Blog. Valuable Tips and Advice: Home Owner Tips

Remodeling Cost vs Value

If you are planning to do some remodeling of your home, you know there will be cost that goes along with the remodel. Many homeowners falsely assume that repairs and updates they make improve the value of their home by the cost of the update. That is rarely true though some items come closer than others. Many updates will make your home more appealing and may make a buyer prefer your home over another, but they don’t give you a dollar for dollar return. Before you decide on updates though, it is a good idea to research the return you can expect on your investment. There are different ways you can do this, but none are scientific. Information is available online that has taken many years of updates into account and I am also a great resource as I have seen many updates and talk with buyers as they are looking at homes to know what they place increased value on.

Before you jump into your next remodel project, put together a budget of what you expect to spend on the remodel. This will help you make sure you can afford the project and not have to stop short or complete it in a way that doesn’t satisfy you as well allow you to know if you are comfortable with the amount it will cost. If you want to really focus on your home value, there are some updates that offer a greater return on investment than others. Here are details on a few based on 2018 national averages. You can see the full results of the survey here as well as review regional results.

You can expect a 91% return on the replacement of your entry door. This is a small project costing an average of $1,471. On a slightly larger scale, a bathroom remodel may give you a return around 70% at an average cost of $19,134. Renovate your kitchen at a whopping cost of $63,829 but you should only expect to see a return of around 59%. Don’t forget the daily value you receive from the updates while you live in the home so updates should not be made purely for the expected value on their return.

There is no formula that tells you exactly what you can expect to see in return, but a nicely updated home will always show better and get better showing feedback than a home that is dated and in need of repairs. Remember that your home should be a place that you are comfortable while you are living there so make updates with that in mind if you plan to be there a while. You may have other reasons for remodeling, but if you want to be smart about your investment, this information can be very useful. And when it does come time to sell, be sure to let me help you get the most value from your home.

Christine Topham
RE/MAX Unlimited

Doing More from For Sale to SOLD! That’s the sign of a RE/MAX agent!

Let’s Connect, Socially!

What Type of Flooring is Best for You?

If you are in the process of making some updates to your home, flooring is often an area that needs regular updating. Today, there are endless options to select from when you make updates and it may be hard to know where to start. The rooms you are looking to install new flooring in may narrow down your options some but there are still lots of choices in most of the varieties. Make sure to think about maintenance, cost, traffic and the look you are hoping to achieve as you are making your decision. There are 5 types of flooring that are common in homes. Here are some pros and cons of each.

  • Vinyl or linoleum – While these are different materials, they have many similarities so they can be evaluated together. Linoleum is the more expensive of the two options and is made of natural materials so it is sometimes found in environmentally friendly construction. Both materials are durable and water resistant making them nice options for kitchens and baths. They come in a wide variety of colors and patterns and vinyl is a pretty inexpensive option for budget conscious construction and remodels.
  • Tile – Tile comes in both ceramic and porcelain varieties and is extremely durable. A more expensive option than vinyl or linoleum, the life of the product helps balance out the cost. Tile does require more expertise to install than vinyl or linoleum so it may not be a DIY option for many people if you are trying to cut costs. Tile comes in many colors and styles and can be a nice option for kitchens and baths as wells as entries and hallways due to its high durability.
  • Hardwoods – Hardwoods are a favorite among many people due to how nice they look. They can be installed relatively easily but do require maintenance to extend their life and keep them looking nice. They work well in almost any area except for bathrooms or places with lots of moisture. A long lasting option, the cost is balanced by the life of the floors with proper maintenance.
  • Laminate hardwoods – These offer a less expensive option to hardwoods with a similar look but don’t work well in wet areas. Repairs aren’t possible to make though you could replace in small areas but the different ages of the laminate would likely be noticeable.
  • Carpet – Carpet is probably the most common option and provides warmth in homes and is common in bedrooms and living rooms. It is pretty easily damaged from stains and spills and shouldn’t be used in kitchens and baths. While carpet is pretty easy to clean to remove many stains, it will start to show wear over time especially in high traffic areas.

Even if you are completely happy in your home, it’s always a good idea to think about the resale value of the product you select as many things in your home will be around much longer than you are and you don’t want to pick something that will decrease the value or appeal of your home. Feel free to call me anytime to discuss your update plans to make sure you are making choices that will be good long term options for your home.

Christine Topham
RE/MAX Unlimited

Doing More from For Sale to SOLD! That’s the sign of a RE/MAX agent!

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Image courtesy of midascode/

Add Color to Your Life with the Pantone Color of the Year

Each year Pantone releases a color of the year based on color influences and trend analysis. After Pantone’s announcement of the color each year, the color often pop up in a wide variety of unexpected places including fashion, home furnishings, new products, packaging and others. For 2019, Pantone selected Living Coral as its color of the year.

Living Coral is a warm and vibrant color that appears in nature and provides a welcome pop of color in many of life’s surroundings as well. Like anything in life, there can be too much of a good thing and there will likely be overuse of this color in the coming months in many ways but consider Living Coral if you are looking for a trendy update in your home.

In addition to showing up in paint, furniture, textiles and possibly even small appliances, add some life to your home by incorporating it in your surroundings in artwork, curtains and other home furnishings. Since Living Coral is a bright color, you will probably want to stay away from it in large quantities so you don’t overwhelm your home but consider these five ways to add it to your home tastefully

  • Add an accent wall in your dining room, bedroom or living room in Living Coral. The vibrancy of the color may overwhelm an entire room but one wall can make the perfect impact.
  • Select a piece of art with a Living Coral hue as part of it. This is an easy way to add it quickly and you can always change it later when you are ready for something new.
  • Select a floral display or wreath that incorporates Living Coral in its design.
  • Consider using it in a small bathroom or other small space that might be without a window. A pantry or closet could also be a nice way to incorporate the bright color without you having to endure it all day every day.
  • As the year progresses, Living Coral accent items will begin to pop up everywhere. Browse your favorite home goods stores like TJ Maxx, Target or Marshalls and see what all you can find. You are certain to find throw pillows, rugs, ceramics and more. Don’t add more than one piece at a time as you don’t want to overdo it.

Since 2007 Pantone has been selecting a color of the year. See the history here and see if this trend has popped up in your everyday life without you even realizing it.

are making the best decision for you and not one that will benefit someone else.

Christine Topham
RE/MAX Unlimited

Doing More from For Sale to SOLD! That’s the sign of a RE/MAX agent!

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Image courtesy of yanns/

Prepare Your Home for Its Inspection

First you listed your home for sale and shortly after, you received an offer on your home. After a little negotiating, you and the buyer came to mutually agreeable terms and you were officially under contract. Now that you are under contract, the buyer will do their investigation of your home to make sure the condition is what they expect and that they want to move forward with buying the property.

As part of their investigation of your home, the buyer will likely perform a home inspection. During a home inspection, a licensed home inspector will check all of the different parts of your home to ensure they are performing the function for which they are intended and make note of any deficiencies in a report they prepare for the buyers.

Don’t let this stress you out. The home inspection doesn’t have to cause you extra stress. Take a little time to prepare for the home inspector’s visit and you will make their job easier and hopefully keep them from being too picky in their report. Even if you have taken good care of your home and are very diligent about performing regular maintenance, something may come up in the inspection. In fact, it is very rare (even with a brand new home) to have a perfect home inspection. Just wait and see what comes up and then you can talk with your agent and determine the best way to handle it. Here are some tips to get your home inspection ready.


Inspectors don’t like to move or climb over things. Make sure that all parts of your home are easily accessible including your attic, garage, crawl space and basement. Take time to clean out under the sinks so that the inspector can easily inspect the pipes. Being able to efficiently do their job will make the inspector much happier.

Gather Maintenance and Repair Paperwork

Home inspectors may be less likely to examine your home with a fine-toothed comb if you can prove that regular maintenance has been performed. Gather all documents related to the maintenance of your home and place them in a folder or binder. Leave this information on the counter for the home inspector to see.  

Make Sure All Areas of Your Property are Available

The last you thing you want a home inspector to think is that you have something to hide. Make sure that you unlock all doors and gates, including those to out buildings, garages, pool houses and the crawl space if it has a lock on it.

Clean Your Home

While a dirty home does not mean there is necessarily something wrong with it, it may give the impression that you haven’t taken good care of it. A clean home will hopefully imply that you have taken good care of it and give the inspector that feeling while they are in your home.

Get Out!

Home inspectors prefer to be alone while they are doing their jobs. Don’t hover over them and make them uncomfortable. Go to work, the gym, the grocery store, library or any where else that will give the inspector the freedom they need to get their work done.

If you are still nervous after doing everything on this list, contact me and we can walk through your home together to make sure you are inspection ready when you need to be.

Christine Topham
RE/MAX Unlimited

Doing More from For Sale to SOLD! That’s the sign of a RE/MAX agent!

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Image courtesy of Pexels/

Five Ways to Make Your Home Feel Cozier for Winter

Winter is here and with that will come cold days that make you want to stay inside to escape the bitter temperatures. It isn’t possible to stay inside all the time, but when you do, these five tips will help you feel cozy even on the dreariest days.

1. Use your fireplace. If your home doesn’t have a fireplace, consider adding a standalone variety with a built-in electric heater in the room you use most. A space heater can add warmth where you need it and allow you to keep your thermostat lower than you normally would saving you money while adding a pretty fire to sit by in your home. The advantage of a space heater is that you only run it when you are in that room so it isn’t running all of the time.

2. Add blankets to the couch, chairs, and beds in your home. Nothing feels better than wrapping up in a warm blanket on a cold day. Consider purchasing slippers for the members of your family as well if you don’t have them already. If you don’t wear shoes when you are at home, slippers or socks will keep your feet warm especially if you have hardwoods or tile in parts of your home.

3. If most of your home isn’t carpeted, consider adding extra rugs for winter. Nothing is worse than cold tile on your feet during an overnight bathroom trip. Adding rugs to frequently used parts of your home can make your home much cozier during the cooler months.

4. Open the blinds and curtains during daylight hours. While there are fewer hours of sunlight each day, let the sun you can into your home. The sun will add a lot of warmth and natural light and a much better atmosphere compared to artificial lighting.

5. Fill the crockpot with ingredients for a warm stew or let a pot of soup simmer on the stove all afternoon. Not only will you have a hearty dinner at the end of the day, but you will also enjoy the aroma of the food as it cooks throughout the day.

Winter can be dreary, but it doesn’t have to feel that way inside your home. A little effort on your part will make your home a cozy place to be all winter long.

Christine Topham
RE/MAX Unlimited

Doing More from For Sale to SOLD! That’s the sign of a RE/MAX agent!

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Image courtesy of maryrodgers1982/

Christine Topham
RE/MAX Unlimited
Cell: 404-509-4255
25 years serving Bartow, Cobb and Paulding Counties

Contact Us

* fields are required

TEAM CHRISTINE  | Associates of RE/MAX Unlimited  | Main Office: 770.386.0076  |  

RE/MAX Unlimited 5205 Stilesboro Road #110 Kennesaw, GA 30152 | 770.419.1986