Every homebuyer has their wishlist. Every feature they could have ever dreamed of or hoped for packaged into one building with walls and windows– and they call it “home”. A house is more than just that, walls and windows. It’s a sanctuary of comfort, where you cook your food, where you sleep, and generally where you spend most of your time. When most homebuyers look on the real estate market, they’re looking for a home that has everything on their checklist. Unfortunately for many, a move-in-ready home with all the features and amenities simply isn’t affordable. Instead, homebuyers are finding homes in their price range that may require a little work– a full on renovation.
Taking on a renovation project is easier said than done. Most homebuyers assume that if they hire a team, everything will be a smooth process. If you’re considering a renovation project, ask yourself these questions to see if you’re ready for it!
What Skills Do You Have in the Realm of Home Renovation?
The first thing you need to determine is what you are capable of completing yourself, and what projects you need to hire an outside team to do. If you have an eye for design, you may not need an interior designer to help you choose colors, textures, furniture, and more. Keep in mind that while there is a tutorial for everything you can imagine on Youtube, you might not be able to put up drywall correctly on your own if you’ve never done it before. Completing projects on your own will save you money, but it could take longer if you don’t know exactly how to do it right. When it doubt, always higher an expert to avoid catastrophes down the road.
Can You Handle a Long-Term Project?
Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, so your renovation won’t be finished overnight. For anyone who’s ever watched Fixer Upper, you know that there is a process. Your new layout and designs must be in compliance with the general structure of the home. You should also check your township to see if you need permits in order to go forward with any structural changes to the house.
After getting the permits and consent for your new renovation plans, you then have “Demo Day”, known as the day where the demolition begins. Tearing down walls, taking out old appliances and cabinets, and getting rid of old flooring are all typical Demo Day tasks. While this all sounds fun and exciting, demolition day tends to bring up issues. When tearing things down from a reno-project, contractors often find mold, electrical problems, support beams, and more that could change plans. In any fixer-upper project, you could run into issues that extend the timeline to your finished home.
Are You Financial Prepared for This Project?
No matter what home you buy, there are often hidden costs buyers don’t think about. Taking on a renovation project is something you need to budget for. The process of renovating a home will take time, effort, and money as well. Those who aren’t financially prepared could run out of money if they don’t budget for unaccounted scenarios. You’ll want to set a spending limit, reach out to contractors for quotes, determine which areas are priorities, and then set an allotted amount of savings for the unknown.
Once you’ve walked yourself through this guide, you can then decide whether your not you’re ready for a renovation project.
There’s no question about it– buying a home is no cheap process. Saving up for a downpayment is one major factor that most prospected homebuyers dread. It’s easy for homebuyers to feel in over their heads with savings, bank accounts, applications, and more.
In a 2016, consumer reports shared data showcasing percentages of generations among homebuyers. Generation Y (better known as Millennials) made up 35%– the largest percentage out of all generations. To the millennial generation, owning a home means freedom to paint the walls to your liking, knocking down walls for open-floor concepts, and not having a landlord to deal with.
Despite the fact that buying a home comes with numerous benefits, homebuying also comes with hidden costs. If you plan on buying a home in the near future, don’t worry– you don’t have to drown in a penny pinching home. Use this guide to familiarize yourself with the hidden costs so you know what to expect when it’s time to seal the deal.
While many assume that a 20% downpayment, and a simple mortgage payment and utilities are all they have to budget for when buying a home, property tax often comes as a surprise. Property tax is based on the value of the property including land. The rates of property tax are based on local government and can be different between townships, and even neighborhoods.
To insure your home from the unexpected such as accidents, fires, or any other events that would damage your home, you need homeowners insurance. Beyond covering the cost, homeowners insurance also covers the liability, meaning you’re not legally responsible for damaged caused to others by you, your family, or your pets. However, in addition to homeowners insurance, you should also acquire flood insurance and/or earthquake insurance depending on the area in which you live.
Just like renting, when you own a home you need to pay for utilities. This means you’ll have water, electric, trash removal, cable, and more bills to budget for. Beyond that, standard homes require about 1-2% of the home’s value in repairs each year. From painting to yard care, these small factors add up to a large, required budget.
The decision to rent or buy breaks down to a few things: your mobility, your flexibility, and your budget. While there are hidden costs to both living situations, it’s ultimately up to you to weigh out your pros and cons. The true costs of owning a home are eye-opening, but are they worth it to you? More importantly, are they affordable? Those answers can help you come to a final decision for your next move.
One of the most popular and fascinating cities in the United States, Chicago is known for a variety of things, including some of the country’s hottest real estate. Whether it’s a young family seeking a first home in which to settle down and build a life with their children, retirees looking to enjoy the various aspects of city life that only Chicago offers, or investors who want to pick up some great deals for their portfolio, it’s a sure bet all of them will have 0 chance of striking out. If you’re ready to buy, here are some of Chicago’s hottest real estate deals.
Considered one of the most dynamic neighborhoods in the city, Bridgeport has a market for single-family homes, condos, and townhouses that is unmatched. With properties here selling fast and for higher prices than other properties, buyers, as well as investors, are eager to purchase these properties. Along with these reasons, the area is popular due to its proximity to restaurants and shopping, Palmisano Park, and the Loop.
With many homes in foreclosure here, it’s viewed as a great opportunity for investors to purchase properties, fix them up, and then rent them out or flip them for a substantial profit. In fact, many homes have recently been purchased for no more than $60,000, renovated, and then sold for more than $150,000.
Located on the Northwest side of the city, Montclare is yet another neighborhood that has plenty to offer those seeking a great deal. Very popular with families looking to settle down, they can choose from a variety of housing. Whether you’re looking for a cozy bungalow, a beautiful Cape Cod, or a stunning Georgian home, chances are you can find what you want for less than $350,000.
One of the more well-established areas of the city, Logan Square is hot not only for its numerous residential properties but also for its growing commercial district. With the arrival of various restaurants as well as craft breweries, the area is fast becoming known for being a popular destination for young professionals. And best of all, three-bedroom houses can be purchased for between $350,000-$400,000, which are considered to be very affordable prices in the city.
No matter which of these areas buyers look to, chances are they will find a property that not only fits their lifestyle but their budget as well.
About Talia Ramos
Talia Ramos entered the industry of real estate in 2008. While Ramos was paying her way through college, she met top REO broker Jason Shapiro, who opened the doors for her career. From Shapiro, Ramos learned the market and quickly advanced her career within the real estate industry. She gained management experience, learned buying and selling techniques, and how to best represent buyers & sellers while passing her real estate brokers exam in 2013. Talia went on to advise people on fiscal solutions. In 2014, Ramos became a strong investor, taking part in neighborhood stabilization, rehabbing and renting assets in high level distressed areas.
Like most Real Estate investment professionals, one of the biggest challenges in Talia’s career occurred during the stock market crash. While many people saw the crash as a financial nightmare, Ramos took a more positive approach – she took this time as an opportunity to grow a business rather than to give up. Many distressed, non-performing properties/loans were up for grabs giving Talia the perfect opportunity to become successful. From this experience, she has learned to find opportunity through adversity and now has her own investment LLC.
Talia also works hard to give back to her community, helping inner city children. She knows the importance of after-school and social programs for youth because this played a large role in her childhood and teenage years.
Growing up in the inner city of northern Chicago, Ramos attended public schools where she was a member of the Boys and Girls Club as well as a number of other local non-profit organizations. These programs were a big part of what helped Talia thrive, so she knows how much these programs matter especially to inner city youth who endure more lifestyle hardships . She had her first job working at a non-profit organization as a summer youth camp counselor . She was also a homework tutor and a youth mentor. After college, she worked part time with the same non-profit organization to help them obtain a grant and funding options.
Ramos’ community service involves hosting annual holiday food drives, winter coat drives as well as donating food to the Chicago Depository. The clothing she collects goes to a local charity called Care for Real, a company that helps homeless and low income families find job placements. The organization provides food, clothing and counseling services to those in need through on site distribution and deliveries to the homebound. Other local organizations that Ramos has been strongly engaged in include the following:
- Care For Real
- Chicago Food Depository
- Surge for Water Fundraiser in Uganda
- Morgan’s Mission
- Lurie Children’s Hospital
- The Miracle Center
- Human Appeal
- Taleef Collective
Talia has many aspirations within her real estate career. One of her biggest career plans is to improve the rental market not just locally but nationally. Ramos has noticed a trend indicating that millennials are not investing or buying homes at the rate of previous generations. That being said, the rental market is still on the rise. Because of this, Talia believes that this change will stop lower income families from experiencing foreclosure and being forced to live in distressed areas.
When she is not working at her real estate business or helping her community, Talia likes to watch sports and to travel. She is huge basketball fan, rooting for the Chicago Bulls. She loves to travel to warm countries in Central and Southern America.
Contact Talia Ramos today if you want a top-notch investment advisor.
Real Estate Investor in:
- New Jersey