Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Home Renovations

Get the best bang for your renovation buck

More and more, market-savvy homeowners are spending thousands of dollars on home improvements, just to turn around in a short period and put the property up for sale.  Renovations may not sound like a novel idea in terms of adding market value to your home.  However, knowing how and where to use your money can help you achieve the best return on your investment by delivering an improved listing price when the time comes to sell.

The two most prominent areas of your home that will affect its selling appeal are the kitchen and bathrooms, so these are two prime areas to focus on if you’re looking for the biggest bang for your renovating bucks.  For bathrooms, if you’re looking to improve resale value, then focus your efforts first on the main floor bath or powder room.  Buyers decide on a home within the first few minutes, and it will be the only one they will have seen in that time.  Besides, it’s usually the bathroom all your visitors use and it’s typically small – perhaps a half bathroom – so it’s a good place to splurge and achieve maximum impact for a relatively low expenditure.  After the main floor, the master bath is most worthy of premium fixtures and upgrades, because that’s the one prospective buyers will visualize themselves using.  For these two rooms, you don’t necessarily have to break the bank by replacing tubs and sinks.  New products such as porcelain tub paint or even a full insert that mounts on top of your existing tub can give your bathroom a fresh as new look.  Where it will pay off in the end to spend some money is with new, modern faucets and perhaps a new light fixture. 

No other fixture in the home gets more use than the kitchen faucet – so don’t skimp here!  A good idea is to choose one of the latest washer less styles that minimize internal seals and components that can wear out.  Spend the extra couple of dollars on stylish, advanced faucets that will give years of leak-free service.  While the plumbing for the faucets are out, you might decide to replace the kitchen sink – a good investment if yours is showing signs of obvious wear. 

The countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms are another guaranteed-return home improvement.  If the cost seems a little daunting, don’t be discouraged.  New melamine paints can rejuvenate an outdated counter surface with today’s new cool neutral shades.  If your counter is scratched and worn, there are new countertops available today, which are custom ordered pieces according to your specifications that are placed over top of your existing counter.  The end result is a low cost, limited effort alternative that gives you the look of solid granite!

Reposted with permission from

Monday, 4 April 2011

Buyer's Remorse

Last week I mentioned the importance of pre-approval. This step in the home buying process is important because it puts you in a position to receive sound financial advice from a professional before making an impulsive decision. Buyer's remorse happens when a person buys a house and then has regrets about it. The number one reason is due to financial strain. Numerous questions run through buyer's minds when experiencing buyer's remorse, such as "Did I pay too much for my home?" and many others. I've seen new home buyers all excited to have found " THE HOUSE ", make an offer on impulse and then feel depressed about it later. This is because they acted on impulse and when reality sets in they realise they might have spent a little more than what is "comfortable" for them. In order to avoid buyer's remorse I always recommend people first get pre-approved, secondly set out in writing a comfortable budget, third leave room for savings and most importantly deal with a sales representative who wont push or encourage you to make an impulsive decision just to close a deal.

For more information contact me,

Nathan Sckopke


Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Benefits of Pre-Approval

I always encourage everyone to get pre-approval before purchasing a home, it doesn't matter if you're a first time home buyer or on your second or third home. By getting pre-approved you will know how much you can afford and save yourself and your agent valuable time by shopping within your price range. First-time home buyers will have peace of mind when making an offer to purchase. It'll also give you the opportunity to establish your monthly budget before discovering you can't afford the house you just saw and fell in love with. When getting pre-approved you lock yourself in with the current interest rate for 120 days. If interest rates were to rise you are worry free and if they should get lower you can always renegotiate for that lower rate. You can feel secure knowing you wont have to pay more than what you need to when you find your home and make an offer to purchase. The best part of all is that you will avoid the stress of last minute financing, while having received sound mortgage advice.

Nathan Sckopke

You can contact me with any questions via e-mail at

Sunday, 20 March 2011

First Home Purchase

Renting or owning? A home is an investment that can appreciate over time. I often encourage couples or individuals who are renting and established in their careers to explore the concept of purchasing their first home. It can be an overwhelming task but with the right Real Estate Sales Representative and Mortgage Specialist easing the transition into home ownership it's well worth it.
Let's explore the numbers based on a $1,200 monthly rental payment and 3% annual rental increase. After five years you will have paid your landlord $76,452 and have no equity. If you were to purchase a $ 200,000 home with a 5% interest rate, after five years you will have accumulated $70,409 in mortgage payments but you will have $54,591 in cumulative equity. Meaning if you were to sell your house you could be potentially walking away with $ 54,591 minus any realtor, lawyer and other selling related costs.
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