Monthly Archives: March 2017

Know About Sheet Vinyl Flooring Prices

Sheet vinyl flooring is very inexpensive compared to most flooring materials. It is much cheaper than wood or tile and in a similar price bracket to linoleum. The most inexpensive sheet vinyl is usually matte and solid off-white. More expensive sheet vinyl will have elegant patterns. The most expensive sheet vinyl is used as a form of synthetic wood, surfaced to look like wood grain under minimal scrutiny.

The Costs

  • Average maximum cost: $3.50 per square foot
  • Average minimum cost: $.50 per square foot

Installing sheet vinyl varies in price with the scale of the job. The more squares of vinyl needed to be cut to accommodate irregularities in the shape of a room, the more expensive the installation is likely to be.

Materials

Sheet vinyl is very similar to linoleum. It tends to be significantly more rigid, so it is more frequently sold in sheets and squares rather than rolls. It is sometimes used as a substitute for genuine wood as it is similar in texture to wood with a glossy topcoat. It does not stand up to scrutiny in this regard, however, so this is best used in locations that get minimal foot traffic or in businesses where individuals will not linger long.

Advantages of Sheet Vinyl Flooring

Sheet vinyl flooring is extremely easy to install. It’s possible to find flooring professionals with relative ease, and gathering quotes is a simple exercise. It is also feasible for homeowners to install sheet vinyl flooring themselves. The biggest challenge is cutting linoleum to fit irregular edges, but even this can be done with simple tools.

Vinyl is water resistant, making it a good choice for locations that might get wet such as bathrooms and kitchens. Water that falls on vinyl won’t soak into it as long as the adhesive holding it is in good condition.

Vinyl flooring is significantly resistant to damage. It’s hard to scratch and gouge, and while it is more rigid than linoleum, it isn’t brittle. It isn’t prone to breakage from impact, and it is generally safe to move furniture across it with basic furniture skids.

Finally, vinyl flooring has the advantage of being very easy to clean. Because it doesn’t absorb water, most cleaning solutions are suitable for it. Unlike tile and wood, which can easily be damaged by the use of the wrong tools or cleaning substances, there are few floor solutions that pose a risk to vinyl. Simply using a generic floor cleaner with a mop as directed should be more than sufficient.

Disadvantages of Sheet Vinyl Flooring

If vinyl should suffer any damage or if any vinyl tiles or components are allowed to develop a gap with the underlying floor, it is likely to become a colony for mold. Vinyl, being waterproof, is very good at holding moisture in. Once moisture becomes trapped under vinyl, it’s a fairly simple matter for mold to spread, and it can be very difficult to eradicate mold that gets under flooring. This does not happen with all vinyl floors, but it is a very real concern if the floors are not installed properly.

While vinyl is a very functional material for flooring, it isn’t held in very high regard. It tends to be thought of as “cheap,” and it’s rare to see it suggested in style magazines. It will not do much for the value of a home. Homeowners may wish to look into other flooring solutions if they are interested in making their home more attractive on the real estate market.

Know More About Bitumen Roofing Materials & Cost Guide

For those who want a more durable, lower-maintenance roofing option, the modified bitumen roofing system is quickly becoming the most popular alternative for flat or low-sloping roofs. The modified bitumen roofing system was invented in Western Europe in response to a need for longer lasting roofs that were not prone to quickly drying out, as was the case with traditional asphalt shingles and sheeting rolls. After some years of experimentation, European scientists introduced the modified bitumen roofing material to the commercial market in the 1960s. This roofing system consists of layered bitumen membranes that are mixed with special polymers to give the roofing material properties akin to plastic or rubber.

The Costs

  • Average minimum $2.73
  • Average maximum $5.21

Because of its initial cost and material properties, the modified bitumen roofing system was almost exclusively used for commercial and industrial roofing applications. For example, modified bitumen roofing solutions cost more than traditional asphalt roofing options, but it is well-known for its strength. Reputable manufacturers guarantee the useful life of the roofing systems up to 20 years when properly installed by a licensed roofing contractor. Over the years, advancements in technology and lean manufacturing methods have paved the way for lower production costs of modified bitumen roofing materials. These cost reductions have made the modified bitumen materials attractive for use in the residential roofing market. Homeowners whose residences have sections of flat roofs now consider modified bitumen roofing systems when it becomes necessary to update their roofs.

The cost of modified bitumen roofing sheets depends largely on geographic location and quality of materials. For example, the average cost quotes reflect the rates found on the international market. However, national markets may indicate costs that are up to three-times higher than those of the international market. Reasons for the disparity in costs include the availability of raw materials and manufacturing infrastructure. Another cost consideration is product quality; a cheaper cost could mean a lower-quality roofing material due to inferior raw materials or manufacturing practices.

In addition to the cost of the modified bitumen roofing sheets, those who install the material must have a building permit in most regions. This applies to those who are doing a complete roofing re-install. Usually a permit isn’t required to simply replace small sections of a roof or lay modified bitumen membrane material over existing roofing materials. Modified bitumen roofing systems that require hot processing to secure the roofing sheets to the structure are generally installed by a licensed contractor who has experience working with that specific roofing material. Do-it-yourself roofing installations could save homeowners money. Self-adhesive, cold-processed modified bitumen roofing systems are typically used for these projects. The residential market for modified bitumen roofing materials is still not mature, and most of the big box home improvement stores do not yet carry the roofing materials.

Materials

The modified bitumen roofing system consists of six foundational elements.

  • Modified bitumen membranes
  • Insulation
  • Base sheets
  • Adhesive
  • Surfacing
  • Flashing

The modified bitumen membrane sheeting is the main element of the roofing system, and it is made from an infusion of polyester, fiberglass or a combination of both. The insulation layer provides its R value, or thermal resistance, that limits the movement of heat passing between the roofing structure. The base sheets build up the layers of modified bitumen for added durability and strength. The adhesive serves to attach the roofing material to the existing building infrastructure and gives it water resistance for protection against the elements. Surfacing is a compound that is applied either manually or via the manufacturing process to protect the roof against undue wear from ultraviolet light. Flashing is a material that provides additional waterproofing protection around a roof’s perimeter as well as the gaps and seams found near roofing structures.

These materials are usually not readily available at the local hardware stores. To purchase modified bitumen roofing systems or the individual components described above, a reputable roofing materials distributor must be contacted. Although these organizations mostly deal with licensed contractors and provide them with discounts, they give price quotes and may sell the modified bitumen roofing products to the public.

Advantages of Bitumen Roofing

Modified bitumen roofing systems present real estate owners significant advantages for both commercial and residential applications. One such advantage is its longevity. Many traditional asphalt roofing systems experience problems after a 10- to 15-year period, but modified bitumen roofing systems are known to last over 20 years without a lot of maintenance issues. One of the main reasons for the long life of the modified bitumen roofing system is its strength; there are several types of modified bitumen roofing systems that use various polymer mixtures. Each type provides superior strength that contributes to the product’s long wear and low-maintenance characteristics. Although modified bitumen roofing systems are known for their fantastic waterproofing properties, sometimes moisture can get under the bitumen membranes and base sheets to form bubbles. To correct this issue, the bubbles must be cut out and the area repaired with patch-sheeting material.

Besides its well-known properties related to material durability, the modified bitumen roofing system presents contractors with a variety of installation options. Some building owners can opt to invest in a professional installation that involves hot processing and guaranteed work. Other real estate owners can choose to install the modified bitumen roofing material themselves using the cold process method. Instructional materials are available for do-it-yourself roof installers who decide to use the self-adhesive version of the modified bitumen roofing sheets.

Disadvantages of Bitumen Roofing

One disadvantage of the modified bitumen roofing system is that it is only recommended for low-sloping roofs or flat roofs. This limits its application for use on non-factory roofs. Another possible disadvantage of modified bitumen roofing systems is its end-of-life environmental impact. The tough material lasts for years on one’s roof, but it may also prove to do the same in the landfills.

Staging Your Home Costs

When selling a home, first impressions are key. For many potential buyers, the decision of whether or not to buy a particular home is made based on how the space feels and if they can imagine themselves living in the house. For that reason, many homeowners turn to professionals to help with home staging. This process involves an expert opinion and eye when it comes to furniture layout, color schemes and more. Find out what you can expect to pay for a home staging as well as what additional expenses can occur.

National Hire a Decorator for Staging a Home Costs

Enter your zip code to see specific costs in your area.

See Local Costs

$783

Average Cost

$100

Minimum Cost

$3,000

Maximum Cost

Average Range:

$433
to
$909

How do we get this data? This info is based on 102 cost profiles, as reported by ImproveNet members.

Costs of Hiring a Professional For Home Staging

If you are interested in having your home professionally staged, you will generally need the services of an interior designer or perhaps even a real estate agent with a keen eye for detail and home decor. This professional should spend between two and three hours walking through your home, taking notes and detailing any changes that should be made in order to help you sell your home at the highest price. Then, they should read through these potential modifications with you to clearly explain them all. On average, the cost of professional home staging services will run between $478 and $728.

Cost of Professional Painting Services

It is important to understand that after the home has been staged, it is up to the homeowner, in most cases, to undertake the alterations and upgrades on their own. Busy individuals might prefer to hire professionals for jobs like painting, which can drastically improve the look of any space. On average, expect to pay between $700 and $1,083 to have your living room repainted, but be prepared for that number to change depending on the size and height of the room.

Cost of Lighting Changes

Another common change during the home staging process is to upgrade lighting fixtures. Something as simple as a change of a light bulb can affect the way the space is illuminated, which can have an impact on whether a buyer likes the house. To hire a professional to install a new lighting fixture, be prepared to pay approximately $329 for the labor, the materials and the fixture itself.

Understanding the costs of home staging as well as the related expenses can help homeowners better budget for upgrades when selling their home.

Foreclosed Properties at the Sheriff’s Sale

A sheriff’s sale (or auction) comes at the end of the foreclosure process when the defaulting homeowner can’t repair his financial problems with the lender. About half of our states use the “judicial” process when foreclosing mortgages.

  • This process starts with the mortgage document, a security device used to pledge the property as security against the loan.
  • When a default occurs, the lender will attempt to end the homeowner’s rights of possession to the property. The lender must file suit and prove in court that it has the right to sell the property to recover its loss by virtue of the default and as stipulated in the signed mortgage agreement.
  • If awarded a final judgment from the court, the lender will proceed with the foreclosure and the property will be scheduled for sale.

Foreclosure properties are sold at public auction under the direction of the court in the county where the property is located. The successful bidder becomes the new owner of the property. About 80 percent of the time the successful bidder is the lender, the original mortgage holder. Attorneys will be there to bid on the property for the lender. There will also be investors, onlookers and curiosity seekers observing the proceedings. Occasionally, a lienholder will appear trying to salvage what he can from his claim. Rare but certainly possible, the homeowner may show up to bid on his own property.

Advantages

The biggest advantage to buying properties at the Sheriff’s sale is the high profit potential. If there is a large difference between the market value of a foreclosed property and its final judgment amount at auction, you can really win big. Typically, the largest cash rewards come from the proper application of this investing method.

Sales are usually advertised 4 to 6 weeks in advance. In some states, this information may be available 6 to 8 months or more before the sale. This gives you ample time to research the property, the condition of the loan and the condition of the homeowner. Why the homeowner? If you can work out a satisfactory arrangement with him, you can save yourself the trouble at the auction. If you meet with the owner and can’t work out a deal, you should at least take careful note of the property’s condition. This gives you a competitive advantage over other auction bidders.

You can go to the courthouse and observe the process as often as you like before going to bid on your foreclosed property. It’s certainly a good idea to familiarize yourself with the auction process. There usually isn’t much competition for foreclosed properties sold at auction. Sometimes no one shows up to bid on a property, perhaps due to transportation problems or inclement weather. This creates fantastic opportunities for the diligent investor.

Disadvantages

Buying foreclosed properties at the courthouse can be very dangerous for those who do not do their research properly.

  • The large cash outlay required to buy foreclosed property at the Sheriff’s Sale is the biggest deterrent for most buyers. Certified checks and sometimes cash will be required to bid on properties.
  • You may have to pay off the sale amount within 30 to 90 days. In some states it’s a matter of only days. In Palm Beach County, Florida, the successful bidder must pay for the property in full by 3:00 PM on the day of the purchase. That’s just 6 hours from the time the bidding starts to the time you must pay for the property in full or risk losing your cash deposit.
  • You may not be able to inspect a foreclosed property before bidding on it. In that case, there is little chance you will be able to assess the property damage and replacement costs. This hinders your ability to determine the true market value, your maximum bid amount and your profit.
  • If you are the successful bidder, you may have to evict tenants currently residing in your new property. This could take several months. This also interferes with your plans to repair and quickly sell the property for a profit. This delay increases your carrying costs and erodes your profits.
  • There may be land use problems with a property such as zoning or environmental issues like petroleum contamination or toxic waste. A clue to avoiding a problem property is when the lender’s representative fails to appear or bid on the property. If the lender doesn’t want it, you don’t want it either.
  • Failure to research a property correctly leads many to overbid. Too often properties are purchased for much more than their value. This accompanied by “auction fever,” the tendency to get caught up in the heat of the moment and overbid, results in large over-payments and even larger losses.
  • The most important concern perhaps is the possibility of other liens or judgments. As the successful bidder, you replace the homeowner’s position in the property. Any problems clouding the title are your problems now.
    • This includes other mortgages, mechanics’ liens and taxes.
    • At the sale, the first lienholder can nullify all other liens if he’s the successful bidder.
    • Junior lienholders must buy out senior lien positions and be high bidder to gain possession of the foreclosed property with clear title.
    • The first mortgage holder is not the only one foreclosing properties. If a third lienholder forecloses, the process will not wipe out the first and second lienholders.
    • Buying this property means you buy these liens as well. Typically, first mortgages are the largest liens on the property.

Researching Foreclosed Properties

Follow these steps to ensure you research the properties thoroughly:

1. Perform a title search. The only way to be sure that this is a first mortgage holder foreclosing is through a full title search. The cost of the search is nothing compared to the potential loss from not investigating the condition of the title.

2. Locate properties. Find foreclosure properties that are going to sales or auctions by looking for “Foreclosure Sales” or “Sheriff’s Sales” or “Auctions” in your newspaper, real estate magazine or by contacting the county clerk’s office.

3. Evaluate the properties. Evaluate the foreclosed properties and determine their profit potentials. Do this by determining the market value using comps, appraisals and brokers’ opinion of price. Subtract the default amount from the market value. If there is a significant difference, you may have a winner.

4. Inspect the property. If you can, pay an inspector to inspect the foreclosed property and assess any damages or repairs you must make before re-selling the property. Deduct those expenses from the profit you calculated earlier. If you cannot inspect a property, leave yourself a little extra room and some extra cash.

5. Calculate your profit potential. Start with the price you can sell the property for in good condition. Subtract any repair expenses. From this number, subtract the costs you will incur while holding the property (loan payments, taxes, insurance). Subtract from this the closing costs you will incur when you sell the property, including a broker’s commission if you intend to sell your property through a broker. Locate any other liens or judgments and subtract those amounts from your previous figure. Paying off the liens at a discount is one way to increase your profits, assuming you are the successful bidder.

Your subtotal so far, is your expected sale price of the property, less repair expenses, holding costs, liens and closing costs. This is the “net to you” after you sell. Deduct the default or final judgment amount from your last subtotal. This is your gross profit potential, hypothetically the most you can make assuming all goes well.

6. Determine your maximum bid amount. The lowest you can bid is the final judgment amount. The highest you bid is the “net to you” amount. Any amount over that breakeven point results in a loss. Determine the minimum profit you want to make. Subtract your desired profit amount from the “net to you” figure. That’s your maximum bid amount.

Buying Foreclosures at the Auction

1. Phone ahead. Prepare for the auction by phoning ahead. Make certain that the sale hasn’t been postponed. Determine the requirements for purchasing properties. How much deposit is needed? When is the balance due? What type of payment is required?

2. Attend the auction. Arrive early. Properties are sold very quickly, sometimes within minutes. Register yourself as a bidder if necessary.

3. Pay attention. Listen carefully for your target property to be announced. Observe the bidders. Know your competition. Do not announce your intentions to anyone there. Never bid more than your pre-determined amount.

4. Record your new deed and obtain title insurance. The successful bidder will receive a deed, the type of which depends on who is conducting the sale and state law. Record your new deed and obtain title insurance as soon as possible.