Obtaining a Mortgage: Broker or Bank?

For most home buyers today, part of the buying process includes finding a bank that will lend you the money you need to make your dream home a reality.\r\n\r\nWith so many different lenders, banks and brokers available to work with you on your home mortgage application, it’s hard to figure out where turn to for assistance with your financing. The … Read More

Home Staging vs Remodels

It turns out that there is a significant difference between home staging and a home remodel when it comes to return on investment. To make a long story short, DIY or staging investments are actually investments. Remodels are just another way to spend money. Home staging makes good business sense. So does spending the weekend painting.\r\n\r\nIn the list below, I’ve … Read More

Typical Return on Home Remodel Investments

In the previous blog article, we wrote a cautionary tale about the fiscal reality of a home remodel. In this post, I’d like to explain which home remodels could make fiscal sense.\r\n\r\nThis link below provides a good estimate of the return on investment of home remodels.\r\n\r\nhttp://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2014/\r\n\r\nThe highest ROI is the entry door replacement. In this remodel, the owner gets 96.6% … Read More

Does it make sense to remodel your existing home?

Home remodeling is big business in the USA. This is how the story usually goes… “I don’t like the kitchen. Let’s build our new dream kitchen. I know you said it’s too expensive, but we’re investing in our home. Think of all the money we’ll get back when we sell this house. I know money is tight, but this is … Read More

Geopolitical Events and Building Costs

The cost of building a home decreased as a result of a drop in commodity prices, low oil prices, and a strong USA dollar.\r\n Commodity Prices \r\nWhat does the price of clay in China have to do with the price of an American home? The connection may not be obvious at first, but it’s there nonetheless. The connection stems from … Read More

Insulation and energy costs

If your home is not properly insulated, you are paying more than you need to in heating and cooling costs. That unnecessary cost often adds hundreds of dollars to people’s energy bill each year.\r\nAll things being equal, location, style of home, and materials used, the type of insulation you use in your home can make a dramatic difference in your … Read More

Interest Rates and Affordability

The prime interest rate is set by the Federal Reserve and represents the interest rate customers with good credit generally pay on money borrowed from a bank. This is different from the federal funds rate, which is an interbank rate used to meet capital requirements.\r\n\r\nWhen the Federal Reserve raises or lowers interest rates, it has a long-term effect on the … Read More

Using Supply and Demand to Predict Home Prices

As mentioned in the previous blog post, the S&P Case-Shiller Index offers a trustworthy barometer of the U.S. housing market. However, there’s more than one way to estimate price direction in the USA housing market. Like anything, home prices follow the law of supply and demand.\r\n\r\nSo for a moment, forget real estate, and let’s think economics. Supply and demand is … Read More

2016 Case-Shiller Projections for US Home Prices

“Is this a good time to buy?” Every time I ask this question to a Realtor, the answer is always the same “Yes, this is a perfect time to buy a home!” When I follow up with “Well, what about selling, is now a good time to sell my home?” I get the same answer. “Of course, it’s also a … Read More

Kitchen Countertops – Choosing the Right Surface

After you’ve chosen a kitchen layout, the next questions are regarding the kitchen surfaces and appliances. The difference between a beautiful and forgettable kitchen depend on these two factors. In this post, we discuss the pros and cons of several surfaces used in kitchen countertops. Countertops can see a lot of wear and tear. As such, it’s important to consider … Read More