From masks to hand sanitizers and safe social distancing, the world around us has changed thanks to the fight to dampen the Covid-19 curve. One of the areas that has felt the effects of the virus is in contracting services for home improvements. Some projects are more challenging than others, whether it is getting on the schedule of backed up contractors or following the guidelines for a safe environment for people to work, deciding what projects you should tackle to increase your home value now has to contend with Covid-19 challenges. But don't worry, I'm here to help…as always!
Reaping the payoff rewards of a home improvement is always a challenge. While completing a big-ticket project in a time of economic uncertainty is now even more difficult, if you're a seller with a house in need of a little TLC, you should redirect your attention to lower-budget upgrades that yield a return and appeal to buyers. Here are 4 improvement projects under $10,000 that Realtor.com identified as ways you can quickly update your home before listing it on the market.
NEW FRONT DOOR ($2,000 OR LESS)
The first experience a potential buyer sees is your front door. Whether it is a fresh coat of paint, new door handles, accessories like address numbers or a doorknocker or lights, these small things can make the entry of your house make them feel like home. Even if you need a new door, this investment is one that can easily be done and add value to the experience.
KITCHEN OR BATHROOM ($9,000 OR LESS)
Outdated kitchens and bathrooms can sink the value of a home. With more people staying at home for cooking and entertaining, the kitchen is the natural gathering place in a home. Food unites people and having an updated area to entertain, from a safe distance of course, or bond with family helps put potential buyers in a place where they can see themselves when touring your house.
For bathrooms, new vanities, tile, fixtures, and showerheads are key attributes people look at when touring your "lue." Also, a deep clean, making sure the rings in the bathtubs and toilets are gone, helps make them feel you are taking this Covid time seriously and they are purchasing a clean home.
BACKYARD UPGRADES ($500-$10,000)
Backyards used to be a separate piece of the house. Now, everyone views it as an extension of the home. Pools have become a hot commodity, as have fountains, ponds and just a relaxing area with a small fire pit. A small water feature or fire pit makes a huge impression and can be installed as little as $500. Landscape lighting, flowers and a patio with furniture provides a welcomed escape for people to feel like they have a place to enjoy the outdoors while feeling safe at home.
HOME OFFICE ($1,000-$7,500)
Zoom® calls and virtual schooling are now causing people to look for space in potential homes that have spot to get work done. Whether it is an extra bedroom or a small space in the basement, converting an area with some furniture, accessories and shelves can be an inexpensive way to show the versatility of your home for people to comfortably work or learn without leaving the house.
I'm ready to get back to normal, but as long as masks and social distancing exists, preparing your home to sell has shifted the focus of the types of home improvement projects your house needs. These ideas are the shot in the arm your home may need to yield a better sale price, but always consult your REALTOR® for their expert opinion because your home might just be ready to go as is.
Burgan Real Estate, the Mahoning Valley's independent real estate agency locally owned and operated, announced today the launch of its newly designed logo at the site of their new world headquarters in Boardman. These changes come at a time when the company is continuing to evolve its service offerings and expand its reach to younger and more digitally savvy home buyers and sellers.
"Since taking over the company in 2017, Sue (Filipovich) and I had always wanted to update our brand and logo to pay homage to our illustrious past while updating it to be more relevant and current for future generations," said Patrick Burgan, second-generation co-owner and Broker of Burgan Real Estate. "As we begin to unveil our plans for our new world headquarters, we thought now was the perfect time to update our image with a new logo that will stand the test of time and go along with our new home here in the Mahoning Valley."
Since taking over Burgan Real Estate from their founders and fathers, Leon Turek and John Burgan, Sue (Turek) Filipovich and Patrick Burgan have grown the agency from a local, independently owned agency, into a brand that now offers the most comprehensive solutions for commercial and residential transactions in the Mahoning Valley. Along with Burgan Real Estate, the only independent agency that is a member of the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, the two have added Market Title and Burgan Friedkin Commercial Group to the portfolio of Burgan companies. As the brand continues to grow and evolve, the new logo is meant to evoke a more current, energetic, and dynamic feeling, reflecting their market-leading position.
The new logo continues to leverage and pay homage to the storied past of Burgan with its iconic brown color and pointed top of the lower case "b" associated with the 44-year-old agency. The font was altered for a more contemporary feel while the entire logo was changed from its angled approach to a level orientation for easier usage across a wider array of applications like signage, social media, digital, print, and other areas now available for engaging its loyal clients.
"After 44 years of being in business, our logo has been a staple in the Mahoning Valley. Whether posted on signs in front yards or posts on social media, billboards on 224 or behind backboards as the Official Real Estate Partner of YSU Sports, you can't mistake the Burgan brown," said Sue Filipovich, second-generation co-owner and Broker of Burgan Real Estate. "Our new logo gives our brand a more modern approach to match our culture while maintaining the history and familiar subtleties that have made us a trusted partner to help open doors to better living for our clients around the Mahoning Valley for 44 years."
Burgan Real Estate unveiled the new logo to their company at their annual company awards ceremony last Thursday.
ABOUT BURGAN REAL ESTATE
Burgan Real Estate has been a leader in the real estate industry in the Mahoning Valley for the past 44 years. By maintaining high standards of integrity, honesty, and transparency, Burgan has thrived and grown into one of the area's and region's most successful independent brokerages. As a second-generation, locally owned business, Burgan Real Estate takes great pride in supporting the community it proudly calls "home." To see why life is Better with Burgan, visit www.burganrealestate.com or connect on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
The start of the school year brings with it an opportunity for college students to become closer to their graduation and the commencement of another journey – their professional career. For some, like Julie Wiesensee, an opportunity comes along to begin their careers before they graduate, and it is better than they ever could've imagined. We are grateful she is not waiting until she receives her diploma to begin her career with us as our newest addition to our Burgan Bunch real estate agents.
"Our agents are on a continual educational journey when they become a part of our family at Burgan Real Estate," said Patrick Burgan, co-owner and Broker of the 44-year-old independent real estate company. "While Julie is still finishing up her final year at YSU, her enthusiasm and excitement behind the opportunity to join our team gave us all a reason to celebrate. We are looking forward to having her join us to make our clients and our community better."
Wiesensee is a native of Struthers, Ohio. As a current student at YSU, she is actively pursuing her Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance while being a licensed residential REALTOR® with Burgan Real Estate. Prior to becoming a licensed REALTOR®, Julie worked for 3-years in sales, where she steadily rose to be a valuable resource and leader, earning a Managerial position. Her strong sense of family and dedication to those who are committed to her help drive her while keeping her grounded. She is a perpetual student, who, when not learning in the classroom, she is on a relentless commitment to learn about business and animals, as well as other people's culture and the latest trends in fashion and interior design.
"My degree is important to me, as are my family and my ability to make the lives of those around me better," said Wiesensee. "Finding a family at Burgan Real Estate to begin my professional career with while still earning my degree is a dream come true and I look forward to continuing to learn from Patrick, Sue and the rest of the Burgan Bunch."
Class is back in session, Julie! We are excited to watch you quickly move to the top of our class of agents as the newest addition to the Burgan Bunch. Welcome to the team and congratulations!
There are few things in my life that I can say, without certain, that I know what I'm talking about. Racing cars? Most definitely. What my wife is thinking? Not so much. Real estate? One hundred and ten thousand percent yes.
Do you remember back in March the article I published here called, "The Waiting Game?" It talked about the pitfalls you may run into by waiting to purchase or sell your home now instead of acting now and taking advantage of where the market is? Yeah, that one!
Well, told ya so.
The housing market has continued to sprout like an adolescent teenager going through a growth spurt. One minute they aren't tall enough to ride "Fireball" at the Canfield Fair, and the next minute they are the starting Center on their AAU basketball team.
The fact of the matter is the housing market is not slowing down. The low interest rates continue to put buyers in an aggressive position to be able to purchase more homes for less money than they have ever been able to do in decades. This is not only a good thing for buyers but sellers as well. Homes are staying on the market shorter than at any point I have ever seen in my (mumble) years of being in this business. This is causing bidding wars leaving sellers with an average of 13% more for their home than they could have gotten in January, according to data from YCAR on of homes sold in July 2021 vs. January 2021.
According to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) released early this month, soaring building material costs, high demand, and the short amount of time homes that are listed last on the market have added tens of thousands of dollars to the price of a new home and caused housing affordability to fall to its lowest level in nearly a decade during the second quarter of 2021.
The report stated that 56.6% of new and existing homes sold between the beginning of April and the end of June were affordable to families earning the U.S. median income of $79,900. Compare this to the 63.1% of homes sold in the first quarter of 2021. But this shouldn't discourage you from either buying or selling your home because you are in a great market even with the housing boom we are watching unfold.
Did you know that the Mahoning Valley is the third most affordable major housing market in the entire country?!?!?! While Pittsburgh, PA, leads the nation as its most affordable major housing market, Youngstown-Warren-Columbiana is not too far behind with over 80% of people being able to afford a home in the area. So what are you waiting for?
I am not an "I told you so" person. OK, well, I guess I am if I'm putting it out there in this article, but it is not done with malice or for my own self-interest or reward. It is to show you that The Waiting Game we talked about in March is not one that leaves you, the buyer, victorious. I don't know much, but I know the conditions in the market are still right for you to find the home of your dreams or to reap the rewards of selling your home. The next time I tell you just might be too late. But you should know this…buy now.
The new car smell. The feeling of a new pair of jeans. The sounds of a new beverage can being opened. Let's be honest, who doesn't love getting something that's brand new, especially if it was designed and built just for you? While many people hear "custom" and think "crazy expensive," the value of having something that is exactly right may outweigh the costs involved, especially when it comes to building a new home.
Whether you build a new home or buy an existing one, the financial obligation of owning any home is too great to not make the right decision. As many people come up empty-handed in looking for the home of their dreams on the market, building a custom home or villa has become an option for many. If you are unsure if you should build a home, here are some things to consider before making that choice.
BUILT WITH YOU IN MIND
One of the best reasons to build a home is because it is customized to you. You'll get most of everything you are looking for, from doorknobs to layout, the home is built with you in mind. But aside from the actual home, you also get to pick where your home will be. Whether you're looking in Canfield or Poland, Niles or Howland, Columbiana or Salem, you have the opportunity to not just build the home of your dreams, but to avoid competition for finding a home in a community you want to be in.
ELIMINATE THE COMPETITION
Competition in today's marketplace is at an all-time high. Inventory is not an issue, but the number of time homes are on the market is. By choosing to build a home, you are taking yourself out of the feverish competition of bidding, hoping, and praying that you get the house that just came on the market. If you are looking to build, the headaches of getting into a bidding war are gone, as are maintenance issues you may run into.
YOU STILL NEED A REALTOR
Shocking, right? Like selling your home, you can do this on your own, but the best way to figure out if building a home is best for you is by connecting and enlisting the help of a professional real estate agent. They not only know the market but also know the areas, the costs involved and can even help you with finding reputable contractors, should you want to go down this path. Best of all, if building your home is not in your cards, they already know what you are looking for and can be the best advocate to help you find something that is perfect for you when it comes on the market.
KEEP UP WITH JONESES
If you like new things or don't like to repair old things, building a new home may be in your cards. New homes not only have to be held to the latest building codes, but they will also have the latest technologies, latest features, and advancements in building and energy efficiency as well as ways to save costs in the long run. When buying a preexisting home, you may run into issues with the roof or the furnace or the hot water tank that you may not know about. In building your new home, these maintenance issues are no longer a concern.