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DESCRIPTIONhttp://www.remodelminnesota.com Make the right choice in your remodel-how much value is remodeling the kitchen vs remodeling the bathroom or remodeling the lower level? Maybe you should replace windows or the siding?
<ul><li>1.SMART RENOVATOR THE HOW-TO GUIDE ON MAXIMIZING YOUR HOME RENOVATION INVESTMENT. remax.com RE/MAX Outstanding Agents. Outstanding Results. No one in the world sells more real estate than RE/MAX. NORTH Each office independently owned and operated. CENTRAL </li></ul><p>2. RE/MAX SMART RENOVATORThe SurveyEvery year, RE/MAX associates sell hundreds of thousands of homes in every size, shape and style. Infact, when you work with RE/MAX, youre working with the experienced professionals of the worlds mostsuccessful real estate company. So, when it comes to buying and selling smarter, theres no doubt thatwe can show you how. But our commitment to helping you get the most out of your home begins long before that for sale signgoes in the yard. The knowledge weve gained from all of those home sales has now been used to developthe RE/MAX Smart Renovator Guide. Its just one more way in which you can profit from our experience. According to our Smart Renovator survey, the majority of Minnesota and Wisconsin homeowners (54%)would rather remodel than relocate. Most site a genuine love for their home as the primary reason, butwanting to enhance future resale value runs a close second. Thats where home renovationsusually come in. As a homeowner, youre likely to resell at some point in the future and will want to consider the changingcharacteristics of your neighborhood. Remember the choices you make regarding improvements candrastically influence your homes market value. Getting the biggest return for your renovation dollarsmeans knowing what home buyers want and what choices make the most sense for your price rangeand prospective buyer. For instance, our survey revealed the most popular projects across Minnesota and Wisconsin marketsinclude remodeling kitchens, renovating bathrooms, finishing basements, adding outdoor decks andreplacing windows. Homeowners in all markets put a gourmet kitchen near the top of their wish lists(23%). But while an equal number of Twin Cities consumers said a three-stall heated garage wouldbe their first choice for a new addition, those in Milwaukee and Madison are more likely to add amaster suite. Our Smart Renovator program has also led to the development of the RE/MAX Return On Reno Index a unique, proprietary guide that shows you which renovations generate the highest return on investment(ROI) based on the market in which you live. In many cases, weve also discovered that the relative returnon your investment can vary significantly based the scope of the project you choose and the quality ofmaterials you use. Youre sure to notice that some renovation projects are consistent winners in all markets. Investing inkitchen and bathroom remodeling or siding and window replacement are always wise decisions. Butremember to tailor your decisions to fit the rest of your home. Youll also want to evaluate the prospectof hiring professional help vs. the possibility of doing it yourself. More than half of all homeownersparticipating in our survey said they always or almost always tackle home improvements ontheir own including 40% of female respondents. Of course, the RE/MAX Smart Renovator Guide is just that: A guide. This information isnt meant to dictateyour decision but provide a starting point for understanding the preferences of your potential buyer.Making the effort to discover which renovations will give you the best return on your investment will betime and money well spent. For more information, visit remax.com. 3. RENOVATION REVELATIONS Six Suggestions for Successful Home Improvements 1 Set Your Priorities. Everyone has different reasons for wanting to renovate. Sometimes its the simple need for a change. Other times, the motivation is more practical. A successful renovation can be a dream come true, but without careful planning and management, it can be a nightmare. Before you pick up a hammer, pick up some information. Talk to friends and neighbors. Explore all the options and remember the carpenters creed: Measure twice, cut once. Mistakes on paper are easy to fix. Mistakes on the job are not. If youre considering several projects, rank them in order of importance. Youll want to fix a leaky roof before refinishing the floor beneath it. 2Know Whats Possible. Every house has unique strengths and weaknesses, so you may want to hire a professional inspector or architect to advise you on what can or should be done. Its the best way to avoid costly complications later. That new addition may look great on paper, but can your heating, plumbing and electrical systems service it? Your house is a collection of components that interact continuously. Youll need to understand how these factors are interrelated before you can upgrade effectively. Remember that building codes and local by-laws may also limit what and how you renovate. Theres nothing worse than discovering the project youve painstakingly planned is actually prohibited. 3Do The Math. Can you really afford to renovate? To answer, youll need aclear idea of the costs involved. Get quotes from at least two reputable 10contractors, architects or suppliers. Explain exactly what you want to do anddiscuss various options. Then take the most reasonable quote and add 10 to 15percent for unexpected costs. Discuss the financial implications of the projectwith your real estate agent, banker or financial adviser. If you need financing,you may be able to renegotiate your mortgage or apply for a personal loan. Youmay even be eligible for assistance, as some utilities and municipal governmentsoffer incentive programs for energy-efficiency upgrades. 4Pick Your Partners. Many homeowners decide to make their own renovationsand doing it yourself can save money. But there are other costs to consider.Are you prepared to draw up your own plans, get your own permits and scheduleinspections? How much time can you spend away from your job, your family andTOP 10 CONTRACTOR QUESTIONSyour other commitments? Can you be as efficient or skilled as those who do thisevery day? You may feel comfortable painting a room, but specialized tasksthat involve wiring, plumbing or heating are usually best left to professionals. How long have you been in business?In fact, some municipalities may require certain kinds of work to be done by What types of work are you licensed to perform? What is your license number? certified professionals. Theres also the question of equipment. If you dont ownthe tools, youll have to buy or rent them. If you run into problems, who will you What type of work do you specialize in?call? Most people find that contracting work often works out best. But choosingthe right renovator is key. Our list of Top Ten Contractor Questions will help you Have you done similar jobs before? Any references?get a head start. Will you use your own crew or subcontract?Will you provide a written estimate and contract? 5 Get It In Writing. Always get a written contract describing the work to be done, what it will cost and how payments will be made. Never agree toanything before you have it in writing. Without an agreement on paper, theres What kind of work schedule will you follow? Do you guarantee on-time completion?little you can do about poor or incomplete work. You risk being charged more How and when do you provide clean up?than you expected, and its unlikely youll get any warranty or after-sales service.Professional contractors always provide customers with a clearly written contract. What kind of warranty do you provide? What does it cover?Once signed, its legally binding. So make sure that what you sign describesexactly what you want. Most client-renovator disputes occur because there was Do you carry workers comp and insurance?no contract or because the contract was vague or incomplete. If you have anydoubts or questions about the contract, have your lawyer review it before yousign. If your renovator refuses to accept a written contract, get another renovator. 6Inspect As You Go. Most renovation experiences are happy ones, but dont assume that things are going according to plan just because you have a contract and rapportwith your renovator. Stay on top of your project to prevent minor errors from becoming major problems. If you have a disagreement, be reasonable. Go over the contract and listen carefully to the renovators explanation. If youre still not satisfied, get a second opinion from a recognized home inspector or an architect before taking further action. As the work winds down, make sure that its been done to your satisfaction. Never make the final payment or sign any document releasing the renovator from further responsibility until all deficiencies are corrected. Then, once the project is finished and life returns to normal, you can sit back and enjoy the results. Adapted from the 2006 CMHC Online Guide. For more information, visit remax.com. 4. RENOVATION RED ALERTHow To Spot A Shabby RemodelAdapted from the MSN Real Estate feature by Liz Pulliam Weston The Victorian looked fabulous. The owner had poured thousands into refinishing the hardwood floors,replastering the walls and updating the kitchen. What she hadnt done was fix the homes foundation,floor joists or beams. As I entered the dining room, a hutch that was 20 feet away was shaking,says home inspector Rick Jarrett. His inspection saved his client from having to spend tens ofthousands of dollars excavating the foundation and repairing the damage. If youre looking for a house, youve probably seen your share of ill-conceived rehabs. Whatsharder to spot are the remodels that look great on the surface, but ignore or try to hide serious flaws.CAN YOU AVOID A HOMEHeres what to look for so you can avoid the biggest money pits and winnow down candidatesIMPROVEMENT NIGHTMARE?before you hire an inspector. Find out by taking the NARI Remodeling Quizavailable from your RE/MAX agent.Fundamentally UnsoundUnless you have X-ray vision, you cant peer inside walls, floors and ceilings to see if a home isfundamentally sound. But you can look at the homes surfaces for some real clues about whatsThe Big Cover-Upgoing on underneath: Most states require sellers to disclose serious defects in their homes, but some still try to cover up water, fire Cracks in walls, ceilings, floors or foundation. Any foundation crack should be cause foror other damage with a coat of paint. Jarretts becomeconcern. Wide cracks elsewhere may also be a sign of trouble.so accustomed to this particular dodge that he gets Sloping, bouncy or spongy floors. All homes settle over time, but sloping thats accompanied suspicious if he smells a fresh coat of paint in an areaby significant, recent wall and ceiling cracking should be a concern.thats vulnerable to water problems such as a Doors or windows that dont open freely. This could be due to settling, foundation problems or basement. One way to spot fire or insect damage is bypoor construction. In any case, it may indicate costly repairs are needed. pushing on the wood to see if its spongy or scraping Wide open spaces. Remodelers often combine smaller rooms into larger spaces, but doing soup some of the paint (in an inconspicuous place) to seecan undermine the stability of a house if the remodeler removes a load-bearing wall. whats underneath. But water damage may take a little more detective work:Shocking DevelopmentsHome inspector Jim Gibbs checks out a lot of homes for real estate investors, and hes seen plenty Do you see watermarks on the foundation?of truly shocking remodels. The biggest problem I see is in the electrical, Gibbs says. The remodelers Does the ground slope toward the house?are not doing anything near code. Some of the most common problems: Does it smell or feel damp under the house? Failing to update wiring when adding rooms or circuits.What if your prospective home passes all these tests? Making dangerous connections that arent up to code. You might be tempted to save money by forgoing a Failing to add enough circuits to cope with todays households.professional inspection, particularly in a white-hot market where other bidders are waiving this step. ResistFor instance, its not uncommon for kitchen remodelers to spend a fortune on countertops and that impulse. There are still plenty of less obvious signs,appliances while skimping on the electrical. You can see if theres a problem by simply turning on visible only to professional eyes, that a home has trouble.a lot of appliances at once and watching what blows. Or you can take a look at the electrical panel. Think of it as cheap insurance: A few hundred dollars If theyve had a major remodel and the circuit breaker panel doesnt look new, says Gibbs,spent now could save you a fortune later. you need to be suspicious.Courtesy of MSN Money online. Copyright 2006.For more information, visit remax.com. 5. RE/MAX RETURN ON RENO INDEX Exclusively from RE/MAX, the Smart Renovator Return on Reno Index is a simple tool designed to help you get the most value out of every renovating dollar you spend. We took a look at the various renovations homeowners commonly perform and then reported the return on investment (ROI) based on a variety of criteria including the value of the home, the value of similar homes in the neighborhood, the availability of homes in the area, the rate at which property values are rising and common expectations of consumers in that market . We learned down to the dollar what different renovations deliver. But we also discovered that the relative return on investment changes based on project scope, scale and materials.BATHROOM REMODEL Midrange MaterialsMASTER SUITE ADDITION Midrange Materials REGIONRI O REGIONRI O National Average84.9% National Average72.6% Midwest Average 73.3% Midwest Average 62.6% Minneapolis-St Paul, MN 87.7% Minneapolis-St Paul, MN 69.0% Milwaukee-Racine, WI79.0% Milwaukee-Racine, WI61.1% Madison, WI 78.4% Madison, WI 80.3%KITCHEN REMODEL Midrange Materials SIDING REPLACEMENT REGIONRI O REGIONRI O National Average80.4% National Average87.2% Midwest Average 70.2% Midwest Average 80.9% Minneapolis-St Paul, MN 83.4% Minneapolis-St Paul, MN 93.5% Milwaukee-Racine, WI74.5% Milwaukee-Racine, WI83.3% Madison, WI 85.6% Madison, WI 92.9%BASEMENT REMODEL WINDOW REPLACEMENT REGIONRI O REGIONRI O National Average78.8% National Average83.7% Midwest Average 65.6% Midwest Average 76.5% Minneapolis-St Paul, MN 77.0% Minneapolis-St Paul, MN 81.2% Milwaukee-Racine, WI66.1% Milwaukee-Racine, WI70.3% Madison, WI 66.5% Madison, WI 96.6%FAMILY ROOM ADDITION ROOFING REPLACEMENT REGIONRI O REGIONROI National Average71.5% National Average 73.9% Midwest Average 61.3% Midwest Average60.4% Minneapolis-St Paul, MN 67.7% Minneapolis-St Paul, MN 66.8% Milwaukee-Racine, WI63.0% Milwaukee-Racine, WI 55.4% Madison, WI 70.3% Madison, WI65.6%Sources: National Association of Realtors-Realtor.Org-Realtor Magazine, Cost vs. Value Report, 2006; MSN Real Estate, 2006; CMHC, 2004-2006; RE/MAX.CA, 2004. Special thanks to Hanley-Wood LLC for the product...</p>
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