5 Tips for Staying on Budget During Renovations

5 Tips for Staying on Budget During Renovations

Are you getting ready to sell your house? Perhaps that includes some renovations. Check out our top 5 Tips for Staying on Budget during Renovations!

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  1. Stick with standard sizes and models. Custom kitchen cabinets, for example, are very expensive. Save money by choosing stock ones, then attaching molding, corbels, or wood carvings for flair.
  2. Don’t work without a design. Some projects require an architect, some an interior designer, and sometimes a talented builder will get your aesthetic and help you come up with a good plan. Don’t start a remodel without a detailed floor plan. A lot of elements interact in a space — put them all on paper and you’ll catch problems before they are built.
  3. Rent or borrow what you don’t have. Check with neighbors and friends for miter saws and power drills. Home centers rent heavy-duty tools, such as tile cutters and power washers, for a weekend fee
  4. Keep the same footprint. Consider what projects you can complete without moving walls or other systems behind the walls. Building an addition, moving walls, or relocating sinks and stoves involves major construction as well as new electrical, plumbing and flooring work.
  5. Budget for the Unknown. While it’s great to keep a positive attitude and think that everything will go as planned, life usually doesn’t work out that way. When coming up with your kitchen reno budget, add on at least 15% for contingencies.
5 Spring Cleaning Hacks

5 Spring Cleaning Hacks

Spring is here and that means it’s time to start your spring cleaning. But it doesn’t have to be the bane of your existence this year! Here are a few hacks that will help you get through that cleaning faster with these spring cleaning hacks.

1. Use lemons to remove hard water stains

lemon
Find instructions on Broccoli Cupcake

2. Coarse salt can help you clean cast iron.

pan
Find instructions on Martha Stewart

3. Get rid of water rings on tables by using a hair dryer

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Find instructions on Homemade Mamas

4. Remove soap buildup from glass shower doors by using a fabric-softener sheet

shower
Find instructions on Real Simple

5. Slide an old pillow case over a ceiling fan blade to catch dust and dirt

fan
Find instructions on Real Simple

5 Top Tech For Your Home

5 Top Tech For Your Home

Is your New Years resolution to revamp some of your gadgets? Let 2015 be the year you upgrade the technology for your home! Here are some of our favorite new products to help streamline your daily routine.
USB-wall-plug
(Two Twenty One)USB Wall Outlets
Replace bulky chargers and plug your USB cable straight into the outlet! They are especially useful by the bed, where many of us stash all kinds of USB-equipped devices, such as phones, tablets, and e-readers. That stuff competes for space on a standard duplex outlet that may already be serving a bedside lamp or a clock. Most hardware stores now carry these outlets. Learn how to install one here.

(Masudas)Ring Smart House Controller
Simply called “Ring,” this $269 US wearable device from Japanese company, Logbar, allows people to control a host of household appliances, including lamps and televisions. By pressing a stud on the side of Ring with your thumb, you can draw gestures in the air that turn items off or on.
Source: Logbar

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(Moneual)Robot Vacuum and Mop
The Moneual Rydis H67 isn’t just a regular robot vacuum cleaner, it’s also a robot mop too. The $399 product, from California-based Moneual, can be programmed to suck up dust then mop your floor, with full cleaning cycles lasting up to five hours.
Source: Moneual

(USA Today)Child-Proof Outlets
Thousands of children end up in hospital every year after sticking their fingers (and other items) into electrical sockets. San Diego-based Brio believes it has an answer with the Safe, a $49 US wall socket that uses sensors to differentiate between plugs and other objects. The socket only lets power flow if an electrical plug is detected. Anything else stuck into the hole won’t receive a charge, preventing someone from being shocked.
Source: Brio

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(PetNet)Smart Feeder for Pets
This new feeder from PetNet features remote feeding so you can control your pet’s feeding from your laptop, smartphone, or tablet. Adjust feeding schedule in real-time, from anywhere or set up automated schedules to manage feeding times, portion sizes, and food dispensing speed. As well receive alerts and notifications on your smartphone about feeding times, meal confirmations and food inventory.
Source: PetNet

British Columbia Earthquake Preparedness

British Columbia Earthquake Preparedness

earthquake-plates

Vancouver and British Columbia are at a high-risk of having an earthquake. Be prepared, and learn what you can do to keep you, your family, and your home safe.

For your family:

  • Identify objects in your home that could be dangerous during an emergency
  • Plan evacuation routes from every room in your home
  • Pick two meeting places where you and your family can get back together if you get separated – one close to your home, and one a little further away
  • Ask an out-of-province relative or friend to be your family contact person
  • Prepare your emergency kits
  • Teach family members how to turn off utilities, use a fire extinguisher, and call 9-1-1
  • Make arrangements for seniors and family members with special needs
  • Save digital copies of important documents — such as birth certificates and financial records — on a memory stick, or make photocopies of them
  • Think about what you might be able to contribute to your community; sharing a meal, tools, or a phone charger are especially meaningful in the days after an emergency

For your home:

  • Install latches on cupboards
  • Refer to emergency preparedness manuals that are available in bookstores and libraries.
  • Place large and heavy objects on lower shelves
  • Fasten tall furniture to the walls
  • Store breakable items, such as glass jars and china, in low closed cabinets with latches
  • Hang heavy items, such as pictures and mirrors, away from beds, couches, or anywhere people sit
  • Anchor overhead lighting fixtures securely to the ceiling
  • Know the locations of electric fuse or circuit breaker box, water service shut-off, and natural gas main shut-off as you may need to turn them off after the earthquake
  • Purchase earthquake insurance

 

Find more tips at the City of Vancouver website

Keep the toaster, we’re crowdfunding our down payment

Keep the toaster, we’re crowdfunding our down payment

Websites help newlyweds raise money to put toward real estate goals

Newlyweds tend to receive many gifts that end up in the trash or never see the light of day.

Nowadays, many couples have been living together for years before they actually tie the knot, so they’ve probably got the silverware and salt-and-pepper shakers covered.

But what if newlyweds could channel the generosity of all their family and friends towards a big-ticket item of their choosing, like a down payment for a home?

That’s a strategy that people who are set to receive a wave of gifts for a special occasion may take more and more as crowdfunding continues to gain traction.

People have long been using Kickstarter, Indiegogo and other mainstream crowdfunding sites to raise cash for all manner of pursuits.

But more recently, niche crowdfunding sites have been popping up. A number of them focus on helping people raise cash for real estate-related pursuits, including cobbling together enough cash for a down payment.

Feather the Nest, for example, lets users create pages where they can use text, photos and video to describe what real estate aspirations they want contributors to help them fund. Users then share their campaigns through email and their social media accounts.

People can turn to Feather the Nest whenever they want to try to drum up cash for real estate goals, but the site was designed to help people capitalize on the outpouring of generosity that typically comes with special occasions.

The best example would be a wedding, said Harrisburg, Pennsylvania-based Lindsay Oparowski, CEO of Feather the Nest. The spread of honeymoon registries like Honeyfund.com and Traveler’s Joy show that many couples are keen on funneling the goodwill of friends and family towards a single purpose, rather than sitting back to accept a hodgepodge of smaller gifts.

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Screen shot showing sample DownPaymentDreams.com campaign.

Oparowski envisions soon-to-be-married couples sharing their campaigns for real estate projects with friends and loved ones  and posting them to their wedding websites. The campaigns could either complement the wedding gift menus that couples commonly offer up to family and friends, or they could replace them altogether.

That way, you end up with a house, not “mismatched placemats,” Oparowski said.

Feather the Nest isn’t the only company trying to help people crowdfund down payments. Gift registries Hatch My House and DownPaymentDreams.com both target couples who would prefer down payment assistance over cutlery and candlesticks.

Launched by Wilmington-North Carolina-based real estate agent Teresa Krebs, DownPaymentDreams.com acts as an agent referral service, offering couples a refund of the site’s registration fee and a gift card to a home improvement store in exchange for working with an agent handpicked by the site. Krebs said 20 couples a month sign up on average, with close to 800 having registered since the site launched in 2009.

“In this generation, so many people are wanting to buy a house and they already have furnishings and towels and pots and pans and things like that,” Krebs said. “Among my group of friends that’s what people really wanted for a wedding gift — cash for a down payment.”

HomeFunded.com launched last year, but the website is still listed as being in beta testing.

Hatch My House has helped people raise about $1.7 million for down payments, $200,000 for remodeling and renovations and $100,000 for furnishings and decorations, according to Rieve MacEwen, who founded Hatch My House in 2009 with his wife Erin-Marie. More than 2,000 registeries have received funds on the site, he added.

According to Hatch My House, the average price of a wedding gift is $125, while the average number of gifts for a wedding is 70. That means, theoretically, the typical couple using the site would raise $9,000 to put towards a down payment if every wedding gift went towards their campaign.

PRIMARQ is taking a less romantic approach to the enterprise: The crowdfunder is attempting to enable buyers to obtain down payment assistance from investors in exchange for slices of their home equity.

Screen shot showing Feather the Nest’s campaign directory page.

Oparowski, who was previously a marketing director for two brokerages, said that agents could recommend Feather the Nest to people who are on the fence about buying, or use it as a “touchpoint” to maintain contact with past clients.

The site will generate revenue by taking a cut of the funds users raise through campaigns, but also plans to sell sponsorships to agents, where nest owners would receive some cash for permitting an agent’s advertising to appear next to their campaigns.

This article was originally posted on Inman News, June 30, 2014.  Written by Teke Wiggin.
View the original post at Inman News.

For more information contact Macdonald Realty at 1-877-278-3888