Considering buying a home that needs remodeling? Read this…

Considering buying a home that needs some TLC? Are you concerned about the remodeling costs? Well Freddie Mac is now offering a new loan product which allows homebuyers to purchase a home and finance the remodeling costs with a single close mortgage.

According to McLean, VA June 19th 2019 (Globe Newswire) Freddie Mac announced its CHOICERenovation loan to help address the nations aging housing supply, support the need for affordable housing, and offer renovation, repair, improvement or refinance options to support the increasing demand for cost-effective financing solutions.

The CHOICERenovation mortgage is available immediately to all eligible lenders nationwide.

This is a great opportunity for buyers looking to purchase a fixer home and remodel it with their own needs, wants, and personal tastes. At RL Remodeling we offer free consultation during the buyers escrow period. Meeting with a contractor prior to obtaining the house is a great way to save time and money.

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First, by knowing the exact costs  to renovate the home, the buyer will know the  exact funds needed to mortgage. Up until now, buyers assumed the remodel costs and either had funds ready after closing, or moved in and saved up for the particular remodel to be done down the road. In addition, knowing the remodeling time frame, makes it easier to schedule moving in and out, which usually creates stress and lots of logistical planning.

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Pasadena Complete Remodel

Second, buyer will be ready to begin the remodeling process right after closing. Being able to start the remodel process right after closing is a great way to save on overlapping living expenses. Remodeling prior to moving in also means that one doesn’t have to be living in the home during the remodel process. Or, if planning to remodel only  after moving in, having to find temporary housing during the remodel process.

In all, we find this new tool a great way to make home buying a more affordable and pleasant process. Having an option to lend more, and knowing all the costs and expenses prior to purchase is a key to a successful home purchase.




Bathroom Design Trends 2019

Long are the days that bathrooms serve as a functional room only. Todays Bathroom Designs and Remodels incorporate focal points, artwork, unique modern fixtures and custom cabinetry. We all know that a fully remodeled master bathroom and guest bathroom add value to your home, but homeowners today are seeking a more custom look and feel, while serving its original function.

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Among some of the latest trends we are noticing more are free standing soaking tubs, preferably installed under a beautiful window over looking a gorgeous view. Soaking tubs create a relaxing spa like feel, while enjoying overlooking nature or city views.

Another trend we see often, is floating vanities. Floating vanities are great, especially if one is remodeling a small space. An LED under mount light feature is a must. This creates an open and airy feel, with a modern touch. Furthermore, installing a vanity under a window vs the traditional way, under a large mirror has become a common trend.

Another trend we see often is freestanding clear glass showers. Again, no walls means open airy space, especially if there is a nice window to look out off while enjoying a nice steam shower. Most homeowners today prefer larger size showers incorporating built in speakers for music, LED light features, benches and shampoo nooks. If your bathroom lacks natural light, a nice sky light can be inserted above the shower, or vanity sink area.

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In 2019 we are also seeing more island style vanities. Similar to Kitchen Islands, bathroom center vanities come with stone countertop, seating, storage, and outlets. These unique vanities are custom designed and tailored to customer needs.

Statement walls and bold artwork is another concept we see more. Especially when designing small powder rooms, an accent wall adds a bold statement. Adding a sophisticated art work will provide a bathroom with a nice focal point.

Exposed plumbing has also become a trend if you’re looking to create a more industrial look and feel. However, we are noticing more homeowners prefer Pewter and Gunmetal hardware, which create both texture and warmth.

As far as materials and colors go, we are seeing more grey and white marble, large slabs, wood vanities, and concrete. Basically, a mix of organic and industrial materials.

To sum up, bathroom designs have evolved greatly over the past few years, homeowners today are seeking designs that create a big impression, serve both function and art, and a private spa like retreat after a long work day.

Please click here  for the latest bathroom design trends in 2019.

Tips To Consider When Hiring A Contractor

The contractor you hire when beginning a home design and remodel can have a big impact on your project’s success. Good contractors use smart business practices and have the proper credentials. Asking the right questions and doing careful research can help you find the right construction professional. Below are 4 important factors to consider when hiring a contractor for your upcoming project.

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Burbank Kitchen Remodel

1. Reputation

Good contractors earn their reputation by doing quality work over and over again. Checking your contractor’s reputation will help you separate the good contractors from the others. When checking contractor reputation, find the answers to the following questions:

  • Does the contractor normally work in your area?
  • Are they bonded, licensed and insured?
  • Do they have workers comp insurance?

To answer these questions, check the contractor’s website for information about their licensure and work history. A look at Facebook, Yelp, Houzz, BuildZoom and Angie’s List will give you access to customer reviews. Googling the contractor’s name may also turn up information about their activities in your community. Read what people say about them and see how active and current they are.

Online reviews may vary, but a good contractor will generally get five star ratings from satisfied customers. A glance at the various comments on social media should reveal that most jobs were completed to the customer’s satisfaction, on time, and within the customer’s budget.

Checking references is another way to find out whether your contractor has a good reputation. When checking references, ask each reference the same questions. Some good questions to ask include:

  • When did you work with this contractor?
  • What kind of work did this contractor do for you?
  • Would you hire this contractor again?
  • Did the contractor stick to original plan? i.e. finish on time, stick to budget.

A contractor who has done a lot of work in the past should have many references. Ideally, the references your contractor provides should relate to the work being done (i.e., if you’re getting a kitchen design and remodel, the references should have had similar work done on their house). At RL Remodeling we will gladly provide you with a list in your area to talk to and even tour our work and see us in action.

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2. Business Practices

A contractor’s business practices can also have a big impact on your ultimate satisfaction with the job being done. Some companies send out a “salesperson,” who then disappears and various crews come in to complete the job. A good contractor will give customers one point of contact for the entire job. That single point of contact helps reduce the chances of a miscommunication. At RL Remodeling we care fully assign a Project Manager for your entire project duration. The Project Manager is chosen based on his experience in your city, type of project, and his availability.

The consultation should always be free, and if multiple consultations are needed, the contractor should comply. This helps ensure the consumer will make a well-informed decision when they hire the contractor. No pressure should ever be made.

Finally, whether the contractor works with sub-contractors or employees is another important factor to consider. Contractors who work exclusively with sub-contractors may not have tight control of the project. Contractors who work exclusively with employees often have an easier time with organization and communication.

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3. Availability

Good contractors book up fast! Ask each contractor about their availability as you meet with them, and don’t be surprised if you have to wait for the best contractors. However, a good contractor knows how to manage their time and inform you a head of time of project duration. Furthermore, a good contractor will work around your schedule not theirs.

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4. Design and Style

Some contractors don’t do any design work of their own. Homeowners who hire these contractors must first go to an architect to have their design made. Other contractors, sometimes referred to as design-build contractors, have in-house designers for added convenience. You can see their style by looking through their website and viewing photos of previous jobs. At RL Remodeling we have our in home design team. Working with a design team and Project Manager together has many advantages. First, you can make all the needed amendments and changes based on budget and timing prior to plans approval. Many times we are contacted by homeowners who created beautiful designs, later to find out that the cost and timing of their project exceeds their initial budget and expectations. Thus, making their design useless. Carefully monitoring the process, prior to pulling permits and getting plans approved are keys to success.

To sum up, whether you are looking to remodel your kitchen, remodel your bathroom,  expand your home or perform a room addition, convert your garage, or simply do a backyard remodel; research well, ask many questions prior to hiring a contractor. This will assure a smooth and easy process with no surprises or bumps in the journey.

Surviving a Kitchen Remodel While Living in Your Home

Your kitchen is the heart of your home, and most of the time the first room one notices when walking in. We all know that an updated and remodeled kitchen adds value to your home. For most homeowners who choose to remodel their kitchen, moving out during the process is not an option due to the added expenses, and living at home during the process creates many challenges. Living without a functioning kitchen due to remodel can  be challenging. Over the years we’ve learned that planning ahead, choosing the right time for the project, and hiring the right contractor can make the process much easier. Some of the key factors to consider are:

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Pasadena Complete Remodel

Prepare and freeze meals in advance.

A functional freezer can be a godsend during a kitchen remodel,  particularly if you take the time to prepare and freeze meals in advance. From casseroles to lasagnas to pot pies, these can easily be popped into the microwave and defrosted for a healthy, hearty and home-cooked family dinner any night of the week.

Set up a temporary kitchen.

Why make do without a kitchen when you can set up a temporary space instead? If you have a sink in your utility room, basement or garage, consider turning it into a makeshift kitchen. Think practical, not pretty: Instead of disposing of your old cabinets, ask your contractor to relocate them to this part of your home for the time being. A piece of plywood laid on top of the cabinets becomes a work surface.

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Keep kitchen items handy.

Once you’ve set up your temporary kitchen, you’ll want to make sure that it’s stocked with necessities, including your go-to cooking equipment, plates and utensils, and paper towels. Store these items in clear plastic containers so you can easily locate them when you need them. Pack everything else away to maximize organization and minimize mess.

Cook (and dine) al fresco.

If your kitchen remodel takes place during warm weather, barbecuing is a fun and festive way to make the most of the season — and your time without a kitchen. Or, consider planning and packing a weekly picnic.

Get creative.

If you’re like most people, you may have found yourself in the occasional cooking rut. Use your time without a kitchen to think outside the box. Panini makers, for example, are inexpensive, portable and perfect for making tasty sandwiches. Buying or borrowing a camping cook stove, meanwhile, can help you pull off more ambitious meals.

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Find dining deals.

Despite your best efforts, you may still find yourself eating out more than usual during your kitchen renovation. However, this doesn’t have to mean blowing your budget. Instead, scour your local paper for take-out coupons and dine-in promotions, such two-for-one deals and “kids eat free with an adult” nights. Taking advantage of these specials is a simple way to avoid overspending.

Choose the right contractor.

It’s important to hire the right contractor for your kitchen remodel. Be sure to check the contractor’s experience in your area. Read the reviews, and browse their  kitchen gallery for design inspiration. A good contractor will have active social media accounts featuring all the latest design trends and styles. In addition, your chosen contractor should provide you with local references in your area.

Hire a contractor who works around your schedule. For example, you should expect your contractor to hold off on starting your kitchen remodel, including any demo of your current kitchen, until all the materials are delivered to the job site. This will ensure you’ll have a shorter time without a working kitchen. Your contractor should also be respectful of your space by covering walkways and furniture to avoid dust and damage, and by cleaning up each day before they leave. They should show up on time, and only perform noisy tasks during reasonable hours when they’re less likely to be a nuisance to the neighbors.

One last thing to keep in mind about your remodeling project– hiring the right kitchen contractor can make all the difference. When you choose RL Remodeling, you are assigned an experienced dedicated project manager who will serve as your main contact for the entire duration of your project. This not only ensures that we will understand your kitchen remodel goals, but also that we will be readily available to help you achieve them.

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