into problems, who will you What type of work do you specialize in? call? Most people find that contracting work often works out best. But choosing the right renovator is key. Our list of Top Ten Contractor Questions will help you Have you done similar jobs before? Any references? get a head start. Will you use your own crew or subcontract? Will you provide a written estimate and contract? 5 Get It In Writing. Always get a written contract describing the work to be done, what it will cost and how payments will be made. Never agree to anything before you have it in writing. Without an agreement on paper, there’s What kind of work schedule will you follow? Do you guarantee on-time completion? little you can do about poor or incomplete work. You risk being charged more How and when do you provide clean up? than you expected, and it’s unlikely you’ll get any warranty or after-sales service. Professional contractors always provide customers with a clearly written contract. What kind of warranty do you provide? What does it cover? Once signed, it’s legally binding. So make sure that what you sign describes exactly what you want. Most client-renovator disputes occur because there was Do you carry workers’ comp and insurance? no contract or because the contract was vague or incomplete. If you have any doubts or questions about the contract, have your lawyer review it before you sign. If your renovator refuses to accept a written contract, get another renovator. 6 Inspect As You Go. Most renovation experiences are happy ones, but don’t assume that things are going according to plan just because you have a contract and rapport with your renovator. Stay on top of your project to prevent minor errors from becoming major problems. If you have a disagreement, be reasonable. Go over the contract and listen carefully to the renovator’s explanation. If you’re still not satisfied, get a second opinion from a recognized home inspector or an architect before taking further action. As the work winds down, make sure that it’s been done to your satisfaction. Never make the final payment or sign any document releasing the renovator from further responsibility until all deficiencies are corrected. Then, once the project is finished and life returns to normal, you can sit back and enjoy the results. Adapted from the 2006 CMHC Online Guide. For more information, visit remax.com.
  4. 4. RENOVATION RED ALERT How To Spot A Shabby Remodel Adapted from the MSN Real Estate feature by Liz Pulliam Weston The Victorian looked fabulous. The owner had poured thousands into refinishing the hardwood floors, replastering the walls and updating the kitchen. What she hadn’t done was fix the home’s foundation, floor joists or beams. “As I entered the dining room, a hutch that was 20 feet away was shaking,” says home inspector Rick Jarrett. His inspection saved his client from having to spend tens of thousands of dollars excavating the foundation and repairing the damage. If you’re looking for a house, you’ve probably seen your share of ill-conceived rehabs. What’s harder to spot are the remodels that look great on the surface, but ignore or try to hide serious flaws. CAN YOU AVOID A HOME Here’s what to look for so you can avoid the biggest money pits and winnow down candidates IMPROVEMENT NIGHTMARE? before you hire an inspector. Find out by taking the NARI Remodeling Quiz available from your RE/MAX agent. Fundamentally Unsound Unless you have X-ray vision, you can’t peer inside walls, floors and ceilings to see if a home is fundamentally sound. But you can look at the home’s surfaces for some real clues about what’s The Big Cover-Up going on underneath: Most states require sellers to disclose serious defects in their homes, but some still try to cover up water, fire • Cracks in walls, ceilings, floors or foundation. Any foundation crack should be cause for or other damage with a coat of paint. Jarrett’s become concern. Wide cracks elsewhere may also be a sign of trouble. so accustomed to this particular dodge that he gets • Sloping, bouncy or spongy floors. All homes settle over time, but sloping that’s accompanied suspicious if he smells a fresh coat of paint in an area by significant, recent wall and ceiling cracking should be a concern. that’s vulnerable to water problems — such as a • Doors or windows that don’t open freely. This could be due to settling, foundation problems or basement. One way to spot fire or insect damage is by poor construction. In any case, it may indicate costly repairs are needed. pushing on the wood to see if it’s spongy or scraping • Wide open spaces. Remodelers often combine smaller rooms into larger spaces, but doing so up some of the paint (in an inconspicuous place) to see can undermine the stability of a house if the remodeler removes a load-bearing wall. what’s underneath. But water damage may take a little more detective work: Shocking Developments Home inspector Jim Gibbs checks out a lot of homes for real estate investors, and he’s seen plenty • Do you see watermarks on the foundation? of truly shocking remodels. “The biggest problem I see is in the electrical,” Gibbs says. The remodelers • Does the ground slope toward the house? are “not doing anything near code.” Some of the most common problems: • Does it smell or feel damp under the house? • Failing to update wiring when adding rooms or circuits. What if your prospective home passes all these tests? • Making dangerous connections that aren’t up to code. You might be tempted to save money by forgoing a • Failing to add enough circuits to cope with today’s households. professional inspection, particularly in a white-hot market where other bidders are waiving this step. Resist For instance, it’s not uncommon for kitchen remodelers to spend a fortune on countertops and that impulse. There are still plenty of less obvious signs, appliances while skimping on the electrical. You can see if there’s a problem by simply turning on visible only to professional eyes, that a home has trouble. a lot of appliances at once and watching what blows. Or you can take a look at the electrical panel. Think of it as cheap insurance: A few hundred dollars “If they’ve had a major remodel and the circuit breaker panel doesn’t look new,” says Gibbs, spent now could save you a fortune later. “you need to be suspicious.” Courtesy of MSN Money online. Copyright 2006. For more information, visit remax.com.
  5. 5. RE/MAX RETURN ON RENO INDEX Exclusively from RE/MAX, the Smart Renovator Return on Reno Index is a simple tool designed to help you get the most value out of every renovating dollar you spend. We took a look at the various renovations homeowners commonly perform and then reported the return on investment (ROI) based on a variety of criteria — including the value of the home, the value of similar homes in the neighborhood, the availability of homes in the area, the rate at which property values are rising and common expectations of consumers in that market . We learned “down to the dollar” what different renovations deliver. But we also discovered that the relative return on investment changes based on project scope, scale and materials. BATHROOM REMODEL Midrange Materials MASTER SUITE ADDITION Midrange Materials REGION RI O REGION RI O National Average 84.9% National Average 72.6% Midwest Average 73.3% Midwest Average 62.6% Minneapolis-St Paul, MN 87.7% Minneapolis-St Paul, MN 69.0% Milwaukee-Racine, WI 79.0% Milwaukee-Racine, WI 61.1% Madison, WI 78.4% Madison, WI 80.3% KITCHEN REMODEL Midrange Materials SIDING REPLACEMENT REGION RI O REGION RI O National Average 80.4% National Average 87.2% Midwest Average 70.2% Midwest Average 80.9% Minneapolis-St Paul, MN 83.4% Minneapolis-St Paul, MN 93.5% Milwaukee-Racine, WI 74.5% Milwaukee-Racine, WI 83.3% Madison, WI 85.6% Madison, WI 92.9% BASEMENT REMODEL WINDOW REPLACEMENT REGION RI O REGION RI O National Average 78.8% National Average 83.7% Midwest Average 65.6% Midwest Average 76.5% Minneapolis-St Paul, MN 77.0% Minneapolis-St Paul, MN 81.2% Milwaukee-Racine, WI 66.1% Milwaukee-Racine, WI 70.3% Madison, WI 66.5% Madison, WI 96.6% FAMILY ROOM ADDITION ROOFING REPLACEMENT REGION RI O REGION ROI National Average 71.5% National Average 73.9% Midwest Average 61.3% Midwest Average 60.4% Minneapolis-St Paul, MN 67.7% Minneapolis-St Paul, MN 66.8% Milwaukee-Racine, WI 63.0% Milwaukee-Racine, WI 55.4% Madison, WI 70.3% Madison, WI 65.6% Sources: National Association of Realtors-Realtor.Org-Realtor Magazine, Cost vs. Value Report, 2006; MSN Real Estate, 2006; CMHC, 2004-2006; RE/MAX.CA, 2004. Special thanks to Hanley-Wood LLC for the production of original reports. For more information, visit remax.com.