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Roll the Repairs into the Mortgage

by The Mike Parker Team

 

It's been said that if you can find a home that has most of what you want, you should go ahead and purchase it.  Many first-time buyers are using everything they have for a down payment and closing costs and would have to "live" with the less than perfect home until they can save the money to make the changes.

The FHA 203(k) mortgage allows a borrower to purchase a home and provides additional funds for improvements to be made.  These types of renovations can include kitchen and bathroom remodels, flooring, plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems, additions and other things.

The benefit to the buyer is that they have the opportunity to consider a home that needs repairs and might have been unacceptable without a program like this.  Being a FHA loan, a minimal down payment is required, fair interest rates and generous qualifying requirements.

The 203(k) Streamline can be used for cosmetic improvements, appliances and minor remodeling up to $35,000 in cost.

As you can imagine, this is a specialized program and not all lenders choose to make 203(k) loans.  They usually take longer to process and getting firm bids on the work to be done will be required.  It is important to find out how much experience a lender has with this particular type of loan.    

It will also be required that you work with a 203(k) consultant in addition to the mortgage officer.

For more information, go to Hud.gov.  FNMA has a similar conventional loan program called HomeStyle Mortgage.  Your real estate professional will be able to help with recommendations.  Call me at (859) 647-0700.

Replace It Anyway

by The Mike Parker Team

If it's not broken, why would a homeowner consider replacing something as expensive as a toilet when there may be other things in the home to replace that provide more aesthetic appeal. Don't be too quick to ignore the functionality and the reliability of this basic convenience.toilet.jpg

The first rationalization might take place at the economic level. A water-saving model could easily pay for itself in a few years and then, there is the good feeling of participating in the conservation of our natural resources.

Having to plunge a toilet more than once a week could motivate a homeowner to spend money on a replacement especially, if having made repairs to the flapper and fill valve didn't solve the issue.

Maybe your existing toilet has ugly scratches that make it difficult to clean. Maybe there are cracks in the tank or bowl that you're concerned will develop into a leak at the worst possible time.

The average cost to replace a toilet is around $400 with models ranging more and less based on the features and brands. Round toilet bowls tend to take up less room, are less expensive and better suited for children. Elongated bowls generally take more room, have more powerful flushing action, more comfortable, more stylish and cost more.

Replacing the shut-off valve for the toilet could be a good thing to do while you're replacing the toilet. Generally, it is as old as the toilet and having a reliable valve that works could be very convenient in a future repair or emergency.

There are a variety of videos on YouTube that could give you the confidence to do it yourself or simply, to have a better understanding of the scope of the project


Friday HOME MATTERS

by The Mike Parker Team

Our weekly round-up of real estate-related tips and advice from around the web- Enjoy! 

 

Having pet odors inside your home can turn off potential homebuyers and keep your home from selling. Ask your real estate agent for an honest opinion about whether your home has a pet smell. 


If your agent holds her nose, here’s how to get rid of the smell... 


Easy and Inexpensive Ways to Fix Up Your Home Like a Flipper – Christina El Moussa 

If you’re anything like me, you may find that it’s all too easy to get caught up in the rush of flipping houses. I’ll admit — buying an old house, fixing it up, and flipping it for a profit is pretty exciting. But if you get too distracted by flipping houses, it’s easy to let your own home fall by the wayside. 

 

While profitable remodeling projects can be more tempting to work on, you can still benefit from tackling projects in your own home. Remodeling your home will not only up its value, but also improve the way you feel about it. After all, who wouldn’t love to cook in a newly remodeled kitchen? 

 

Here are five easy, inexpensive projects that will really make a difference in how you feel about your home. 

 

Enjoy beautiful, healthy roses with these easy tips. 

 

When you’re selling your home, you must be ready for people to pop in at a moment’s notice. And no, it’s not like when your neighbor drops by to ask you to water her plants while she’s on vacation, and leaves in five minutes without noticing how many dishes are stacked in your sink or the layer of dust on your coffee table. 

 

Nope, these people will scrutinize. And they will judge. But you’re still living in your home—how do you keep it clean enough to make a good impression, no matter the time or day? 


Some of us are just born creators. The thought of sitting still and binging a Netflix show, while nice in theory, isn't possible in reality. We'd be bored. We'd rather be out and about exploring.  

 

If this description fits your personality, then you'll feel like you already know Austin Cameron. He's a 27-year-old software developer based out of Louisville. When he's not working, electric skateboarding (huh?), and working on his next startup, he's practicing photography. And that's why we reached out to Austin. He is this month's featured Photographer Spotlight. 

Before You Call the Repairman...

by The Mike Parker Team

Before You Call the Repairman

Have you ever had a service company to your home to repair something and find out that it really wasn't "broken"? It probably conjured up ambivalent feelings of joy that it wasn't something serious and frustration that you had to pay a service call for something so simple.

Before you call the repairman next time, keep these things in mind to see if it is something simple:

 

  • Disposer not working - check to see if the reset button has been thrown. It is usually on the bottom of the disposer. If the disposer is making a humming sound, the blades may be stuck. While the disposer is turned off, use a wooden broom handle as a lever to gently rotate the blades. Remove the broom handle and turn on the disposer to see if it works properly.
  • Air conditioner not working - check to see if a breaker has thrown on your electric panel. You might need to flip the breaker completely off and flip it back on.
  • Electrical outlets not working - Electrical plugs in bathrooms or outside, especially on a porch or patio, are many times connected to a ground fault interrupter. The GFI will be a wall outlet and it may be located in the garage. Locate the outlet and reset the button that may have tripped.
  • Clogged drain - a simple way to correct a slow or clogged drain is to use the water pressure from a garden hose. You'll need a helper to turn on the water full-blast once you have safely placed the hose in the drain and are holding a hand-towel around the hose to direct the water to the drain. Be prepared to tell your helper to turn off the water when needed.

Whether it's preparing a home to market or arranging repairs required by the sale, REALTORS® know reputable, reasonable and reliable service contractors. We're here to share our contacts with you to help make home ownership better.

Top 5 Tips for Tackling Home Improvement Projects

by The Mike Parker Team

In the do-it-yourself age we live in, many homeowners are ready and willing to take on home-improvement projects themselves. But while you may be ready and willing, the real question is, are you really "able?"

I have access to many great home-improvement resources thanks to being part of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®. The following advice comes from HGTV's Carter Oosterhouse. Heed these suggestions before you embark on your next project:

  1. Focus on projects that will pay you back. For example, if you're dealing with hot or cold weather, try to lower heating and cooling bills by properly sealing your home. Look for drafts around windows, doors, and vents,and then use caulk or weather stripping to seal them. It may not be glamorous, but it will pay you back down the road.
  2. Know where to start. If you have never taken on a major project, start with spaces such as the living room, spare bedroom, or the garage -- rooms that won't limit your ability to function, says Oosterhouse.
  3. Closet reorganization. Many times, people have maxed out their closet and have no more room to add, let alone organize. That's when it’s time to evaluate. Donate clothes you no longer wear to a charity, store seasonal attire in a separate location, and separate his from hers.
  4. Break down a big project. Planning is essential. As Oosterhouse says, if you think you can just start up any big job without a plan, then you are in for a world of frustration. Know your capabilities and limitations.
  5. Know where the biggest ROI is. The improvements that will most add to the value of your home include, the kitchen, the master bedroom and bathroom. These can boost your resale value and attract buyers who want a space that’s move-in ready.

These are just some of many great suggestions for tackling home improvement projects. Feel free to contact me for more ideas and please forward this email on to your fellow DIY-ers!

Home Improvements Make A Big Difference!!!

by Mike Parker

Submitted by Jill Kuchle:

Many times people think by having a swimming pool or other "luxury" items inside their home, it will get them more money for their home.  Not necessarily!  A swimming pool or a built-in spa may not cause a home to sell for any additional money.  In lower price ranges, it may even hurt the sale of the home.  As the price goes up, more of the cost may be recovered but as a rough rule of thumb, you can generally only expect to get half of what the pool cost. 
 
More examples of items that don't increase value include wool or other high
quality carpeting.  Oak paneling compared to ash paneling, solid brass plumbing fixtures, and slate or aluminum roofs.  Reason being, the new buyer expects the quality to be good but will not usually pay for the top of the line.  On the other hand, there are some improvements that can cause the home to sell for more money and should be considered by homeowners especially
when updating is appropriate. 
 
 Kitchens and bathrooms will date a home quicker than anything. An updated kitchen with new appliances, counter tops and attractive cabinets will make buyers get excited and can make the difference when deciding between two homes.  A tremendous change can be made in a
bathroom by adding new light fixtures, new mirrors, and neutral paint  to
complement the colors featured in the type of flooring you have.  Don't expect a buyer to have the imagination to be able to see what your home will look like if they replace the carpet, paint, or add new appliances.  Take the time and spend the money to make these improvements before you put your home on the market. It will sell quicker and for more money than if you give the buyer an "allowance".
 
For more advice on making home improvements to sell your home quickly, contact The Team today  at 859-647-0700 or email Mike at mike@mikeparker.com .

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Photo of Mike Parker - CRS Real Estate
Mike Parker - CRS
HUFF Realty
60 Cavalier Blvd.
Florence KY 41042
859-647-0700
859-486-3300