Personalize It!

April Gongora

Gardner Realtors

504-606-0466 Cell

504-887-7588 Office

4509 Veterans Blvd., Ste 200

Metairie, LA  70006

Personalize Your Bank Owned Purchase

                                                                                                                                                                Distressed homes are now selling at more than a 20% discounts and using the FHA 203K Renovation Loan can add additional value to these homes. The housing market recovery has stalled, at least temporarily, but here’s how you can take advantage of a great opportunity. This “discount”, it should be noted, is a major reason why distressed properties accounted for 37% of the home re-sales. Home buyers are finding bargains when they’re willing to consider homes in various stages of foreclosure and short sale. With the FHA 203K Renovation Loan we can structure your home financing with as little as a 3.5% down payment based on the purchase price and renovation cost, we’ll all so work with you and your Real Estate Agent to structure your offer so the seller or lender funds your closing cost and escrow account.

In today housing market experience has shown us that the vast majority of our home buyers not only can purchase these home for a low down payment, but on average create an equity position of at least 15% after renovation. On average home buyers who purchase a distressed home will make an initial investment of less than $5000 (Learn about our Down Payment Assistance Programs) and after renovation see an investment return of $20,000 to $100,000 in many Louisiana Housing Markets. I can’t think of a better way for a First Time Home Buyers to get the right footing on their financial affairs than creating immediately equity and we have Down Pymt Assistance Programs and Tax Credit Info to help many of you to achieve it. Additionally, when going green a home buyer can qualify for Federal and State Tax credits that can far exceed any initial investment made. Find out more about these tax credits on the link above.

There has never been a better time to purchase a home if you plan your work and work your plan. Closing on your purchase before the end of the year can get you thousands in tax credits for 2011. Contact your mortgage planner who will be happy to explain more about the FHA 203k Renovation Loan and if you don’t have a Real Estate Agent to assist you as them for a referral.

Tip 1: Spend some time with a pro.

Work with a professional Real Estate Agent to locate a Distressed Homes in the area of town you want to live. Ask them for their opinion on what kind of improvements other home owners have been making in the area and consider their comments when looking at the home you are thinking of purchasing.

A few hours with a professional Real Estate Agent can give you lots of ideas for needed improvements. Even small suggestions, such as paint colors can go a long way toward improving the look and feel.

Tip 2: Find inspiration.

After finding a home you’d like to purchase search for remodeling and decorating inspiration in design-oriented magazines, books, TV shows and web sites. Simply tear out or print off the ideas you want to try and start your to-do list. Keep it simple. Your to-do list can be a valuable tool to share with contractors to get bids. We strongly recommend you get at least three bid offers and make sure the contractors you selected are licensed professionals.

Tip 3: Inspect it!

Not every home improvement is cosmetic. Hidden problems like deteriorating roofs, termite infestation or outdated electrical systems can negatively impact your home’s value. For home improvements under $35000 Hire an inspectorto check out the areas of your home that you don’t normally see. Small problems, like a hidden water leak, can become expensive headaches if you put off repairs. A little investment now can save you loads of cash later and for homes where structural improvements need to be made. FHA will require an FHA Consultant assist you in coming up with needed repairs and working with your contractors from their initial bid through renovation when improvements exceed $35,000 or require structural repairs.

Tip 4: Paint, paint, paint.

One of the simplest, most cost-effective improvements of all is a fresh coat of paint. Newly painted rooms look clean and updated — and that spells value. Neutral paint colors appeal to the greatest number of people, therefore making your home more desirable. On average, a gallon of paint costs around $25, leaving you plenty of money to buy rollers, tape, drop cloths and brushes. So, buy a few gallons!

Tip 5: Cut energy costs.

If you think your utility bill is a fixed amount, call your local utility company to find out. Many energy providers offer free energy audits of their customers’ homes. They can show you how to maximize the energy efficiency of your home. A power- and water-saving home will conserve your money now, and is more valuable in the long run.

Tip 6: Add a money-saving luxury.

Here’s another way to tap into extra savings: install a water filtration system in your kitchen. Not only do these systems purify your water, you’ll also save the money you were spending on bottled water. A water filtration system is an inexpensive addition, but it’s the sort of small luxury that home buyers love.

Tip 7: Add new energy-efficient fixtures.

A functional, decorative ceiling fan is a beautiful thing. But an outdated, wobbly, loud or broken fan is a useless eyesore. Replace old fixtures with new to make your home more enjoyable.

Tip 8: Small bathroom updates equal a big return.

Bathroom updates are always a smart move. Even if you don’t need a full remodel, small changes can update the room without bruising your bottom line. For a quick, inexpensive face lift, replace dated wallpaper or light fixtures with updated paint and lighting.

Tip 9: Upgrade your appliances.

Eighty-six the old school appliances for sleek new energy-efficient ones. An appliance with an energy star label has been certified by the government to use 10 to 50 percent less energy and water than conventional appliances. Matching stainless appliances will not only look great now but will make your home shine brighter and a real value maker.

Tip 10: Spruce up your ceilings.

The ceiling makes up one-sixth of a room’s total area, yet is often the room’s most neglected space. Updating your home’s ceiling will add architectural interest, and net a lot of bang for your buck. If you still have popcorn ceilings, hire a contractor to scrape them smooth. To add a sophisticated custom look to a smooth ceiling, install crown moldings or box beams for a coffered look. Small touches like this will help your home stand out from the pack.

Tip 11: Update your home’s entrance.

Your front door and entrance are among the first thing people see when they enter your home, so they should complement your home’s overall design. If your existing door isn’t up to par, pick up a more energy-efficient and attractive replacement. Whether you choose a solid wood door or a decorative entry with stained glass panels, a welcoming front door is sure to increase your home’s bottom line.

Tip 12: Save on air conditioning costs.

A whole house fan is a great alternative to air conditioning and uses one-tenth the electricity of AC. “Green” home improvements like the energy-saving fan are popular with today’s home buyers. As the cost of electricity continues to rise, green energy alternatives will only gain popularity.

Tip 13: Brighten up.

A bright way to increase the value of your home is to add lighting. A well-lit room feels more cheerful, and makes spaces feel larger and cleaner. Bright rooms also show you have nothing to hide, so prospective buyers will feel at ease when touring your home. Hire an electrician to add recessed lights to a dim kitchen or family room or elegant sconces to a formal dining or living room. You’ll enjoy the lighting now, and your home will feel more welcoming to home buyers later.

Tip 14: Bath remodels are always a safe bet.

Improving your home is a solid investment at any level — a great place to start is by upgrading the bath. You don’t have to do a complete floor-to-ceiling remodel to reap financial benefits. In fact, modest bath updates can be your best bet for a big return, netting an 80 to 85 percent return on average.

Tip 15: Bring the outdoors in.

Consider turning two standard windows into an opening for beautiful French or sliding glass doors. Full-view glass doors really brighten up the space and a light and airy room is always more attractive. Also, with a view of the outdoors, the room will feel much larger. Another bonus: modern doors are energy-efficient, cutting down on heating and cooling costs. That means more cash in your pocket now and a financial bonus should you decide to sell.

Tip 16: Add closet or garage storage.

Real Estate Agents agree that ample storage space tops most home buyers’ list of wants. For less than $5,000, consider upgrading your home’s storage by adding custom shelving to a closet or garage. Imagine being about to sorting your belongings, then stash them away in your new closet. You’ll end up with a clutter-free space that maximizes your home’s value.

Tip 17: Green flooring choices equal more green in your wallet.

Worn flooring makes you feel worn and tired too. Replace it with the hottest trend in flooring: renewable, environmentally-friendly bamboo. Solid surface floors are easy to keep clean and give your home an upscale look and feel. “Green” flooring choices, like bamboo, minimally impact the environment and are a big selling point to today’s environmentally-conscious home buyers.

Tip 18: Resurface concrete.

Replacing the cracked concrete surfaces around your home can cost a small fortune. But for a fraction of that cost, concrete can be resurfaced in a multitude of colors and finishes. Consider adding a cobblestone finish to your driveway, a brick look to an old walkway or a slate finish around the pool or patio. Whichever texture you choose, it will be a huge improvement over standard concrete — and future home buyers will take note.

Tip 19: Refresh the exterior paint.

The condition of your home’s exterior is critical to the overall curb appeal. Refreshing your facade with a coat of paint will preserve and protect your home’s exterior siding, and the right paint color can transform a home from dull to dazzling. But remember to choose your color wisely — a house painted with an overly bright or bland color will make a house less appealing and hurt the value.

Tip 20: Go solar to save some green.

Save energy bill greenbacks by going “green” with a solar water heater. The installed price is anywhere between two to five thousand dollars, but these systems can slash your hot water bills by as much as 80 percent. You’ll also attract energy-conscious home buyers should you decide to sell. Install a solar water heater where there’s unobstructed southern exposure and you’ll have savings made in the shade.

Tip 21: Kitchen remodels are king.

Most experts agree that if you plan on updating only one room in your house, it should be the kitchen. Large, open kitchens have become the social hub of the modern home. High-end touches like granite counter tops, custom cabinets and energy-efficient stainless steel appliances are the gold standard in modern kitchens. Experts agree that kitchen remodels return an average of 80 to 85 percent of every dollar spent. You can expect an even higher return if you are remodeling an extremely outdated kitchen.

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