The zero-down, risk-everything days are over. Time to go back to money basics for buying your first home.
Many of today’s first-time homebuyers are millennials — the generation born in the ’80s and ’90s. They are getting married, starting families, and stepping into the real estate arena for the first time. This generation grew up in a real estate boom, followed by a bust and an insane decade of home-price escalation, wide-scale underfinancing, and subprime lending.
Having witnessed the housing market’s volatility, millennials may be wondering what new rules apply in this evolving real estate realm. Luckily, the “new rules” are the same tried-and-true rules of home buying from years past.
Here are 13 rules for millennials looking to buy — while avoiding another burst housing bubble.
If you can’t afford the home, don’t buy it.
Don’t purchase a home blindly. Research and learn about the area, get advice from others, and study all the available data.
Avoid “creative financing”: buy properties with a traditional 15- or 30-year loan. Sleep soundly knowing your mortgage payment will be the same each month for the entire mortgage term.
Always put down 20% of the purchase price.
Buy a house for 20% less than the amount the bank is willing to lend and you’ll never be house poor.
You’re not just buying a house, you’re buying a neighborhood.
It’s tough to qualify for a mortgage; plus, qualifications are more stringent these days. Keep great financial records, and be patient throughout the process.
Don’t expect the market to appreciate and create more value in your home. Don’t overpay for a house you can’t really afford in hopes of market appreciation making up the difference.
Less is more. A smaller, practical, easy-to-maintain house is the new, big, rambling mansion.
Actively manage your credit, and shoot for an excellent score (above 750).
Plan to stay in your home at least five years. Think you’ll need to sell before then? Then forgo homeownership and keep renting until you are ready to settle.
Budget for all the costs of homeownership — not just the monthly mortgage payment. Be sure you have the funds for property taxes, insurance, upkeep, and even an emergency repair fund.
If your job security is in question and your industry flat, don’t buy yet.
For a generation who may think risking everything and buying homes with zero down is the norm, these rules may seem new. But as the saying goes, everything old eventually becomes new again.
In this new era, millennials simply need to take a cue from the past to buy safely and securely in the current housing market.
For more information you can send a text message to 54561 and put P30558 in the message field or visit http://search.thelynchburgteam.com/idx/details/listing/a331/296585 Also you can call 434.879.3275 or email Contact@thelynchburgteam.com - This is a Short Sale and We MUST SELL!!
Listing ID: 296585
Address: 720 Lyle Thomas Road
Postal Code: 24538
Total Baths: 2
Square Feet: 1,997
This home has so much to offer and qualifies for 100% financing! All one story living situated on almost 1 acre lot. Perfect for your growing family! Convenient to 460 for easy access to both Appomattox and Lynchburg. Large 2 car garage attached to home, call your agent today to schedule a showing - more pictures and virtual tours to come!
For more information about this property text/call 434.879.3275
Listing ID: 297839
Address: 105 Creekview Court
Postal Code: 24502
Total Baths: 5
Square Feet: 4,834
This gorgeous and well maintained home offers ample space for your family's needs. With almost 5000 sq ft. storage, room to entertain, and many areas to enjoy quality family time together is not an issue. This home offers hardwood and ceramic tile throughout, upgraded granite in all bathrooms and both kitchen areas. The master suite is a sanctuary that offers relaxation after a long day. There are 5 other bedrooms as well, one being a guest suite with a sitting area and on-suite full bath that could be used as a kids suite with playroom or a guest suite with sitting area. In-ground water sprinkler system, alarm system are included with the sell of this home. Sellers are offering up to $5000 towards paint or closing costs with acceptable offer. Freshly landscaped lawn with creek, offers the perfect place for your children to retreat to and get loss in their imagination. Finished basement offers a 6th bedroom, office space, large living room and full bar/kitchen area. Owner/agent
- See more at: http://search.thelynchburgteam.com/idx/details/listing/a331/297839#sthash.4hgE0LbT.dpuf
For more information about this property, you can Text 301056 to (434) 363-3899
Listing ID: 301056
Address: 1517 West Crossing Drive
Postal Code: 24551
Total Baths: 5
Partial Baths: 2
Square Feet: 5,048
Welcome to West Crossings, a Luxury Community in Forest complete with Lake & Mountain Views! This 5048 Sq Ft new home is underway. One of a kind floor plan offers a spacious great room open to the kitchen, w/ gas log fireplace. 14X17 kitchen boasts custom cabinetry, seamless granite, tiled backsplash, stainless appliance package, Walk-in pantry & eat-in breakfast nook. More entertaining space includes the Formal Dining Room & 2nd main level Family Room w/ cathedral coffered ceilings. 2 separate covered porches span the back of the home. Main level Owner's Suite hosts an intricate trey ceiling, WIC & access to the back deck. Ensuite spa-like bath includes a stand alone soaker tub, dual sink vanity, & walk-in tiled shower. Main level office could also be a 5th bedroom. Level 2 hosts 3 bedrooms, full bath, plus BONUS ROOM with 1/2 bath. Unfinished terrace level is ideal for expansion & storage galore! Yearly HOA includes lake access. Call agent for floor plan & a private viewing.
Listing ID: 296581
Address: 1440 Tenbury Dr.
Postal Code: 24501
Total Baths: 1
Square Feet: 864
Calling all investors- this is a great rental property. Tenants already in the property and just signed a new lease for the year. Great location! Schedule your private showing today!
- See more at: http://search.thelynchburgteam.com/idx/details/listing/a331/296581/1440-Tenbury-Dr?widgetReferer=true#sthash.VISmLqU0.dpuf
CALL OR TEXT US 434.879.3275
By Robyn Woodman, a Trulia contributor | January 20, 2016
Make a few strategic upgrades and add big value to your home.
A clean, well-maintained home in tiptop condition will yield maximum profit when it comes time to sell. However, you don’t have to shell out the big bucks to make sure your house is in mint condition. There are a number of upgrades you can do for under $1,000 that will impress buyers and prompt strong offers. Whether you’re a condo owner in Seattle, WA, or prepping a home for sale in Charleston, SC, you have plenty of ways to increase your home values with budget-minded, strategic upgrades.
Add a water filtration system
Installing a whole-house water filtration system is a serious game changer. Additional filtering to remove pollutants and chemicals from our drinking water has become necessary in many cities across the U.S. However, many homeowners have been dealing with the issue on their own, by either using a clunky, refillable filtering pitcher or purchasing drinking water in environmentally unfriendly plastic bottles. Increase your home’s value and impress buyers with filtered water directly from any faucet in the house — it’s pure luxury, and this amenity will pay off now and in the future when it’s time to sell.
Install a programmable thermostat
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating your home accounts for more than 40% of its total energy usage. Programmable thermostats allow you to customize a temperature profile throughout the day. Reducing the temperature inside your home by a degree or two while you sleep can lead to huge savings on a monthly basis. And with energy costs on the rise, many buyers will appreciate your forward thinking in assisting them with long-term savings — especially if you put in a Wi-Fi–enabled thermostat that can be controlled by your smartphone or computer.
Add more grounded outlets, or upgrade the outlets you have
If you live in an old house, chances are, two-prong-receptacle outlets outnumber grounded, three-prong outlets in your home. Adding more three-prong outlets is a small project that can greatly improve the functionality of your home. It’s possible to retrofit a new three-prong or GFCI receptacle into the two-prong outlet box without rewiring, as long as the box itself is grounded. Or if you’re happy with the electrical structure you have but are sick of looking at dingy tan switches, consider updating to new white ones. You can even add fancy new outlets that have USB ports or timers to control lights.
Update your fixtures
Updating tired, worn fixtures will breathe new life into any space. Give your bathroom and kitchen a critical look — could the drawer pulls and cabinet handles use an update? If new kitchen cabinets are outside your budget, new hardware is a simple way to update the room’s entire look and feel. What about the faucets? A sleek new kitchen faucet with a sprayer combines practicality with design and will be appreciated by buyers. Anticipating and tackling these smaller projects will have a big selling impact. And — bonus! — you can enjoy them in the meantime.
Replace the toilet
Replacing an old, cracked, or outdated toilet can make a significant impact on your bathroom aesthetics. Purchase a stylish new one for a few hundred dollars or take the environmentally friendly route and opt for an almost-new secondhand toilet (just be sure to buy a new seat). Repurposed construction material outlets offer a variety of well-priced goods.
Reglaze the bathtub
You can see buyers hold their breath as they slowly pull back the shower curtain, hoping for a sparkly new tub. Exceed their expectations for just a few hundred dollars by reglazing your existing bathtub. The process can be accomplished in a day and will be ready to use in just a few days. Roll up your sleeves for a DIY weekend or call in the professionals; either way, you’ll come in under budget.
Install a tile floor
A shiny new tile floor can breathe life into the darkest bathrooms. They’re easy to clean, resist microbes and allergens, and wear well in high-traffic areas, making them a perfect material for the bathroom. Flooring liquidators typically sell a variety of quality tile, so start there. If your bathroom is small, you can probably even splurge on some designer options! Then save the rest of your budget for a professional installation.
Add new blinds or plantation shutters
Is your home still sporting aluminum blinds or old-school vertical blinds? Consider replacing them: New window coverings can really modernize a room. If your windows are a standard width, you can buy basic wood blinds at a home improvement store (and most allow you to customize the length). If your window size is irregular, you’ll have to special-order them. To add a truly upscale look to a room, try plantation shutters — they can be a major selling point with the next people to own your home.
Replace the front door
The front entry is the focal point of your home’s curb appeal. Give your home a face-lift and replace — or repaint — the front door. With security and safety in mind, choose a door that will appeal to a buyer’s practical side (and don’t forget to consider new hardware too). Another way to add interest and style to your home is by adding color to make your front door a statement.
Add a walkway
A new path leading to the front door can really elevate the look of your home. While brick pavers add a traditional and classic look to the exterior of your home, you can also choose stone, concrete, or even rocks — just make sure the look of the pathway matches your home’s style. Regardless of the material, a walkway is a welcoming feature, beckoning guests (and buyers!) inside to have a look around.
See article at Trulia.com
For more information about this property, you can text 300642 to 434 -363-3899
Address: 201 E Colonial Trail Highway
Postal Code: 23922
Total Baths: 5
Partial Baths: 1
Square Feet: 3,290
Nestled on 21 Acres of Farm Land this 3300 Sq Ft. Log home provides country living, while offering true luxury. Horse lover? The property is backed up to the famous RAILS FOR TRAILS. 4 acres of pasture with 2 paddocks & 2 springs on the property. Southland Log Homes presents the Lawrenceburg featuring an elegant foyer that greets you into the 2 story great room, complete w/ gas log fireplace & custom windows. Gorgeous Pine hardwoods throughout! Kitchen provides stainless appliances, tons of counterspace, pantry & eat-in dining area. Continue entertaining outdoors on a 12X47 back deck w/ spectacular country views! 2 Main Level Master Suites, gives the new homeowner potential for an in-law suite. Ensuite features dual copper sinks, clawfoot tub, & walk-in slate shower. Upstairs hosts an all purpose loft which overlooks the Great Room, & 2 additional spacious bedrooms w/ custom baths. Home is 1700 Ft off the road for complete privacy. Only 10 minutes to Farmville, 1 hour to Chesterfield.
This house has a beautiful setting that is located in Pamplin, the house is great for families and small pets, if you want more information you can send a text message to 54561 and put P27540 in the message field.
This Capecod home offers ample storage, beautiful views, private setting, level yard great for kids and dogs, and is convenient to 460 E/W. this home is a must see, call your Realtor today for a private showing! - See more at: http://search.thelynchburgteam.com/idx/details/listing/a331/295353#sthash.PrBtx0xR.dpuf
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS PROPERTY TEXT 303226 TO to (434) 363-3899 AND A TEXT WITH A DETAILS AND IMAGES WILL BE SENT TO YOU AUTOMATICALLY.
Nestled on 3 Acres close to Smith Mountain Lake, Dining, & Shopping! Secluded lot offers wooded acreage hosting a Hunting Cabin w/ loft. Updates include New 3.5 Ton Heat Pump & air handler, updated trim, New gutters, fresh paint & updated landscaping. Inside features 1960 Finished Sq. Ft. Living Areas with Laminate flooring throughout. Huge eat-in kitchen boasts tons of cabinetry, including a work island & coffee bar. Brand new appliances! Bonus den/office right off the dining area. Main level 13X15 master suite w/ walk-in closet. Attached bath includes a garden tub & walk-in shower. 2 additional bedrooms, full bath & main level laundry room. Lot allows for horses. Contact agent for more details & a private showing - 434.426.5410 CHRISTINA COFFMAN THE REALTY GROUP TEAM KELLER WILLIAMS.
Thinking of building a new home or complex? Will you use an architect or a building designer? Both are involved in the design of buildings – their appearance, layout, structure, and so on. But what’s the difference?
The simplest difference is a legal one. To be called an “architect” in NSW, you have to be registered with the Board of Architects of NSW. The title “building designer” can be used by anyone designing buildings.
But that’s hardly even scratching the surface. Brian Basford is a building designer and treasurer of the Building Designers Association of NSW. He suggests that building designers are generally less expensive, and mostly involved in less flamboyant buildings. “It’s horses for courses. Most architects probably wouldn’t want to design a single bedroom extension for a pensioner, whereas I’ve done a lot of that.”
Brian also stressed that there are quite often overlaps between what architects do and what building designers do. There’s no simple rule. “But no matter what the job, good building designers and good architects both produce quality work”, he says.
Architect Gary Kurzer agrees that architects are more likely to be involved with more distinctive, “up-market” buildings. But not because of cost. “Architects work to your budget just like building designers. The real reason is that architects are a little more likely to stretch the boundaries and challenge convention.”
According to Gary, you should generally choose an architect if you want more than just a literal translation of your brief. “My clients normally have a rough idea of what they want. I take that idea and transform it into something they love, but could never have imagined themselves.”
The most important thing is knowing what you want from the service, and choosing someone that suits your job.
And whether you choose an architect or building designer, remember, qualifications are no guarantee of quality. Always ask to see previous examples of their work. Ask for references from previous customers. Ask to see their qualifications. Ask how long they’ve been working. Do they have professional indemnity insurance? Are they a member of an accredited body?…
In the end, it’s like anything else… there’s no substitute for common sense.
FAQs Q: Are architects and building designers the same thing? A: No. Architects must be registered with the Board of Architects of NSW.
Q: Will I get a better design from an architect? A: Not necessarily. The only guarantee is a minimum level of qualifications. Architects must have a Bachelor of Architecture degree (5 years) as well as the demonstrated ability to deal with clients and satisfy their requirements. Generally this means at least a couple of years experience in an architect’s office.
Q: Are building designers more in touch with builders and other trades? A: Not necessarily. Architects are trained to deal with and manage all aspects of the building project. It all comes down to the individual’s experience and abilities.
Q: Are Building designers “would-be” architects? A: No. Building design is a recognised profession with its own national body (the BDAA) offering 3 levels of accreditation based on experience and quality – but registration isn’t compulsory. Many building designers have the qualifications to register with the Board of Architects but they choose not to because they don’t think the name “architect” is worth the ongoing cost of registration.
Q: Are architects more expensive? A: Not necessarily. An architect will work to your budget like a building designer. They can do anything from a simple design to very complex interior and exterior detailing to superintendence of the building process. Your building costs and ongoing running costs may also be less. For example, find out if your architect is incorporating cost-saving measures into the building process. They may also design to take advantage of natural lighting, ventilation, heating, cooling, etc. which will save you less in electricity.
For more information about this property text 301940 to (434) 363-3899 or visitp http://search.thelynchburgteam.com/idx/details/listing/a331/301940/1063-Oakville-Road?widgetReferer=true
Listing ID: 301940
Address: 1063 Oakville Road
Postal Code: 24522
Total Baths: 2
Square Feet: 980
Bungalow convenient to town! Enjoy this home with a rocking chair front porch, large deck, ample amount of parking space, fresh paint, ceramic tile shower in the hall bath & original hall floors.Enjoy the master bedroom with its own master bathroom that has been updated. This home has been well maintained with a heat pump installed in 2009 & new storm windows 3 years ago. This home would be perfect as a starter home, a downsize, or as an investment home.
172 Regal Oaks Way - Sugar Mill Community 100% Financing Available. For more information text the 303010 to (434) 363-3899.
MLS # : 300580
Address: 172 Regal Oaks Way
Postal Code: 24521
Total Baths: 2
Square Feet: 1,808
Nestled on a secluded, wooded lot, this home has been immaculately cared for. NEW Roof with 50 Year Warranty, 5 year old Heat Pump, Pergo Laminate w/ lifetime warranty & Completely Updated Kitchen. Inside a 2 Story foyer greets you into the open great room with a brick gas log fireplace. Updated kitchen boasts custom cabinetry, seamless granite, decorative tile backsplash, full appliance package & pantry. Entertain in the separate dining area or on the 28X8 grilling deck, overlooking a level backyard, surrounded by mature trees. Main Level Master offers a vaulted ceiling w/ windows to match plus His N' Her closets! Upstairs hosts 2 spacious bedrooms, full bath, and loft with endless potential. Walk-in attic space for storage galore! Separate laundry room right off of the 1 car garage for your convenience. Sugar Mill is a sought after community in Amherst, offering an in-ground swimming pool & picnic pavilion to residents for only $120/year (FIRST YEAR PAID FOR WITH PURCHASE OF HOME!)
Contact Christina Coffman directly: 434-426-5410
For more information you can send a text message to 54561 and put P24809 in the message field
Beautiful A-framed log cabin with panoramic views. This home sits on 4.14 acres surrounded by mountain laurel shrubs and countless fruit trees; fig, peach, apple, cherry, plum, pecan, and walnut. This property also has 3 fenced-in gardens along with 2 sheds.This house has 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths along with a loft and wine cellar. Other features include: rockwall fireplace, fire/security alarm system, two wrap-around decks, architectural shingle roof, K-Guard gutters along with a pond and retaining wall. - See more at: http://search.thelynchburgteam.com/idx/details/listing/a331/289959#sthash.9d2noQJt.dpuf
Located in Russel Springs Community in Campbell County qualifies for 100% Financing no money down
Text 301857 to (434) 363-3899 for more information about this charming home.
43 Ballard Ct Lynchburg VA 24501 For Sale
Great Value In This Neighborhood!- More photos to come (home is currently rented). Light Oak Raised Panel Cabinets-Huge Open Kitchen W/Eating Area-Rear Deck-Big Living Room & Large Main Floor Master Too Powder Room Gives you Total One Level Living-Full Unfinished Basement Ready For Expansion-Covered Front Porch Plus Private Rear Yard-Two Additional Bath Also-Harwood In Living/ Foyer Area-Vinyl In Kitchen & Baths-Carpet In Bedrooms-Quiet Area-Low Maintenance-Energy Efficient-Insulated Windows. This Is Also A Great Buy For Investors. Rent Is 1100 A Month.
For more information about this home, you can send a text message to 298628 to (434) 363-3899
Listing ID: 298628
Address: 1266 Harborough Drive (Lot 21)
Postal Code: 24551
Total Baths: 3
Square Feet: 2,543
Rock River Home's modern day cottage in Farmington at Forest. Nestled on a corner lot, this new home boasts rocking chair front porch spanning across the entire width, adorned with stamped concrete and pillars. Inside provides an efficient open concept Great Room with gas log fireplace & clear eyesight into the kitchen / dining combination. Custom kitchen boasts seamless granite, tiled backsplash, pantry, & large work island. Main level owner's suite features trey ceiling, generous walk-in closet, & ensuite spa. In addition, level 1 includes bed #2, full bath, 2 car garage & laundry room. Level 2 hosts 2 additional bedrooms, full bath & a massive 20X30 Bonus Room with endless potential! Farmington HOA provides clubhouse access to gym & theatre room. (Nominal fee for pool) Contact agent for more details & builder visual tours!
Listing ID: 298481
Address: 612 Sussex
Postal Code: 24501
Total Baths: 1
Square Feet: 989
This charming bungalow 3 bedroom home offers 3 bedrooms and 1 bath. Convenient location to Lynchburg College, perfect for a first time home owner with mortgage being less than rent but is currently being rented for $800 a month to long term tenant so would be appealing to an investor as well. Home was renovated in 2010 with updates throughout entire home, fenced in back yard, screened porch to enjoy your morning coffee. Updates include, new roof, windows, newer appliances, water heater all done in 2010. Don't miss out on this great opportunity!
- See more at: http://search.thelynchburgteam.com/idx/details/listing/a331/298481/612-Sussex?widgetReferer=true#sthash.CDXq92mL.dpuf
CONTACT US FOR INFORMATION 434.879.3275
A beautifully designed house that offers rare things such as ample lighting and a butler pantry! If you want more information you can send a text message to 54561 and put P27537 in the message field.
This great home has been updated top to bottom. When you enter the foyer you will notice details throughout, the kitchen offers new stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops, and an eat-in area, hardwood floors throughout, formal dinning with french doors leading out to the beautiful wrap around porch, large master suite on main floor with walk-in his/her closets. Classic subway tile bath rooms for that traditional charm, a large backyard perfect for your growing family, grandchildren, pets, and entertaining. The living room offers more french doors on either side of the gorgeous, gas fireplace and a large layout offering plenty of space for entertaining. This home even offers a butler pantry in between the formal dining room leading into the kitchen, giving you ample storage space. This home is in the heart of Boonsboro, close to shopping, entertainment, and great restaurants. If you are looking for a home that offers an abundance of natural light throughout this is a must see. - See more at: http://search.thelynchburgteam.com/idx/details/listing/a331/295775#sthash.tlCMYj8W.dpuf
TRULIA'S BLOG \ LIFE AT HOME
Can’t Afford To Renovate? 18 Room Makeovers Under $500
Give your home a mini makeover with $500 and a little elbow grease.
By Brie Dyas | April 28, 2016
You’d be surprised at the difference a few little changes can make.
After closing on a slightly “lived-in” home, you’re probably dying to renovate. But that Pinterest-fueled excitement might need to be tempered by the reality of your budget. There may not be a lot of money left in your bank account after dropping a down payment on that dreamy, antebellum-style home for sale in Nashville, TN, for instance. However, you don’t have to let your budget stop you from revealing your fixer-upper’s potential. Here are 18 small, under-$500 makeover ideas that will freshen up an entire room.
Kitchen makeover ideas
Add a new backsplash
This project’s a relatively easy one for the novice DIYer: Your main mantra should be “measure twice.” Subway tile, as in this for-sale kitchen at 315 Quinnhill Road, Los Altos, CA 94024, never goes out of style and is one of the most budget-friendly tile options out there. In addition to sealer, grout, and thinset, you’ll need to rent a tile cutter. Even easier — and cheaper? Stick-on embossed metal tiles, which look more antique.
Refinish (or replace) cabinet doors
While solid wood doors will set you back a pretty penny, swapping out only your current cabinet fronts for composite (or even glass-fronted) doors is a more affordable option. Be sure to check out salvage shops for higher-quality doors at budget-friendly prices.
Or try open shelving
Removing your current cabinets will require a bit of muscle, but replacing them is a cinch when you opt for open shelving. This is a better option for those who subscribe to a more minimalist aesthetic.
Install overhead lighting
If you rented before buying your home, you probably lived with some horrid fluorescent fixtures. Now that you’re a homeowner, it’s time to finally enjoy a customized lighting option. Canister lights tend to be everyone’s go-to, but hanging pendant lights (especially over an island as in in this home for sale at 28482 N. 127th Lane, Peoria, AZ 85383) offer a little more personality.
Replace countertops with butcher block
Until you can afford the granite, marble, or quartz countertop of your dreams, basic butcher-block countertops can affordably tide you over if your current counters are beyond repair. IKEA has some of the lowest prices out there onbasic butcher block, starting at $169 for a 98-inch counter.
Living-room makeover ideas
Fake an area rug
A large, neutral sisal rug can cover a multitude of floor sins, from inexpertly laid tile to hardwood floors that need to be refinished. You’ll want to buy the biggest size you can find, so it covers nearly the entire floor.
Prop up a palm
There’s a reason you see potted plants in nearly every interior design mag: they fill in awkward corner spaces while adding a pop of color and natural texture. The classic palm is a decorator’s favorite, especially when paired with a colorful ceramic pot. If yours is a little on the smaller side, give it a boost with a plant stand.
Paint your fireplace
A fresh coat of white paint like the one in this home for sale at 3240 Windsor Drive, Charlotte, NC 28209 can completely rescue a dark and dreary fireplace. You should expect to put in a full day’s worth of elbow grease to scrub the surface clean, as years of soot can prevent paint from properly adhering. When it’s time to paint, experts recommend using a roller with a longer nap that can get into the crevices of bricks.
A wall of bookshelves create a handsome library feel while adding architectural interest. For a more budget-friendly execution, buy premade bookshelves and trim them out with molding for a custom look. Blogger Kate Riley ofCentsational Girl did just this for under $400 thanks to a few identical IKEA bookcases, some baseboard, crown molding, paint, and an afternoon.
Add architectural details
Wainscoting, crown molding, and ceiling medallions like the one in this home for sale at 16 Fenton Drive, Short Hills, NJ 07078 bring a stately feel to a room, especially when used in an older home. Each of these elements can be installed in an afternoon or less.
Create a sliding “barn door”
Rustic-inspired design elements like the barn door in this home for sale at 127 Ridge Rd., Millersville, PA, 17551are big right now. You can hop on the trend with Vintage Revival’s genius idea that fakes a sliding barn door with easy-to-source items from any big hardware store.
Bathroom makeover ideas
Re-tile a powder room floor
Like a backsplash, the petite proportions of a powder room floor like the one in this for-sale home at 4950 Greenbush Ave., Sherman Oaks, CA 91423 make this one of the easier tiling jobs out there. White penny-style tiles can cost as low as $2.99 per square foot and bring a subtle vintage feel to any space.
Wallpaper your powder room
Chalk this one up as another benefit of the small size of a half bath: It’s cheap to wallpaper, even if you choose a high-end paper. Faux grass cloth is a classic choice, bringing subtle texture in addition to a cozy neutral hue.
Install a pedestal sink
The classic pedestal sink like the his-and-hers sinks in this home for sale at 29365 Shell Cove, Laguna Niguel, CA 92677 is also (usually) a cheap option for a bathroom sink — you can find pedestal sink models as low as $90 at many home improvement stores. The sleek silhouette also makes the room feel so much more spacious. Just one word of advice: This project is ideal for those with a very strong background in DIY projects.
Replace your vanity
For those who need a little extra storage space in their bath (read: everyone), a new vanity is a must. If yours is stuck in the ’80s, you can find budget-friendly options for free-standing vanities in the $300 range. Additional materials and size can send the price higher.
Paint your porch floor
If you’re lucky enough to have a porch, refresh it with a new coat of paint (dark blue and gray are timeless options). But not just any exterior formulation will do — look for paint labeled specifically for porch and patio floors, which will stand up to foot traffic without losing its luster.
Accessorize with shutters
Like crown molding in an interior, shutters like the ones on this home for sale at 335 Nassau St., Princeton, NJ 08540 are one low-cost way to amp up the curb appeal of your house’s exterior. Depending on the number of windows you have, you can get fancy with high-quality wood shutters or opt for easy-to-replace vinyl versions.
Flank your front door with topiaries
These plants only look high-maintenance: You can get pretrimmed ball-style potted hedges at many garden centers. Just give them a trim when they get a little unkempt.
What affordable home makeover ideas have you tackled? Share in the comments!10
Top 10 Countertop Surfaces – Their Prices and Pros & Cons
Selecting a new countertop for your kitchen can be not only exciting, but also overwhelming, thanks to a wide variety of available countertop surfaces, thickness, and other options. Many homeowners are easily dazed and confused by the wide array of options. Many homeowners who have already been through the process of installing a countertop in their kitchen or bathroom will readily confirm that it’s not at all an easy choice!
Some of the top questions being asked by many of the “quality and cost” conscious consumers, have to deal with the cost of materials, their pros and cons, and labor or installation costs for most common surfaces including granite, Formica, quartz, marble, and the good ol’ laminate.
What homeowners, especially the ones who’ve not previously faced any major remodeling decisions before, need to realize is that all modern countertops have their inherent strengths and flaws. It’s up to you to decide which particular factors and material characteristics are most important to you. Yes, it’s all about your wants and needs! — Some of the main ones to consider are: durability, luster, heat resistance, maintenance, price and style.
In this guide, will cover the top ten most common materials for countertop surfaces. We’ll give you the necessary information, so you can make an informed decision.
| 1. Granite | | 2. Quartz | | 3. Solid Surface | | 4. Wood | | 5. Laminate | | 6. Concrete | | 7. Nanotech Matte | | 8. Glass | | 9. Stainless Steel | | 10. Soapstone
For years granite has been one of the most popular surface choices among the US homes, owning to its natural beauty, durability, and ruggedness. It’s a natural stone, so every individual slab is 100% unique in its hue, pattern and shading.
Since each piece is different in appearance and size, many consumers will often have go to their local granite warehouse and select the actual pieces of granite that will go into their kitchen or bathroom. Each slice of granite is approximately 9 to 10 feet long and 5 to 6 feet wide. There are some places carrying granite slabs as large as 12 feet long for those extra long open-space kitchens. If your countertop is larger than this, the granite will need to be installed in pieces, thus resulting in seams.
Unique – One of a Kind!
Water resistant (when sealed)
Variety of colors and patterns
Can break when exposed to excessive stresses during transportation or installation
Price: Granite has an average material cost of $45-$100 per square foot depending on the size, pattern, and thickness of the slab. Although, some select species of granite can be as expensive as $150-$250 per square foot! It will be a grand total of $3,000 to $5,000 for an average 40 square feet granite surface installed.
Tips: Save money by using a thinner slab of granite, or use granite tiles for a fraction of the cost.
Quartz can give granite a run for its money (especially considering the cost of higher-end granite) surfaces, with the durability and look of natural stone, minus the maintenance. It’s a very hard, impervious to water drops or moisture stone quarried out of the earth, ground into small pieces, mixed together in a sheet layer and held together in a resin as part of its manufacturing process. As with all countertops, it has some advantages and disadvantages.
Like granite it will have seams, but they will be less noticeable. Its consistent look and pattern allows the seams to blend more easily. Quartz is a nonporous material, so it doesn’t need to be sealed. However, it’s not completely heat resistant. A hot pot can be sat on the counter, but it can’t be left there for very long, as the heat will react with the resin and leave a burn mark!
More Flexible than granite, which makes it stronger and more tolerant to stress
Available in glossy and matte finishes
Stain and crack resistant
Wide range of colors
Not heat resistant
Price: $60-$100 per square foot. It will cost you in the range of $2,500 to $4,500 for an average 40 square feet granite surface installed.
3. Solid Surface
An acrylic manmade product created by DuPont under the brand name, Corian. The seamless material provides a durable, hygienic and nonporous surface.
Corian comes in a variety of colors, hues and patterns that can be designed to fit anyone’s style. Choose a stone pattern for a warm, traditional decor, white or black for a minimalist style or brighter colors for a more eclectic look. Custom colors are also available.
Its look is consistent and lends itself to soft curving designs and integrating features like sinks, drain boards and backsplashes.
Several colors, patterns and finishes
Not heat resistant
Can be scratched and dented
Not a natural material
Price: $40-$90 per square foot
Wood countertops have been used for hundreds of years. They’re unique, natural and add warmth to any space. Various types of wood and finishes can be used to fit different decor and lifestyles. For a traditional style use cherry, teak, yellow cedar, mahogany or white oak with an oil finish. For a modern or more carefree wood countertop, finish with a waterproof varnish. For an econ-friendly, rustic style, reclaimed wood can be used.
Wood naturally contains enzymes which attack and kill bacteria, making it an excellent choice for the kitchen. Although it’s very durable, it’s not impervious to damage.
While the thought of using the countertop as one long chopping block may sound convenient, it’s not advisable. It would cause scratches, chipping and damage to the surface. Other options are to have a separate chopping block or have one built in.
Works with all designs
Gentle on glasses and dishes
Requires special care
Must be kept dry
Not scratch and dent resistant
Price: $50-$100 per square foot
Although it’s often scoffed at by natural material lovers, laminate is still a widely used countertop option. Not only is it budget-friendly, new designs are helping laminate make a huge comeback.
Manufacturers are teaming up with top designers to create amazing on trend designs. For a fraction of the cost, you can have the look of marble, granite or wood. Or, if your tastes are more modern, you can choose to go with bolder, brighter colors and patterns.
Price: $8-$20 per square foot
Variety of styles
Laminate can crack, scratch and scorch over the years
More difficult to repair
Concrete countertops, made from a general-purpose mortar mix, sand and pigments, are extremely durable. They add visual texture and color to any space. However, they are not for everyone. Although concrete is practically indestructible, its porous nature makes it easily stained.
Sealing will help keep stains from soaking in completely, but they will have to be cleaned immediately. Over time the surface will develop a patina. Also, the hard surface can be tough on glasses, dishware and flatware when used in the kitchen.
Price: $100-$150 per square foot
Can be made to look seamless with filler
Must be sealed
Can absorb and retain moisture
Hard on glasses and plates
7. Nanotech Matte Material
The process of using nanotechnology has been around since the 1980’s, but it has only recently been used in building materials. Although it’s technically a thermo-laminate, nanotech matte material is in a class of its own.
It’s soft to the touch, 500 times stronger than regular laminate material, self-healing, anti-microbial and anti-fingerprint.
It comes in a variety of 14 decors – eight plain colors, three iridescents, two wood grains and one stone, all with a matte finish.
It’s ideal for a minimalist or modern style. Though, some of the muted colors and patterns would easily work with a traditional style as well.
Resistant to acid solvents
Enhanced anti-bacterial properties
Long lifespan (environmentally friendly and saves money)
Limited color options
Only available in matte finishPrice: $5 per square foot
Glass countertops can be tempered, translucent or embedded into concrete. They can also be made from new or recycled materials and come in a variety of colors. It’s an excellent option for those looking for an environmentally-friendly alternative.
The transparency of the glass adds depth to the surface. Like stone countertops solid glass comes in sheets. So there may be seams.
If the glass is embedded into concrete, sealing is required every six months.
Glass is a dramatic and unique surface. It’s like having a piece of art as your counter top.
Price: $50-$100 per square foot
9. Stainless Steel
Chosen for use in commercial settings, stainless steel countertops are an excellent choice for those looking for a durable material. Virtually indestructible, heat resistant and easy cleanups make stainless steel the design choice for serious cooks. No need to worry about hot pots and pans being placed directly on the surface. Plus, the nonporous material prevents the harboring of bacteria and stains. However, this hardworking surface isn’t impervious to all damage. It can easily be scratched and dented. Also, fingerprints can be a problem.
Non-porous (unless concrete is used)
Can be scratched, chipped or broken
Shows water spots
Vulnerable to acidic substances
Getting brushed stainless steel will help camouflage some of the wear and tear, but not completely. Of course, some homeowners will see the patina effect as an added charm!
Price: $75-$150 per square foot
Soapstone is a natural quarried stone. Its name comes from the soft, or soapy, feel of its surface caused by the presence of talc in the stone.
Easily scratched and dented
Shows age over time
It’s not as hard as granite, but it’s still dense and durable. Unlike granite, it’s nonporous, stain resistant and can stand up to acidic materials.
This metamorphic rock comes in various shades of gray, blue and green with some marbling. Since it’s non porous it doesn’t need to be sealed and is virtually maintenance free. It’s heat resistant, but can be scratched. However, the scratches tend to add character to the stone, and can be easily buffed away with sandpaper if desired.
Soapstone is an environmentally responsible choice. It’s a one-time investment that will not only outlive you, but will also look better as time goes by.
Price: $60-$105 per square foot
It’s important to remember there’s no such thing as the “best countertop surface”. There’s only the one that fits your lifestyle and design interests better than the others. Also, the pros and cons are just characteristics of each countertop. It only becomes a pro or con when you overlay those characteristics against your needs.
Where to find a Pro:
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Limited range of colors
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Address: Lakepointe Drive Lot 19
Postal Code: 24551
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Listing ID: 301056
Address: 1517 West Crossing Drive
Postal Code: 24551
Total Baths: 5
Partial Baths: 2
Square Feet: 5,048
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1179 Vista Park Drive,Suite A,Forest,Virginia,24551 ·
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