At face value, the term short sale seems obvious — the sale of the house is short/quick. But in reality, short sales may take months and even years to close.
A short sale happens when money from the selling property fall SHORT of the debt (e.g., mortgage, liens) owed against the property.
In today’s market, when short sales happen it’s often because people either purchased their home or refinanced their mortgage when the market was high. Now that housing prices have decreased, when they go to sell the house they cannot afford to repay the debt, and the lien holders (e.g., bank, mortgage company) agree to accept less than the amount owed. The amount owed, or unpaid balance is known as a deficiency.
A short sale agreement does not necessarily release borrowers from repaying the debt and will often result in a negative credit report against the homeowner.
And as a buyer, a short sale may be a great purchase, but does not necessarily mean that you’re always getting a deal.
When trying to justify renovation ideas for our next project, I came across the 2011-2012 Remodeling Cost vs. Value National Report — which compared the average cost for 35 remodeling projects with the value they retain at resale.
While it was great to see statistics on the most cost-effective improvements (top five pulled out below), I also asked myself a couple of questions:
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
1. Replacing the entry door to steel
2. Attic bedroom (converting unfinished attic space into a bedroom w/ bathroom & shower)
3. Minor kitchen remodel (new cabinets / drawers, countertops, hardware & appliances)
4. Garage door replacement
5. Deck addition (wood, not composite)
But you sure as hell judge a house by its cover. So, what exactly did we do to fix up the outside of this lovely house?
Now may be an ideal time to invest in real estate. But, when considering an investment property there are many things to keep in mind. Here are just a few:
Know the market. The housing market varies from state-to-state, town-to-town and neighborhood-to-neighborhood. So, to make sure you’re really getting a good deal you should work with a local real estate agent who knows the market.
Identify the good buys. A lot of potential investment properties pop up in today’s market. But more often than not, these properties are distressed and as an investor, you need to be able to identify when you need to say goodbye to a supposed “goodbuy.”
Be ready. Depending on the town, good buys can be snatched up very quickly (sometimes they’re gone before they even hit the market). If you’re serious about investing, be ready to check the house out and make an offer.
PITI and maintenance. As the owner of a property you’re responsible for maintaining the property, and paying the mortgage principle, interest, taxes and insurance. A good investment should cover these basic costs, and turn over a profit.
Consider all costs. When viewing properties, develop comprehensive budgets to track all potential costs (e.g., renovations, closing costs, carrying costs, etc.).
The “me” factor. While some investment properties may be for personal use, others are not, so make objective decisions about what’s necessary for the property/budget, rather than what you may prefer (e.g., Formica vs. granite counter tops).
It’s not that tiling is all that complicated, but if Glenno wasn’t there to show me what to do, I think this blog post would be written very differently…for you newbies to tiling, here are some tips I learned along the way:
To the laborer who showed up at 10:00 am (when you were supposed to be there at 8:30 am), complaining that you were hungry:
There are quite a few things that I love – some more typical than others (don’t get me started on why broccoli is the best vegetable ever, and you already know how I feel about dirt). Well to make myself sound even more normal, I’ve also always loved sheetrock. I can remember being on the job sites when I was younger and playing with little chunks for hours (cause isn’t this how every little girl spends her summers?).
Anyhow, this love quickly turned into HATE when our normal sheetrocker — at the last-minute — decided that he couldn’t commit to a start date. And, then almost as soon as our back-up sheetrocker began to work, it became obvious that with a little bit of guidance (and let’s not lie, a few more pounds of muscle) I would have been able to do a better job. So, let me share with you what I learned from this experience:
Okay, so after the fact I realized that it wasn’t quite as dramatic as the Genesis, but you would have had a hard time of convincing me otherwise when we re-wired (ah-hem, created light) and fixed up the plumbing at Bunker Hill.
First, we tackled was the lower level. Keep in mind, that this space was once filled with refrigerators (b/c who doesn’t need five of them?), bags of clothes, pianos, etc. But now that it was cleared out and the framing was done, our soon to be family room, bathroom and laundry room were taking shape. And, the wiring/plumbing was pretty straight forward — this is what we did:
Throughout the whole house we:
Framing walls is a pretty straightforward process, but just like anything, it’s easy to mess up. And let me tell you – our framer, Marty, was not shy about pointing out every little thing that I did wrong while “helping” to frame the lower level at Bunker Hill. So, now I’ll let you learn from my mistakes:
Also hold back your damn the man attitude – the studs really do need to be 16 inch on center as this lines up with the width of insulation, the length of sheetrock, etc.
Growing up, we had the best cat named Loser — yes that was his name, but that story is for another time. The one weird thing about him (other than his name) was that when we were pulling weeds in the garden, he would walk right in front of us and “mark his territory.”
And, while it may be a stretch to call what we had at Bunker Hill gardens, and even more of a stretch to call what we needed to do weeding, it did bring back these memories of Loser.
Anyhow, I digress … here are some pictures of what the front and side yards looked like:
And, here was the backyard:
Removing the trees and bushes was quiet the process. First, we had to lasso the top of the trees with a heavy strap that Neil and I pulled on while my Dad cut the base of the tree (you know b/c we didn’t want it to fall into the living room). Then we had to lug this huge metal chain to wrap around the bushes and hook to the excavator so we could pull the stumps out. Let me tell you, all this pulling and lugging felt like it should be a crossfit WOD (and I can say that bc I’ve officially taken 3 classes).
But after just a couple of days, we had ourselves a space that even Loser would have been happy to mark: