Category: Home improvement

One of the many benefits of owning your own home is the freedom to find your ‘furever’ friend. By pointing out the aspects of your home that make it ‘pet-friendly’ in your listing, you’ll attract these buyers rather than alienate the 61% of American households that have a pet! If you are one of the many homeowners looking to list your home for sale, how do you stand out to the millions of pet parents searching for their dream homes? Whether a dog person, a cat person, or someone who prefers the company of another pet species, 99% of pet owners say that they consider their animal to be family. When finding a home, 95% of animal owners believe it is important that a housing community allows animals. A recent study by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revealed that there are many aspects of the home buying, selling and owning experience that have been greatly impacted by American’s love for their pets. This should come as no surprise as $66.75 billion was spent on pets in the U.S in 2016, with $70 billion projected for 2017. NAR’s President William E. Brown shed some light on the impact of pet owners and their home search,

“In 2016, 61 percent of U.S. households either have a pet or plan to get one in the future, so it is important to understand the unique needs and wants of animal owners when it comes to homeownership. REALTORS® understand that when someone buys a home, they are buying it with the needs of their whole family in mind; ask pet owners, and they will enthusiastically agree that their animals are part of their family.”

The Power of Pets When Choosing the Right Home

  • 89% of pet owners say they would not give up their pet due to a housing restriction
  • 81% of Americans say their pets play a role in their housing situation
  • 31% of animal owners have refused to put in an offer on a home because it wasn’t a good fit for their animals
  • 19% of Americans say they would consider moving for their pet
  • 12% percent have moved for their pet

New home builders have actually begun installing retractable pet gates that tuck away neatly inside door jams as a highly requested feature in new homes to attract pet-parents, according to Builder.com. So, if you are a homeowner looking to sell in today’s pet-friendly environment, point out the features of your home that will attract pet owners:

  • Fully fenced in backyard – (91% of pet owners ranked this as the most important feature of a home to accommodate their pet)
  • Locations of dog parks/walking paths/pet-friendly beaches in the area (71% ranked this as the top feature of any neighborhood they would consider)
  • Proximity to veterinarians/groomers/pet supply stores (31%)

Bottom Line

Americans love their pets and will look for pet-friendly features in the home they wish to buy, so take advantage of this knowledge by pointing out your home’s ability to meet their needs.

So, you’ve decided to sell your house. You’ve hired a real estate professional to help you with the entire process, and they have asked you what level of access you want to provide to potential buyers. There are four elements to a quality listing. At the top of the list is Access, followed by Condition, Financing, and Price. There are many levels of access that you can provide to your agent so that he or she can show your home.

Here are five levels of access that you can give to buyers, along with a brief description:

  1. Lockbox on the Door – this allows buyers the ability to see the home as soon as they are aware of the listing, or at their convenience.
  2. Providing a Key to the Home – although the buyer’s agent may need to stop by an office to pick up the key, there is little delay in being able to show the home.
  3. Open Access with a Phone Call – the seller allows showing with just a phone call’s notice.
  4. By Appointment Only (example: 48 Hour Notice) – Many buyers who are relocating for a new career or promotion start working in that area prior to purchasing their home. They often like to take advantage of free time during business hours (such as their lunch break) to view potential homes. Because of this, they may not be able to plan their availability far in advance or may be unable to wait 48 hours to see the house.
  5. Limited Access (example: the home is only available on Mondays or Tuesdays at 2pm or for only a couple of hours a day) – This is the most difficult way to be able to show your house to potential buyers.

In a competitive marketplace, access can make or break your ability to get the price you are looking for, or even sell your house at all.

Thanks to Keeping Current Matters for this information!

Kaitlin Krull

As the twenty-first century progresses, homes are becoming more high-tech and automated. While we haven’t quite reached Star Trek levels of technology in our homes yet, we at Home Improvement Leads think one of the best things about advancing technology in the home is the rapid development of products and materials that help save the environment. Eco-friendly residential design features like solar panels, energy efficient windows and appliances, and sustainable building materials help homeowners do their part to reduce carbon emissions while saving them money at the same time. Here are just a few of the latest eco-friendly home design features you may find in homes like yours in 2017.

 

Building integrated photovoltaics

Every year, more Americans are taking the leap into solar power for their homes. Renewable energy is important for several reasons, including the reduction of carbon emissions given off by traditionally designed buildings and our energy-heavy lifestyles. The latest technology in residential solar power includes photovoltaic panels that are built into the roof itself, making them less conspicuous and offering a more fluid design. Energy powerhouse Elon Musk of Tesla has just introduced a range of solar roofing tiles that will soon make its way into the product catalogs of solar providers throughout the country, changing the face of solar as we know it.

via Fortune

 

Solar batteries

Another advantage of using renewable energy in the home is the ability to store any extra power collected by solar panels to be used later. In addition to producing an innovative solution for solar panels, Tesla has also introduced a second version of its Powerwall—a solar battery for the home—in order to help make homes self sufficient. Solar batteries like these store unused solar energy and can be used to power the home for an extended period of time, making them perfect for off-grid living and eco-friendly homes.

via Tesla

 

Net-zero energy

New homes in particular have seen an upswing in the ultra-sustainable form of building design and construction known as net-zero energy. The goal with net-zero energy buildings is to produce as much energy as is consumed and to have no outstanding carbon emissions. This is accomplished through a variety of environmentally friendly and low energy use practices, including passive solar design (taking into consideration factors such as house direction in relation to the sun and natural shade), sustainable building practices and materials, and the regular use of a renewable energy source.

 

Sustainable building materials

Now more than ever, homeowners are choosing locally sourced, sustainable building materials for home renovation projects and new homes. These considerations not only lower the carbon footprint of a building project but also help the local economy at the same time. As noted above, choosing sustainable products and materials is one of the first and most essential steps in the net-zero energy building process and will instantly increase your home’s eco-friendly status.

Eco-friendly roofing materials

While thinking about the energy efficiency of materials used to construct your home seems straightforward, homeowners often forget to take into consideration the type of roofing their home has and its impact on the environment. Metallic and tile-based roofing materials and light colors can keep your home cooler in the summer by reflecting the sun’s rays, while heavier materials such as asphalt and fiber cement can withstand colder temperatures and give an insulating layer to your roof in the winter. Homeowners who really want to embrace an environmentally friendly lifestyle may opt for a living roof—which is covered in vegetation—to reduce their carbon footprint, blend in with their natural surroundings, and regulate the temperature in their home.

Courtni Wisenbaker-Scheel

 

A recent study by the National Association of Home Builders concluded that the typical homeowner stays in their house for only 13 years before selling, as opposed to the 30+ years from decades past. That’s why we at Home Improvement Leads know that it’s important to consider how each renovation will impact your home’s value and resale potential, in addition to your personal style, before the first hammer is swung. With these six renovation projects, though, you are sure to have both.

 

Increasing Energy Efficiency

In previous years, energy efficiency wasn’t a top priority for homeowners. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case, and any realtor will tell you that most potential buyers are willing to pay more for a home that touts exceptional energy savings. These renovations can be as simple as laying fiberglass attic insulation or as innovative as installing solar panels. No idea what improvements your home needs? A certified energy auditor can help you determine which upgrades will give you the best savings possible.

 

Window Replacements

Get the comfort you want by replacing worn-out windows with replacements that are approved by Energy Star. In most cases, any expense isn’t recouped through increased property value gets made up for in energy savings, making this renovation a double win.

 

Kitchen Upgrades

For most families, the kitchen is the heart of the home. If yours does little to inspire creativity, consider opting for a minor kitchen update rather than a full renovation—it’ll save both time and money while still yielding a strong ROI. Simply reface your cabinetry, upgrade modestly with your appliances, and replace your flooring and countertops to make your kitchen feel like new again.

 

Outdoor Living

Our homes are so much more than what exists under one roof. Beautiful landscaping and the addition of a backyard deck will not only yield your family hours of enjoyment, but an impressive ROI, too. The national average for new construction costs are more than $85 per square foot. Depending on the materials you choose, a new deck can run you as little as $15 per square foot while boosting your property value by close to $9,000.

 

Attic Conversions

Little does more to make your home more appealing to potential buyers than by having ample bedrooms. Converting unused attic space into a sophisticated bedroom will increase the available living space within your home without having to take on the financial burden that comes with building a new addition. Though this renovation has the potential to run close to $65,000, you can expect to recoup more than 60 percent of that whenever you choose to sell.

 

Smaller Projects with Big Returns

A bigger budget doesn’t always translate into a higher ROI. In fact, smaller projects like replacing your garage doors or your front door have the potential to recoup more than 90 percent of the renovation expense in increased property value. Plus, projects like these are relatively easy to DIY and can be completed in a weekend, which saves you labor costs, too.

 

By thinking of the future when you make your home renovation plans, you’ll get the home of your dreams now and an ROI that will keep you smiling for years to come.