[schema type="organization" orgtype="LocalBusiness" url="http://4salebydonna.com" name="Real Estate Agent Donna Baker" description="Real Estate Agent showing homes for sale and available real estate in Monrovia, Pasadena, Arcadia the San Gabriel Valley in Southern California." city="Monrovia" state="Ca" postalcode="91016" email="donna@4salebydonna.com " phone="(626) 408-7766 "]

8 Home Renovations That Are Good Investments

Kitchen with Granite Island

When it comes to remodeling, there is almost always something you would like to do to make it more comfortable, attractive, or eco-friendly. But, home remodeling experts tell us, if you plan to sell your home at some point, put your time and effort into one of more of these renovations proven to pay you back because they increase the value of the property:

  • Kitchen updates – Usually you don’t need to start by gutting your current kitchen.  When looking at what pays you back the most, upgrading the countertops, and replacing or refacing cabinets and installing new appliances will likely cost about $18,000 – and should return about 97 percent of cost. Oddly, a major remodel involving a total kitchen remodel costing over $100,000 may only return 63 percent of the investment.
  • New garage doors – Nothing contributes more to your curb appeal like new, attractive garage doors. A mid-range replacement will likely return more than 80 percent on your investment.  Make sure it matches the style of your home and that it includes an opener with a reverse mechanism.
  • A wood deck – This is one of those renovations you are likely to get enjoyment from while you still live in your home.  Typically, a $10,000 investment on building a new deck will return about 80 percent of what you spent.
  • Attic conversions – Adding another bedroom or playroom upstairs gives a home more usable living space without increasing its footprint. This kind of remodel investment will likely return 84 percent of a $50,000 project cost.  Keep in mind, however, the additional square footage must be permitted with your city or county building department in order for it to count for comparable purposes.
  • New windows – New, energy–efficient windows throughout your home will save you money on heating and cooling bills – and you will probably get a return of 79 percent on a $10,000 investment.  If you have an older home and are considering window replacement, make sure you spend a little more and get wood windows to match what was there to begin with.  It may cost you a little more, but people who are attracted to older homes want the charm and originality that comes with it.

Look at these Teles statistics – Love it!

Mortgage Rate Wake Up Call

Kitchen that sparkles

There’s a reason that local home loan providers sometimes choose to lead their ads with a ‘lock’ provision. They know that potential clients likely to be enticed by low Southern California mortgage rate numbers are fairly sophisticated—they know that today’s mortgage rate is not necessarily tomorrow’s. By the time a home loan is finalized, the headlined number could be less favorable; hence, the ‘lock’ guarantees.

For quite a while—years, actually—area mortgage rates have behaved themselves pretty much the way we’d like. There may have been occasional minor upticks, but seldom any that would cause serious consternation. The interest rate hikes which some experts had predicted for 2014 and 2015 never seemed to materialize: every notch up was followed by notches back down. Mortgage rate volatility disappeared as a topic of interest from real estate and financial pages. What discussion there was tended to be predictable: rates would certainly have to rise, sooner or later—but later was (yawn) a lot more likely. It was pretty much All Quiet on the Mortgage Front…zzzzzzzzzz….

Until last week, which provided a definite wakeup call. It was a textbook example of how mercurial mortgage rates can turn—and how right those were who have been championing financing and/or refinancing while rates are in the historically low range.

The week started out quietly enough. In the previous week, before the Federal Reserve’s 2-day meeting, consumer mortgage rates were, per themortgagereport website, “scraping new lows, bestowing refinance opportunities on homeowners and boosting the purchasing power for buyers” across the nation. As usual, the Fed get-together provided hints that the Fed Funds rate would certainly have to rise, sooner or later…and although sooner did seem to be jostling later for consideration. It had been a possibility for so long, the usual carefully-worded announcement failed to raise undue concern. Yawns had to be stifled.

Until Friday, when the Non-Farm Payroll report hit the snoozing nation like a tornado in January. It crushed the forecasts. It was stellar. This was as unexpected as, per FuturesMag writer Matt Weller, it was “essentially perfect.”  The world’s largest economy had created a “stunning” 271,000 jobs. What was not to like?

For those who were banking on mortgage interest rates remaining frozen in the cellar, there was a lot not to like. The strong news made the Fed much more likely to finally raise the Fed Funds rate next month! Web headlines were screaming within minutes: “Bad Day for Mortgage Rates; Non-Farm Payrolls Soar” and “Non-farm payroll paves the way for a Fed rate hike in December.The Washington Post even came up with “This settles it: The Fed is going to raise interest rates in December.” That may be far from certain, but quoted home loan rates did begin to rise in anticipation. By the close of business on Friday, the Mortgage News Daily observed rates that were the highest since July.

What does this mean for Southern California mortgage interest rates? If the now wide-awake experts are credible, it looks as if taking advantage of still-low rates is likely to prove advantageous. There are never any guarantees, but for anyone intending a move that involves a home loan, it might not be a bad idea to give me a call—sooner rather than later!

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