Home Improvements with the Best ROI

Many homeowners are eager to begin remodeling projects as warm weather hits. While this seems like a good way to add value to their home, a lot of homeowners don’t take into consideration the return on investment (ROI) these projects can offer when they’re ready to sell. With the rising costs of material and labor, these are not decisions one should make lightly.

According to Remodel Magazine’s newly-released report on Cost Vs. Value, the percentage of ROI for home replacement projects are predicted to decrease this year. Larger indoor remodeling projects are projected to take a hit as well, but not as severe as replacement projects because they rely more on labor costs rather than costs of materials.

So, what kind of remodeling will get you the most bang for your buck? Here’s a list of projects with the best ROI:

1. Garage Door Replacement

  • Average Cost: $3,611
  • Average Resale Value: $3,520
  • 97.5% ROI

Few home improvements can increase your home’s curb appeal as quickly and affordably as a new garage door. The range in costs can vary, depending on the type and number of doors, your garage’s structure, and your plans to do it yourself or hire a professional. A good way to get an accurate estimate on cost is to ask for bids from several professionals.

2. Manufactured Stone Veneer

  • Average cost: $13,333
  • Average Resale Value: $8,449
  • 94.9% ROI

Manufactured Stone Veneer is made of cement, lightweight natural aggregates, and iron oxide pigments that gives it the natural stone color. The very first stone veneer was made of natural stone and manufactured in the 19th century. Manufactures sliced the natural stone into thick slabs, and cement wasn’t used for this process until the 1950s.

3. Minor Kitchen Remodel

  • Average Cost: $22,507
  • Average Resale Value: $18,123
  • 80.5% ROI

Remodeling your kitchen may be exactly what your home needs, but it’s important to understand renovation costs and how to set a budget that works for you and can ultimately get you the most ROI.

4. Wood Deck Addition

  • Average Cost: $13,333
  • Average Resale Value: $10,083
  • 75.6% ROI

A deck addition can be as simple as a platform that stands on its own a couple inches off the ground, or as complex as a multi-level structure with steps, railings, trellises and more. Determining your wants and needs is a great way to start planning the structure and costs of your new deck.

5. Siding Replacement

  • Average Cost: $16,036
  • Average Resale Value: $12,119
  • 75.6% ROI

Replacing your home’s siding can be a daunting task as there are many options, costs and materials to choose from. Keep in mind that low-cost siding may save you money at first, but more expensive siding lasts longer and doesn’t need to be replaced nearly as much.

6. Steel Entry Door Replacement

  • Average Cost: $1,826
  • Average Resale Value: $1,368
  • 74.9% ROI

Insulated steel is commonly used for exterior doors because of its energy efficiency, security and durability. Doors made from steel also have high insulation than wood doors and require little maintenance. They are typically less expensive than wood or fiberglass doors, which can ultimately give you the best ROI in terms of exterior doors.

7. Vinyl Window Replacement

  • Average Cost: $16,802
  • Average Resale Value: $12,332
  • 73.4% Return on Investment

Replacing vinyl windows is much easier than wood or large casement windows, and homeowners can easily achieve this without having to hire a professional. In fact, vinyl replacement windows are made for simple installment.

8. Fiberglass Grand Entrance

  • Average Cost: $8,994
  • Average Resale Value: $6,469
  • 71.9% ROI

Fiberglass composite doors are generally less expensive than wood and are growing in popularity. They can imitate the look of real wood, with an embossed wood-grain texture. Their best-selling point is they often come with long limited warranties – some as long as the life of the home.

9. Wood Window Replacement

  • Average Cost: $20,526
  • Average Resale Value: $14,530
  • 70.8% ROI

Wood windows offer the best insulation value and a both environmentally sustainable and durable. Many homeowners prefer wooden windows because of the natural look and in that sense can offer a better ROI than other materials.

10. Bathroom Remodel

  • Average Cost: $64,743
  • Average Resale Value: $38,952
  • 20.2% ROI

If your bathroom is in good working condition but slightly dated, it might not be worth undergoing a full remodel just to get a fresh, new look. However, if your bathroom has more severe issues like cracked tile, mold, structural defects, water damage or electrical issues,  you should definitely consider remodeling if you are planning to sell.

The Market w/Jeff & Eirik | Episode 6: How to Buy a Home When You Have to Sell

Navigating the home buying process can be tricky in any market. But when it’s a strong seller’s market this process can become even more challenging.

With many homes seeing competitive offer situations home buyers need to find a way to stand out above the crowd. This can be difficult for current home owners who need to sell before buying their next home.

Jeff & Eirik discuss strategies current home owners can take to purchase when they are looking to buy a home, but also have a home to sell.

1:11: The HELOC and Bridge Loan
1:58: Can you qualify to buy without selling?
2:55: Find a home to buy, then list your home
3:16: List your home, then try to find a home to buy
3:50: Buy without a home sale contingency
4:07: Where does the down payment come from?
4:40: Sell your home and prepare for short term renting

Connect w/Eirik to apply for your Pre-Approval: http://erorvigmortgage.com/

Search Homes or Start Your Journey with The Minter Team:
https://www.TheMinterTeam.com

See our Home Selling Game Plan: https://theminterteam.com/sell/

The Market w/Jeff & Eirik | Episode 5: The Power of a Team

Who you choose to work with as your mortgage lender and Realtor can make all the difference between a smooth transaction and one filled with drama and hiccups.

Connecting with professionals that operate and function at a high level together can enhance your experience and success even further.  Jeff & Eirik discuss why they believe team work and synergy between the professionals you choose to work with can make all the difference in your home buying journey.

1:00: Why Jeff appreciates working with Eirik

1:46: Save the drama

2:40: It’s about trust

4:10: 100% responsibility

5:23: Communication, accessibility, and commitment to the client

6:07: The 3rd leg of the stool

Connect w/Eirik to apply for your Pre-Approval: http://erorvigmortgage.com/

Search Homes or Start Your Journey with The Minter Team: https://www.TheMinterTeam.com

The Market w/Jeff & Eirik | Episode 4: Serving First Time Home Buyers

First time home buyers bring unique experiences to the process.

There are questions surrounding mortgage options, credit requirements, how to write an offer, what happens at an inspection, and much, much more.

Jeff & Eirik discuss how they handle first time buyers and what to expect when starting the process.

1:00: It’s about the education

1:40: Eirik’s process

2:23: The value of trust

2:37: Jeff’s process

3:54: The budget & long term planning

5:08: Think about the resale

7:10: Timelines matter

8:25: Transitioning from a rental to your home

Connect w/Eirik to apply for your Pre-Approval: https://crosscountrymortgage.com/Wauw…

Search Homes or Start Your Journey with The Minter Team: https://www.TheMinterTeam.com

14 Must-Know Road Trip Hacks

When it comes to a road trip, it’s often about the journey, not the destination. Make sure that journey is memorable for the right reasons with a few tips and tricks.

1. Before you leave home, either download or screenshot directions for your route for when you inevitable lose cell service along the way.

2. Pack a bag with wet wipes, paper towels, hand sanitizer, and use a cereal container as a trash can to deal with accidents or messes.

3. Freeze bottles of water and use them to chill your cooler instead of ice – you’ll have extra drinking water if you need it, and you’ll avoid the mess of having a potentially leaky cooler full of melted ice in your car.

4. Bring shower caddy for easy eating.

5. Avoid the endless “Are we there yet?” questions.  Make a visual road trip map to help answer that question for the 12 millionth time and add a little fun to your trip.

6. Have a tablet? Get one of THESE awesome back-of-the-seat holders!  Not only do they hold your tablet so the passengers in the back can watch something together while out of the sight of the driver,  but they can also store other road trip necessities.

7. Make DIY car seat pillows for when you nod off or wrap seat belts in a small blanket.

8. Make a DIY travel tray by using a pillow with a cookie sheet or tray on top. Great for kids and grown-ups alike, the tray keeps  it easy to keep coloring books and snacks contained.

9. Use suction shower organizers to hold art supplies.

10. Forget overly pungent air fresheners and make your own!  Place a few wax scents into a mason jar and cover it with a top that has holed drilled into them.  The wax will melt while it sits in the warm sunshine and the scent will make your car smell amazing.

11. Traveling with a bunch of friends? Make sure you’re all on the same money-sharing app so you can easily transfer funds to keep gas, toll, and food costs equal.

12. Bringing your four legged family member with you?  Keep your pooch happy with these essentials:

– Vaccination papers

 – Waste Bags

– Food and treats

– Dog food in a Travel Bag

Portable Food and Water Container

– Dog Shampoo and Accident Cleaner

Dog Medical Bag

13. Don’t forget the Emergency Car Kit with First Aid!

14. Need more tips or looking for a gold mind of information, from quirky roadside sights to accommodations?  Check out Roadtrippers.com to help plan your trip. (They also have an app that you can download HERE for iOS or HERE for Android.)

The Market w/Jeff & Eirik | Episode 3: Overcoming Hurdles to Get a Home Loan as a New Physician

Between the staggering amount of student loan debt, and relatively lower resident pay scales it can be challenging for new doctors to qualify for certain types of mortgages.

Enter the physician loan program.

With as little as 0% down, no private mortgage insurance, and the opportunity to overlook student loan debt there does exist an opportunity for new doctors to settle in as they begin their career.

Jeff & Eirik sat down to discuss how this mortgage program works and how it benefits new physicians.

1:17: 0% down, no PMI, no points
1:43: The challenge of being a new physician
2:12: Who qualifies?
2:54: Addressing student loan debt

Connect w/Eirik to apply for your Pre-Approval: https://crosscountrymortgage.com/Wauw…

Search Homes or Start Your Journey with The Minter Team:
https://www.TheMinterTeam.com

The Market w/Jeff & Eirik | Episode 2: How a Fast Track Mortgage Helps you Win in Todays Market

When the housing market gets tight, and there are high levels of competition for the best houses, home buyers need to find every angle possible to stand apart from the crowd when submitting an offer. In this episode Jeff & Eirik sat down to discuss how a fast track mortgage can help their clients win in a competitive market.

  • 1:10: What’s the FAST TRACK pre-approval?
  • 1:50: Why the FAST TRACK helps you stand out
  • 2:15: Close in 14 days?!
  • 2:27: Faster contingency deadlines = less risk
  • 2:50: Why a stronger pre-approval helps you WIN as a home buyer
  • 3:29: How can you apply for a FAST TRACK?

Connect w/Eirik to apply for your Pre-Approval: https://crosscountrymortgage.com/Wauw

Search Homes or Start Your Journey with The Minter Team: https://www.TheMinterTeam.com

Oregon WI Real Estate Market Update | March 2019

Sales dipped drastically in February while inventory, or the number of available homes, continues to stay low.

With a 38% decrease in new listings from the same time a year ago our mid-winter market has a number of opportunities for home sellers while buyers should remain patient while getting prepared to move quickly.

0:35: Only 3?!?!
0:48: Lowest month in over 8 years
0:53: Inventory up or down?
1:14: What’s going on?
1:51: Where are we going?
2:00: How many homes are available?
2:40: Winning as a home buyer
2:49: The new construction option

 

Search Oregon homes for sale at: https://theminterteam.com/homesearch/

Sales dipped drastically in February while inventory, or the number of available homes, continues to stay low.

With a 38% decrease in new listings from the same time a year ago our mid-winter market has a number of opportunities for home sellers while buyers should remain patient while getting prepared to move quickly.

0:35: Only 3?!?!
:48: Lowest month in over 8 years
:53: Inventory up or down?
1:14: What’s going on?
1:51: Where are we going?
2:00: How many homes are available?
2:40: Winning as a home buyer
2:49: The new construction option

Search Oregon homes for sale at: https://theminterteam.com/homesearch/

Sales dipped drastically in February while inventory, or the number of available homes, continues to stay low.

With a 38% decrease in new listings from the same time a year ago our mid-winter market has a number of opportunities for home sellers while buyers should remain patient while getting prepared to move quickly.

0:35: Only 3?!?!
:48: Lowest month in over 8 years
:53: Inventory up or down?
1:14: What’s going on?
1:51: Where are we going?
2:00: How many homes are available?
2:40: Winning as a home buyer
2:49: The new construction option

Search Oregon homes for sale at: https://theminterteam.com/homesearch/

The Market w/Jeff & Eirik | Episode 1: Get the Home You Want by Winning with Your Pre-Approval

The Dane County real estate market is once again off to a hot start in 2019. After record setting years in 2016 and 2017 home sales were down slightly in 2018 but still stood in third place all-time for sales in Dane County.
 
Alongside the high number of sales we are in the middle of a massive shortage in available homes. While inventory has risen year over year for the last few months, we still entered 2019 with only 944 properties available…half when compared to the same time in 2014 and roughly 25% of the more than 3300 we saw available to start the year in 2011.
 
With sales happening due to high demand, but a shortage of available homes, we are seeing a very competitive market in most segments of our local housing market.
 
Jeff & Eirik sat down to discuss how a strong pre-approval letter can help their clients stand apart from the crowd when submitting offers this year.
 
0:54: A highly competitive market
1:08: STEP ONE towards buying a home
1:24: A pre-approval from “the other guy”
2:07: The FULLY UNDERWRITTEN pre-approval
2:50: Why a stronger pre-approval helps you WIN as a home buyer
3:25: Shrink timelines to compete
3:47: A 14 day financing contingency?!
➡️Connect w/ Eirik to apply for your Pre-Approval: https://crosscountrymortgage.com/Wauwatosa-WI-5701/Eirik-Rorvig/
 
➡️Search Homes or Start Your Journey with The Minter Team:
https://www.TheMinterTeam.com/homesearch
 
➡️Additional Information about Pre-approval Letters & Printable Checklist: https://theminterteam.com/documents-you-need-for-a-mortgage-pre-approval-free-printable/

🧾Documents You Need for a Mortgage Pre-Approval + Free Printable!

What is a pre-approval letter?
A pre-approval letter provides proof that a mortgage lender has approved you to take a loan out and for exactly how much you are able to borrow. This document provides both your Realtor and the seller of a property evidence that you are serious in your path to homeownership and that you can afford the property that you placed an offer on.

When should I get pre-approved?
As your real estate agent, mentor, and coach, we recommended that getting pre-approved for a mortgage should be the first step of your home-buying journey. If you’re not sure of which mortgage lender to go with, we have a handful of trusted referrals that we have worked with in the past that we can share with you.

Why is getting pre-approved the first step of the home-buying process?
Getting pre-approved right away has many advantages. 

  1. It gives you confidence in your search. Knowing the amount you are pre-approved for not only helps us find homes within your budget, but it will ensure that you are comfortable with the price point and monthly payment amount. Plus, no one likes falling in a love with a home and then discovering that they can’t afford it!
  2. It puts you on the fast track to closing. Because most of your information is in the lender’s system, a mortgage pre-approval accelerates the loan process once you make an offer and makes you a stronger buyer.
  3.  It establishes your credibility as a homebuyer. When you put an offer on a home and include your pre-approval letter, it shows the Sellers that you are serious about buying a home, that you have your finances in check, and that you won’t be denied a mortgage if they decide to accept your offer.

     

What documents do I need to get pre-approved for a mortgage?
Depending on the type of mortgage you take out, here are the documents you may need to get the pre-approval process started. (Printable version available at the bottom!)

Identification (You will only need to bring one of the following forms of ID)
•Driver’s License
•Passport
•Other state- or federal-issued ID

Income
•Pay stubs for the last 30 days
•Last two federal tax returns
•Last two W-2s
•Proof of any additional income (2nd jobs, social security, alimony, etc.)
•If self-employed, YTD profit and loss statement, and two years of 1099s

Accounts
•Last two statements on all bank accounts
•Statements for all investments and/or retirement accounts

Additional Documents
•Social Security card or number
•Settlement statement from a previous home sale, if applicable
•Contact information for your landlord(s) for the last two years, if applicable
•Divorce decree, separation agreement, and/or property settlement agreement, if applicable
•Gift letter if a family member is helping with down payment
•A letter of explanation for late payments, collections, judgements, or other derogatory items in your credit history, if applicable

Some lenders may require additional documents depending on the type of loan you are taking out.

To get your free printable checklist, click HERE

Home Design Trends for 2019

We are seven days into 2019, and many of us have already started working on our New Year’s resolutions & intentions for the year.  When the clock strikes 12:00 AM on January 1st, many of us commit to the goals we have set for the year. We commit to these intentions so we can work towards being the best possible version of ourselves.
 
But what about our homes?  Our homes are our safe haven, an extension of ourselves and our family.  It’s where we play, teach, learn, sleep, eat, and bathe.  It’s where dreams are made, where we run to when we are having a bad day, and where we heal ourselves, whether it be physically or emotionally.  So shouldn’t we give our homes the TLC it deserves?
 
Besides keeping up with your home maintenance schedule, a fun way to spruce up your home is to check out some of the hottest home design trends for 2019.  If you’re looking for a little inspiration, here are seven enviable design trends for you to consider:
1. Pantone Color of Year (of course we have to start with this!): Living Coral
The Pantone website describes the color as “An animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge”. 
Typically seen paired with teal, this uplifting color also goes well with bright yellows and natural greens for an energetic feel or, if you’re looking for a more sophisticated look, pair it with navy blues, taupes, or greys.

If coral isn’t your cup of tea, other color trends for 2019 include burnt yellow, misty blues, dark greens, soft terracottas, almost whites, and bright citrus colors.

2. Terrazzo surfaces:

With the continued popularity of mid century modern design, it’s no surprise that Terrazzo is coming back. 

Terrazzo is a composite material that consists of chips of marble or granite that is set in concrete and polished to give it a smooth surface. It is incredibly durable & water resistant, so it can be used just about anywhere!  

From counters and showers to indoor or outdoor flooring, the possibilities are endless!

3. Bold, beautiful kitchens:

For years, the kitchen trend has been minimalistic, simple, and clean. This year, however, kitchens are becoming more personalized with color.

Other big trends for kitchens include the use of raw materials like wood & stone, mixed metals, and open shelving or glass cabinet doors.

4. Mix & matched furniture:

Instead of purchasing furniture sets from the same store, collect pieces as you go along. Having furniture in your home that isn’t all matching gives your home a more personalized feeling.

Don’t be afraid to mix furniture from different periods or show off your favorite family heirloom or a chic piece you picked up at a thrift store and refinished.

5. Boho is back:

The bohemian look is back this year but with a more modern, clean, and sophisticated look.  This can be achieved by mixing modern with vintage furniture, using softer lines, and layering fabrics.

6. Natural & green pieces:

Items made with natural materials are showing up more and more. Not only are they unique, but they also help you feel more in touch with nature while in your home.

Want to bring more of the outdoors in? Add some house plants! Not only can plants change the way a home feels by adding a refreshing and calming touch, they are also healthy for you (and look great next to the Pantone color of the year)! Plants can purify the air in your home, help you breathe easier, sleep better, decrease stress levels, and improve mental health.

7. Eco-friendly:

With climate change constantly on the news we are thinking more about how we can lower our personal carbon footprints.  Decor that is easy on the eyes while leaving little to no impact on our environment or resources will continue to be a big trend this year.  It is becoming more typical in interior design to use items that are repurposed, reclaimed, and recycled.  

You know the sayings “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure” and  “What is old is new again”?  Well refinishing furniture pieces found at thrift stores or flea markets can not only be a fun DIY project that you can show off, but it also helps the environment by lowering the amount of waste that is put into landfills, which in turn, reduces the amount of virgin materials that are used to make new items.

8 Things Every Homeowner Should do Now for a Worry-Free Winter

Old Man Winter is on his way!  Before he is here to stay for a few months, get these things done BEFORE the snow flies:

Cut the power to your A/C – Cut the power to your central air condition by flipping the breaker in your electrical box so your compressor doesn’t get damaged during the frigid weather.

Make sure your heating system is ready – Depending on the type of heating system you have, there are a few maintenance things you should do before the temperatures really start to dip.  We always recommend having a professional check and tune up your heating system once a year… And don’t forget to change your furnace filter!

Disconnect all hoses and shut off outdoor faucets – Make sure to disconnect all hoses before the weather is consistently before freezing and turn off outdoor faucets.  Typically, outdoor faucet shut offs are in your basement near where the spigot is located.

Check your insulation – Having the correct amount of insulation will keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer which will cut down on your energy costs.  It’s also a place where mice and other critters like to call home.  Check of your attic to make sure there is plenty of insulation and to ensure that there aren’t any unwanted guests.

Switch ceiling fans to reverse – Most people think of turning on their ceiling fans when their home needs to be cooled down, but many ceiling units come with a switch that reverses the direction of the blades.  Clockwise rotation can help keep your home warmer (and cut down your heating costs!) because the fan will circulate the warmer air that is near the ceiling back into the living space.

Insulate your pipes – Insulating your water piping will not only decrease the chance of them freezing, but it will also help you save money for your hot water.  Pre-slit pipe foam is available at most hardware stores.  Cut it to size and fasten it in place with duct tape.

Dodge the drafts – Drafts can waste up to 30% of your energy use.  Check doors and windows for any drafts.  Install storm doors and windows if you have them.  If you can feel the cold air coming from underneath exterior doors, use a draft stopper or place a rolled-up bath towel underneath the door.

Clean your gutters and down spouts – Clogged gutters can lead to damaging ice dams and roof leaks in the winter.  If you don’t have gutter guards, make sure they are clear of leaves and other debris before the first snow fall.

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