Guide to Buying Mid-Century Modern Homes in San Diego

Guide to Buying Mid-Century Modern Homes in San Diego

Unlike many areas of the country, the San Diego real estate market isn’t known for newly constructed homes. Instead buyers have a much larger selection of mid-century modern homes from the 1950s and 1960s across many of the city’s neighborhoods. The style really took off after World War II when San Diego was growing. Some of the greatest architects and developers of the time, including Lloyd Ruocco and Joseph Eichler, have made their mark in San Diego. But many more lesser known builders also created stunning mid century modern homes in San Diego with a much lower price tag. Now that these homes are 50+ years old buyers have to make special considerations before putting in an offer. The list below outlines what to look for to find a truly unique home that’s a part of San Diego history and worth the list price. Homes With Mid Century Modern Features Over the years some mid century modern homes were updated, which detracted from the characteristic features that the style is known for. Most of the time updates are a good thing, but when buying mid century modern homes the more original it is the better. Some of the features to look for include: ·  High ceilings with beams ·  Floor to ceiling windows that connect the indoor and outdoor living spaces ·  Birch wood panels and accents ·  Natural construction materials ·  Open living spaces ·  Skylights ·  Atriums There are also distinct landscaping features such as Phyllostachys aurea bamboo that were common when mid century modern homes were first built. Since the design focused on blending the outdoors with the indoors, the outside living space is just as important as what’s inside. Electrical System Considerations in Mid Century Modern Homes Fortunately, by the 1950s complete electrical systems were the norm in newly built homes. However, the electrical needs of a home 50 or 60 years ago was far less than what it is today. You’ll need to take a look at the electrical panel. It was common decades ago for the main service panel to only be rated for 60-100 AMPs. If that’s the case the home may need an electrical system upgrade, especially if there are more than a few people living in the home. A second issue to consider is the safety of the electrical system. Most systems weren’t grounded back in the 1950s and 1960s. A telltale sign of this is electrical outlets that only have two prong holes. If this is the case you’ll definitely want to consider upgrading the system, which is typically at least a few thousand dollars. Another thing to look out for is the number of outlets. The lack of outlets will probably be most notable in the kitchen where families used to only have a toaster sitting on the countertop. If you’re upgrading the system adding GFCI receptacles will improve the safety. Older Heating and Cooling Systems, Plus Insulation Buyers in San Diego are fortunate that the temperate climate makes aging heating and cooling components less of an issue compared to other regions. Many of the city’s mid century modern homes still have their original furnaces. If you don’t plan to use it then it can just stay where it is. But if you do want extra heat on...

read more

A Silent Storm: Things That Could Be Living in Your Home’s Air Ducts

A Silent Storm: Things That Could Be Living in Your Home’s Air Ducts

Most people don’t give the air ducts in their homes much thought. But, they can host some terrible, unhealthy, things like mold, dirt, dust, insects, bacteria and viruses, and animals. Here’s how to keep those ducts clean so you and your family stay healthy. What Cleaning And Inspecting Can Do For You Many people wonder whether they should get their ducts cleaned and why it’s necessary. Indoor air quality is something many businesses and homeowners have wondered about for years. Ducts that are really dirty need to be cleaned semi-regularly. The EPA recommends cleaning ducts if and when they are contaminated. Many HVAC companies recommend cleaning ducts regularly, perhaps once a year or once every other year. For example, an air conditioning unit could be cleaned in the spring, before summer hits. This would prep the system for cooling all summer long. Most HVAC companies will come out to your home to perform a basic inspection prior to cleaning. Then, they will pull apart some of the HVAC to inspect it, clean out any debris, inspect the condenser, coils, and fan unit. In the fall, before winter, your HVAC contractor would come out to clean the system again to prepare it for the cold. If there are any problems found, the company would recommend repairs or replacement of the broken parts. If a new system is needed, the company would also recommend and install a new model. When To Get Your System Professionally Cleaned If you believe the EPA, you don’t need your duct system cleaned and maintained outside of a normal cleaning when things get dirty. But, where the EPA and duct renovation, energy efficiency specialists in the industry agree is that HVAC systems should probably be cleaned when: You have animals. When you have an invasion of rats, mice, or other little critters, it’s a good idea to clean it out – the whole thing. Your HVAC system won’t work properly, and waste products from rodents could make your family sick. Flexible ducts should be sealed off and replaced as there may be damage or debris in the which cannot be cleaned or repaired. You renovate the place. Anytime you renovate your home, you should take precautions to prevent dust and other contaminants, from getting into the air. For example, if you are planning to have lead or asbestos removed, you need to seal off the ducting system so that lead particles, and fine asbestos fibers, are not pulled into the HVAC system and circulated throughout the house. There is mold. Mold spores are everywhere. You can’t stop them. But, you can minimize the risk they pose to your family by having your HVAC system checked when you suspect there may be mold growth. If you see signs of mold in the house, it’s time to have the system checked and cleaned. If you do suspect mold, have your whole house checked, and go to your doctor for testing to see if you’re experiencing any of the side effects of mold poisoning (toxins released by mold). There are contaminants. If you notice debris, pet hair, odors, or anything else being released into the room through the air ducts, you may need to hire a professional to come in and clean the entire system. Someone is ill. When...

read more

That 70’s Home: Using Retro Decor to Make Every Room Pop

That 70’s Home: Using Retro Decor to Make Every Room Pop

The 70s are back.  With so many new trends popping up all over the place, from fashion to automobiles and even the continuing phablet trend in smartphones, it’s surprising that the 1970s are making a comeback when it comes to home decor. If you’ve secretly waited your whole life for this era to return, here’s how to make your home groovy again. Use Colors In Small Doses In the 1970s, kitchens were a splash of chrome amidst a sea of color. Oranges, greens, yellows, and browns – you remember that, right? Well, if you’re shopping Ikea, you can get the Orange Vilmar chair and bring it all back to life. Of course, be prepared for funny looks from your friends. When redecorating, it’s probably a good idea to stick to “pops” of color, rather than an entire makeover. In other words, keep the walls of the house light or white, and use the bright chairs to accent the softness of the room. Break Out The Bean Bags Fombag bean bags make a statement, and they’re not that expensive. You remember bean bags, right? Well, now you can outfit your living room or game room with them. No, they’re not going to replace a couch (unless you’re single), but they are a lot of fun, and great seats for kids or for when you just want a place to curl up and read a book. Most bags range from between £50 and £250, but larger bags can cost £400 or more. Still, if you’re looking for something small, it’s going to cost you less than a comparable chair. Make A Statement In The Bedroom We’re talking big, bold, prints here (get your mind out of the gutter). For a retro chic look, you can’t go wrong outfitting your bed with Scribble Stem bedding. At just £28, it’s an affordable way to bring back vintage colors. You could also incorporate  matching duvet covers, pillowcases, and throw pillows. Bring Back The Rock Walls Another popular theme in the 1970s was glam rock. If you’re not familiar with it, here it is in a nutshell: Glam rock was a particular type of music that was popular back then. Inspired themes bled over into wallpaper, which was also popular. Designs varies, with most of them being quite busy. But, that was the style. “Do The Stretch Mustard” is one throwback that’s busy enough to keep you interested, but not so busy that you will regret your life decision. Inspired Country Cottage Kitchen Not everything from the ‘70s was colorful and glitzy. Some of the pieces from that time were about appreciating craftsmanship and rediscovering the past. Pine furniture took off during this time because it was inexpensive and could be handcrafted. By the end of the decade, the pine dresser was a staple in most households. This two-piece dresser is an example of styling that you would use to recreate this look. A Sunburst Clock This was actually pretty popular in the 1950s and ‘60s. But, because the styling was so fashion-forward, it remained a staple in many homes well into the ‘70s. No kitchen wall was complete without a sunburst clock. And, you can get your very own: the Newgate Pluto Wall Clock. A Decadent Chair The Statesman Chair was launched in 1960,...

read more

4 Types of Items that can be Keeping Your Home Unclean

4 Types of Items that can be Keeping Your Home Unclean

Most people would love to have a super clean home, and many probably assume that their home is actually extremely clean. However, what most people fail to realize is that a clean home goes beyond what the untrained eye can see. A number of items in your home may actually be keeping it unclean. If you want to truly experience a clean house, you need to be aware of the following. HVAC You can’t see the air in your home, but it’s possibly riddled with dirt, dust, and bacteria. Even if you vacuum or have an air purifier, dirt and dander can get into your HVAC system and your air ducts, which allows them to travel throughout your home freely. Luckily, there are measures you can take to eliminate this hidden dirt. The first thing you should do is ensure that you have a HEPA filter on your furnace. This will trap more dirt and dust particles and keep them from traveling throughout your home. You should also call a professional HVAC technician and allow them to inspect your central air system or clean your ductwork. This too will help remove the hidden dirt and keep your home clean.   Knobs There are more knobs and handles in your home than you realize, and chances areyou can’t remember the last time you cleaned them. However, items like the kitchen cabinet handle or the bathroom door knob are touched more often than you think, which means that germs and bacteria are constantly being placed on and transferred from these areas. The next time you clean your home, make it a point to wipe down knobs and handles to keep bacteria and germs from spreading. Pet Toys and Beds If you have pets, you know how much of a pain it can be to clean up after them. However, even if you vacuum your floors and brush and wash your pet, your furry friend could still be the culprit of an unclean home. The reason? You probably don’t clean their toys or their beds often (or at all), which means these items harbor dust, dander, and a variety of other unclean particulates. Make sure you start washing your pet’s bed at least once a week, and try to remember to wash pet toys in hot water every week or two to keep them—and your home—clean. Gadgets In a world run by technology, we all have a variety of gizmos and gadgets spread about our homes. But how often do you actually clean them? Think about how often you type on your computer, scroll on your tablet, or click the remote. Then, think about how many other people do the same? Germs and bacteria are resting on the gadgets in your home and sometimes being spread around. Make sure you wipe these items down regularly in order to keep your home clean. Keep Your Eyes Peeled Having a clean home is more than just vacuuming and dusting the obvious areas. There are plenty of places that you likely overlook that could be hosting bacteria and dirt. Try tostay aware of these dirty areas and make it a point to clean them for a spotless home.  ...

read more

No Regrets: A Step-by-Step Mini-Guide for Painless Downsizing

No Regrets: A Step-by-Step Mini-Guide for Painless Downsizing

Most people see having a large home in a positive light, but it doesn’t always make sense when financial, social or personal circumstances and goals change. Downsizing provides a more than adequate solution, often getting individuals on course for the life they truly want. A preparatory look at the advantages and process of downsizing can get you into your smaller home without painful regrets. What Downsizing Offers When you bite the bullet and downsize your property, you’ll reap a long list of benefits. For starters, you’ll keep more money in your wallet. Smaller properties typically are cheaper in terms of rent or mortgage payments, and they also can mean reduced heating or other utility costs. Additional savings can come from reduced maintenance requirements, as there’s not as much to keep in shape. Some homeowners find that they profit because they don’t fall prey to the “big plate” phenomenon–just as people feel compelled to fill large dinnerware with more food than they would with a smaller plate, individuals occasionally overspend in an effort to decorate or fill a larger property. Secondly, as you downsize, you make decisions about what really matters to you. You get rid of “junk” you don’t use through recycling, sale, donation or trash, and you keep only the items that have some significance or purpose. With fewer pieces around you dividing your attention, it’s much easier to appreciate what you have, connecting to a fuller sense of being and direction in your life. The lack of clutter also contributes to easier focus in everyday tasks, which can end up saving you time or improving results. Downsizing can reduce the amount of stress you feel, both in the short and long term. For example, the financial savings downsizing yields might let you put more money into your investments, boosting your confidence about your retirement years. Having less to clean, maintain and arrange for also frees up time, which means you can pursue activities that are fulfilling and relaxing to you. This includes spending time with the people you love. You might also find that downsizing opens up your creativity. A smaller space might require you to organize yourself in innovative ways, for example. You also might decorate in ways you otherwise wouldn’t to bring out the best of your new home, experimenting with a more urban or eclectic approach to your décor. Lastly, downsizing can be an excellent path to travel freedom. Smaller homes usually come with less to arrange for, and there often is less of a need to stick around for significant periods of time. If you’ve ever had the itch to see the world, saying goodbye to a large property might literally give you the ticket to see new horizons. Steps to Going Small You shouldn’t start downsizing unless you’re absolutely sure you’re committed to it. Thus, the first step in the process is to make a list of goals–that is, identify for yourself exactly what you want to accomplish, such as being able to concentrate on family. This tactic will keep you centered when uncertainties, delays or other difficulties arise. Then go through your house and make a list of all the belongings and documents you consider as being in line with those goals. These are the items and pieces of paperwork you...

read more

Sudden Relocation: What to Do With Your Home for a Quick Move

Sudden Relocation: What to Do With Your Home for a Quick Move

Relocating to a new city is a major decision. Sometimes, you have little to do with it — it’s made for you. You could find yourself promoted, laid off, or faced with a family situation where your presence is required in another city. While it could be nice to have the luxury of an extended period of time to work out how to make the change, sometimes, this is simply impossible. Military families often face the challenge of having to quickly get moving when there is an unexpected deployment. The basic question to answer: do you sell your home or rent it out? The decision of what to do with your home shouldn’t come down to questions of emotional investment; most families simply cannot afford to think with their hearts when it comes to the highest value asset that they possess. Your decision, rather, should be all about what you have financially invested in the home. A couple of considerations apply to the decision that you take. Think about your equity in your home: Selling your home to take out the equity that you have in it is usually the lowest possible risk. Property values tend to fluctuate, and hanging on to a home may or may not work out if you are unable to pay close attention to the way the market behaves in the neighborhood. In many cases, though, selling turns out to not be a viable option. For instance, if home values are depressed in your neighborhood, selling would yield little, especially if the price that you would get would barely cover repaying the mortgage. In such a case, you’ll have the choice made for you: you’ll need to find tenants. Thinking about the state of the rental market: It isn’t just a home’s market value that is likely to fluctuate from one month to the next. Rental values change, as well. It can be good idea to speak to a lettings agent in your neighborhood to find out what kind of rental income you can look forward to, and how hard it might be to find a tenant. You need to make sure that the rent covers the property tax, general upkeep and mortgage payments. If the rent that you get doesn’t appear capable of supporting these expenses, it could be good idea to sell. You do need to take into account the fact that you won’t be around to take care of tenant installation and maintenance. You’ll need to use a lettings agent, and factor in commissions and management fees. In most cases, an online calculator tends to be helpful. Whichever way you lean, you need to act quickly If you decide to sell, it makes sense to sign up with a trusted real estate agency (find more information at Palmer Snell) to take care of preparation work to put the home up for sale, and to take care of the actual showings, open house events and other formalities. Whether or not you plan to find a real estate agent, it’s usually important for at least one spouse to stay behind, to take care of all formalities. If it’s a rental, though, you can usually completely leave the deal to the agency. It doesn’t make sense to simply install a tenant in your home...

read more

Be Green This Winter: Smart Yet Simple Ways to Warm Your Home With Less Energy

Be Green This Winter: Smart Yet Simple Ways to Warm Your Home With Less Energy

Keeping the home warm will be one of your main concerns this coming winter. But how can you keep you and your family warm without spending a fortune on your energy bills? Professional insulation is a great option, but it does not come cheap. Fortunately, if you are not in a position to get your home insulated, there are a number of simple techniques that you can use to keep your home warm whatever the weather. Dress Warm One of the simplest things that you can do to stay warm at home is to dress in suitable clothing. This means wearing large sweaters during the day and warm pajamas at night, like Sleepyheads footed pajamas, which are especially suitable for kids. Also keep feet warm by using snug socks. Use Thick Curtains Windows lose a lot of heat during the night. Double glazing is great if you have it, but it can also be expensive. To reduce the amount of heat lost through your windows, purchase some thick curtains. These can really help to keep the house warm, especially the ones with thermal lining. Block Drafts Drafts under doors can seriously lower the temperature in the room. Warm air rises, pulling in colder air, and these drafts can make it always feel like it is never quite warm enough. If you detect any drafts, there are many ways to block them. You could buy a dedicated blocker, or you could simply cover the gap below the door with clothing. You may also want to invest in covers for keyholes, letterboxes, and cat flaps. Let the Sunlight In During the day, make sure you open the curtains and let the sunlight in. Direct sunlight can really help to warm your home in the winter, and it is free heat that you should make use of. Just make sure that you close the curtains as soon as it gets dark. Block Your Chimney If you do not use your fireplace, you may be losing a lot of heat up the chimney. If so, you can block purely decorative chimneys by using a chimney balloon. These go up the chimney and are inflated until they block the space. Just make sure you remove it before lighting a fire. Make the Most of Your Radiators Stick tinfoil on the walls behind your radiators. This will reflect the heat back into the room, and it can be very effective. You can just use standard foil, or you can buy a special product for this purpose. Place a shelf directly above radiators if you have high ceilings (but don’t fit it too close). This can help to send the warm air back into the room rather than straight up to the ceiling. Don’t place the sofa and large chairs directly in front of radiators. These will absorb the heat and prevent the warm air from filling the room. Install Roof Insulation Insulation can be costly, but if you are going to invest in one, make it roof insulation. This is relatively affordable, and it can help to prevent a lot of heat loss through the roof. Use a Ceiling Fan Use the fan in the winter? It sounds counterintuitive, but it can actually be a smart move. If you have a winter setting on your...

read more

Perfect Carpets for Perfect Homes: Choosing the right carpet

Perfect Carpets for Perfect Homes: Choosing the right carpet

So you’ve decided to choose carpet over wood floors, tiles, marble, linoleum or bare cement. Great choice. Any idea how to go accomplish it? Figures. It’s true, no matter how great your furniture, wall treatments and window coverings are, one look at the scraped, beat up floor can destroy a room’s character. And while some flooring is renewable, a very old or low quality carpet will do more harm than good in your home. Aesthetically and medically speaking. With so many colors, materials and designs available, it can be tough to pick the best carpet for your home. Carpets and Home Design Carpets are available in many styles, including Berber, Saxony, frieze and textured. While each style has a distinctive look, that shouldn’t be your primary consideration. Instead, pick one based on your home’s inherent design. Narrow your search by selecting shades that blend well with the overall tone or mood youwant to set for each room.Try greens or cool blues to create calm and peaceful setting. Light colors can make small rooms feel more open and larger. Before choosing a neutral shade, decide whether you want your carpet to serve as a focal point or fade into the background.Do this ONLY if your furnishings, walls or artworks serve as focal points – or it will destroy the room’s character. Dark shades or shapes can hide stains, as can textured or tweed carpet designs.For all-out versatility, use carpet tiles to form your own outlines and designs, or to put a border around the border of the room. Carpets and Indoor Air Quality Very few carpets are made from natural products, and the process they go through to create them is sometimes less natural – cheap or low-quality carpets are generally created using chemicals that can cause health issues in the long run when released into the air in your home. An older carpet is a huge turn-off for any room design. Besides heavy dust, tearing, smell and even molds (yes molds), it can pose health risks as well. As a bonus, I included a few do’s and don’ts tips to keep your carpet in all its glory. Essential Tough Carpet Stain Dos Do work from the outside of a stain goingto the middle. Don’t help spread the stain by beginningin the middle. Do be tough on rough stains. Use rags, brushes, towels, your fingers, and even your toes to apply cleaning chemicals into tough stains. Do let your carpet breathe. Leaving chemicals or treatments on a tough carpet stain for a period of 15-30 minutes can enhance their effectiveness. A Few Tough Carpet Stain Don’ts Don’t rub carpet stains. If you’re at the scene of the crime right when it occurs, treat the stain with a clean towel. If you find it later, pour cold water over the stain to loosen it up. Don’t overlook household remedies. Using slightquantities of household chemicals or cleaners like hydrogen peroxide, dishwasher detergent, ammonia, vinegar, or bleach mixed with water can help you tackle tough stains. Don’t use ammonia with tea or coffee stains. Applying cleaning solutions that have ammonia will only make tea or coffee stains worse. Where to get your carpet So where do you get new carpets for your home? Simple. Carpets are available in many hardware stores, malls and...

read more

Things To Check Before You Buy A Home

Things To Check Before You Buy A Home

Your home is likely to be the biggest investment that you ever make – so it’s important to get one that you’re comfortable with. That covers a number of factors, ranging from choosing the right design to making sure the proper maintenance has been carried out on the property. Get it wrong and you’ll regret it for a very long time – but get it right and you can look forward to living in your dream home. Make sure you check: 1. The state of the walls There are two main danger signs with walls: large cracks and obvious stains. Although very small cracks of only a millimetre or so across are unlikely to be of any real consequence, sizeable cracks are another matter. Check each wall visually, and if you see cracks more than about 2 mm in width, it’s time to ask for a professional building inspector to carry out a full check. You’ll need to check both outside and inside walls. A less serious, but still irritating, fault is discolouration or corrosion on walls that is due to leaking baths or showers. This doesn’t need to be regarded as a structural defect, but it will leave you facing a potentially large repair bill in order to get those walls looking pristine again. Make a particular check for moisture problems in walls backing onto bathrooms, especially if there is a shower on the facing wall. Hairline cracks often look like the marks you’ll find on an old map, and so are often known as “map cracks”. Although the exact causes of these vary, they’re most often caused by errors in plastering technique when the wall was first being constructed. It’s unusual to find only one wall affected in a home, so as soon as you find any thin cracks you should be on the look-out for more. Check behind wall-hung paintings and mirrors. 2. Look up as well as sideways Problems with ceilings and roofs can end up proving even more costly than wall faults to fix, so make sure you don’t neglect this. Sagging ceilings can be a particularly expensive problem to fix, so don’t skimp on examining these. Take a torch with you when you view the property and run its beam over the ceiling. This will help you to pinpoint any areas where the surface is not smooth. As a bonus, you may be able to detect more cracks this way. Then, go outside the house and take a walk all around it. Look at the guttering and drainpipes carefully, and follow each downpipe’s full length visually. If they simply discharge onto the ground, that’s a bad sign, as it can lead to flooding and water damage to paving or gardens. Choosing the right design in the first place is by far the better option. Assuming storm water soak wells are present, ensure that these are both clean and adequately sized. 3. Check that roofing fittings and wall holes are in good shape While outside the house, get close to the wall and look up. You should be able to tell whether the roof deviates significantly from a straight line. If it does so, it’s a bad sign as it generally indicates worn-out fittings which could need time-consuming and expensive rectification. Although it’s often...

read more

Moving Doesn’t Have to So Hard: Pointers to Problem-Proof the Whole Process

Moving Doesn’t Have to So Hard: Pointers to Problem-Proof the Whole Process

There are surely only a handful of us who actually look forward to moving home, or at least the process of shifting your possessions from one place to another and re-connecting all of your services. The idea of moving to a new area or home is certainly appealing to many of us but there are also plenty of us who might think twice before deciding to go ahead with a move, simply because of all the hassle involved with the whole process. Getting organized If you have decided to move yourself or at least pack everything yourself and then get someone to move them for you, you are going to need plenty of boxes and packaging materials. Packing your possessions yourself is probably going to save you money compared to the cost of hiring a moving firm, but you don’t want to lose any financial advantage by discovering that some items have become damaged in transit and have to be replaced. Plan ahead and start trying to accumulate enough boxes to pack everything in to. You can always buy boxes from a removals firm or another source but that can soon add to your moving costs, so an alternative would be to call in to a few places like furniture stores and other retailers who might have plenty of spare boxes that they might be prepared to let you have for free or a smaller cost than you would pay for new. There are actually some resources that help you track down free cardboard boxes and these are worth checking to see what is available at the time. Make moving in easier Another excellent tip to consider which will make the moving in process go more smoothly, is to create a labeling system for each box and a color code system for each room in your new house. A simple color-coding system that works by allocating a specific color to a certain room in your new home allows you to bring the box in and straight into the right room, ready for unpacking. One of the biggest hassles associated with moving is unpacking and being unable to find items you need straight away. With a simple system like this you will quickly help to eliminate this issue and it will make unpacking a lot less stressful. Connecting your services You will need to organize all of the usual services at your new home so that you have electricity and water up and running as soon as you arrive. It is also very difficult to function these days without having an internet connection and you don’t want to be hanging around waiting for this to be connected. Many providers such as Sudden Link cable internet can provide a moving service to get you set up and ready to go in line with your moving date, provided you give them plenty of notice in advance of your moving date. Review your bundle Moving home is a good opportunity to take advantage of any available upgrades or service bundles that are better than what you currently have in your existing home. Check to see what your current internet service provider can offer you in terms of a new deal and see whether you might be better off with another supplier or a...

read more

Home Construction: Planning Your Dream From the Ground Up

Home Construction: Planning Your Dream From the Ground Up

Many people like to think that they have a clear idea of the dream house they would like to build if they had the chance. Some of us decide to try and make that dream a reality and set about planning the design and construction of a property that fulfils all of their needs and desires. There are so many aspects involved in building your own home and before you consider setting out on the adventure that could bring you your dream home and a hefty bill that you need to be prepared for, there are some important points you will need to consider. Affordability Probably the biggest question that needs answering is whether your finances are robust enough to cope with the demands of a paying for the design and construction of your dream home, especially when you consider how many of these projects have a tendency to go over budget. When you put everything down on paper, everything that you want to do might look feasible and affordable, but there almost inevitably going to be unforeseen and hidden costs along the way that you probably will not have budgeted for. The rising cost of materials and unexpected additional construction costs after the project has begun, are just two common examples of where budgets can be busted and even dreams can sometimes turn into nightmares. You will need to be realistic with your ambitions so that they are in line with your finances and if you are prepared for some financial bumps in the road, this would be a better mindset to approach the project with rather than not anticipating any problems. Personal upheaval Another important consideration to think about is whether you are prepared for the personal upheaval and test of your patience that a self-build project will often result in. Time and patience are two things you will definitely need, as building a home from scratch will certainly take a lot longer than buying a finished one from a builder and you can normally expect at least 18 months or more of personal upheaval, including possibly living in temporary accommodation while you wait for your home to be finished. This can put a strain on personal relationships, so it is something that couples need to be unified about and understanding of what they are letting themselves in for, with the reward of a dream home at the end of the process to keep you going at the low points in the project. Appointing a builder You will be working closely with your architect and a builder over a considerable period of time, so you should aim to choose someone you have confidence in and feel that you can work with all the way. The architect will draw up the plans in accordance with your instructions and based on what the relevant plans will allow you to build on the plot you have acquired. After this part is done, it will be a case of searching out some suitable building firms to come and give you a detailed estimate on how much the construction of your home will actually cost. This figure will normally be expressed in a cost per square foot and this is sometimes hard to get a definitive figure on without going in to...

read more

Selling Your Home: Fast and Simply Last Minute Staging Tips

Selling Your Home: Fast and Simply Last Minute Staging Tips

A well- presented home is not only likely to bring in better offers, it may sell faster, and put you in a position of advantage in negotiations. Presenting a home in the best possible light with a view to better saleability is called staging, and it has developed into a fine art today, with homeowners going to lengths such as renting high-end furniture for an upmarket feel, and hiring actors to present their home as a wholesome place for a family. There are statistics that back up the effectiveness of these over-the-top efforts. According to real estate agencies like bairstoweves.co.uk these are not just idle statistics. One in three homeowners who stage their homes report rises in sale value by up to 5%. On average, homes that are staged tend to sell in a fifth of the time that it might take with an unstaged home. Staging doesn’t always need elaborate preparation If you only have time and money for a few essential changes, you should aim for areas that offer the greatest psychological effect of attractiveness. You could make the bathroom appear bigger by replacing an old vanity with a pedestal sink, put a beautiful brass screen in front of the fireplace, stain old kitchen cabinets in a new shade, put in new doorknobs and other hardware, and buy a couple of new appliances for the kitchen. The idea is to make changes in exactly the places that people tend to look. The sight of a new appliance in the kitchen, for instance, makes for an effective statement of the newness of the entire house. What if you don’t have time for any of this, though? Sometimes, potential buyers can begin coming in in mere days after you contact an estate agency, long before you’ve had a chance to invest in some of the more elaborate home staging measures that you have planned. You need to know what to do when the agency calls about a visit by prospective buyers within minutes. What can you do then? As it turns out, there’s plenty that you can do. Straighten things up right away Clutter or dirt can make it hard to put on a good show. You need to take a broom to the driveway, the steps, and the rest of the house. Clean the glass in the front door and on every front facing-window and clear out every trashcan. Pay special attention to the kitchen and the bathrooms When people come in to view a house, the kitchen and the bathroom are the places that they tend to look at the closest. These are special places with specific purposes, and they tend to stand out in the memory. A good job in these areas is half the battle won. Hang fresh towels in the bathroom, spritz some air freshener into the air and make sure that everything’s reasonably clean and dry. Clean out the refrigerator, and make sure that there are no dirty dishes in the kitchen sink, and clear up any clutter that you see there. Straighten up the bedrooms   Putting new sheets on your beds is one of the easiest ways to create appealing bedrooms. It’s also important to straighten out the closets, or, if you don’t have the time, to merely take anything that looks messy...

read more

Bone Dry: Smart Ways to Protect Your Home From Water Damage

Bone Dry: Smart Ways to Protect Your Home From Water Damage

Water is one of your worst enemies. It will ruin almost anything inside your home within minutes – sometimes seconds. What do you do to protect yourself? Here’s what you do: How To Secure Your Windows And Doors Windows and doors are prime suspects when it comes to leaks. Check all windows and doors for drafts. If you’ve got drafts, you’ve got places where water can seep in. But, even if you can’t feel drafts, you could still get water infiltration. Check for peeling paint, which can be a sign that water has already gotten through your window frame. Discolorations in the wood are also another clear sign that water has soaked into the wood. Check the caulking to see if it’s peeling back. Finally, inspect the windows and doors for any signs of swelling or warping. If you notice any damage, especially warping, you’ll need to replace your windows or doors. If you caught it early, you’re in luck. Most water infiltration problems can be solved with staining, waterproofing, and caulking. If you seal up cracks, openings, and potential infiltration points, you’ll go a long way toward preventing water infiltration. How To Keep Rain From Coming In From Above Your roof is another major point of entry. Repair or replace shingles around any area that allows the water to come in. Butterflies shingles should be replaced immediately. Common infiltration points on roofs include: ●        Flashing, especially around chimneys ●        Plumbing vents ●        Attic vents To track down the source of the leak, measure the location from the nearest outside wall and then locate the point in the attic using a measuring tape. Sometimes, water runs along an attic floor, rafters, or a truss before coming through the ceiling, so keep that in mind. Look for water damaged areas along the decking and rafters and try to follow the water back to the initial point of entry. You may need to replace more than just the shingles if the water has made it into the house. The only way to know the extent of the damage is to remove the shingles and inspect the roof and decking material. Dry out all of the decking as quickly as possible, and check for signs of water damage, mold, and mildew. If you see any signs of rotting, you need to replace the decking before installing new shingles. Securing Your Foundation Seal up any cracks and holes in external walls, joints, and foundations. Examine any locations where the piping or wiring extends through to the outside walls. This is most often where water comes in from the outside. Seal up any cracks and holes you might find. You may need to install waterproof, or water-resistant, grommets for cables that are run into and out of the home through the foundation. What To Do If You’ve Got Termites Termites can cause a lot of damage. Check for termite damage in the wood – your walls, beams, and flooring. Any wood that’s been exposed to the exterior can also potentially be saturated with moisture or overcome by a termite infestation. The Hidden Danger Inside Your Home Plumbing is the biggest source of water damage inside the home. Even when your exterior is sealed up tight, poor plumbing can flood a home quickly, or even...

read more

Beautiful Bathrooms: Tips for Replacing Your Toilet to Save Money and Water

Beautiful Bathrooms: Tips for Replacing Your Toilet to Save Money and Water

The smallest room in the house gets a lot of daily use and is one place where a regular makeover is sometimes needed to keep things looking clean and fresh. What tends to happen with many homeowners who are looking for a quick fix, is to consider changing the flooring, replace the wall tiles and maybe add a few bits of furniture to give their bathroom a new lease of life. Whilst that approach ticks a few boxes and improves the look of your bathroom, many of us might be tempted to leave our old toilet in place rather than replace it, but updating your toilet can not only improve aesthetic appeal, it could also help to conserve water and save you money on running costs. Water efficiency matters If you are making do with an older toilet, every time you flush it might be costing more than your realise and could have a negative impact on your water bill. If you have a toilet in your bathroom which is older than 25 years, you may be using up to seven gallons of water each time you flush. When you compare that to a modern toilet which uses well under two gallons per flush, you begin to see how the savings will quickly add up and why water efficiency matters. Lift the lid on your running costs by taking a look for a date stamp on your toilet to see how old it is, or do a bit of simple maths if you have a rough idea how long it has been in service, to confirm that your best toilet policy would be a modern replacement. Are you sitting comfortably? Another factor to consider when trying to decide if it is time to replace your toilet, is just how comfortable ate you every time you pay a visit to the small room. Modern toilet seats give you the option of choosing a seat which isn’t too small or narrow and there are now so many different design options, you really should be able to find a replacement toilet which gives you a more comfortable seated experience than your existing toilet. No longer good as new Quite a few of us are probably putting up with a toilet which is not quite in the same shape as it once was and there may be some broken components. The flush handle and the interior mechanism which allows you to flush the toilet properly are two common components which are often worn or broken on old toilets. Although the cost of some of these replacement items might work out less expensive than replacing the complete toilet unit, it may well be the perfect opportunity to upgrade to a new model rather than spend money an old toilet. Out of fashion Our tastes change and design trends never are regularly updated, which is why you may have a toilet that is now looking dated, either because of its color or shape, or both. If you have a coral pink toilet or even one that is a finished in avocado green, you can almost instantly date how old your bathroom suite is and there is a good chance that it doesn’t match your current color preferences or design ideas. These colored toilets were once...

read more

How to Get a Lower Interest Rate on a Home Loan

How to Get a Lower Interest Rate on a Home Loan

When you apply for a mortgage, your lender will look at several factors that determine the interest rate charged on your loan. Those with a poor credit history and/or a low credit score will likely receive a higher interest rate. Even if your credit is near perfect and you have a credit score of over 700, you may still not get the interest rate that you want. Though you might think you cannot get a lower rate, there are some ways you can bring that rate down. Ask About Different Loan Types Don’t be afraid to ask your mortgage lender about the different types of home loans available today. You can borrow money in the form of a 10, 20, 25 or 30 year mortgage. Though you’ll pay more in interest with one of the longer loans, you’ll pay less each month on that loan. There is also something called an adjustable rate mortgage, which can help you get a lower interest rate upfront. An adjustable rate mortgage bases your interest rate on current market conditions, which means that the interest rate you pay will fluctuate each year. Comparison Shop for Loans Before you find a home with Realty ONE Group or another agency that you like, you need to make sure that you get the best interest rate. One way in which you can do that is when you compare interest rates from leading lenders. Not all banks and financial institutions use the same method when determining how much a lender can borrow. You may find that another bank offers you an interest rate much lower than your current bank offers. Compare rates from the top companies before taking out a home loan. Boost Your Credit Score If you really want to get a better interest rate, take some time off from shopping for a new home with an agent like Kuba Jewgieniew or another industry professional. Spend at least six to 12 months improving your overall credit score and repairing your past credit mistakes. Now is the time to pay off debts you forgot about and to lower your overall debt to credit ratio. A better credit score may result in a better interest rate when you take out a loan. Comparing rates, opting for a different loan and boosting your credit score can all help you get a lower interest...

read more

Modern Upgrades That Can Increase Your Home’s Sale Price

Modern Upgrades That Can Increase Your Home’s Sale Price

    When you are looking to make changes to your home, you want to be certain that they represent good value for money. This means that you want to apply changes that will not only allow you to make better use of your home and enjoy it more while you are living there, but also that you’ll want to be sure than the money you spent on the improvements is reflected in an increased property value should you come to sell. Some people also make improvements specifically to make their house easier to sell when they are planning to move, particularly when the property market is so competitive and home owners need to do everything they can to attract buyers and get the best price for their house. Here are some modern upgrades that will make your house far more appealing – both for you, and for potential buyers when the time comes to put it on the market: Skylights Natural lighting is always preferable to artificial, and if you don’t get a lot of natural light in through your windows because you are in the shade of trees or other buildings, skylights can make your rooms brighter and airier. They are also great for ventilation, and you can get specially designed smoke venting skylights for rooms like the kitchen or anywhere you smoke or use and open fire. You can also get skylights in cool modern designs like pyramid skylights, which can make your home look special. Check out the collection at whitesales.co.uk for an idea of some of the great designs you could have. Energy Efficient Kitchen Appliances Energy efficiency isn’t just good for the environment – it can save you, or the future owner of your home, a fortune. For that reason, if you have built in appliances in your fitted kitchen that would be left in the house when sold, make sure they are replaced with energy efficient models. This is far more desirable for both environmentally concerned people, and those who don’t like wasting money on electricity bills! LED Lighting Another way to upgrade your home that will add value is to replace all your light fittings with LED. It is longer lasting and much cheaper to run, and can also be much more attractive, so a lot of homeowners are making the switch. Underfloor Heating Underfloor heating is another change that saves money in the long term and adds value to your home. As well as being energy efficient, it creates a more comfortable ambiance than radiators or other forms of heating, and is by far the best modern way to heat a home. It also means space isn’t taken up by heaters, making your rooms look larger and more well designed. Making changes to your home may feel like a big step, but in many cases it can make your home a nicer prospect for future buyers that’ll sell for a higher price, as well as giving you a nicer, more cost effective place to live in the...

read more

Moving? Why Not Get Some Help With That?

Moving? Why Not Get Some Help With That?

Are you planning on making a move from one location to another? Perhaps you are in business and need to bring your company from one location to the next. In either scenario you are sure to need some help getting things moved from the first location to the second. At the very least it would likely be helpful to get a helping hand to push you along towards getting things done. If that sounds like you, consider “A Man With A Van” moving company. Why Hire A Moving Service? There are a few reasons why one may want to hire a moving service. The first is obvious and that is so they don’t have to do the work themselves. Not only is the work labor intensive but it takes up time that many may not have. This is something that must owners have to account for when they are thinking about how much effort they really want to spend on a move. Secondly, there are certain risks to moving things on your own. For one, you might damage one of your possessions as you are attempting to move it. You might lose something that is very valuable to you on the journey as well. There is even the possibility that someone could get hurt while trying to move things. Instead of taking that risk, why not just hire a company that can take on that whole burden for you? Why A Man With A Van Is The Right Choice Of all the moving companies out there, you are going to want to go with “A Man With A Van“. The name sounds funny, but the work that they do is very professional and top of the line. They know that moving is important and that it can be a very stressful time for the person who is having their possessions moving. As such, they are careful with how they handle all of the things and they always want to ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to how this whole operation is going to work. They are great about treating their customers right and getting the job done in a timely manner. Virtually everyone who works with them comes away from the interaction happy with the results that they got. That is the kind of service that you can get with a company that...

read more

Home Base: Why You Should Never Ignore Your Foundation

Home Base: Why You Should Never Ignore Your Foundation

Your home is your castle, but is your castle built on solid footing? Most people don’t realize foundation problems until it’s too late. Here’s how to avoid costly repairs by spotting the early warning signs of a foundation ready to crumble. Water Problems A foundation problem could start out as a water drainage problem. Sometimes, drain water backs up against the foundation. When this happens, it will eventually erode the concrete. Poor soil excavation can be the root cause too, which means that rain water isn’t draining away from the house as it should. Instead, it’s backing up against the foundation and just sitting there. Use a common carpenter’s level to check the slope to your foundation. If it’s unlevel, or it it’s slanting towards your home, you need to have this problem fixed before it becomes a major problem. Improper Downspout Placement Downspouts should take water away from your foundation. But, it’s common for some contractors to just run the downspout to the edge of the foundation and forget about it. This dumps the water right at your foundation. Not good. Extenders cost $15 to $20. Fancier ones cost $30. Buy one and install it to keep water away from your home. Dealing With Improperly Placed Trees Tree roots can sometimes worm their way into your home’s foundation. If the problem is serious enough, you could end up replacing the entire foundation. Call in a tree expert and have the situation assessed. Sometimes, shrub roots compete with soil for water, and can actually dry it out, causing your foundation to sink unevenly. When this happens, interior drywall will crack, and windows and doors may not close properly or may stick when you try to open them. Weird Interior Problems Cracked walls, windows and doors that stick, and unexplained cracks in vinyl or ceramic tiling on the floor or walls indicate a shift in the foundation. When doors fail to latch, this can also indicate a foundation problem. Do The Chip Test Walk around the outside of your home with a durable screwdriver. Go ahead and poke the foundation in various spots. It shouldn’t give way. If it does, you have a problem. Foundations that are dry are sturdy. If your foundation is eroding, however, it will chip away. You’ll notice weak spots. This is not good. Depending on the severity of the problem, you may need to call in a professional. In almost every case, a foundation that crumbles at any point in the perimeter needs immediate attention. That doesn’t always mean a full foundation replacement. But, it does need to be looked at. There are many reasons why the foundation might crumble. Sometimes, it’s because the original mix contained dirty sand or too much water. Sometimes, the concrete mix was too salty and it was mixed improperly. Whatever the cause, most contractors with experience in foundation repair should be able to fix the issue without too much fuss.  When To Worry About Cracks It’s actually pretty common for foundations to have cracks in them. This often happens when the foundation was poured. When concrete doesn’t dry evenly, and it often doesn’t, you’ll get hairline cracks in various places. So, hairline between concrete blocks aren’t anything to write home about. Ditto for cracks along an L-shape section, like...

read more

DIY Renovations: Expensive Mistakes Homeowners Make

DIY Renovations: Expensive Mistakes Homeowners Make

A remodel, no matter how modest, can make your home new and exciting again. Not to mention, it can add to its value come the day that you’re ready to sell and move on. You have two basic questions that you need to settle before you decide on the shade of paint to use, though: the budget question and the one to do with who gets to swing the hammer — you (anxious as you are to get some credit for your finely-honed DIY skills) or a professional builder. It might appear as if your limited budget makes the question of bringing in costly professional builders moot — you won’t be able to afford half the things that you have in mind if you take that route. It isn’t as simple, though. With DIY projects that are as complex as remodels, the cost advantage tends to be slim. For instance, consider the kind of results that you will get Whether you’re getting married or starting a business, experience makes all the difference. Moving in together first or signing up as an apprentice with a startup gives you the experience that you need. It’s no different with DIY projects — professionals with years of practice simply make better cuts and joints, smoother finishes and tighter seams. Practice makes perfect, and it shows. If you aren’t convinced, here are more examples of the kind of challenges that you will face. You’ll probably measure once and cut twice It’s actually supposed to be other way around. It’s advice that’s very hard to take. If you don’t have lots of specific experience measuring, cutting, sanding and buffing things, translating measurements into the right cuts and sizes can be an exquisitely difficult challenge. With enough of these incorrect cuts and joints, the overall effect will begin to suffer. You’ll quarrel with your tools As a DIY enthusiast, you have two problems with the tools that you need on your project — you probably don’t have the right tool for each task, and what you have probably doesn’t offer the quality or the feature set that professional tools do. In the end, you will probably find that the results could’ve been better, and you’ll need to defend yourself by blaming your tools. Not to mention, someone will probably bring up that old proverb, too. Wading through a sea of permits In Australia, renovation red tape tends to be complex and unyielding. A simple search online is all it takes to throw up information about all the different regulatory requirements that you’ll need to satisfy before you get to do anything. No matter how hard you try, you’ll probably trip up on some minor local council requirement, asbestos release, development application or planning approval problem. In nearly every state, you also can’t actually get underway with a project unless you have a permit that proves that you know what you’re doing. For professional bathroom renovations, Perth has a great array of builders who can do the job for you. If you choose to try the DIY route, though, Western Australia requires that you take a class, and then apply through the Building Commission of Western Australia for an owner-builder permit. You also need home warranty insurance, and need to look into getting termite treatment in compliance...

read more

Handyman’s Hell: Home Repairs You Should Leave to the Pros

Handyman’s Hell: Home Repairs You Should Leave to the Pros

Most people try to save money by doing the job themselves, but there are some things that only a pro should handle. Here’s what you need to know about home repairs. Resurfacing Hardwood Flooring Resurfacing your own hardwood flooring seems like a simple enough job. But, if they’re been marred by years of use and abuse, they will need a lot of specialized work done to them. During the process, you will kick up a lot of dust and debris, you will find that there’s a lot of time spent on your knees doing backbreaking work with a sander. For most people, it pays to have a professional do the job. Doing Your Own Electrical Work Electrical work isn’t something most people should do themselves. And, in many places, it’s illegal to do your own work, especially when it comes to building code requirements. According to Electrical Connection certified electricians, you should always have a certified electrician do the work for you. You dramatically reduce the risk of an electrical fire, and you will have the peace of mind knowing that the job was done right. Cutting Down A Tree What’s so hard about cutting down a tree? You get a saw, you attack the tree. Problem solved. Not so fast. Dropping a few tons of lumber onto your front lawn isn’t without danger. You could seriously injure yourself or someone else. You could also do catastrophic damage to your home or car. Hire a professional and make sure they’re properly bonded (insured). Chimney Caps A chimney cap protects your chimney’s opening from invasion by squirrels and other critters. But, doing work on your own chimney is really dangerous. If you don’t install it properly, you could be inviting a chimney fire if it isn’t able to vent properly. You also risk personal injury to yourself climbing up on the roof. Replacing Garage Door Springs Replacing your garage door springs is a tricky job. If you’re committed to doing the job yourself, replace the whole door. It’s actually easier. But, if you just need springs, hire someone. Your garage door probably opens using incredible torque supplied by powerful springs. When installed, these springs are wound really tight and function as you press on the garage door opener. If you mess up the job, it won’t be a simple matter of damaging your door. The high compression of the springs could cause very messy, and very painful, injury or even death. Removing Lead and Asbestos Removing lead paint and asbestos should never be done by you. Even professionals have challenges doing this job. Special suits are required to work in areas where lead and asbestos fibers are floating around. And, special regulations concerning disposal must be followed. It’s a serious health risk to work on this project yourself. And, it could result in serious fines if you try. Hiring this job out will be financially painful. That’s because it’s labor-intensive. But, the alternatives are much, much worse. For example, asbestos is a natural fiber which was used in buildings to help insulate it. But, when some of these fibers break loose and are airborne, they can be inhaled into the lungs. It’s nearly impossible to see them with the naked eye, and certainly impossible to see them in the dust...

read more

How to Search for a Disabled Friendly Property

How to Search for a Disabled Friendly Property

If you have ever searched for or are currently searching for a disabled friendly property, you will know that it can be incredibly hard to find one in the area of your choice that is suitable for your individual needs. In fact, disabled friendly properties are becoming more and more hard to come by and may disabled tenants are alternatively searching for landlords who will allow them to make the necessary adjustments to a property in order to make it disability friendly once they’ve moved in. If you are disabled and are looking for a property to rent, we’ve put together some helpful advice that may be of use to you when looking for a disabled friendly property. Make Your Needs Known When visiting an estate agents in order to search for properties, it’s important that you make it known as soon as possible that you are looking for a disabled friendly property. It’s also a good idea to be clear with exactly which adjustments you need – you may not need a wheelchair friendly property or elevator, but it may be important that you have a ground floor bathroom. If you outline your specific needs to the estate agents, they will be in a better position to find properties that are a closer match. Always Visit the Property Even though your estate agent may have found you a property that sounds perfect for your needs, it’s important that you visit it in person first and make sure that the adjustments will work well for you. Descriptions can often be deceiving, and even if a property sounds good on paper this doesn’t always mean that it will be the best home for you. Book a viewing as soon as possible and make sure that you test any adjustments that have been made such as a stair lift to make sure that everything is working properly and suits your personal requirements. Making Further Adjustments Just because a property has been adjusted to suit a disabled person, not all disabilities are the same therefore you may find that the property you are interested in will need more adjustments making in order to be an ideal place for you to live. Many landlords who own disability friendly properties are happy with making further adjustments in order to suit the home better to the tenant, however you should never assume that this will be the case and always double check with your estate agent and landlord before you agree to sign a contract. Some landlords will cover the cost of any adjustments that need to be made whilst others will expect you to pay, so it’s important to make sure that this is clear with both of you before a contract is signed. Do you currently live in a privately rented disabled friendly home? Which steps did you take to find the perfect home for you? If you have any advice for other prospective tenants looking to rent a disabled friendly property, we’d love to hear from you in the...

read more

5 Reasons Why Two Homes Are Better Than One

5 Reasons Why Two Homes Are Better Than One

People with a little extra money have known for a long time that having multiple homes is a great way to live the luxury lifestyle. Retirees are now figuring out the same conclusion and even doing it on a budget. Having a home up North with all of your friends and family close is of utmost importance, but having a second home to escape the brutal New England winters really is the stuff dreams are made of. We all know the benefits of owning a home here in the New England area, but what about a winter home in Florida? According to Jason Painter owner of Program Realty, below are some perks for owning a home in Englewood Florida. The weather sure is nice in Florida The average high temperature in Englewood Florida in January is 74 degrees. The average rainfall during the winter is very low, usually less than a few inches per month. So with the sunny warm days the winter season in Florida is simply outstanding. Now in the summer, of course it’s hot and muggy so having your main home back in New England sure looks nice in the summer months. Lots of things to do The possibility of finding exciting activities is nearly endless. There are great restaurants, bars, shopping, you name it and you will find it in Southwest Florida. Golf courses are everywhere. If you want to take a day trip to see the amusement parks, zoos, or anything else, the larger metropolitan areas of Florida are just a couple hours’ drive away. Low crime and few crowds Englewood is a sleepy beach town with mainly retirees and vacationers. There is very low crime there and not much of a hustle and bustle. Even the majority of restaurants and bars are sole proprietor type establishments; there are not many restaurant chains here. This is old Florida at its finest. Beaches, Boating, and Sunshine Here is the reason everybody loves Englewood…turquoise blue gulf waters that are teaming with fish. Whether you are a pleasure boater or a fisherman, you won’t find better waters than what you will find in Englewood. If you are just a beach bum, you will find some of the nicest sand a swimming beaches just waiting for your arrival. Real estate market on the rebound Here is the beast reason of all…investment. The Florida real estate market is just starting to recover from a huge over correction in pricing. As prices start to rise again, there has been no better time to get in on the market and get a great deal on a home or condo. As the market continues to improve, your investment only becomes worth more money. What better way to use your money? Would you rather invest your cash in unpredictable stocks or would you rather have it in a brick and mortar second home that you can actually use? It’s a no brainer! So there you have it, two homes really are better than one when you want to live well. Not only does it make sense for your well-being, but also for your pocket book as an investment. Start living the snowbird life today and look into some second home options in...

read more