Housing Industry: Home Renovation Spending Now Represents 50% Of Total Housing Construction Expenditures, Up From 25% According To Report

30 08 2012

Home Remodeling Projects: Homeowners Can Avoid Being “Scammed” By Contractors By Checking Licensing, Getting A Minimum Of Three Estimates, And Calling References

14 06 2011
  • A homeowner’s biggest nightmare regarding remodels is “paying a contractor who walks off with the money”
  • You pay someone thousands of dollars — maybe tens of thousands — to fix your home, and the work isn’t done right.
  • But steps can be take to make sure the work gets done correctly and completely:
  1. Go online and look up the contractor’s “state” contractor license status
  2. State laws requires contractors to have a current license status, carry a minimum amount of insurance, and provide their license number on advertisements and contracts
  3. Check at least three contractors and get estimates from each of them
  4. The lowest bid might not be the best one if the  contractor uses substandard materials or doesn’t actually do the work
  5. Do not use a contractor who charges for an estimate, or stating in fine print that they will charge you if you choose a different builder
  6. Once you have the estimates, ask each contractor for references
  7. Then call those references
  8. Ask if there were problems with their project. If you’re doing a bigger project, ask for older references to see how the addition or deck has withstood the test of time

For more:  http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110614/NEWS02/306139933/-1/NEWSSITEMAP

Skip Schenker’s HUD “Good Neighbor Next Door” Program “Success Story”: Moreno Valley Homebuyers Used FHA 203k Renovation Loan To Purchase And Remodel Home At A 50% Discount And 3.5% Down Payment (Hot Dog Of The Week Video)

31 05 2011

Learn how this young couple turned a HUD foreclosure from a dog into a dream home with an FHA 203k renovation home loan. They purchased and remodeled a home in Moreno Valley using the Good Neighbor Next Door 50% off program with just 3.5% down and included money for all fix up costs including a new kitchen, bathrooms, flooring, paint , carpet, windows, doors, new roof, HVAC system. Call Skip Schenker at 800-385-3503 to learn how you can get government insured money to remodel your current or next home. Visit http://www.RenovationLendingInstitute.com to learn more. Multi unit properties with a small down payment.

Remodeling And The Art Of Homeowner Happiness: “Be Careful What You Wish For In Home Improvements”

26 03 2011


  • Remodels must meet a household’s daily needs, not those of a magazine or TV show
  • How the family cooks, shops, eats, entertains and cleans up is critical to any successful remodel
  • High-maintenance materials will not work with a busy, hectic schedule
  • Select a kitchen layout and appliances that match your lifestyle
  • Remodels must incorporate the homes essential architecture and remail consistent with existing architecture
  • Flooring and cabinetry finishes must compliment existing materiaals and colors
  • Will a French country or Tuscan kitchen will look out of place with an existing California contemporary?
  • A renovation must not be in excess of the home’s true value
  • A renovation must be proportionate because a $100,000 kitchen won’t turn a $400,000 home into a $500,000 home
  • Overspending and over-improving a home can turn an exciting project into problem down the road

For more:  http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/mar/25/formulate-game-plan-before-remodel-begins/#

Home Remodels Without Much Equity?: FHA 203K Renovation Financing Allows Homeowners To Finance Most Improvements Using Up To 110% Of The “As-Repaired” Appraised Value For The Maximum 96.5% LTV Loan Amount

25 03 2011


  • The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) reports that homeowners lost more than half their equity from 2006  to 2009
  • At that point the economic recession ended but home prices have continued to fall
  • Finding a lender to make a loan is difficult although not as hard as 12 months ago
  • Second mortgages all but extinct

THERE IS STILL ONE OPTION: The Federal Housing Administration FHA 203(k) Renovation Mortgage

  • The FHA 203k is not just for buyers who want to purchase distressed properties as it allows them to roll the price of the house and renovations into a single loan
  • Buyers of “non-distressed” homes can use the 203(k) if they want to do some work on their dream houses before moving in
  • Current homeowners can use it to refinance and roll the costs of their home improvements into a new first mortgage at today’s low rates
  • There is no limit on how much you can spend on your improvements as long as the total loan amount does not exceed the FHA maximum
  • FHA maximum loan amounts range from $271,050 to $729,750 in the country’s high-cost areas
  • The “as improved” appraised value of your property must be higher that the maximum loan amount
  • Almost ALL improvements are allowed except for luxury items
  • Cost must exceed $5,000 and the existing foundation must remain in place
  • The home can even be torn down!
  • Inspection fees, architectural fees, closing costs and permits can be included in the new loan amount
  • A $300,000 home can include a $100,000 remodel and the loan can be as high as $424,600
  • If the appraiser says your $100,000 project will add $125,000 in value, then  the loan amount can be $451,100
  • The maximum loan amount, subject county-specific maximum loan amounts,  is 96.5% of the improved value of the property
  • There is no requirement for the property to be “re-appraised” once the work is finished
  • The streamlined version of 203(k) is available for minor home improvements under $30,000

Home Renovations Are A “Smart Investment” For Homeowners With Rates Still At Historically Low Levels

3 02 2011



  • Low interest rates (still under 5% in most cases) make conventional cash-out refinances (if you have required equity in home) extremely attractive
  • An FHA 203k Renovation loan will allow a full home remodel (add a room, renovate the kitchen, add a bathroom, new windows and flooring, etc.) up to 110% of the home’s  “after-improvement” value multiplied by 96.5%. 
  • Business is still slow for contractors
  • The top pros in town will happily bid on your job — and prices can be 10-20% below what you would have paid 3 years ago


  • Building supply costs have tumbled too.
  • Plywood is down 23% since its peak in the mid-2000s.
  • Drywall is off 29%,
  • Framing lumber is 35% lower
  • Other supplies are only slightly lower, such as roofing and insulation


  • Basic remodels will save utilty expenses with new insulation, windows and
  • Lower electric and heating bills are like an annual dividend.


  • The median home price down 22% since 2006
  • Selling your home in this market will be tough with 10-20% discount likely, including commissions and fees
  • Moving expenses remain expensive


  • Keep your home consistent with the best homes in the neighborhood and you will earn back the costs over time
  • Exceeding the other homes in the neighborhood and the costs don’t make make as much
  • Renovating that 30-to 40-year old kitchen makes sense. Adding bedrooms makes sense.

For more: http://money.cnn.com/2011/02/02/pf/saving/invest_in_your_home.moneymag/

“Whole House Renovations”: Time-Lapsed Video Demonstrates Value Of “Modular/Panelized Construction” For Major Home Remodels (Video)

31 01 2011

The client’s desire to live in a specific Potomac, Maryland neighborhood presented a challenge that was threefold:  inventory, needs and finances.  First, there were no available lots on the market.  Second, the existing homes for sale were dated and not conducive to the family’s modern lifestyle.  Finally, the client had strict budgetary requirements for the project, but wanted all the amenities of a new home.

Having carefully evaluated the client’s needs and goals, the design build team at BOWA proposed working with an existing home in the desired neighborhood and, rather than tearing it down completely, reusing the foundation and expanding it as needed.  This saved significant dollars on demolition, foundation, materials and labor.  The homeowners also received a significant tax credit because they allowed Second Chance, a charitable organization, to do the remaining demolition.  On the contractor’s recommendation, the client also chose to maximize their value by taking advantage of pricing and scheduling benefits associated with modular/panelized construction. 

The savings realized in the initial phases of the project allowed the addition of many structural upgrades and finishing details important to both BOWA and the homeowner.  Beginning with waterproofing, unseen but critically important, through the installation of the flagstone front porch, mahogany entry door, custom hardwood flooring, woodwork and tile, the home was delivered on time, and on budget.   The result incorporated the best of all worlds:   a high-quality home that is customized to the family’s wishes.  The homeowners couldn’t be happier.

For more:  http://www.bowa.com/design-build-home-transformation-in-potomac-md/