Need More Space?

Outgrowing Your Space
If you’ve been thinking of adding a room to your house or converting an unfinished basement into an extra room, you might want to think twice. Take a look at the last two articles I wrote about “Home Renovations that Give the Biggest Returns” http://rumsonfairhavenhome.wordpress.com/2014/03/30/home-renovations-that-give-the-biggest-returns/  and you’ll quickly see that capital renovations to a home increase the home’s value by only a fraction of the cost of the project.

If you’re thinking of spending $100,000 on a renovation project, you might want me to show you some of the new construction in our area instead. For $100,000 plus the equity you’ve built up in your current home, you might be able to buy a new house with the space and amenities you want, and all of that $100,000 investment would be captured as equity. In addition, newer construction techniques combined with high-efficiency heating and cooling systems would probably mean lower monthly utility bills.

A note of warning, though: mortgage interest rates are projected to increase by about 0.5% by the fall, and about a full percentage by this time next year. If you need a mortgage to buy a new house, each 1% increase in mortgage rates has the effect of decreasing your purchasing power by 9%. In other words, if now you can qualify for a $400,000 mortgage but you wait 12 months before buying a house, 1% higher interest rates will mean that you’ll only qualify for about a $360,000 mortgage for the same monthly payment. And that’s assuming that home prices remain stable and don’t go up in the next 12 months.

The two take-home messages: you might want to look at new construction instead of adding space to your curent home, and if you’re thinking about buying a house and need a mortgage, find the house you want soon, before interest rates go up.

Len

Dunikoski1212webLeonard “Len” Dunikoski, GRI
REALTOR® Associate
Diane Turton Realtors – Rumson Office
8 West River Road
Rumson, NJ 07760

(732) 239-0739  (cell)    (732) 530-6686 (office)

ldunikoski@dianeturton.com

http://www.rumsonfairhavenhome.com

@ListWithLen

 

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Today’s Vocabulary Word: Bespoke

Len Sign Web

Earlier this week I was looking through a magazine and came across an ad for luxury townhouses. The headline was, “The bespoke luxury of a ______ address”.

“Bespoke” is an adjective you don’t see very often, so I took out the dictionary to see if it meant what I thought it meant: custom-made. If you Google “bespoke” you’ll find that it’s a British word that originally referred to men’s clothing that was hand-made and made to order for an individual customer. The customer essentially started with a blank slate, and could select the fabric, the design, the buttons, indeed all of the details, so that in theory the person ordering the clothing might have not just something made-to-measure, but an article of clothing that was unique.

In real estate, a bespoke house would be one that was built without using some pre-existing floor plan, and would give the owner TOTAL control over the exterior design, the interior layout, selection of materials, etc. Using “bespoke” to apply to selecting options for an already built townhouse is a real stretch of the original definition, but, hey, the company marketing those townhouses wanted to imply they were something very special. After all, the buyer could select from a long list of premium upgrades.

I would have forgotten all about that ad had I not read a different magazine in a doctor’s office. This time the ad was for a luxury automobile, and there again was that word, “bespoke”. The car looked very, very nice and seemed to have every possible amenity. In fact, it didn’t look like a buyer could choose ANY options, because the car already came with everything you could possibly want. So “custom-made” seemed like an even more inappropriate use of the word.

The next time you see the word “bespoke” used in an ad, just assume a narrator is speaking to you with a British accent, and wants to impress you with how lucky you’d be if you could be one of the fortunate people who could purchase that home, or car, or yacht, or wristwatch.

Maybe I should start advertising myself as the bespoke REALTOR® for the Rumson-Fair Haven area. Lol.

Dunikoski1212webLeonard “Len” Dunikoski, GRI
REALTOR® Associate
Diane Turton Realtors – Rumson Office
8 West River Road
Rumson, NJ 07760

(732) 239-0739  (cell)    (732) 530-6686 (office)

ldunikoski@dianeturton.com

http://www.rumsonfairhavenhome.com

@ListWithLen

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Moving? I Can Help!

Finally! Our First Daffodils of 2014

Finally! Our First Daffodils of 2014

If you’re planning to move out of state or to a different part of New Jersey, how do you find an excellent REALTOR® at your new destination? Don’t worry- I can help. The Relocation Department of Diane Turton Realtors is located right in the Rumson office, and we can make sure you’re referred to an individual who’ll help you find exactly what you’re looking for in a price within your budget. We belong to an organization called Leading Real Estate Companies of the World. This is a network of independently-owned real estate agencies, and they’re all local experts in their locations.

Why is an independently-owned real estate office different? Let me give you an example: Diane Turton is the owner of Diane Turton Realtors. She founded the company 25 years ago, and she takes an active interest in each of her offices and each of her agents. She visits the Rumson office at least monthly, and knows each of us by name. If any of my clients wants to meet with her, I can easily arrange that. There’s a “Diane Turton” in each of the agencies that belong to Leading Real Estate Companies of the World.

Give me a call and let me know where you’d like to move to and I’ll handle the rest. You’ll be contacted by a REALTOR® who’s a local expert about the area you’re interested in. He/she will be glad to work with you whenever and however you’d like, even if you’re not planning to relocate for some time.

Len Dunikoski1212webLeonard “Len” Dunikoski, GRI
REALTOR® Associate
Diane Turton Realtors – Rumson Office
8 West River Road
Rumson, NJ 07760

(732) 239-0739  (cell)  (732) 530-6686 (office) ldunikoski@dianeturton.com
http://www.rumsonfairhavenhome.com
@ListWithLen

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Home Renovations that Give the Highest Returns, Part 2

Yesterday we looked at the 2014 statistics from the National Association of Realtors’® “Cost vs. Value” report for “midrange” home upgrades in the Middle-Atlantic region. Today we’ll look at 13 “upscale” projects, showing the average costs and the percentages of costs home owners can expect to recover when they sell their homes. Again, they’re listed from the highest to the lowest percentage of cost recovery.

 

               Project                                                   Cost                 Value              % Recovered

Garage Door Replacement*                               $ 2,842            $ 2,219                         78.0%

Siding Replacement (Fiber-Cement)              $13,818           $10,559                       76.0%

Siding Replacement (Foam-backed Vinyl)    $14,631           $10,090                       69.0%

Window Replacement (Vinyl)*                          $13,527           $ 9,051                        67.0%

Grand Entrance (Fiberglass)                              $ 7,356            $ 4,805                        65.0%

Window Replacement (Wood)*                        $16,995           $10,565                       62.0%

Major Kitchen Remodel*                                     $111,758         $61,624                       55.0%

Deck Addition (Composite)*                              $35,996           $19,943                       55.0%

Roofing Replacement*                                         $36,792           $19,704                       54.0%

Bathroom Remodel*                                             $52,247           $27,528                       53.0%

Bathroom Addition*                                              $74,221           $37,121                       50.0%

Garage Addition*                                                   $84,062           $41,357                       49.0%

Master Suite Addition *                                     $230,460         $105,306                     46.0%

Projects with asterisks (*) were surveyed both for “midrange” and “upscale” versions; the numbers above are for the upscale versions.

For all of the above “upscale” projects, the percentages of cost recoveries were lower in the Middle-Atlantic region than the national recovery percentages.

Interestingly, if we compare “upscale” projects to “midrange” projects of the same type (for example, garage door replacement) we find a lower percentage recovery for every “upscale” project except one: bathroom additions recovered 50.0% of costs regardless of whether they were midrange or upscale.

The bottom line is that you never recover the full cost of home renovation projects. If you decide to remodel or upgrade part of your house, do it for the pleasure it gives you and for the improvements you find in your daily living.

Hope this information was useful to you.

Len

Leonard “Len” Dunikoski, GRI
REALTOR® Associate
Diane Turton Realtors – Rumson Office
8 West River Road
Rumson, NJ 07760

(732) 239-0739  (cell)    (732) 530-6686 (office)

ldunikoski@dianeturton.com

http://www.rumsonfairhavenhome.com

@ListWithLen

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Home Renovations that Give the Biggest Returns

During the course of owning a home, many people do renovations and upgrades so they can better enjoy living in their home. Each year the National Association of Realtors® does a “Cost vs. Value” report, showing the average costs for about two dozen “midrange” home upgrades and the percentages of costs home owners can expect to recover when they sell their homes.

The report you’ll see in magazines and newspapers will give the nationwide statistics, but here are the 2014 numbers for the Middle-Atlantic region (it’s no surprise that in every case, the cost is higher than the national average). I’ve arranged them from the highest percentage recovery to the lowest. Note that there are 2 entries for entry door replacement and for deck addition.

               Project                                               Cost                 Value              % Recovered

Entry Door Replacement (Steel)                  $ 1,177            $ 1,098                        93.0%

Garage Door Replacement*                           $ 1,567            $ 1,318                        84.0%

Deck Addition (Wood)                                     $ 9,826            $ 7,856                      80.0%

Backup Power Generator                               $11,984           $ 9,215                        77.0%

Attic Bedroom                                                    $51,307           $38,888                     76.0%

Entry Door Replacement (Fiberglass)        $ 2,841            $ 1,980                        70.0%

Siding Replacement (Vinyl)                            $11,849           $ 8,148                        69.0%

Window Replacement (Vinyl)*                      $10,224           $ 6,913                        68.0%

Minor Kitchen Remodel                                   $19,350           $13,251                       68.0%

Window Replacement (Wood)*                     $11,177            $ 7,514                         67.0%

Deck Addition (Composite)*                           $15,633           $10,323                       66.0%

Major Kitchen Remodel*                                  $56,254           $35,911                       64.0%

Bathroom Remodel*                                          $16,601           $10,567                       64.0%

Basement Remodel                                            $65,233           $39,452                       60.0%

Two-Story Addition                                            $158,931         $95,604                       60.0%

Family Room Addition                                     $83,617           $48,525                       58.0%

Garage Addition*                                                 $51,107           $29,614                       58.0%

Roofing Replacement*                                      $19,478           $11,348                       58.0%

Master Suite Addition*                                    $107,303           $61,512                      57.0%

Bathroom Addition*                                           $39,317           $19,514                       50.0%

Sunroom Addition                                               $75,184           $32,974                      44.0%

Home Office Remodel                                        $28,813           $12,228                      42.0%

Projects with asterisks (*) were surveyed both for “midrange” and “upscale” versions; the numbers above are for the midrange versions.

For 20 of the above 22 “midrange” projects, the percentages of cost recoveries were lower in the Middle-Atlantic region than the national recovery percentages; only for adding a backup power generator and for garage door replacement were the percentages higher. I guess we value emergency generators and nice garage doors more than average Americans do!

Today’s bottom line: if you’re thinking of a renovation project just to make your home easier to sell in the next year or two, you might want to think twice about it. If your entrance door (or garage door) doesn’t make a good first impression, the low cost of replacement and high percentage of cost recovery make sense, and replacement definitely will increase your home’s “curb appeal”. However, you’d better really “love” enjoying the short-term benefits of other projects in order for them to make sense from a financial standpoint.

Tomorrow we’ll look at the average costs of 13 “Upscale” renovations in the Middle-Atlantic region and the recovery percentages for each of them.

Len

Leonard “Len” Dunikoski, GRI
REALTOR® Associate
Diane Turton Realtors – Rumson Office
8 West River Road
Rumson, NJ 07760

(732) 239-0739  (cell)    (732) 530-6686 (office)

ldunikoski@dianeturton.com

http://www.rumsonfairhavenhome.com

@ListWithLen

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Spring Cleanup

White Pine Branches2

What a great first day of Spring we had yesterday! I took advantage of the nice weather to do a bit of yard work. A few weeks ago we had a winter storm that brought high winds with it, and several of our older trees lost branches in both the front and back of our house.

I have a love/hate relationship with white pines. They’re good in that they grow quickly and give you both privacy and noise absorption. On the other hand, wind or heavy snow is very hard on them, and they seem to be the first trees damaged. It was easy to load some of the smaller branches onto the cart and take them to the street, but the larger branches had to be cut into smaller pieces. Fortunately the gasoline chain saw started easily, and made quick work of even the thickest branches. A little carting, a little raking and the lawn was back to normal.

One of the nice things about working around you house yourself is that you get to see what’s going on with your plants and shrubs. Although none of our daffodils are blooming yet, I did see some yellow in the tips of the shoots, so hopefully we’ll see some flowers next week.  It makes me want to spend a lot more time outside!

Len

Dunikoski1212webLeonard “Len” Dunikoski, GRI
REALTOR® Associate
Diane Turton Realtors – Rumson Office
8 West River Road
Rumson, NJ 07760

(732) 239-0739  (cell)    (732) 530-6686 (office)

ldunikoski@dianeturton.com

http://www.rumsonfairhavenhome.com

@ListWithLen

Posted in Len Dunikoski, Rumson Fair Haven Real Estate, Rumson Fair Haven Real Estate Agent, Rumson Fair Haven Realtor, Rumson Realtor | Leave a comment

Thinking of Selling in 2014?

Have you been thinking of selling your home? If so, 2014 might be a good year to do it. For example, in Fair Haven prices are up, fewer homes are on the market, and the real estate absorption rate is consistent with a “seller’s market”. I recommend that you interview 2 or 3 different REALTORS® and ask each one to give you a detailed marketing plan. Here are 4 things you should look for:

  • Over 90% of buyers look for homes on the internet. Does the REALTOR®understand and use the latest technology including a video/virtual tour, a feature presentation on web sites and the maximum number of photographs (25) allowed in the Multiple Listing Services? Does the REALTOR® use QR codes and SMS text for instant information/photos to smart phones?
  • How, in addition to the MLS, will your listing be distributed to REALTORS® who may already have buyers looking for a home like yours?
  • How often will you get periodic progress reports on the success of the marketing plan, and what will they include?
  • Is the REALTOR® confident enough to regularly publish a column or blog giving statistics on local real estate sales? Can he/she give you key, objective indicators of what’s happening in your town’s real estate market?

I’ve lived in Fair Haven since 1975, and I’d love to help sell your home in the shortest time and for the highest price. Please call and let me be one of the REALTORS® you interview.

Len

Dunikoski1212webLeonard “Len” Dunikoski, GRI
REALTOR® Associate
Diane Turton Realtors – Rumson Office
8 West River Road
Rumson, NJ 07760

(732) 239-0739  (cell)    (732) 530-6686 (office)

ldunikoski@dianeturton.com

http://www.rumsonfairhavenhome.com

@ListWithLen

Posted in Fair Haven Homes Sold, Rumson Fair Haven Real Estate, Rumson Fair Haven Real Estate Agent, Rumson Fair Haven Realtor, Rumson Homes Sold | Leave a comment