Monthly Archives: April 2012

remodeling projects – cost vs value

2011-12 Cost vs. Value: Big-Bang Remodeling Projects

Find out which remodeling projects will provide the biggest bang for your buck this year, according to Remodeling magazine.

Optimizing the use of space in a home will not only attract buyers but also give sellers more bang for their buck, according to Remodeling’s “2011–12 Cost vs. Value Report,” conducted in cooperation with REALTOR® Magazine and NAR’s
An attic bedroom addition costing $50,148 was expected to recoup 72.5 percent of the cost nationally—inching up 0.3 percent from the 2010–11 report. The minor kitchen remodel also fared well, returning an estimated 72.1 percent of the nearly $20,000 job cost.
The report looks at the estimated cost and expected resale return of 35 midrange and upscale remodeling projects in 80 markets.  The estimated costs and returns were derived from a survey of more than 3,000 REALTORS® conducted last summer. As in past years, REALTORS® picked exterior projects to recoup the most at resale. Among those, new fiber-cement siding was expected to provide the highest return, recouping an estimated 78 percent of the $13,461 cost.

Top 6 Returns

Siding Replacement (upscale) – fiber-cement      
Job Cost: $13,461
Resale Value: $10,493
Cost Recouped: 78%
Entry Door Replacement – steel     
Job Cost: $1,238
Resale Value: $903
Cost Recouped: 73%
Attic Bedroom Addition             
Job Cost: $50,148
Resale Value: $36,346
Cost Recouped: 72.5%
Kitchen: Minor Remodel              
Job Cost: $19,588
Resale Value: $14,120
Cost Recouped: 72.1%
Garage Door Replacement             
Job Cost: $1,512
Resale Value: $1,087
Cost Recouped: 71.9%
Garage Door Replacement (upscale)                
Job Cost: $2,994
Resale Value: $2,129
Cost Recouped: 71.1%
Remodeling’s2011-12 Cost vs. Value Report ©2011 by Hanley Wood, LLC. Republication or redissemination of the Report is expressly prohibited without written permission of Hanley Wood, LLC.“Cost vs. Value” is a registered trademark of Hanley Wood, LLC.Visit for information on all 35 projects. There, you can also download a free PDF providing information on average cost and resale value nationally, regionally, and in a specific market. Estimates for construction costs were compiled by HomeTech Publishing.

Are Housing Prices Increasing?????

Will Housing Prices Soar By 2014?

Real estate economists and analysts are increasingly optimistic that the housing market will have a dramatic recovery in the next two years, according to results of a new semi-annual survey of 38 real estate economists and analysts conducted by the Urban Land Institute’s Center for Capital Markets and Real Estate. 
The economists predict that the national average for home prices will stop falling by this year and a subsequent turnaround will occur. By next year, they project that home prices will begin to rise by 2 percent, and then get a larger boost of 3.5 percent by 2014. The economists also predict that housing starts will nearly double by next year.
They also foresee rental prices continuing to increase for all property types, ranging from 0.8 percent to 5 percent. 
The economists’ predictions were made on assumptions that the economy would continue to strengthen, including a larger drop in unemployment.  
“While geopolitical and global economic events could change the forecast going forward, what we see in this survey is confidence that the U.S. real estate economy has weathered the brunt of the recent financial storm and is poised for significant improvement over the next three years,” says Patrick L. Phillips, ULI chief executive officer. “These results hold much promise for the real estate industry.” 
Source: “Real Estate Will Rock in 2014,” RISMedia (March 31, 2012)

questions about Reverse Mortgage…please article if give me a call

Conducting a Reverse Mortgage Company and Broker Comparison

 Resource for Objective Reverse Mortgage Information
Doing a comparison between reverse mortgage companies and brokers is the most important task you can do. With all the hype surrounding reverse mortgage loans, you have to sift information and separate fact from myth.
If you are a senior citizen, you should do some comparison shopping to find a broker or a company that would give you the best deal in town. It all boils down to the “choice Good Deal Co and Better Deal Co.” (You will always want to choose the better company, if not the best of all companies.)
When you close a reverse mortgage deal, you will be entering into an agreement. This agreement will be different from the agreements of regular loans and mortgages. One comparison you can make is that you get to keep your house while the debt is piling up. Thankfully, the loan doesn’t get repaid until the house is resold, refinanced, you die or are permanently moving out of your home (whichever comes first).
Before any closings, you will want to shop around for the best reverse mortgage company or at least one of the better companies. You can have a broker do this for you. However, the good-old common sense will tell you that you also have to do your homework. Read up!
On the market today, you can actually find three types of reverse mortgage products. The most popular are the HECM loans. Most senior citizens only apply with HECM reverse mortgages and hire brokers to sign them up. HECMs are built to be less expensive (reverse mortgages are never cheap) than the other types of reverse mortgages. A comparison never fails to show this.
They are also popular because the federal government plays hard-to-get on them. Only senior citizens who are at least 62 years old are eligible for the loan. Before you can apply for an HECM reverse mortgage, you are required to undergo a credit counseling with a reverse mortgage counselor from counseling service accredited by the government.
The reverse mortgage counselor will actually do some hammering on you – about the pros and cons of reverse mortgages. He or she will also do some parenting, that is, find out if a reverse mortgage loan is really good for you. After the counseling session, you can begin to find a reverse mortgage company or companies that will let you apply for the loan. If you can’t find one on your own, hire one of them brokers.
Reverse mortgages are a great way to take out cash on your home’s equity. However, like any good thing, there are tradeoffs to this program. Your counselor should discuss this with, because your brokers won’t.
For one thing, reverse mortgages may affect your eligibility for types of loans. It can also affect the total value of the borrower’s estate. More importantly, beneficiaries of Medicaid and Supplementary Security Income (SSI) could stand to lose their benefits.
Most seniors do not know about this, but a loan advance is considered cash or income if the recipient keeps the money beyond the month they received it. Seniors might just find themselves ineligible for those State benefit programs if they are not careful.