Red Rock Custom Homes

Red Rock Custom Homes

Red Rocks Custom Homes

 

Red Rocks Custom Homes is one of Scottsdale’s most established and respected luxury homebuilders. As the son of a European builder, Dennes Mikalacki viewed the Phoenix area as the ideal place to combine Old World style with contemporary amenities.

Quality building materials, value and personalized customer service are the hallmarks of Red Rocks Custom Homes. For more than a decade, Red Rocks has developed a sterling reputation in creating luxury residences that bring comfort and joy to its customers. The company prides itself on being more than simply a builder, but partners and neighbors in a vibrant community.

 

Collaboration From Beginning to End

A luxury home is a sanctuary as well as a place to celebrate with family and friends. As such it needs to be special. While building a new home is an exciting prospect, it can also be stressful too, especially when the builder doesn’t understand customer needs.

The professionals at Red Rocks Custom Homes work with their clients during all phases of the process, from initial design all the way through final walk through. This type of personalized service and devotion is part of the equation in making dreams come true for the company’s customers.

It all starts with listening to what you want. From developing design ideas and designing rooms to choosing the perfect high-end materials, Red Rocks’ professionals stand with its customers every step of the way. Red Rocks’ professionals accomplish this by taking time to learn about clients’ lifestyles Determining if entertaining is important, valuing privacy, number of family members and other important factors help determine the type of home that the company designs. The process doesn’t end there. Clients are completely involved in the selection process for every element, from the color of the walls and type of flooring to molding and fixtures.

With such attention to detail, clients can relax when the building process begins. As veterans in the home building process, Red Rocks take care of everything, from pulling permits to tackling engineering issues.

 

Extreme Luxury in a Range of Sizes

Red Rocks Custom Homes Builds high-end homes in a range of sizes from 4,000 square feet to over 10,000 square feet. Most residences exhibit a Mediterranean or ultra contemporary design. Prices range from $1.5M to over $5M in some cases..  You can see these homes throughout the valley including some of these fantastic subdivisions; Desert Mountain, Mirabel, Pinnacle Peak Estates, Canyon Heights and Catabrica Estates.

 

Avialalbe Custom Homes

131 matches found

$3,399,000
6101 E MAGUAY Road, Cave Creek, AZ 85331
View Photos (10)
Property Type: Residential
# of Bedrooms: 4
# of Bathrooms: 4
Year Built: 1985
Subdivision: LORINGWOOD EST. LOTS 23-29
Description: Still renovating.$100,000 allowance right now for anything outside home to ...
Last Updated: February - 25 - 2024
IDX
$2,200,000
Open House (02/24/2024 - 12:00 pm)
Property Type: Residential
# of Bedrooms: 3
# of Bathrooms: 3.5
Year Built: 2004
Subdivision: DESERT CREEK
Description: Custom built, one owner home in prestigious Rancho Manana area of Cave Cree...
Last Updated: February - 25 - 2024
IDX
$2,200,000
Open House (03/03/2024 - 1:00 pm)
Property Type: Residential
# of Bedrooms: 2
# of Bathrooms: 2.5
Year Built: 1986
Subdivision: Gainey Ranch
Description: Welcome to your Scottsdale dream home nestled within the prestigious Gainey...
Last Updated: February - 25 - 2024
IDX
$2,800,000
4029 N 57TH Place, Phoenix, AZ 85018
View Photos (49)Videos (1)
Property Type: Residential
# of Bedrooms: 4
# of Bathrooms: 3.5
Year Built: 2015
Subdivision: DEL RAY ESTATES 4
Description: Custom Arcadia ranch with front and backyard Camelback Mountain views! Loca...
Last Updated: February - 25 - 2024
IDX
$4,349,000
6210 E EXETER Boulevard, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
View Photos (44)
Property Type: Residential
# of Bedrooms: 6
# of Bathrooms: 5.5
Year Built: 1957
Subdivision: DANA EST.
Description: This is a very rare opportunity with one of the most sought after addresses...
Last Updated: February - 24 - 2024
IDX
$4,500,000
11108 E MARIOLA Way, Scottsdale, AZ 85262
View Photos (77)
Open House (02/24/2024 - 2:00 pm)
Property Type: Residential
# of Bedrooms: 4
# of Bathrooms: 4
Year Built: 2004
Subdivision: DESERT MOUNTAIN PH 2 APACHE PEAK PART ONE 1-72 A
Description: A rare, immediate golf membership available with an accepted offer. Wow, ju...
Last Updated: February - 24 - 2024
IDX
$2,250,000
202 W VISTA Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85021
View Photos (65)Virtual Tours (1)
Open House (02/25/2024 - 12:00 pm)
Property Type: Residential
# of Bedrooms: 4
# of Bathrooms: 4.5
Year Built: 1989
Subdivision: PARK MADISON
Description: North Central Phoenix home in Prestigious Park Madison-Elegance is the them...
Last Updated: February - 24 - 2024
IDX
$2,999,000
9749 N FIRERIDGE Trail, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268
View Photos (95)Virtual Tours (1)
Open House (02/24/2024 - 12:00 pm)
Property Type: Residential
# of Bedrooms: 5
# of Bathrooms: 5.5
Year Built: 2007
Subdivision: FIREROCK PARCEL L-2
Description: Enjoy majestic mountain views from this stellar residence nestled in the hi...
Last Updated: February - 24 - 2024
IDX
$2,049,000
8427 E PRESERVE Way, Scottsdale, AZ 85266
View Photos (65)
Property Type: Residential
# of Bedrooms: 4
# of Bathrooms: 3.5
Year Built: 2002
Subdivision: BOULDER RIDGE
Description: Beautifully appointed home located in the gated community of Boulder Ridge ...
Last Updated: February - 24 - 2024
IDX
$2,630,000
2539 N Whiting, Mesa, AZ 85213
View Photos (92)
Property Type: Residential
# of Bedrooms: 5
# of Bathrooms: 4.5
Year Built: 2003
Subdivision: Glenwood Parke
Description: Meticulously constructed residence in the coveted community of Glenwood Par...
Last Updated: February - 24 - 2024
IDX

1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 14
Copyright 2024 Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service, Inc. All rights reserved. Information Not Guaranteed and Must Be Confirmed by End User. Site contains live data.

Desert Sky Development

Desert Sky Development

Desert Sky Development

 

The motto “Where Quality Feels at Home” epitomizes the high-end residences constructed by Desert Sky Development. This luxury home developer constructs only two to four homes per year so its designers and craftspeople can produce the best possible residences in some of the Valley’s most prestigious communities.

 

Brothers Charlie and Mike Frat established Desert Sky Homes in 1992 and over the years developed a unique hands-on approach whereby the company’s in-house team manages the entire design and construction process. This approach, along with attention to detail and unparalleled customer services has not only made Desert Sky the builder of choice for many satisfied customers but also resulted in multiple local magazines and journals naming the company as one of Arizona’s top custom home builders.

 

Fulfilling Your Visions and Dreams

Desert Sky believes in concentrating on such a small number of homes per year because those who want outstanding custom homes invest a lot of time and emotion into creating the residence of their dreams. Buyers deserve to find a builder that is as dedicated to the process as they are.

 

Every Desert Sky custom residence includes quality features such as:

  • Natural stone floors and tile
  • Oversized kitchens with granite counters
  • Entertainment centers with multiple surround-sound systems
  • Complete security systems
  • Intercom systems
  • Ample storage spaces
  • State-of-the-art air conditioning and water heaters
  • Central vacuum
  • Upgraded electrical systems
  • Computer/cable ready ports
  • Custom swimming pools and spas
  • Full landscaping

 

Committed to Green Construction

Desert Sky Development was one of the first builders to sign onto the Scottsdale Green Building Program developed in 2004 to reduce energy consumption as well as the environmental impact of buildings during and after construction. The Frat brothers had already begun incorporating environmentally conscious and energy-saving features into their projects even before the project was announced. Not only do these homes have the highest quality amenities, they also incorporate energy-saving appliances, water-conservation features and desert landscaping to minimize environmental impact.

 

Building in the Valley’s Most Prestigious Communities

You’ll find custom homes by Desert Sky Development in some of the Valley’s most prestigious communities. These include:

  • Silver Leaf
  • DC Ranch
  • Desert Highlands
  • Eagle Ridge at Fountain Hills
  • FireRock
  • Rancho Trinidad
  • Quail’s Nest
  • Sierra Hills
  • Stonegate
  • High Point Ranch
  • Grayhawk Serenity

 

Custom Homes For Sale

131 matches found

$3,399,000
6101 E MAGUAY Road, Cave Creek, AZ 85331
View Photos (10)
# of Bedrooms: 4
# of Bathrooms: 4
Year Built: 1985
Subdivision: LORINGWOOD EST. LOTS 23-29
Description: Still renovating.$100,000 allowance right now for anything outside home to ...
Last Updated: February - 25 - 2024
IDX
$2,200,000
Open House (02/24/2024 - 12:00 pm)
# of Bedrooms: 3
# of Bathrooms: 3.5
Year Built: 2004
Subdivision: DESERT CREEK
Description: Custom built, one owner home in prestigious Rancho Manana area of Cave Cree...
Last Updated: February - 25 - 2024
IDX
$2,200,000
Open House (03/03/2024 - 1:00 pm)
# of Bedrooms: 2
# of Bathrooms: 2.5
Year Built: 1986
Subdivision: Gainey Ranch
Description: Welcome to your Scottsdale dream home nestled within the prestigious Gainey...
Last Updated: February - 25 - 2024
IDX
$2,800,000
4029 N 57TH Place, Phoenix, AZ 85018
View Photos (49)Videos (1)
# of Bedrooms: 4
# of Bathrooms: 3.5
Year Built: 2015
Subdivision: DEL RAY ESTATES 4
Description: Custom Arcadia ranch with front and backyard Camelback Mountain views! Loca...
Last Updated: February - 25 - 2024
IDX
$4,349,000
6210 E EXETER Boulevard, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
View Photos (44)
# of Bedrooms: 6
# of Bathrooms: 5.5
Year Built: 1957
Subdivision: DANA EST.
Description: This is a very rare opportunity with one of the most sought after addresses...
Last Updated: February - 24 - 2024
IDX
$4,500,000
11108 E MARIOLA Way, Scottsdale, AZ 85262
View Photos (77)
Open House (02/24/2024 - 2:00 pm)
# of Bedrooms: 4
# of Bathrooms: 4
Year Built: 2004
Subdivision: DESERT MOUNTAIN PH 2 APACHE PEAK PART ONE 1-72 A
Description: A rare, immediate golf membership available with an accepted offer. Wow, ju...
Last Updated: February - 24 - 2024
IDX
$2,250,000
202 W VISTA Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85021
View Photos (65)Virtual Tours (1)
Open House (02/25/2024 - 12:00 pm)
# of Bedrooms: 4
# of Bathrooms: 4.5
Year Built: 1989
Subdivision: PARK MADISON
Description: North Central Phoenix home in Prestigious Park Madison-Elegance is the them...
Last Updated: February - 24 - 2024
IDX
$2,999,000
9749 N FIRERIDGE Trail, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268
View Photos (95)Virtual Tours (1)
Open House (02/24/2024 - 12:00 pm)
# of Bedrooms: 5
# of Bathrooms: 5.5
Year Built: 2007
Subdivision: FIREROCK PARCEL L-2
Description: Enjoy majestic mountain views from this stellar residence nestled in the hi...
Last Updated: February - 24 - 2024
IDX
$2,049,000
8427 E PRESERVE Way, Scottsdale, AZ 85266
View Photos (65)
# of Bedrooms: 4
# of Bathrooms: 3.5
Year Built: 2002
Subdivision: BOULDER RIDGE
Description: Beautifully appointed home located in the gated community of Boulder Ridge ...
Last Updated: February - 24 - 2024
IDX
$2,630,000
2539 N Whiting, Mesa, AZ 85213
View Photos (92)
# of Bedrooms: 5
# of Bathrooms: 4.5
Year Built: 2003
Subdivision: Glenwood Parke
Description: Meticulously constructed residence in the coveted community of Glenwood Par...
Last Updated: February - 24 - 2024
IDX

1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 14
Copyright 2024 Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service, Inc. All rights reserved. Information Not Guaranteed and Must Be Confirmed by End User. Site contains live data.

 

Key Factors to Consider When Building Your Own House

Key Factors to Consider When Building Your Own House

Photo of a Red Rock Custom Home In Scottsdale :)

Key Factors to Consider When Building Your Own House

Building a house from the ground up where you will live with your family for years to come represents a special sort of pleasure that you will remember for the rest of your life.

That said, it also comes with some responsibilities.

In this article, we’ll talk about certain important factors you’d need to take into consideration when it comes to building your own house. As you will see, it all comes down to thorough preparation and some savvy decisions early on in the project, and then the rest of it can be tackled easily.

Here’s the deal.

Location

Representing the spot where you and your family will spend years and maybe decades of your life together, finding a suitable location for your property is a great way to start off your building venture. If you don’t think you can find a suitable patch of land yourself, companies such as the SA Housing Centre can help you out with it.

What you may want to take into consideration here is the vicinity of hospitals, schools, kindergartens, as well as the richness of social life.

Another consideration factor here would be the neighborhood and what reputation it has. If the reputation isn’t the best, good prices for the land and other commodities may not be worth the potential problems you may experience in the future.

Also, if you want to be a farmer, you may want to secure a larger patch of land and inquire with the locals about the quality of the soil, as well as about the climate in that general area.

Plan of the House

When it comes to concocting a building from scratch, an important thing to take into consideration would be to understand how to plan out your house and what areas of it to dedicate to different purposes.

This is the part where you want to determine how many rooms your house will have, what rooms should be larger and what smaller, how to position the windows so that natural light can enter the house, and so on and so forth.

Also, the shape of the back yard, as well as any sheds or garages you may have had in mind, are also to be determined and drawn into the plan at this stage, so that once you start building, you can go straight to work.

The Budget Your Working With

The aforementioned plans and the location you pick for your new house will both to a large extent be dependent on how much money you’re working with.

When it determining your budget, what you want to take into consideration would be the plot of land you need to buy, the costs for the materials for the house itself as well as for other yard structures and fences, as well as the costs of the contractors you plan to hire.

Of course, it is recommended you have some small backup fund from whence you can get a bit of extra money in case some aspect of the project or the other goes a bit awry at some point. (Which tends to happen.)

If you approach determining your budget realistically, you can rest assured that you will both be aware of how much you can spend, but also – many other solutions will assert themselves when you understand how much you can and can’t spend.

Maintenance Costs

One of the important things to take into consideration when building a house is how much money you are going to need to keep it up and running in the future.

While making creative roofs and other structures that possess some weird shape or the other may seem like a good idea at first, it can turn on you down the road, because the expenses of maintenance can end up being too high.

That said, it doesn’t mean you can’t be creative with the design of your house, but what’s important is that you have an idea of how much that creativity is going to set you back.

All in all, as long as you have a clear idea about your finances and what you want to achieve with your house in terms of design, you can concoct an excellent building plan. With it, the chances of you building a beautiful house that will stand proud for years to come are fairly high, too.

 

What You Need to Know About a Homeowner Association

What You Need to Know About a Homeowner Association

What You Need to Know About a Homeowner Association

 

If you are considering purchasing a residence in a community or neighborhood that has a homeowner association, or HOA, you likely have some questions and concerns. With that in mind, there are some basic facts and considerations you need to bear in mind when it comes to an HOA.

 

Fees Vary

Perhaps the most important fact you need to understand is that the fees charged can vary fairly significantly from one HOA to another. Thus, you cannot assume that a particular community will have HOA fees based on what you hear from your family and friends. Before purchasing a Scottsdale residence in a community with an HOA, you need to be sure you understand the fees will be with that particular organization.

 

Services Provided Vary as Well

On a related note, there can be significant differences between the types of services offered by various homeowner associations. This represents another area in which you need to undertake due diligence to clearly understand what services you will be paying for through an HOA in a particular community.

 

Additional Fees May Exist

In addition, when it comes to fees, you need to be aware that there may be additional fees and special assessments that can be imposed on residents by an HOA. You need to closely review an HOA agreement to make sure you understand what possibly can be assessed in the way of additional fees and special assessments.

 

HOA Fees and Home Mortgage

If you are contemplating purchasing in a planned community with an HOA, your mortgage lender is also going to be interests in the costs and fees associated with living in that particular neighborhood. HOA fees impact your budget and available funds and a mortgage lender considering extending a loan to you is going to want to know the extent of that impact on your overall financial situation.

 

Impact of Covenants

Covenants are binding contractual terms that you must abide by. Thus, you must make certain that you fully understand the specific covenants maintained in a particular planned community before you purchase a residence. As the cliché goes, you definitely need to read the proverbial small print. You don’t want to end up in a situation in which you purchase a residence and then discover covenants that you will find difficult or even impossible to follow. HOAs are notorious for being highly diligent in enforcing covenants.

 

Water features for both big and small gardens

Water features for both big and small gardens

Water features for both big and small gardens

 

Water features that will create your own relaxation sanctuary or a micro wildlife resort in your backyard

Name one person that doesn’t find tranquility when listening to the sound of a water stream. Isn’t this the most calming sound in the world? Add a bit of greenery or some exotic flowers, and birds chirp as well to the mix and you have a perfect oasis of peace.

What if we tell you that you can enjoy this every morning and that you don’t have to travel to an exotic destination?

It is enough to choose the right water features for the backyard, add a few simple details and voila, you can start every day by drinking your coffee and listening to the calming sound of water. Or just to watch a clear water surface and to feel that water scent.

Yet what if you have a small backyard? Or you have a beautiful large backyard yet zero inspiration? Size doesn’t matter when it comes to perfect backyard design. And water is a flexible and fluid element – to fit a water feature all you need is some creative thinking.

According to Feng Shui – water is a symbol of abundance and it helps good energy flow better. So use it to your advantage and create something beautiful, it will compliment all sized backyards and bring you peace and tranquility.

Options for small backyards

Let’s start with waterfalls – believe it or not, you can set a miniature waterfall to any sized backyard. You probably have these strange and unused corners just waiting for divine intervention.

Stone waterfalls will tie the loose ends and create one unique design for your garden. They are very low maintenance, they are easy to install and they are an eye-candy – people won’t take their eyes off them.

Dare to experiment more and add an exotic twist to the mix – you can add vine plants or exotic flowers such as orchids or calla lilies to compliment your little rain forest waterfall in your small yard.

A fountain will complement any type of landscape you go for. No matter if you stick the classic with little seraphim or go for a more contemporary style – it will look amazing. A perfect secluded little garden with a fountain as a focal point, it’s just luring you to grab a book and enjoy the long sunny days reading poetry in your micro garden. Pure poetry for a calm mind, indeed.

Birdbaths are very practical and decorative also. You can play with different styles and original details and help our little friends take some rest and get nice refreshment on the hot summer days. It is a fair exchange, you will get an amazing bird song to wake you up in the morning. Million times better than standard alarms in the morning.

Don’t forget to use outdoor led lights to put a spotlight on your backyard water features. Lights will give another dimension to outdoor spaces and accentuate water details better.

If you own a bigger backyard

If you own a bigger backyard it automatically means a bigger space to work with. Yet, don’t make it overcrowded. Choose a distinctive water feature to be a focal point of your backyard design and add subtle details around it.

Think about what effect you want to achieve. If you want a contemporary elegance to think about installing the fiberglass pool. They are really decorative, you can relax alone or host a memorable dinner party by the pool. If you are not sure if you have the right terrain for owning a fiberglass pool, be sure to consult a professional fiberglass pool installation specialists.

If the terrain is too rough or uneven, you can install a hot tub if you want to enjoy long nights in your personal spa underneath the starry skies.

If you are a nature lover that simply wants to have their own little wildlife sanctuary – we suggest having your own little pond. Fill it with colorful koi or goldfishes, make a new home to exotic water flowers such as water lilies and lotus flowers and you will attract wildlife creatures. Talk about sharing your backyard with friends.

If you want something extravagant and luxurious – install an outside bath. Make cover or use water walls to compliment the entire design  (and for extra privacy) and enjoy a bubbly bath with a glass of champagne. Luxury on a budget.

In conclusion

Water features are an awesome way to get closer to nature and enjoy the amazing aesthetics. Try experimenting with the smaller details or be bold, change your entire backyard to your own spa resort. It works amazing now when we are all in self-isolation, but if you do things right – you will not want to leave your yard even when the quarantine is over.

 

 

Pros and Cons of Investing in Real Estate

Pros and Cons of Investing in Real Estate

Pros and Cons of Investing in Real Estate

 

Investing in real estate is a notion that has crossed everyone’s mind at least once in their lifetime. The main reason why a lot of people refrain from doing so is not a lack of funding but a lack of credible information on the subject matter. You see, your knowledge limits your ability to make adequate long-term investment plans, which is a key factor when it comes to the investment of any kind. So, for those who are still on the fence, here are several pros and cons of investing in real estate that you should know about.

1.      Steady, passive income

The main reason why some people prefer to invest in real estate is due to the fact that a rental property may yield a steady, passive income for years to come. Decent residential properties give you about 1 to 2 percent of their total value every month, while commercial properties return 4 to 5 percent every year. Now, while it is true that property management takes a lot of work, it is not really labor-intensive. Sure, you may have an emergency or two to respond to, however, most of the time you can just assume a hands-off approach and collect your rent when it’s due. All in all, it’s an ideal business idea for those who are already too busy.

2.      Self-repaying mortgage payments

Another amazing thing about investing in real estate is the fact that the rent that you collect might just cover the entirety of your monthly mortgage rate income. This is why a lot of people decide to commit to buying their own home as soon as they are able to. As a landlord, you’ll have someone else to pay the mortgage for you (the tenant). The only thing that a tenant gets out of this is the fact that their commitment is not so long-term. Still, after a decade or two of paying rent, you still won’t have a place to call your own, which is not the case with paying the mortgage.

3.      Availability of professional help

One of the things that frighten people the most about investing in real estate is the complexity of the task at hand. The profitability of the entire project depends on one’s ability to choose the right real estate. This includes research, survey, inspection and, in the end, negotiation with the agents. This is why real estate agencies like Hutton & Hutton tend to diversify their services. This means that they offer a different array of services for buyers, sellers, tenants, landlords and property developers. This way, you can have a personalized approach to the situation.

4.      Plan B

Investing in real estate gives you so many amazing options to choose from and renting it out or living there is just one of them. With a simple home improvement project, you can easily increase the value of the place, which is ideal for those who want to fix and flip the property that they own. Other than this, if you pick a place in a decent location, you can always use it to start your own business. Even if you change your mind on the idea later, renting out a well-made venue will increase the yield. At the end of the day, selling the place and getting your money back is always an option.

5.      The cons

At the end of the day, we need to talk about the downsides of real estate investing, in order to see the full picture and figure out whether this is the right move for you. First of all, you can’t just buy a property and expect to be fully profitable. Learning a thing or two about property management is quite hard, not to mention creating a network of contacts that will help you evaluate a property that you intend to invest in. In other words, it has a learning curve. Second, it’s a long-term investment and getting your equity out of this property (if you need the money right away), is not so easy, to begin with. Lastly, while a lot of people talk about a passive income, this doesn’t mean that you don’t get to do anything. It’s still a business that requires some active management and investment of both time and effort.

In conclusion

Even though it’s true that there’s really no 100 percent safe investment, investing in real estate is probably the closest you can get to this concept. Why? Well, because you have options no matter what happens. For as long as your finances are in order and you do your research before investing, everything should run smoothly. Sure, this might not be the first thing on your priority list, seeing as how paying off some debts, establishing an emergency fund and other financial decisions may come first. Still, the sooner you decide to make this leap, the better.

Working from home has numerous benefits both for your business, wellbeing and your property value!

How to Design a Minimalist Home Office

Working from home has numerous benefits both for your business, wellbeing and your property value!

 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic took us all by surprise, a lot of us started to see the real benefits of working from the comfort of your own home. It already was a reality for a lot of people, since a lot of businesses and industries have gone global. A lot of people are working remotely and it has become quite normal to dedicate a corner of your home to set up your own home office.

The benefits of doing your business at home are numerous – flexible work hours, a pleasant atmosphere, you will find new inspiration and awaken your creativity by working in a space that is familiar and friendly.

Also, it can increase your property value from a marketing standpoint. How is that possible? Having your own home office has become pretty much normal so your property will automatically look more attractive to your potential buyers. And it doesn’t require the luxury of having a spare room for that purpose only.

You can play with spaces and do an attic, a basement or a garage remodel? Show your creativity and amaze your potential clients and potential buyers as well.

How adding a home office will increase my value?

As we mentioned before, it has become quite normal to work remotely. And this trend is here to stay since the COVID-19 pandemic locked us all. Yet, everything is still working smoothly so the real evolution of workspaces is yet to come.

Maybe you are working as a virtual assistant, you are running a successful online store or you are a graphic designer. So having your own little corner where the ideas will flow smoothly is of crucial importance. If you find a potential buyer for your home who thinks alike it could be that one plus that will end up with signing a contract.

Also, it will show your creativity, clever use of spaces and combining the right elements for the win. But you need to be careful not to go over the top while thinking that creating an ultimate home office will raise your property price sky-high.

You don’t have to break a bank, people don’t want too much luxury yet you can make it look more luxurious and much more desirable with clever fixes. So be original, use the space you have and turn it to the modern home office that will leave buyers thinking about it.

Acoustic Design

Everyone wants peace and quiet while working on their world domination plans. Well, business plans to say at least. Just remember your previous workplaces where the noise was everywhere, phones ringing, electrical equipment is buzzing, outside traffic is too noisy.

When you are working from home you are exposed to different types of noise. Your family is having their own daily routine, the streets are busy, traffic is still noisy.

The only difference – you can actually fix your acoustic design because you are the owner. So think about soundproofing doors and windows first, after that think about walls. These fixes are not expensive and you will finally have peace of your mind.

Play with styles

When setting your home office it is important to think about the following – to leave your personal touch.No one wants to work in a sterile environment (unless you are having a lab at home or you are a dentist).

You need to leave an impression of professionalism and elegance, yet to show that you are a human after all. When choosing the furniture find your balance between cozy and elegant. You don’t want to be too cozy because there is work to be done.

Yet, if you are sitting in a modern and uncomfortable chair the only thought on your mind will be taking another break. And another.

So, find comfortable office furniture and choose a color palette that will be both pleasant for the eye and not too distracting. Think about soft pastel colors, think about the elegance of the mat black colors. Monochromatic colors.

And then the personal touches, just like in living spaces – add something that is important to you. Yes, it could be a photo, a unique figurine, whatever inspires you and helps you remember why you love your work.

Natural light and refreshing atmosphere

Let there be light and let your ideas be in the spotlight. Natural light is always the best because when you are exposed to artificial lights too much – you will feel more tired. The atmosphere also should be refreshing and enjoyable, fresh air sparks the fire of creation.

Yet if you are for example working from your garage or basement you need to be a little more crafty and creative. Color your walls with lighter colors or use the led lighting fixtures that promote the natural atmosphere.

Home business for the win

When you are feeling comfortable in your workspace you will feel more comfortable with your business. Having a home office where you feel secure can help you be even more confident in sharing your own ideas, that would be, just like your home office – timeless, elegant with your original personal touch.

Increase Your Home’s Value With These Simple Remodeling Tips

Increase Your Home's Value With These Simple Remodeling Tips

Increase Your Home’s Value With These Simple Remodeling Tips

Image source: Pexels

 

The real estate industry is probably one of the most successful enterprises today. In fact, it continues to grow and thrive over the years. And relating to real estate, more and more homeowners today believe in the power of home renovation and remodeling to increase their home’s value.

 When it comes to home remodeling, the budget you put in will not always guarantee a high income, but it’s worth a shot. Many people want to get the most out of every penny when doing home renovations, and there are quite a few important things you need to keep in mind. Before deciding on a remodeling project, consider factors like the overall cost versus the value and the quality of materials.

 Ultimately, you’ll want to improve your home by the time you finally decide to sell it so that you can command a higher price. Therefore, here are easy and simple remodeling tips to help increase your home’s value:

Increase Your Light And Space

Dull and cramped rooms are no good when it comes to selling a property, especially a home. One significant thing that homeowners can do to increase the overall appeal of their property is to open up the house to more natural light. Consider also to knock down some walls or get rid of unnecessary clutter to free and brighten up some space. An open floor plan will help make a home feel much larger than it actually is.

Organize Your Hardware And Furniture

No homebuyer gets attracted to outdated and unorganized homes. Make it a habit to incorporate timeless pieces into your home, so the overall vibe never goes out of style. The kitchen is probably one of the best parts in a home, and it is also the part where most homebuyers decide on whether or not to buy the property. Consider replacing your kitchen cabinet hardware. The price of cabinet handles shouldn’t give you much of a burden, especially when you look for timeless and high-quality pieces.

Create A Home Office

Many businesses today are giving employees the option to telecommute and work from home; hence, a home office would be an ideal way to add some value to your home. If you have an extra space or room in your home, consider renovating and turning it into a functional home office. Although be sure that there’s plenty of room enough for your workspace, and remember to have enough grounded power outlets and phone lines installed for all your office necessities.

Update Bathrooms

Bathrooms are also an essential part of any home. If your home does not have enough bathrooms, or if these are very outdated, you’re risking the chance of increasing your home’s value. And this will be a significant turn off to all potential buyers. Updating your bathroom’s features, amenities, and fixtures can definitely give your home an entirely different appeal, helping increase the property’s worth.

Do Landscaping

The exterior look of your home says a lot about how you take care of it. And often, the first impression of a home starts with its landscaping and outer appearance. It has been said and proven for first impressions to make a significant influence on a homebuyer’s decision-making process; hence you really need to set your priorities straight here. Make sure all your exterior decors and paint are up to par. Consider putting up drought-tolerant and low maintenance plants that will make up your complete mini landscaping, curb, and garden.

Wrapping Up

There are many other different projects you can do to help increase your home’s value. As long as you take the time to plan and execute things accordingly and keep a close eye on your budget, you can rest assured that you can make really nice upgrades to your home.

Why So Many People Are Moving From California to Arizona

Why So Many People Are Moving From California to Arizona

Why So Many People Are Moving From California to Arizona

California has established itself as one of the most popular states in the US. People from all walks of life come to this attractive state for a host of different reasons. From beautiful weather and coastal cities to attractive job opportunities and stunning national parks, there are a lot of reasons one would consider heading to California. However, in recent years, there’s been a surge of people transitioning from this seemingly coastal paradise to Arizona. Let’s find out why.

1. It’s more affordable.

California has earned a reputation for being incredibly expensive. As more people and businesses (tech companies especially) flock to the Golden State, the average cost of living inevitably rises. This has led to a mini-exodus of people of all ages fleeing these growing prices as California continues to become more populous. When comparing the capital cities, it’s clear that Arizona is significantly cheaper to live than California on nearly every metric.

2. You don’t sacrifice nice weather.

One of the best perks of moving to California is the weather. Clear skies, warm temperatures, and the occasional ocean breeze (if you’re close enough) are just a few of the highlights of the Californian climate. Unfortunately for this western state, there’s a more affordable neighbor right next door that has just as nice weather: Arizona. There’s a reason this is a popular state for snowbirds and retirees. Those who fell in love with California for the weather but can’t stand the cost of living can easily move to AZ without sacrificing any of the nice weather.

3. It’s less populated.

Los Angeles has more than twice the population of Phoenix. This disparity is even greater when comparing the overall population of California to Arizona, roughly 39 million and 7 million, respectively. If you’re someone who doesn’t enjoy congested cities, impenetrable rush-hour traffic, and even pollution, then Arizona is a no-brainer compared to California.

4. Lower-income tax.

California’s income tax ranges from 1% to 12.3%. Compared with Arizona’s significantly lower range of 2.59% to 4.50%, it’s clear why people would flock to the Grand Canyon State if they want to hold onto more of their earnings. Whether saving up for retirement, taking care of a new family, or just graduating from school, every penny you can hold onto is going to make a big difference in terms of saving. It seems Arizona has California beat in this department.

5. Better housing market.

Housing is one of the most important factors that people considering before moving. As a life-time investment, finding an affordable home is key. The trend we’ve seen with California being more expensive than Arizona is perhaps best exemplified when comparing the housing market in each state. The average home in CA costs an astonishing $440,000. In contrast, the average home in Arizona costs around $299,900, according to Zillow.

While there are many economic, social, political, and even personal reasons why a person might move from California to Arizona, we’ve highlighted some of the more apparent reasons here. If you’re thinking about making the move, be sure to give us a call to talk about your options. Having a reputable real estate agent on your side can make the transition that much easier.

Heavy machinery that is crucial when renovating your house

Heavy machinery that is crucial when renovating your house

Heavy machinery that is crucial when renovating your house

There’s nothing more exciting than completely renovating your home and turning it into your dream haven. The only issue is that the bigger the renovation, the more work that needs to be done. This work can hardly be done by hand, so you’ll need machines instead. Which machines, you might ask? That depends on how you’re renovating. Still, it’s important that you get yourself familiarized with the most common heavy machinery that is essential when doing home renovations.

Excavators

When doing major renovations to your home, certain machines are absolutely essential. If you want to take out a whole room or create moor basement space, jackhammers and shovels won’t do the trick. You need something bigger, like an excavator.

These machines are great for knocking down walls and moving large amounts of dirt. They can help you dig a hole and then fill it up just as fast. Weather conditions aren’t an issue for them, so any season is free game for renovations. Even the sturdiest pillars or structures are no match for the excavator’s power, so you don’t have to worry about any change being out of your grasp.

Dump trucks

When you’re doing major renovations, you need lots of materials. These materials and parts don’t just appear out of thin air right on your front porch. You need something to carry them over. The trunk of your car or back of a pick-up won’t be nearly enough for the kind of materials you need to transport. This is what dump trucks are for.

They can carry very large amounts of materials from suppliers to your home without much delay. This isn’t all they’re good for, though. They can also do the exact opposite. When you’re done with renovations, you need to get rid of leftover debris and materials. Just pop them on the dump truck and take them elsewhere to be recycled or reused. This dual role makes these machines essential for any large renovation project.

Pallet jacks

While machines like bulldozers and dump trucks are necessary for large-scale aspects of your home renovations, you’re probably not going to use them to move things around in your home or for short distances. Pallets full of items and materials aren’t very heavy, but they still require a strong machine touch. This is why every home renovation needs to incorporate the use of a few pallet jacks.

These machines help you quickly transport items from one area of the renovation to another, with ease of use. With a durable pallet jack, you can get a few days’ worth of work done within a single day, as long as you use it to its full potential. Whether they’re used to transport buckets of paint or wall parts, you can count on pallet jacks to be reliable tools in your home renovation project.

Submersible pumps

Some machines are utilized only to make building more convenient, rather than serving a concrete purpose in the building or renovating process. Submersible pumps are a great example in this category.

You never know when the weather will turn sour, and you don’t want your renovations to be delayed due to a little drizzle. This can cost you tremendously in terms of both time and money invested. If you plan on digging and creating new rooms in the subterranean, you need to deal with water and moisture build-up. As the name would suggest, a submersible pump helps pump out any excess water that’s in the way of the builders, making construction manageable once more. It’s particularly useful in humid environments where there’s always a level of moisture beneath the soil.

Power generators

Every machine in your home renovation project needs to be powered in one way or another. If they don’t utilize diesel or some other type of fuel, you need electrical power. This is how most smaller pieces of equipment are powered, so you’ll definitely want to keep the power coming in.

What happens if the power goes out or there’s an electrical shortage? It’s a rare, but not unlikely scenario during a home renovation project. You start seeing delays and glitches in the construction schedule, making the project a lot more expensive. To avoid this, you will want to use generators.

Power generators should wait on stand0by for any bigger renovation project. They make sure you always have power, even when the neighbourhood around you doesn’t. One should be more than enough for most projects, so don’t forget to acquire one in time for construction.

Why these machines benefit your renovation project

Setting aside the logistical impossibility of getting larger renovations done by hand, these machines provide a host of other benefits to your project. Efficiency is the core philosophy of using these kinds of machines. They get things done fast, and at half the cost. You might be paying a lot up front, but it’s quite a bit faster than taking a sledgehammer or shovel in your own two hands.

Keep in mind, these machines also get things done right. There are some things that you just can’t do as precisely without a strong piece of metal that is backed by real horsepower. Digging a huge hole in one fell swoop makes it a lot easier to get the hole the right size in a short amount of time. Rain and snow can ruin days’ worth of effort done by hand within five minutes. Taking care of everything in a short span of time makes it a lot less likely that things will go wrong. Keep this in mind when starting your renovation project.

Conclusion

Every home renovation project will need big, strong pieces of machinery to get things done right. You need to get yourself familiar with all the machines and equipment that are absolutely essential for your renovation project. Sometimes, you won’t need an excavator because you aren’t knocking anything down or digging. Other times, you’ll need two. Knowing when to apply a piece of machinery will cut renovation times in half and bring you good results.

Things to look for when buying a house

 

Things to look for when buying a house

 

Buying a new house is, arguably, one of the most important financial investments a person can make. Not only will it cost you thousands if not hundreds of thousands, but you easily end up with a place that needs further investments in order to make it livable. So, in order to make sure that your investment is worth the money spent, you need to know which things to look for when buying a house. Luckily, we are here to give you a quick rundown of what house hunting is all about.

Before you go to check out a house

So, you’ve decided that you are going to buy a house and you have the necessary funds for doing so. Great! Should you simply step outside or go online and look for homes to check out? Of course not. In order to make your househunting worthwhile, there are some things that you need to decide beforehand. That way, you will have a much easier time going through dozens of homes that will be presented to you. Furthermore, you will have a much better understanding of which things to look for when buying a house.

The importance of having a decent real estate agent

Trying to find a home without help from a decent real estate agent is practically impossible. Even if you know all the things to look for when buying a house, you will still need a professional at your side to help you out. Keep in mind that house hunting is a tiring process that can often take months to conclude. And, as it turns out, good homes are always in demand, which is why the only way to get them is to be quick. So, if you want a fighting chance to buy a decent home, first find an experienced agent to help you out.

Things to look for when buying a house

Deciding on deal-breakers

One of the things your realtor will ask you to settle before you go house hunting are the deal-breakers. These are the things that a house must have, or must be without if you are to even consider buying it. So, if you want to do yourself and your real estate agent a favor, start thinking now about what your deal-breakers are. Do you want a smart home? Does your home need to have multiple bathrooms? What about a back yard? Answering questions such as this will narrow your search and make house hunting easier and more efficient.

Which things to look for when buying a house

So, with an experienced agent at your side, and your deal-breakers figured out, the time has come to look for homes. Now, keep in mind that the homes you end up seeing in person will be at their best. After all, the owner probably did what they could to make their home as presentable as possible. So, it is not uncommon for people to get carried away with the superficial beauty of the home, therefore neglecting the crucial aspects of it. So, here is what to look for.

Roof issues

Before you even set foot in the new home, make sure that the roof is in good condition. After all, the quality of the roof can mean that you need to fix it within a couple of years, or that you won’t have to worry about it for decades. In there is a small issue like needing to put new gutters on your house, you’ll be able to deal with it fairly easily. But, a major issue with the roof can cost you a fortune to repair. Finally, if the roof is new, it almost certainly implies cheaper homeowners insurance. So, do yourself a favor and check the roof.

Room quality

Once you do enter a home, try to ignore the looks of a room. Any paint job or minor issue can be easily fixed or altered, so you need not worry about them. Now, this can be hard to do, especially if the owner is pushing you to notice them. But, the more they push, the more you need to ignore these details. Instead, try to focus on how sturdy and well-built the rooms are. This means checking the structural integrity of the room and the quality of its aspects. Windows, doors and any wooden elements should be structurally sound with few if any repairs. Also, try to see if electricity is working properly and that all the appliances are in top condition.

Plumbing

Plumbing is the veins and arteries of your home. If it is not working properly, your whole home won’t function properly. So, do yourself a favor and check for plumbing issues before moving into a new home. This, as most of the things we mentioned so far, is best done with a more experienced person at your side. But, even if you are a rookie, you can still check for faulty plumbing. For instance, if you smell mold, know that there is probably an issue. Once you go into the kitchen or the toilet, make sure that every faucet is functioning properly and that every drain is working fine.

Pay attention to the temperature

One of the lesser know things to look for when buying a house is the temperature. By paying close attention to the temperature of the house you can figure out how good its heating system is. Furthermore, you can even deduce how well its insulation is working. Ideally, you want to ask the owner to change the temperature of the home once you walk in, just to see how long it takes. Remember, providing and maintaining a decent temperature for your home will be one of the biggest expenses in the long run. So, do what you can to make sure that your home has a decent system in place.

12 things to think about before building your patio

12 things to think about before building your patio

12 things to think about before building your patio

Building a patio can be a very rewarding project. It can make a great addition to your home and outdoor space. A patio can be any size and can be used as a relaxing place to enjoy your garden, a place to entertain guests or for kids to play. It’s a perfect environment for a family gathering and making a barbeque. Installing a patio may seem like a lot of work, but if you plan it carefully, you will have nothing to worry about. There are many factors to consider before building your perfect patio. Find below 12 things to think about before building your patio.

 

Position

If you don’t have much space, a patio should be adjoint to your house. But if you have room to spare, think about where the patient should look and feel the best. If the sun is positioned in a different place in your garden, think about placing a patio in that space. The position of the patio also includes for which purpose you are going to use the patio. If you are building a patio to host friends and family often, it’s best to position it close to your house for easy access. If your patio is more for relaxation and lounging, locating it in the garden may be a better option. For patio placements, it’s best to consult with skilled patio designers. Consider also where your furniture will be and if you will have amenities like a fire pit or barbeque grill. If you have a view you want to enjoy, locate the patio so you are taking the full advantage of the view.

 

Size

This factor is very important. The size of the patio is relevant to the size of your yard and the size of the furniture you will have. If you are planning on hosting multiple people, that means you will need more furniture for sitting. They should be big enough to host many people, whether they will be sitting or standing. You need enough room for everyone to move around and not bump into each other or the furniture. Another thing to consider is how much of the garden you want to leave untouched. Do you want a patio from side to side of your garden, or do you want to have greenery and landscaping? If you want to add amenities like an outdoor kitchen or a hot tub, you will need more space to be able to use all of it. You should also plan for outdoor storage if you need it. If you live in colder climates, consider space for possible heaters.

 

Shape

The shape of your patio can be decided on the size of your garden, and it doesn’t have to be just a rectangle. If you have a lot of greenery, maybe a curved or oddly shaped patio will look better and provide more space and comfort. You don’t need to cut any parts. If you have irregular edges that you want to hide, you can fill the space with gravel. Good advice is to follow the shape and proportions of your house. Make a good transition from indoors to outdoors. The patio should complement the architecture of the house and coordinate with the surrounding landscape design.

 

Materials

If you don’t have a lot of space to spare for a patio, for materials that you are going to use it’s best if you are taking inspirations from the architecture of your house. This will create a cohesive space. If you have a larger backyard you have more flexibility in designing your patio and choosing materials. If you go in a very different style selection, you should pick some details to incorporate in your patio materials to be cohesive with the house.

There are materials that you can often find in many patio designs. Natural stone is the most popular because of its durability and a range of shapes, sizes, and colors. They work with a variety of styles and they require very little maintenance. Other very popular materials are brick, concrete, and gravel. For any material you should take a sample and place them where the patio will be, to see if it fits. The paving is there to showcase and accentuate plans, furniture, and features.

 

Comfort

Patios are used mostly for relaxation. This means that the seating you choose and the comfort they provide are very important. If your seating arrangement is not comfortable, you will not enjoy using it. Built-in seating is amazing as it gives you plenty of space to sit down. It’s not the most comfortable, so you should maybe have some other seating options for everyone. There are many seating options to choose from. The furniture should be comfortable and easy to move if needed. The materials you choose are also important. You will need easily washable materials and that will withstand different weather without breaking. They should be easy to maintain in the long run.

 

Lighting

Decks are not only used in the day but also during the night. You will need proper lighting. It gives ambiance, but it’s also important for safety reasons. You need lights to make your patio functional. You don’t want to fall because you didn’t see a smaller piece of furniture. You should plan out where you need the lights and what type of fixtures you will use. Solar lighting is becoming more popular, but’s it’s not very bright, so you will need a lot of them. If you want LED light instead, you should call an electrician to install all the outdoor lighting. There are many shapes and types of lighting you can install. If your patio is next to the house you can put wall mounter fixtures. If you have a roof you can add overhead lighting. If your patio is far from the house, movable lanterns and post lighting is best.

 

Landscaping

Since you have a backyard, you probably want some plants and greenery to go with your patio. The right landscaping will be comfortable and bring a natural setting to your backyard. You should make sure you don’t make any landscaping errors. It also provides a peaceful atmosphere for relaxing and entertaining. You can even use greenery like trees, shrubs, and plants to create a patio border. It’s good for privacy and noise reduction. Having nice flowers and trees will add color and interest in your yard and patio. Landscapes need proper lighting. It will add beauty to your garden and make it an amazing place to spend your time in the evening. If you have a pathway, adding pathway lights will provide safety when taking night walks. If you have trees, you can add uplights and spots for soft light. You can add soft small lights on the edge of your patio to accentuate it.

 

Shade

Since your patio is outside and you will want to use most of the year if possible, adding shade and shelter is important. It will need shelter from the sun, rain, wind snow, etc. If your patio is located on the south or west side, and you don’t have any trees for shade, you will need some type of cover from the sun. The afternoon sun is very intense, especially if you live in very hot climates. This can stop you from enjoying your new patio. One structure you can add is a pergola or arbor. They are constructed from naturally rot-resistant cedar lumber. They can provide shade based on the size and spacing of the slats. A pavilion has an actual roof and is perfect for any weather conditions.

 

Maintenance

You probably want a patio that is easy to maintain year-round. You want to enjoy it and not spend a big amount of time cleaning everything. Cleaning your patio should not be a big job if everything is done correctly. An occasional sweep up is enough. If you plan on eating on your patio and having parties and barbeques, it’s important to choose materials that are spill-resistant and easy to clean up. Every outdoor patio material is durable, but not everyone is stain-resistant. It may need a sealer to resist stains. This is true for natural stones like marble, limestone, and slate. Consult with your designer or contractor on which patio materials are best for your needs. An important part is drainage. If you have a shady part of the patio and water stays there for too long, it can create a type of green slim, which is not easy to clean.

 

Permits

Besides the decorating part, there is a part where you have to get all the permits you need to create your patio. Generally, patio pavement doesn’t require a permit, because they are not considered a permanent structure. If you want to build a deck, you almost always need a permit and inspection during the construction process. If your outdoor space includes plumbing, electricity and other wood structures, a permit may be required. This part of the process can be intimidating for most homeowners who have to deal with there regulations for the first time. If you are willing to do things right, you will not have any problems. Most of the patio contractors will probably handle the permits themselves, This includes researching if and what permits are required, arranging inspections and handling the inspectors.

 

Pricing

One of the most important parts of building anything si considering how much money are you able to spend on the project. It’s best to discuss pricing on the first appointment with your contractor. The goal is to decide on the meeting what you want to create and how much it will cost you so you can decide if it’s doable. You don’t want any surprises down the line. How much a patio may cost is up to many aspects. It can be affected by any projects your contractor has done, financing, materials, and suppliers being used and what you are getting for your money. Make sure to understand that if you want to include all your wishes in the patio design, the cost may be much higher than you were hoping for. You should have a sincere talk with your contractor and see what is doable and what you can include in the patio. Don’t settle for unreasonably lower prices from different companies, as it can happen that after some year your patio falls apart, and you need to redo it all over again. This can create a much bigger cost than you can handle.

 

Think ahead

Before meeting with your contractor it can be very helpful to have a general idea of how you want your patio to look. There are many inspirational pictures on Pinterest and other websites for example. It’s good to have a handful of the picture you can show to indicate what you like and what you don’t. A properly designed patio that is made with your wishes can give you many years of good times with your family and friends. Decks can have very different shapes, sizes, and additions. A simple platform deck is very easy to construct, and it has a clean and classic look to it. But for some it can be difficult to access it, so you will need a railing. If your deck is in a hot place, you will need a roof or a cover of some sort. There are many types of wood used for building decks. Or maybe you want built-in seating. These are all the things to consider and search up before starting the plans with your contractor.

 

Having a deck is an amazing addition to your house. It provides a space for fun, lounging and gatherings. There can be many uses for a deck. It can be a dining space with a grill, a spa-type with a jacuzzi or a place to relax on your reclining chair or hammock. Whichever use you are going to have for your deck, the most important aspect is that it needs to be of great quality so it will last you a long time.

What Happens to the Marital Property After Divorce?

What Happens to the Marital Property After Divorce?

What Happens to the Marital Property After Divorce?

 

Divorce is usually the last thing on one’s mind when they think they’ve found the right person to spend the rest of their life with. However, nothing in life is guaranteed and they might actually find themselves in this situation. Seeing as how most people do not plan on getting divorced, they typically don’t prepare a prenuptial agreement which can lead to messy court proceedings. There are many aspects that need to be considered during the divorce process – most importantly, the custody of the kids if there are any. However, another big issue is the question of property division. Who is entitled to what and how is the marital property distributed? Learn more below.

What is marital property?

First, we need to establish what is considered marital property. It is important to note that this includes all possessions that were obtained by the spouses during the marriage and not property owned by only one of the spouses. Furthermore, marital property also refers to the earnings of the couple and everything that was bought using those earnings as well as the debts that the spouses have.

Assets most usually include houses, vehicles, businesses, jewelry, pets, various pensions, benefits and retirement accounts as well as any investments that they’ve made. On the other hand, marital debt refers to personal loans, student debt, credit card debt, car loans and business loans, in addition to any medical debt and mortgages and home lines of equity.

Divorce law differs from state to state and every divorce is different. Therefore, in addition to doing some research on their own, the best course of action for people going through this process is contacting trustworthy family law experts that are very knowledgeable in this field and know how to approach such a situation. Finding professionals that are willing to advise their clients and guide them through every step of this ordeal is vital as most individuals don’t really know a lot about the division of property, what they are entitled to and what it actually includes.

Which factors play a role in how property is divided?

When it comes to deciding who gets what after the divorce, many factors need to be taken into account. First of all, the spouses can agree on their own who gets what in case of an amicable divorce – there are even DIY services online that can help set up the terms and how everything will be divided, including the time shared with the kids and the finances. For instance, the soon-to-be ex-spouses can choose to sell the home they own and split the profits equally so that they can both find another place to live and move on. Another option is to agree on a buy-out, where one spouse would pay the other their share of the home in order to keep it.

On the other hand, if the divorce is not amicable, the split of the property should be discussed with divorce attorneys and/or mediators. They have experience in this area and know what the judges take into consideration if the case goes to court. For example, the length of the marriage, each spouses’ contribution during the marriage, time invested in fixing up the home, health of the parties involved, earning capacities of each party and so on. Marital misconduct can also play a role in this decision. The previously mentioned scenarios of splitting the money from the sale or buying out the other spouse are also possible here. In certain cases, the judge might decide to award the house to the parent that gets custody of the children so that they don’t have to relocate and adjust to new circumstances. All in all, the court’s goal is to avoid negative financial consequences for the involved parties and to leave them on an approximately same economic footing by fairly dividing the marital property.

When is property considered separate?

There are also cases when certain pieces of property belong only to one spouse and are not up for discussion during the divorce process. For example, if one of the spouses purchased a home on their own before marriage and the other spouse’s name was never on the deed, it is considered separate. Furthermore, if one party received property as a gift or inheritance, it is also off the table during negotiations. Of course, in case there was a prenuptial agreement, a lot more property can be separate.

What is more, homes are not the only property that might have to be divided among the spouses. We mentioned that vehicles can also be considered marital property; however, in case a car was purchased and put only in the name of one of the spouses, it belongs only to that person. If it was put in both their names, then it is up for discussion. Jewelry is another interesting topic when it comes to dividing it. Engagement rings are classified as gifts and should belong to the recipient – unless the ring is a family heirloom as then it might have to be returned to the original owner. All jewelry purchased during marriage is considered marital property and should be divided equally. However, it’s important to keep in mind that these are some general guidelines which need to be checked and discussed with lawyers.

 

Going through a divorce is usually a very stressful process and it gets even harder when one has to think about the logistics of splitting up their property. Turning to experts during these trying times is definitely the best way to handle everything.

Requirements for Purchasing Your New Home

Requirements for Purchasing Your New Home

Requirements for Purchasing Your New Home

 

Owning a home is a dream come true to many people out there and, like with any other dream dream, achieving it is not easy. First of all, buying a home is perhaps the single largest investment that the majority of people make in their lifetime and it often takes decades to fully pay it off. Second, it is one of the choices that will affect your lifestyle the most, seeing as how you’re picking the place where you’re going to spend every single day (or nearly every single day) for years and decades to come. In a scenario where you might later turn the place into a rental property, it is also a business decision, which is one more reason to take things seriously.

Other than the issue of motivation itself, the logistics behind buying the place is quite arduous, as well. First of all, you need to raise enough money, which means spending more time at the bank than you feel comfortable with. It also means indebting yourself head over heels, which might also keep you up at night. Then, there’s so much paperwork when it comes to applying for the mortgage, closing the sale and then transferring the ownership and a lot of people fear whether they’re capable of undertaking such a massive task. With that in mind and without further ado, here’s a brief list that you can use in order to get a grip on some of these tasks.

1.      How much home you can afford

The first thing you need to determine is how much home you can actually afford. Bear in mind, this is not your only expense. Every month, you’ll have to make the mortgage payment, however, the cost of living won’t just magically disappear. You still have to pay your utilities which, depending on the local utility costs and the size of the place, may be more or less than what you’ve paid in your previous home. Other than this, you have the regular costs of living to worry about. All in all, you need to determine just how much of a home you can actually afford.

The simplest way to determine this is to make a crude assumption with the use of an online calculator. For starter, you need to make an estimate of your mortgage payment, your property taxes and the homeowners association fee. Then, there’s monthly homeowner insurance. Next, you need to take into consideration the down payment and the total closing costs. The majority of these calculators first ask you to set your location, based on which, the majority of these metrics are calculated. Then, you just add this to your regular expenses (minus your current rent payments) and see if you can handle it on your current income. Sure, your income may grow in the future but this is not a presumption that you should base your decision to buy real estate on.

2.      Prepare your finances for the mortgage

Next, you need to prepare yourself financially for the mortgage in question. For starters, chances are that you have no collateral whatsoever, which is why you are more likely than not to go for unsecured credit. This means that your credit score will play a major role in the mortgage terms that you can expect. So, start by checking your credit score. The metrics of the FICO scale are quite simple to grasp – the numbers go from 300 to 850 and the higher your score the better you’re off. If there’s enough time, you might even want to try and improve your score a bit.

Another thing you need to consider is how to save money for the down payment. Sure, the mortgage will cover about 80 percent of the value of the future home, however, the remaining 20 percent is still a formidable figure. This is why it’s recommended that you plan ahead and try to save as much money as you possibly can. Starting a savings account, gamifying your saving habits, leading a more austere life, selling an asset or finding an additional source of income are just some of the things that you should take into consideration.

Once you’ve dealt with this, it’s up to you to prepare all your documentation and get it in order. We’re talking about the paystubs, bank statements, self-employment income copies and your last two tax returns. In other words, you’re preparing everything that the lender will insist on during your mortgage application. Having everything filed and ready ahead of time can make things run so much smoother.

The last thing you want to do when preparing to take a mortgage is to do some research. Even with the same credit score, not every lender is about to offer you the same terms. So, what you need to do is go loan shopping. Sure, you might go to a major credit union to get your mortgage, however, looking for small personal loans online can be quite an efficient way of handling your down payment problem in a simple and efficient manner.

3.      Get in touch with professionals

Once you have the paperwork and the financial aspect of your home-buying effort out of the way, you need to find the right real estate for you and your family. First, you need to find the right real estate agent or, better yet, a great buyer’s agent. These people are not only well-versed in the industry but also there to help you get the best possible price for the real estate in question. Real estate agents are there to sell you the place and, as professionals, possess the knowledge of a variety of persuasion techniques. Your buyer’s agent is more likely to see past this and get you the best deal possible.

While we’ve already talked a lot about handling the finances prior to buying a new home, it is also quite important that you consult a skilled legal advisor to help you out. They can help you draft a plan that will allow you to save for the down payment or help you figure out how to effectively return your mortgage. A great financial expert, when contacted in time, can also help you figure out the best way to improve your credit score in order to get the most favorable terms when you finally apply for a loan.

Lastly, before you commit to buy the place, you need to make sure that the place is a prime piece of real estate. What this means is that you need to bring a number of specialists to inspect the place. We’re talking about bringing a general contractor to see the structural integrity of the place. Next, you need to bring a plumber and an electrician to see if the installations are in proper working order. This will either help you knock off the price a bit or, at least, know exactly what you’re getting into.

4.      Home appraisal

One of the most important steps used to protect both the buyer and the lender is the home appraisal. This consists of hiring a third party to make an assessment of the home’s value in order to make sure that the mortgage in question actually makes sense. Without it, the buyer would deliberately inflate the price of the home in order to get approved of a larger loan. In other words, this is a method used in order to ensure that everyone’s getting the fair price out of the deal in question.

Keep in mind that the seller often uses a number of appraisal-boosting techniques in order to get the most value out of their home. We’re talking about small improvements and boosting curb appeal of the place. Remember, nonetheless, that a professional can look past the décor and trifles. What they need to focus on are the crucial structural issues and base their assessment based on it. Still, if you believe the appraisal to be too much against your own interests, you can always challenge it. Sure, this prolongs the procedure by quite a bit, however, it is usually worth waiting.

5.      Survey the neighborhood

The next item on your list (while some argue that this should come before the actual visit to the place, let alone contacting professional inspectors), is checking the state of the neighborhood. This comes in several different stages. First, you want to check the crime rate of the place. In this day and age, all you have to do in order to get there is to find the online platform and type the name of the neighborhood. There are a lot of different thematic maps, both official and unofficial, that you can base your search on.

The next thing you should probably take into consideration is your future lifestyle in this neighborhood. If you’re looking for a place where you can start a family, then the vicinity of schools in the area might be your primary concern. Even if you are single at the moment, you need to weigh in the likelihood that this will change in the future and plan accordingly. The accessibility to job options in your field should be another major interest. Will you have to relocate in order to advance in your career? If so, this can be a major inconvenience and something that you should try to avoid.

Finally, let’s take into consideration a chance that you might want to repurpose the home in the future. Let’s say that you intend to turn it into a getaway, thus transforming it into a venue or a vacation rental. Does the place have a tourist potential? If you intend to turn the place into a traditional rental property, you need to take into consideration the appeal of the overall neighborhood. For anyone in the rental industry, vacancy is a direct loss of profit – the lower the vacancy time the better the investment. These are just some of the factors worth taking into consideration.

6.      Close the sale

Closing the sale itself may be quite an arduous task, which is why it’s vital that you have a skilled and experienced intermediary. Here, there’s a list of documents that have to be signed before the sale is final and official. On the top of the list, there’s the deed, the affidavit of title and the transfer tax declaration. These are the so-called real estate transfer documents. Then, you have the home loan documents, which are the note, the deed of trust, the loan application and the loan estimate and closing disclosure. Keep in mind that all of these documents should probably be checked by an attorney before you start signing them.

Next, you have some additional (miscellaneous) files worth keeping in mind in this occasion. First, you have the bill of sale, which transfers personal property that is being sold with the real estate. This is in the case where the place is furnished and already has furniture and appliances. Then, you need to have the certificate of occupancy, which serves as a guarantee that the place is habitable (according to local building codes). Finally, you need to receive homeowners’ insurance, at least until the loan is paid off in full. This is one of the last documents that you’ll have to sign, probably just before closing.

In conclusion

In the end, it’s important that you keep two important things in mind. First, handling all of these issues is not something that you’ll have to face on a regular basis. This is something that you do when buying a new home which is not an occurrence that should take place too often. Second, you can always hire specialists to help you out. Sure, this ends up costing more but it also provides you with higher security of the transaction and a safer decision-making process. At the end of the day, you should just look at this as an additional home-buyers’ fee and find some room for it in your budget. Skipping this step can be terribly inconvenient.

 

Guide to an Energy-Friendly House

Guide to an Energy-Friendly House

Guide to an Energy-Friendly House

Environmental friendliness is on the rise, and many Australian homeowners are aiming to make their homes as efficient as possible. An energy-friendly house will help reduce the owner’s carbon footprint, while also providing them with quite a bit of savings from the power bill. Achieving this might seem complex, but it’s a lot simpler in practice. Here are a few ways you can get your home to become more efficient.

Start early

If you haven’t yet started working on your energy-efficient haven, you might want to get on the task pretty quickly. Modifying a home to be energy efficient is a lot harder than designing it to be such from the start. This is why it’s so crucial that you get an early start when it comes to increasing the home’s efficiency.

The insulation of your home plays a big part in saving energy. Even the most efficient heating system will only take you so far if the house is constantly leaking heat. Most homes will have adequate insulation, but there are some key areas that need to be revisited. The roof and basement are often vulnerable to heat leakage if they aren’t insulated well. Consult experts and builders to see if these areas require better insulation.

Allow for better illumination

Most Australian homeowners use a blend of incandescent and fluorescent lightbulbs for their rooms. These lighting options provide adequate illumination, but they might not be the most efficient solutions available. Environmentally friendly options, such as LEDs, might be more suited for the job. The amount of power that is saved through their use might not seem like much per light bulb, but it adds up. Over the span of a couple of years, the power bill savings will become extremely noticeable.

Even lighting efficiency can be improved with the initial design of the home. If your rooms have better access to natural lighting, you won’t have to use artificial lights all that often. Windows should be positioned to give your rooms adequate lighting throughout the day. More windows will always increase the efficiency of the lighting in your home.

Use efficient heating

No amount of insulation is going to make winter any warmer. Heating is an absolute necessity in most parts of Australia, which means homeowners are left with few choices. Among these few choices, there are some that are more efficient than others.

Gas heating is often considered the more eco-friendly and efficient option, compared to alternatives. Burning wood and fuel often creates harmful byproducts, which pollute the air, while gas is relatively safe.

Before the harsh weather begins, you should take measures to keep your heating system up-to-date and efficient. It would be best to seek out a professional gas heating repair in Canberra before the season starts, as it can make repairs and improvements a lot easier. If the system can’t be repaired, a replacement can be installed before the colder weather arrives.

Produce your own power

Energy costs are constantly on the rise, and many Australian homeowners are looking for ways to reduce their consumption. The problem is that there’s always going to be a certain amount of power used, even with peak efficiency. That is unless you can find an alternative way to power your home.

The good news is that this is a feasible solution. Many homeowners are turning to solar cells to power their home, instead of simply utilizing power from the grid. Generating your own electricity is the single best way to reduce your power bills, as it doesn’t rely on external sources.

Installing solar panels was once a very costly investment, but it’s become pretty affordable for a large number of Australians. With solar panels, you can count on massive savings on a yearly basis. Best of all, solar panels require very little maintenance or cleaning, making them an efficient and autonomous source of power worth considering.

Conclusion

Creating an energy-efficient home isn’t as difficult as you might think. There are both minor and major changes that are worth taking into consideration. With a little planning and research, you should be able to dramatically reduce your power and gas bills without issue. Apply some of these ideas to your home and you’ll see some very quick results.