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Category Archive: ‘Repairs/Improvements’

Buying a Crack House

Hat tip to Eddie89 for finding this article on remodeling:

http://torontolife.com/real-estate/parkdale-reno-hell/

It was a crumbling Parkdale rooming house, populated by drug users and squatters and available on the cheap. We were cash-strapped, desperate to move and hemmed in by a hot market. Five years, three contractors and $1.1 million later, our home renovation nightmare is finally over.

We realize that our story could’ve ended up much differently. We’ve learned a harsh lesson: there’s no way to shortcut a reno; they cost a lot, period. If we had just listened to the advice of realtors, architects, designers, tradespeople and many friends, we would have avoided considerable stress and, well, $100,000 in debt. We were the victims of a shoddy contractor and bad luck, but also of our own colossal ignorance and hubris.

Anyone thinking of doing their own home renovations should read full story:

http://torontolife.com/real-estate/parkdale-reno-hell/

Posted by on Jun 2, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Real Estate Investing, Remodel Projects, Repairs/Improvements | 3 comments

Do-It-Yourself YouTubes


https://www.realestateconsulting.com/youtube-plus-demographic-shifts-giving-rise-to-diy-surge/

The home-improvement videos on YouTube are causing more people to do their own repairs around the house – great! Personally, I like to stick to the minor fixes – let the pros help you with anything major.

(link to my recommended vendors).

Lowe’s is the most subscribed retailer on YouTube – this drywall repair video has over 668,000 views!

Posted by on Jan 12, 2017 in Jim's Take on the Market, Remodel Projects, Repairs/Improvements | 2 comments

Home Maintenance

leaky

Another rule-of-thumb on how much to spend on your house:

Maintaining a home, especially an older one, can be expensive—in fact, experts say homeowners should be prepared to spend roughly 1 percent of their home’s value every year on maintenance.

The good news is, you can save on maintenance by completing simple tasks yourself. According to the experts at Underwriters, Inc. these include:

  • Cleaning the Gutters – To prevent costly damage to your home’s foundation, landscaping and siding, remove debris and leaves from the gutters at least twice a year. Don’t forget gloves and eye protection!
  • Open Garage Doors Manually – Don’t call a garage technician the next time your power’s out—simply locate the (usually red) cord, suspended from the ceiling-mounted operator, in your garage, and pull it to disconnect the cord from the motor.
  • Removing Stripped Screws – Avoid causing more damage when screws slip from a screwdriver. Place a rubber band or piece of steel wool over the screw and then try to remove it—if that method fails, use a screw extractor.
  • Repairing a Leaky Faucet – Leaks can cost hundreds in wasted water. Before you call a plumber, try DIY-ing by shutting off the main water supply, removing the faucet’s knobs, and checking the washers, stems and O-rings for signs of damage. Take these pieces to the hardware store to find exact replacements.
  • Stop a Running Toilet – Another plumber job you can do yourself! Remove the lid to the tank behind the toilet, and check the flush lever, rubber flapper, lift chain, float ball, pump and overflow tube. A running toilet usually requires just a simple adjustment or replacement to fix.

If you can master these essential homeowner skills, you’ll not only save money on maintenance, but also the expense of more costly fixes in the future.

http://blog.rismedia.com/2016/5-maintenance-skills-every-homeowner-know/

Posted by on Sep 14, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Repairs/Improvements, Tips, Advice & Links | 1 comment

Home Maintenance Costs

repairs

Back in 2009, we ran the first post entitled, Home Maintenance Costs:

http://www.bubbleinfo.com/2009/09/17/home-maintenance-costs/

After discussing the need for home maintenance with several clients  recently, I thought it would be a great time to review.

Every condo association in California is required to complete a Reserve Study so they are socking away enough money every month to repair and replace every item needed over time.  Homeowners should do the same!

Examples of things that need regular repair/replacement:  Air conditioning, appliances, BBQ, ducting, faucets, flooring, furnace, lighting, painting, roof, siding, sinks, toilets, windows, etc.

These are pure home repairs and replacements – they don’t include exterior maintenance or home improvements/upgrades/updating, which all matter too.

I came up with my own formula to estimate how much money homeowners should spend each year just on maintenance – try it out:

Age of home X square footage/15 = Annual spend

The 15 was derived from a reasonable number of years it will take to catch up on everything if you start today.  You may want to re-start again in year 16!

My formula is unscientific, but it is close enough.  Spend something!

Doing regular repairs will help you avoid multiple major expenses, and save you from needing a complete redo when it comes time to sell.

The joys of homeownership!

Posted by on Aug 9, 2016 in Jim's Take on the Market, Remodel Projects, Repairs/Improvements, Thinking of Buying?, Tips, Advice & Links | 0 comments