Best and Worst Home Improvements

Home improvements are inevitable when you decide to put your house in the market for sale. Changes in the look and feel of the house is important to make it list in the top. Thus, re-modelling kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms etc. have become quite trendy among home owners while putting up for sale or rest.

While remodelling the house is often viewed to add value to the property, many a times there are also a number of pitfalls that end up costing the owner worse. Such home improvements are mostly costly, ineffective and typically unnecessary that yield little or no value to the property.

In this article today, we are listing the best and worst types of home improvements, that play a vital role in the performance of a house in the real estate market.

Lets start with the BEST first-

  1.  Kitchen cabinets and countertops

Kitchen designs tend to change every season. Hence, it is wise to remodel the kitchen if and when the house is put on the market. Click here to read about some of the trendiest kitchen decors making heads turn this season.

  1. Outside the house

In the real estate market, looks always matter. So changing the look of the house from the outside is mandatory if you want results. A new coat of paint, a fresh garden, a clean portico or a neat lawn will give the house a polished look.

  1. The master-bedroom

In the real estate business, deals make or break over the size of the bedroom. Master bedrooms can be remodelled by re-painting the walls, changing the look of the wardrobe or even by adding window-frames.

  1. The basement or the attic

Many homeowners completely ignore the condition of the basement. However, a well maintained basement is not only hygienic, but also adds values to the value when put for sale.

Now coming to the renovations that are mostly ineffective and hence typically unnecessary, this is the list we have made-

 

  1. A new roof

Adding a new roof to the house during the time of sale rarely add any value to the property. Firstly, any new construction makes the house dirty and hence unappealing to the buyer. Second, constructions are a personal choice and the buyer might not be appreciative of the same. Third, it increases the maintenance cost of the property manifold.

  1. Custom designs

Designs like wine cellar, aquarium, swimming pools or any such extravagant ideas look good in movies or for a certain high class buyers. Not everybody is appreciative of such ideas and for the majority of common people, such custom designs hold no importance or value.

  1. Fancy technology

Similar to custom designs, fancy technologies do not appease the common buyers as well. They are costly, incomprehensible and sometimes totally unnecessary. Hence, keeping things simple actually helps.

  1. Light installations

Electricity is an expensive component. Thus, fancy light installations in and around the house are seen as extravagant by buyers. As said above, keep things simple and subtle while putting the house in the market.

You can also read our article on selling houses in the real estate market by clicking here.

Why shouldn’t you house-hack your property?

House hacking is a new and curious term in the real estate industry, which was coined by Brandon Turner, an English real estate investor. It basically translates to a situation when a house owner gets a tenant or a roommate to pay off the loan/mortgage amount by cohabiting. It is different from other forms of real estate, where the home owner resides in the place which is bought or invested in.

However, house-hacking has received a lot of flak from real estate investors and realtors across the world. Many have opined that house hacking is an easy way out for the ones who desire to make instant money without much effort.

We are listing out the most common cons of house hacking. Please note that these are just our opinion and we do not impose any of them as the ultimate truth.

  1. Lack of Privacy

When your rent a part of your house to someone else who would levy the same amount of rights in the place as you, you tend to lose your sense of privacy, if not completely. This is worse if the person living as a tenant is a stranger to you.

  1. Overburdening responsibilities

Being the owner of a house comes with responsibilities. You will be responsible for the maintenance, upkeep and care of the property. A lot can go wrong if you are not careful, and thus house hacking requires lot of work and investment as a landlord.

  1. To good to be true

You probably house hacked your house to make some extra bucks and pay the mortgage without much work. However, it cannot be denied that it needs money to make money. Considering the maintenance cost and the dry periods as the tenants move in and out, the money you will be making wont be much. It might be just enough to cover your loan, but not for huge investments.

  1. Less responses

The houses that are put in the market for hacking often tend to get less responses because they are viewed as owner occupied properties. As the owners live in the houses, many prospective tenants do not prefer such houses.

  1. Increase in expenditure

Sharing a house with a tenant means that the expenditure on utilities like water, electricity, internet, gas etc. increases. If theses are not mentioned in the rental agreement, the owner ends up paying for such expenditures many a times.

Buying a house is a huge expenditure and it is highly probable that such an investment would make you hit your financial rock bottom. Many a times, buying a house doesn’t leave the owner with much money for further investment. If you are one of those who are new in the real estate industry and have a long way to go, house hacking is not the best option for you. You can rather investment your money while it makes money. Read our article on Rent vs Buy to know more about it.

The ultimate check list for new home owners

So you have finally closed the deal on your dream house. The strenuous process of looking for houses is over, and you have now a place to call your own. But moving to a new place can be really intimidating, even confusing at times. There is so much to take care of, where do you even start!

Keeping in mind that the time right after moving to a new home is tough for the home owners, we are listing down the most important things to mind on. Please note that not everything can be done in a day and it takes a long time to finally settle down in a new home. However, our list will help you understand the urgency of the matters, and will help you prioritize your course of action.

So let’s read on-

  1. Make copies of important real estate documents and store them in a safe place-

If you have bought a house, you sure must have a stack of important documents. Make sure you have duplicate copies of every document, and the original are kept safe in a bank locker or any other place.

  1. Change/update your address-

You do not want to be cut off from the rest of the world just because you have changed homes. Change/update your postal address for all sorts of bills and subscriptions. You would also want to inform your friends and family about the new address.

  1. Replace every lock in your house

Security is a matter of utmost concern. Thus it is extremely important to change the locks of each and every door, gate and window of the house right after moving in.

  1. Install a new security system

Security systems take the matter of security a notch higher and have become quite mandatory in the modern house. Install one to stay safe and secure.

  1. Do a deep cleaning and call an expert, if necessary.

Deep cleaning your house inside out before moving in is necessary to keep off any dirt and bacteria. Also, deep cleaning is necessary for wiping off rodents and pests off.

  1. Get a home insurance

Now that you own a house, it is extremely important for you to have a home insurance for all those inevitable bad times. Do your research and book one that will be most beneficial for you.

  1. Create a seasonal home maintenance checklist

Like our food and clothes, the maintenance list of our houses too change with the weather. Thus, create a seasonal home maintenance checklist keeping in mind your budget and taste.

  1. Check the electronic appliances

Electronic appliances like ACs, water heaters etc need to be examined professionally before signing off any deal.

  1. Check for any sort of leakage

Air or water leakage are very harmful to the health. They also affect the condition of the house, deteriorating its condition over time. Hence, it is important to hire an expert to check and mend all the leakages before moving in.

  1. Meet the neighbors

No moving in can be complete without actually mingling with the neighbors and the neighborhood. Get to know your neighbors to make your moving in really smooth and easy.

Let us know in the comment section below about our list.

Different ways to hack your house

The term “Hacking the house” has been designed by an English realtor Brandon Turner during the early 2000s. Hacking a house means when a person purchases a property, live in a part of it and rent the other part to an other party. Please note that hacking a house is not the same as subletting an apartment; as to hack a house one has to be the legal owner of the same. Hacking a house is widely popular in the real estate industry because it is an easy way for the house owner to manage the house loan. In this way, the rent paid by the tenants or the roommates act as monthly installments for the home loan.

House hacking is a wise way to generate wealth and manage financial burden for those whose have just started in the journey towards financial independence.

Below mentioned are some of the benefits of house hacking-

  1. House hacking plays an important role in reducing the expenditure on housing of the house owner.
  2. House hacking also saves taxes as it deducts the portion of house expenditure.
  3. It helps the owner to repay the house loans in a much shorter term.
  4. It generates a second source of income for the house owner.
  5. With more people living in the house, it is easier to care and maintain the same.

 

Now that you know how beneficial house hacking is, you too can house hack your apartment by the following ways-

  1. Advertise the need for a tenant well in advance, so that you can take your fair share of time in choosing the best tenant for your house.
  2. Make sure that your house has all the amenities as per the market standards, so as to keep the demand of your house high in the market.
  3. Maintain a friendly environment in your house, as you will be sharing a space with a tenant as a roommate.
  4. Get your house registered. Non registered houses do receive a lot of flak from tenants when they are put on market.
  5. Get an agreement signed by your tenant to make the whole process of renting out legal. Legalizing renting out saves a lot in the long run.
  6. Before house hacking, make sure about how much interference you want in your house. Sharing a house with a stranger is not easy, and you as an owner has to be very clear about the boundaries.

House hacking can work for almost anyone—families, people living in expensive areas, people living alone inn a big house, etc. We hope that a variation of one of these house hacking strategies work for you. Let us know in the comments section below.

Housewarming gifts that are perfect for a modern day couple

Housewarming, or ‘GRIHA-PRAVESH’ in India as it is called, has come a long way from being an elaborate religious affair to an intimate gathering of just friends and family. For any homeowner, moving to a new house is an exciting phase, and if someone close to you is making the move, you cannot help but feel excited for them. If and when you are invited to a housewarming party, you have to sincerely consider the fact that this might one of the happiest day of the person who has invited you, and he/she have gone the extra mile to invite you and make you a part of your happiness. Thus, it becomes your responsibility to be considerate and get along something.

Housewarmings are the perfect timings to come up with innovative gifting ideas that are not only attractive but also useful. Hence, we have brought to you some amazing gifting ideas that are beautiful, useful and price effective. Also, they are vaastu-friendly!

>> Paper lamps- Paper lamps are not only beautiful, but are also considered to harbinger of luck and prosperity in the oriental culture. You can either gift a single piece of in a set of two. Paper lamps decorating book shelves or bedroom cabinets give the house a classy, yet subtle look.

>> Air-purifying plants- Gifting plants on special occasions is not an old phenomenon, but it is definitely here to stay. While plants like aloe vera and tulsi are good for the health, others like jade, money plants and water bamboo are excellent air purifiers. Now who wouldn't love such thoughtful gifts?

>> Ceramic decorative vases- Ceramic holds a very special place in both Indian and Oriental Cultures. In Japan, it is said that people fix broken pieces of ceramic with liquid gold. A ceramic vase or a ceramic cutlery set will suit best as a housewarming gift for someone who has a knack for showpieces.

>> Fish tanks- If you are on the higher side of your budget or if your friends would like to have fishes as pets, fish tanks, fish bowls or aquariums are the best choice for you. Live fishes in tanks and bowls not only make the aura in the house vibrant, they are also a great source of stress-buster.

>> Crystals- It is said that crystals, when kept facing the north eastern direction of the living room and the bedroom, brings joy and prosperity to the family. The good thing about crystals as a gifting idea is that they come in various sizes, shapes, styles and forms. We assure you that crystals as a gift will definitely be loved by your friends.

Let us know what you think of our list.