Kitchen Renovation – Difficulty Making Decision

I am a full time REALTOR. I know I have told you many times before. I see houses daily. I view old, new, retro, stylish, modern kitchens and SO MUCH MORE. When you see a kitchen you know you would want this, or that, but you would never lay it out like that, or couldn’t live without this…I could go on, but you get what I mean. It seems so easy to know what you want when it is right in front of you. I always thought my husband and I would know exactly what you wanted in a new kitchen. Let me tell you, it isn’t that easy.

I am a very visual person. I need to see IT ALL together to know how I feel. When you are putting pieces together to make a whole and all the pieces are at different locations, it was hard for me to wrap my mind around. And I am a decisive person when it comes to so many things in life. Now that I am married and want and need to share the decision making process with another person, things are much more difficult.

My husband, John and I have similar tastes, which would make it easier, but it still hasn’t been. That is not to say we don’t agree on the choices have and are making for the new kitchen. It means, there are too many choices to make and you simply want to make sure those final decisions ones you will be forever happy with. I think we will be. But, WOW! Making the design decisions was and is difficult than I truly expected.

Like anyone preparing for a renovation, you set an approximate budget. You look at photos, you set your mind or heart on a look, or colours etc. We did all that too. My husband and I decided on a white kitchen with grey accents (in tile or paint for example) and new we were going to work with our existing kitchen configuration. We had a budget in mind and we were not interested, at this point in time, to tear down walls. The big decisions made, you would think. That was all very manageable. Then, we went shopping.

After investigating different kitchen companies (5 to be exact), we settled on the newly launched IKEA kitchens. Wonderful. We went to IKEA to order. 4 hours in IKEA resulted in a full order. YEAH! 4 HRS! No one tells you how long this will take. I had a layout planned months ago when we first went to IKEA but, with the new launch, we had to start from scratch. Base cupboards now needed a slight change, a set of drawers moved, some enlarged, and then the fridge and the sink need an adjustment. 4 hrs of decision making is draining. Are you done, NO! More to come…

Choosing tile is another challenge. I love intricate detail. Colour is gorgeous. If I had my way, a room full of Portuguese tile would be a dream. However, together, John and I discussed that we may not live in this house forever. We should make choices that would appeal to any buyer coming through our property. The REALTOR in me never hides and I have taught my husband well. So, we need to love the kitchen, but not get out of control with our selection. After 7 different tiles shops, from big box stores to smaller family owned companies, we finally choose our tile…FOR THE FLOOR ONLY. Yes, samples came home and went. Yet, no concrete decision on back splash quite yet. Again, more to come…

So the decisions we have made should be great. They were not easy though. I gave you the extra short version on our progress. At this time, for those who have never renovated a kitchen before, know the variety out there can be overwhelming.

As a Realtor, my recommendations, opinions, and sometimes choices are vital to guide my clients through the buying and selling process. That comes very naturally. When it comes to me, my own life, I am always a bit nervous. I put a lot of pressure on myself. I do not know if you can relate. Hopefully you are much more decisive than my husband and I.

Regardless, the time has come for the tear down! The fun begins tomorrow evening. Expect more from my kitchen renovation very soon.

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2015 – The Year of (more) Renovations

My husband and I have been living in our 1921 built home in Hamilton’s Gage Park area since spring 2013. We bought this house because it met all our needs and wants, including the fact my 6ft 4inch husband could stand in the basement and attic with EXTRA Head Space. That seems funny to some, but that matters when it comes to an old home. You don’t get that much!! There is 2.5 storeys of space, character, oh….and renovations. Like most first time buyers, we wanted to get our hands dirty. We wanted to make this house our home. Granted, we got help along the way, as we are both not overly handy, but it is still the joy of remodelling a house just for you.

Our house was used for many years as a duplex. The previous owner had started transforming the house back into a single family property. They did a good amount of work (not the best quality work). We, with the help of our families and contractors, have been renovating since we took possession. Now, I am sorry that I never posted/blogged during our first 6 weeks of renovations. I can let you know that we completed the attic space from bare flooring and visible roof rents, to a cosy living space (that we still need to furnish). We gutted the 2nd level bathroom. We now have new drywall, tub, vanity, the works! We even tore apart the basement; but that is a future project that you will see down the road via this blog. The house also got a full face lift – refinished flooring (that is to die for) and paint throughout the house.

You are now up to date!

I can happily inform you that 2015 is our year to tackle more renovations. I will share with you, my readers, all the trials, demolition, and bliss of remodeling my house. February marks the beginning of our kitchen remodel. I am over the moon excited to have a new kitchen that isn’t falling apart before my eyes.

But, before the posts commence, I wanted to share some information I found on remodeling costs, time frames, and tips. I hope to keep you in the loop of how long my renovations take, where I found the best bang for my buck etc. These articles shed some light on things you may not have considered or known. I found them helpful and I hope you do too.

First off, the image attached to the blog is a great reference for value of your renovations. I am a REALTOR of course, so I think of resale value all the time, for myself and my clients. As much as this renovation is for us, I have to always bare resale in mind. Its just what I do!
Also Check out:

The Best Way to Finance a Renobest place to start when considering a remodel/renovation

How much did your Kitchen Renovation Cost?

A Valuable Guide to Kitchen Remodelling Costs my favourite read being that I am working on my kitchen

How long is that remodel going to take? – Which I must note comes from the National Association of Realtor in the United States of America. Sorry I couldn’t find a similar one for us Canadians.

Let the kitchen remodel BEGIN!

Spring has Sprung

April has arrived! I find this is the month where the weather truly changes (it may only be a couple weeks of above 0 degree temperatures and rain, but then its like BOOM summer) and we all start cleaning to welcome the fresh new season. I am feeling the cleaning bug at the moment myself. I spent a couple hours last weekend clearing the garden, washing the windows and making the exterior of my property look spring ready. Has the cleaning bug bit you yet? If so, here is a very helpful MASTER LIST to help you organize and tackle your spring clean.

I also find that April musters up a real estate bug amongst consumers. In all honestly, anytime of the year is a great time to buy or sell property, but come spring everyone’s mind set does change, which brings with it a typically busy spring market in most areas. Here in Hamilton, it is no different. If you have been waiting to sell until now, here are some Valuable Pieces of Information straight from Coldwell Banker.

Now, within those 10 pieces of information, tips #6 grabs my attention: Providing your Realtor with details about outdoor features. The exterior of your property is just as important at the interior. Why not stage your exterior too? I think its a fantastic idea to speak with your Realtor about highlighting the outdoor features as much as the indoor features. It is spring! Who wouldn’t want to play in the sun now that you can finally toss their winter coat into storage? So, get a head start and do some homework on your own and review the 6 Staging Secrets for your property before sell.

Spring is a renewal! Nature comes back to life. The real estate market is kinda the same. So, if you are interested in buying or selling in the Greater Hamilton area, don’t hesitate to contact me: your real estate consultant for life!

Colorful_spring_garden

Design Tips/Tricks – Make Your Small Room Look BIGGER

This is close to home for me. I have recently purchased a house with my fiance. We are currently in the buying furniture and decorating stage. Now that we are looking at the rooms differently, each room feels so much smaller than we thought. Now, mind you, I purchased an older 2.5 storey house. It was built roughly in the late 1920’s – early 1930’s. The rooms are generally smaller than most rooms in a newer home. Each room is a good size, no complaints, but when you start to add furniture, drapery, and decorative items, things start to feel like they are shrinking around you.

That is why I find this list of 10 tips/tricks on How to Make a Small Space Look Bigger extremely helpful. Some of the tips are obvious, but the reminder, for me at least, is needed. Check out thenest.com. Let me know which of the 10 tricks you weren’t aware would help you maximize the square footage of your small space.

 

How Small Can You Go?

I just read one of Point2Agent’s blog posts and had to share it with my followers. The post “How Small is Too Small?” is very interesting. Smaller homes are gaining popularity in the market and that is not just in The United States of America. But, as the blog title asks – How small is too small? What do you think? Read the post and tell me if you could live in one of these miniature spaces. I am not sure I can….

HOW SMALL IS TOO SMALL???

Home Improvements with NO INCREASE in Value

Location, Location, Location is the most important factor in home buying or selling, no matter what anyone says. There are other facts that contribute to the value of a house such as school district, size of the lot, etc. All these external factors cannot be changed. However, the improvements that are done by the homeowners are within the control of the homeowner and needs to be curbed, as the monetary value generally does not pay off as much as the emotional value involved in such home improvements.

Here are 4 home improvement that do not increase the value of your home:

#1. Swimming pool

A swimming pool may seem like the best luxury upgrade you can give your home, in reality it is one of the most hindering factors for selling it. This is because home buyers see it as mere expense, more maintenance and increased possibility of law suits as it is viewed and came definitely be a safety hazard for small children.

Swimming pools, as a rule of thumb do not add value.

#2. Exterior walls makeover

Good to remember that changes you make to the exterior of your homes should complement the other homes in the neighborhood. If other homes in the area have wooden wall, I wouldn’t recommend you change your exterior walls using brick. When a specific house looks out of place in the area, it becomes more difficult to sell. Sadly, you are not adding value. Keep your home in harmony with not only the other homes in your neighbourhood, but with the overall ambiance of your own home.

#3. Solar panels

Green homes are becoming very popular. They can add value in the long run. Note, these are all capital expenditures, which cannot be recouped in the current housing market.

A more cost effective way to add value to your home would be to upgrade windows to a double-pane energy efficient window and this less value improvement will appeal to a home buyer.

#4. Adding unnecessary areas

Extra space does not always equate extra value. This is perhaps one of the most important considerations to bear in mind. An extra bedroom or bathroom or even extensive landscaping does not necessarily bring value to your home. For example, when you add a new room and lay expensive marble or granite floors, install rich wooden cabinetry etc., the room will look completely different from the rest of your house, if the other rooms are not also renovated.

Costs will shoot up when you start renovating your home. Start with one room, then the next, add more expensive finishes etc. and you come up with more costs incurred than value to your home. This will cause your home alone to cost more when compared to other homes in your neighborhood, therefore, making it more difficult for you to sell your house. Additional space created and provided will not result in additional value.

If you are planning to buy or sell a home, don’t hesitate to contact me today!