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August 2019

 

Whether you are looking to buy or sell, I can offer the highest levels in real estate expertise and professionalism. Don’t hesitate to contact me and allow me to help guide you through that process!

Pam French
Broker
PamFrenchRealtor@gmail.com   |   574-849-3037
http://www.pamfrench.bhhsni.com

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HOMEBUYERS’ ADVICE

Buying a Condominium

Single-family homes and condominiums offer vastly different lifestyles, so it’s helpful if you know what’s in store when you buy a home with shared walls.

Condos are more plentiful closer to urban centers, where populations are dense. If you prefer being around people, you’ll love the access that urban living offers.

You’ll be close to work centers and public transportation, and live in a walkable area that offers coffee shops and restaurants, shopping and much more. But density has its downside – the streets are busy and you may hear your neighbors playing music.

Lenders have certain requirements for condos that don’t apply to single-family homes. For example, FHA-approved lenders insist that 80% of the condo owners are owner-occupants. You’ll have to obtain the financial records of the homeowners’ association (HOA) to determine how many owners are delinquent in dues, how many units are rented out, and whether the HOA has enough in “reserves” or savings to perform necessary maintenance such as replacing a roof for the entire building.  

Most condos offer shared amenities like dog parks, swimming pools, workout rooms and so on, giving you access to more luxuries than you’d otherwise have. But the key word is “share.” To keep things nice, there will be rules to follow, which are in place to protect residents and their investment.

You own the airspace in your unit while everything else is owned collectively, so expect to pay monthly dues proportionate to your building’s condition and its amenities.

HOMEOWNERS’ ADVICE

Fun Math Rules for Homeownership

There are some easy ways to remember how to handle your money so that you can become a homeowner, prosper as a homeowner, and ultimately, sell your home at a profit.

The 50/20/30 rule. Your spending can be divided into three categories - Needs, Wants, and Savings. Allocate 50% of your after-tax income for needs such as food, rent, etc. Wants are things you can live without that make life easier or more enjoyable but should be no more than 30% of your budget. Twenty percent should go into savings and investments like IRAs or 401Ks.

The Rule of 72. This formula offers insight into how long any investment will take to double its return. If your home appreciates at 3% annually, it should double in value in 24 years. If you purchased at $400K and paid off your mortgage, you’ll have $800K in equity, enough to retire comfortably just from owning a home.

The Pareto Principle. Roughly 80% of outcomes are due to 20% of causes. To improve your budget, reduce the 20% of costs that are eating up 80% of your outgo, such as eating out.

The Law of Probability. Probability is guessing the number of ways en event can occur by dividing the total number of all possible event occurrences into the event. Event A is buying a home with the options of occupying, selling or leasing your home to others as options. What’s the probability you’ll remain in your home? The answer is 30%.

HOME IMPROVEMENT ADVICE

How to Create a Luxury Bath

According to Kitchen and Bath Business, homeowners have higher expectations for their bathrooms than ever before. They want a luxurious, spa-like space like the wealthiest mansion-dwellers enjoy.

So what are the secrets to achieving a luxurious bath? Consider the following concepts:

Space: Getting ready for the day or night out is done in one large room, with adjoining closets and separate sectors for bathing, grooming and dressing.

Privacy: A master bath should be inaccessible to any other rooms besides the master bedroom. Separate “his and her” water closets, along with separate dressing areas, help keep the marital romance alive.

Serenity: You’ll find most luxury baths in Houzz.com, Pinterest.com, or upper echelon magazines are done in soothing colors, like gentle shades of water.

Task lighting: The lighting in luxury baths is designed to enhance the task at hand, like shaving, avoid glare and flatter skin tones.

Quality: Wealthy people choose designs that stand the test of time including high-quality metal fixtures, solid-core doors, and fine wood, stone, and tile.

The future: Many luxury baths have features with a secondary purpose. Wider doorways, levers instead of knobs, zero-step showers, and textured flooring look great but also allow homeowners to gracefully age in place. 

Remodeling isn’t practical for everyone, but you can incorporate some ideas for your bath that will help you enjoy it more. Meanwhile, buy yourself some fluffy new bathsheets, light the candles and dim the lights for a long soak in the tub. You’ll feel like a million.

HOME IMPROVEMENT ADVICE

You’ll Be Glad You Measured First

How far from the dining room table should your chandelier hang? How tall should your kitchen countertops be? You’ll have to measure, so that your selections work for your family’s needs and are in proportion to everything else in the room.

Chandeliers – According to The Spruce, you should “add the dimensions of the room together in feet and then convert the answer to inches. A room that measures 10' x 14' can handle a chandelier 24" in diameter. Wolberg.com suggests hanging a chandelier approximately 30 to 34 inches over the dining room table with an eight-foot ceiling height. If your ceiling is taller, mount the chandelier an additional three inches higher for each foot of ceiling.

Shower headsHunker.com advises that a typical shower head should be approximately 80 inches above the floor, about 6”8” inches.  You can extend or shorten the neck to accommodate taller or shorter users or install a hand shower that everyone can use.

Kitchen countertops - Thoughtco.com says that the accepted standard is about 36 inches from the cabinet top to the floor for consumers between 5’3” to 5”8” or average height. If your family must stoop or bend to perform tasks in the kitchen, then workspaces should be about 42 inches. BobVila.com recommends countertops between 28 to 34 inches for those with disabilities. 

Taking the time to measure will prevent future headaches, allowing you decorate and design your home with much better results.

 
 
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