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.

Winter Home Maintenance

It is -30+ degrees in Hamilton and I am working from home, wrapped in a blanket considering how this weather not only affects me but my old home as well. Rough weather can challenge the investment you have in your home. When the cold weather subsides this coming weekend, it may be a good idea to get around the house and do some maintenance. This winter may continue to be a brutal one here in Southern Ontario. Let’s all try to get through it will little or no issues at all.

Clean the Gutters

The reason that you must clean your gutters by January is because the water from the melting snow and ice needs to be moved away from your home. If the fall leaves and debris is still in the gutters, then the runoff water will melt and refreeze repeatedly until your roof starts leaking.

(This task is clearly tough to do now being that everything is frozen. Again, milder temperatures will be around this coming weekend. Best to have a look at the gutters then.)

Insulate the Pipes

If you have any exposed water pipes in your home, then it is a good idea to wrap them in insulation to prepare for the winter. Pipes that freeze during January can crack and develop leaks.

(No one wants to deal with a leak any time of year,)

Check the Windows

Take a lighted candle and hold it in front of your windows. If the candle flickers, then that window needs to be insulated again. By running a new bead of caulk around the seal where your window meets the house, you can save yourself a lot of money in lower energy bills.

(I live in a 1921 build home. I will definitely take the time to complete this task.}

Find the Water Valve

Pipes can freeze in January, even after you have taken every precaution. In the event that your pipes do burst, you need to shut them off immediately to prevent any further damage. Before winter begins, locate the main water shut-off valve in your basement and make sure that each family member knows where the shut-off is as well.

(No brainier here 🙂

Hope these couple tips help you in the winter months. Stay warm out there!

 

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!