improvements: Time Machine Thursday... a 3fer, Cheap Ways to Prep Your Home to Sell - 02/15/12 03:20 PM
Normally, each week I pull a post from the past to highlight again. This week, I'm pulling three of them. They were all part of a series I did on Cheap Tips...  
Cheap Tips #1… Getting Ready to Sell Cheap Tips #2… Tip-Top Shape in 5 Steps Cheap Tips #3… Making a First Impression in 6 Steps It has never been more important to make sure your house shows as well as possible. And for most sellers that I deal with (spelled n-o-t b-a-n-k-s), they don't have a bottomless pit of cash to spend while getting ready to sell their … (3 comments)

improvements: Cheap Tips #3... Making a First Impression in 6 Steps - 02/08/11 12:31 PM
Image via Wikipedia We all know that there is no second chance to make a first impression.  That saying almost couldn't be more overused.  But it is still true.  I drive up to homes for the first time with buyers on an almost daily basis.  I listen to them as we approach the house.  I listen to them as we park in front or in the driveway.  I listen to them as we walk up to the front door.  I listen to them as I access the lockbox and open the front door for the first time.
I hear a lot … (1 comments)

improvements: Cheap Tip #2... Tip-Top Shape in 5 Steps - 02/05/11 02:22 PM
Image by lane.bailey via Flickr You are NOT a bank.  Your home isn't a foreclosure. Hopefully it isn't on its way to a foreclosure.  You need to maximize the price your home fetches on the market, and minimize the time it is on the market.  The problem is those foreclosures that your house has to compete against.  Foreclosures often have price going for them. That is a VERY powerful tool.  It can overcome a lot of issues.  But, you have to find a way to overcome the prices that banks are asking for their properties.
You are not a bank... so … (3 comments)

improvements: Renovation RoI Revisited... - 12/30/10 01:19 PM
Image via Wikipedia Just last week I wrote a post highlighting the results of the Remodeling Magazine's Cost vs. Value study.  And in this month's Realtor® Magazine, the newest results are published.  The reason I like this particular study is that it breaks down the results by region.  It would be great to break it down further to metro area... and then maybe ZIP code... and possibly subdivision... or even street... but that isn't happening.  Region is good.
The numbers for the Southeast are interesting. The Top 5 Renovations for Return on Investment (RoI) are:
Mid-range entry door (steel) - 135.5% … (1 comments)

improvements: Flashback Friday... Getting the Most for Your Renovation Dollar - 12/25/10 02:08 PM
Image via Wikipedia Do you know anyone that just likes to throw time, money and energy at a home renovation project, without a care for the value added?  I sure don't.  In fact, almost everyone I know is looking for ways to maximize the value of the dollars they spend renovating.
Last year, I wrote about a study from the National Association of Realtors® which detailed the average costs and RoI (Return on Investment) for various renovations.  It was even broken down by region.
I'll give you the spoiler...  Replacing the front door actually is the winner, and by a wide … (1 comments)

improvements: Finished or Unfinished Basements... - 10/21/10 03:44 PM
Image via Wikipedia I had the opportunity to sit in on REData Center's presentation about the state of the Gwinnett County Real Estate Market for the 3rd Quarter at NAMAR (Northeast Atlanta Metro Association of REALTORS) on October 18th.
One of the findings that was presented wasn't a shock to me, but it was a shock to some of the other real estate professionals that were there.
Finishing a basement doesn't really add to the value of the home in the eyes of a buyer...
I know that there are all sorts of news stories about the RoI (Return on Investment) … (2 comments)

improvements: And Another Thing... - 08/31/10 05:47 PM
I just wrote a post a few minutes ago about 'The Bandwagon' and all of the folks climbing on-board to trash a book based on its title. 
But there is something else that has been bugging me... 
There is a disregard for DiYers that I see all too often.  It comes from agents, inspectors and others.  There is an assuption that if the home owner does ANY repair to their home, it will be sub-standard, not up to code, poorly executed and solely for the purpose of killing kittens and puppies. 
I am a car hobbyist.  I do a LOT of … (8 comments)

improvements: Mom Always Said... Don't Judge a Book by Its Cover... - 08/31/10 05:15 PM
Recently, there was a post about a book here on Active Rain.  The book was about tips and tricks that pros use while remodeling and repairing homes.  Honestly, I'm not crazy about the title... 
But, reading through the comments, one might draw the conclusion that the book was purely evil. 
How to Cheat at Home Repair
Like I said, not crazy about the title...  But, the title doesn't tell the whole story.  Here is a short except from the book:
Here’s another situation where a panic response will lead to misery and unnecessary expense: the times when you need to call … (3 comments)

improvements: Incrementalism... revisited... - 06/13/10 04:37 PM
Two years ago I wrote a blog post called “Incrementalism“…  It is actually a favorite term among a small group of my friends.  We coined the term in regards to Jeep modifications.  Instead of doing the work over and over, but just a little at a time, causing a tremendous amount of laber of spending WAY more money, just go full in the first time.
Image by airgap via Flickr Of course, there are a few reasons to build a Jeep (or a sports car or a tow rig or anything else) a little at a time… especially as one is … (1 comments)

improvements: 5 Steps to make your Garage Cool... - 04/02/10 04:03 PM
The garages in most homes are less than spectacular.  In fact, a lot of them (including mine... excuse soon) won't even hold a car.  They seem to collect all sorts of things, from Christmas decorations to sports equipment.  All of that is in addition to tools, lawn equipment and the bulky stuff that won't go elsewhere. 
But, most garages are pretty close to being back into 'show shape'.  Here is a good place to start...  Let's get started. 
 
Step 1.  Clean out the 'Not-Garage-Stuff'.  Get the Christmas decorations up to the attic or down to the basement.  Find a closet … (16 comments)

improvements: Spring has Sprung in Lilburn, GA... - 04/01/10 03:34 AM
Spring is busting out all over Lilburn, GA.  The usual signs are plain to see, and if you are missing them, the pine pollen will be here soon to make sure you see spring everywhere... 
Of course, there are a few things that you need to do in order to prepare for spring. 
Change the Smoke Detector batteries if you didn't do it with the time change.  Change the air filter on your HVAC.  Depending on your filter media, it usually needs to be changed at an interval between 30 days and 30 months.  The 1" thick (often blue) filters need … (3 comments)

improvements: Improvements nobody thinks of... - 02/09/10 02:23 AM
 
It is pretty common knowledge that kitchens and master bathrooms make or break the appeal for a home on the market.  Get those two areas right can land a buyer that might otherwise pick another home.
Image by lane.bailey via Flickr But doing those rooms right isn't cheap.  Back around Christmas I wrote a post about how the front door was the most bang for the buck in the improvement arena.  In the same post, I mentioned that a "Minor Kitchen Remodel" averaged over $20k in cost (while only delivering about $15k in value).  That isn't cheap...
So, what are … (5 comments)

improvements: Garage Upgrades YOU can do! - 12/26/09 03:14 PM
Keeping the theme from yesterday regarding improvements and their return on investment, I thought I might mention a few upgrades/improvements that can be done on a budget AND that will add value to your home.  The following links ARE affiliate links to Amazon.  Most of these products can also be found at your local Home Depot or Lowes store. 
Let's start with the floor.  When there aren't any cars in the (hopefully) clean garage, that floor is awfully big.  To make it look nice, an epoxy coat is a great addition.  Regular floor paints do NOT stand up to hot tires.  … (7 comments)

improvements: 146.8%... Show them the DOOR... - 12/25/09 03:43 PM
The NAR Magazine (called REALTOR) recently published a story about what improvements enhanced a home's value the most.  It was also broken down regionally...
For the Southeast (they called it South Atlantic, DC, DE, FL,GA, MD, NC, SC, VA and WV), the absolute winner was a "midrange" 20 gauge steel entry door.  Nationally, that change added 128.9% of the cost as value to the home.  Here in the Southeast, it added 146.8%...  with an expected cost of $1065 and a return on investment (RoI) of $1562.
Rounding out the top five here in the Southeast:
Attic Bedroom - 90.0% - Cost … (9 comments)

improvements: Foreclosure Stripping? - 11/15/09 04:16 AM
Clark Howard was talking about this a couple of days ago, and Fox News is talking about it today.  And it doesn't involve a pole...
Foreclosure Stripping...
In effect, some folks that are losing their homes are "fighting back" in their own little way.  Prior to departure, these folks are looking to get as much cash from the house as they can before they are out. They are removing items from the home and selling them via Craigslist and other means:
Appliances Countertops Cabinetry Flooring Light fixtures Wiring Plumbing... including copper pipes Wood from the deck Most of us in real … (14 comments)

improvements: Do you have a renovation/improvement/maintenance plan? You should... - 09/20/09 11:15 AM
Yep... another plan. 
But, as a home owner, there are a lot of things to keep up with.  Air filter changes, painting and gutter cleaning.  Those are just some of the tasks that we need to schedule... and then there is caulking, raking, trimming shrubs and fertilizing the lawn.  That isn't even including things like updating the amenities inyour home... 
Sure, every once in a while we think it might be nice to redo the kitchen or the bathroom.  Maybe there is a thought about expanding the garage, building a deck or opening up a wall.  It could be adding a … (4 comments)

improvements: Permeable Pavers... WikiHow - 08/02/09 04:43 PM
Image via Wikipedia There is a simple way to increase the health of your yard... Allow water to get to the soil in the right amount. The magic word is permeability. Permeability is the measure of how much water can permeate (soak through) the material. Many auto enthusiasts have second garages on their property. One of the issues with second garages, as well as the accompanying driveway, is the ratio of permeable to impermeable surfaces. Aside from the house and garage (they better be impermeable!), most driveways and sidewalks are impermeable... and we can change that. Many counties, including Gwinnett County, … (3 comments)

improvements: What makes a Garage "Inspirational"? - 06/11/09 05:30 PM
Image by genevievepan via Flickr There are basically three kinds of garages...
Places to store stuff Places to work on stuff Places to display stuff Most garages are storage sheds. They hold tools, lawn mowers, cars, sporting goods, cleaning supplies and overflow food in the chest freezer.
The next most common group are working garages. Whether it is building a hot rod or keeping the family rides in tune, they have tools and parts and more tools.
Finally, there are the showplaces. These are less garage and more gallery of mobile art. And some of them are incredible. They are limited … (26 comments)

improvements: If you have cool tools... you need a cool box! - 03/26/09 08:56 AM
Wandering through Lowe's I ran across their flagship Kobalt Tool Box. It has been out for a little while, but the local store hadn't been displaying it... and it is kind of cool.
I had two thoughts:
Ok, this is cool. This is a bit gimmicky. Basically, this is a 53" cabinet chest combo with a few added items. The added items are a fridge and a stereo (with iPod connectivity). No doubt, this is a big box. Aside from being 53" wide and 24" deep, it is also almost 70" tall. The fridge isn't that big, 1.6 cubic feet, but … (8 comments)

improvements: Incrementalism - 06/14/08 02:40 AM
Incrementalism is a concept that a lot of people in the automotive hobby are familiar with... in theory, if not the word itself. So, let me give a definition... Incrementalism refers to the practice of just changing things a little bit... over time... piece by piece.
This would be opposed to going "All In" or whole hog. In my past, when I built my Wrangler, I changed and tweaked and tuned and the re-did all of it. Several times. I probably spent the money and time that I achieved with the final incarnation 3 or 4 times over. I went through … (2 comments)

 
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Lane Bailey

Realtor & Car Guy

Suwanee, GA

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Century 21 Results Realty

Address: 2209 Sharon Rd, Suite 250, Cumming, GA, 30041

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