The seemingly endless run of bad housing news is discouraging some potential home buyers from considering a purchase. But the truth is that the advantages of homeownership have very little to do with investment gains. The best things about owning a home have a lot more to do with personal comfort and satisfaction. Here are some of them:
· Be your own landlord. The bank can only kick you out if you don’t pay; a landlord can be much less dependable – deciding to sell the property or choosing to live there themselves. · Paying the principal is forced savings. Yes, it’s possible that home prices will fall further. It is also possible that your 401(k) will lose value. But over the long haul, both are likely to enjoy modest gains in value. · Fixed-rate mortgages never rise – and eventually you pay them off. With mortgage rates at record lows, people who buy now are locking in real bargains. · Good schools. Family-sized rentals are harder to come by in areas with excellent public schools. · Spacious properties in pleasant neighborhoods. Sizable homes in attractive communities are almost always owned – not rented. Feel good about owning!
Source: The New York Times, Ron Lieber (08/27/2010)
.. review the Cost vs Value report in your region by Remodeling Magazine. It will give you an idea of the cost you will recoup on a given project. Bottom line is, consider how long you will be in the property before doing any major project.
No matter where you are in the country an outdoor room can enhance your living space and overall quality of life. Having a nice outdoor space can also help sell your property. I believe it is often easier for a buyer to picture themselves relaxing on an inviting balcony than it is to imagine sleeping in the master bedroom. Create a nice space to enjoy the outdoors this summer and into the fall. Make sure to warm up the space with lanterns, string lights or candles. Use whatever linens are space appropriate, curtains, blinds, pillows or a rug. Hang an antique mirror or iron sculpture to complete the look. Go shopping! You can get great deals on outdoor items this time of year! And watch Outdoor Room with Jamie Durie for inspiration.
Whether you are a new homeowner, are thinking of selling or you just feel the need for change- swap out some accessories. It's just like having the right handbag the right hardware can change a room. Scan your home for accessories that are outdated or just plain wrong for the vibe. Replace a light fixture, ceiling fan, door knob, switch plate, floor register, or cabinet pulls. Check out a local salvage yard, ebay or go to my favorites House of Antique Hardware or Rejuvenation.