Kathy Foran - REALTY EXECUTIVES Boston West



Posted by Kathy Foran on 10/26/2014

Whether it be simply the preference of the homeowner, or an attempt at increasing home value, hardwood flooring is increasing in popularity.  Hardwood floors can add a touch of class to a smaller home, and make larger homes really show off their square footage in a way that carpeting cannot compete with. If you are considering outfitting your home with hardwoods, style and durability will be your two biggest categories to explore, after cost.  Some hardwood options, while stylish, lack the durability of others, and care would need to be taken in order to not wear out your new home addition prematurely.  Below, I'll list some of the more popular varieties of hardwood flooring options. Wide-Plank - Wide-plank flooring is quickly becoming one of the more popular options for people looking to add a touch of class to a room or home, without sacrificing their floor's durability.  This style of flooring gives you a wide variety of wood options and styles to choose from, but woods with complex grains are the preferred way to go.  Wider planks allow the natural beauty of woods like Hickory and Tigerwood a chance to shine. Reclaimed Pine - This eco-friendly option is also a popular favorite.  Perfect for homes that already possess a rustic flare, reclaimed pine flooring can add a touch of historical class to any home.  And because one of the primary sources of reclaimed pine flooring are historical buildings, this is an environmentally-friendly alternative to some of the more extravagant hardwood varieties, like Brazilian hardwoods, or teak.  Reclaimed pine is just one of many varieties of reclaimed wood, so shop around a little.  Almost all reclaimed hardwood options will add a touch of mature class to a home. Eucalyptus and Ebonized Hardwood - These varieties are extremely dark and elegant.  Best paired with contemporary homes. If you are partial to white furniture and decor, this variety will serve to complement your design style immensely. Red Oak - This variety of flooring is gaining a reputation for it's ability to successfully coordinate with any design style, as well as it's durability.  Red Oak is a fantastic choice for homes with children, as the durability of the wood will prevent most scuffs and dents that a high-traffic family would normally dish out on a less-resilient wood variety.  The lighter, warmer colors of the wood also serve to heighten the brightness and color of a room, which may be preferred in houses that don't get a lot of natural light. Brazilian Cherry - This variety is the classic "mosaic hardwood".  The natural variation in color from plank to plank is an eye-catching addition to any home, while the affordability factor is also an appeal.





Posted by Kathy Foran on 4/20/2014

It is a room that is often overlooked on the decorating list but as the saying goes bathrooms and kitchen sell homes. Many people avoid remodeling a bathroom because they are typically one of the most costly rooms to remodel–generally second only to kitchens.  A bathroom update can be easier than you think. Here are some budget-friendly updates that will give your bathroom a brand new look. Paint Paint is the most inexpensive way to transform any room.  For around $25, you can have a brand new look. Bathrooms are typically small rooms so the process should be quick. If your wood cabinets looking tired,  give them a fresh coat of paint. Make sure to give them good cleaning and a light sanding first. Lighting Don't overlook the importance of lighting.  Outdated bath bar (often called Hollywood lighting); can be easily replaced with newer fixtures for as little as $30. Hardware An instant update to any cabinet is the hardware. This is a place to where you can be creative and unique.  Expect to pay anywhere from $3 to $15 for each knob or pull. Accessories A brand new look can sometimes be as easy as replacing a few of the accessories. Replace worn-out, faded towels with some soft, fluffy new towels.  Expect to pay from $5 to $30 per towel. Try adding new towel bars and toilet paper holders too. If you update your cabinet hardware you will want to try to go with a similar finish. This will cost about $20 to $40. Giving your bathroom a fresh, new feel doesn't have to break the bank. With a little elbow grease and some creativity you will have a new bathroom in no time.





Posted by Kathy Foran on 12/29/2013

Unlike most other investments, your home can actually make money for you. Using energy efficiency tax credits, making shrewd decisions about home improvement projects, and taking advantage of the work shortage in the building industry can all put cash in your pocket. As ranked by Remodeling magazine, here are some top money-making remodels:

1. Installing a new entry door (steel)
New entry door (steel)
Job cost: $1,218
Value added: $1,243
Cost recouped: 102%
2. Garage door replacement
Garage door replacement
Job cost: $1,291
Value added: $1,083
Cost recouped: 84%
3. Minor kitchen remodel
Minor kitchen remodel
Job cost: $21,695
Value added: $15,790
Cost recouped: 73%
4. Deck addition (wood)
Deck addition (wood)
Job cost: $10,973
Value added: $7,986
Cost recouped: 73%
5. New siding (vinyl)
New siding (vinyl)
Job cost: $11,357
Value added: $8,223
Cost recouped: 72%





Posted by Kathy Foran on 8/4/2013

What will boost your home's value? You want to add a sunroom but will that bring in the biggest bang for your buck? How about a new bathroom? It's a common question that many homeowners ask. What will we get back when we sell? This can be a hard question to answer but luckily Bankrate.com and Remodeling Magazine has come up with a list of the worst home fixes for the money. Here are the six improvements that ranked dead last nationally when it comes to getting those renovation dollars back at resale. 1. A Home Office-The standard home office renovation is this year's biggest loser in the resale value sweepstakes. Nationally, homeowners spent an average of $28,888 and can expect to recoup about 45.8 percent at resale, according to the report. If you want to enjoy a home office opt for something that is easily converted back into a bedroom or den. 2. Backup Generators-This only usually brings about negative thoughts like does this home loose power often? On average, when homeowners have a heavy-duty backup power generator installed, they spend about $14,718, according to the report. The average amount of the price recovered at resale time: 48.5 percent. 3. A Sunroom-While the thought is sitting and enjoying a sunroom may sound lovely to you but the addition of a sunroom is often more than you can recoup. The national average for a sunroom addition is $75,224, according to the report. Homeowners can expect to recoup about 48.6 percent when they sell. 4. A Master Suite-It is the price tag of this addition that can also leave sellers in the red. For a super-deluxe master suite addition -- which adds square footage and uses only top-dollar materials -- the average cost is about $232,062, according to the report. Sellers can expect to recover about 52.7 percent at resale. 5. An Extra Bathroom-Wait kitchens and bathrooms sells houses or that’s what people say. Bathroom additions are very expensive. For a moderately outfitted addition with synthetic stone or plastic laminate surfaces, plan on the cost about $21,695, according to the Remodeling report. Go upscale, with finishes like premium marble or fine tile, and you can easily spend in the neighborhood of $40,710. You can plan on a return of about 53 cents on the dollar. Look for less-expensive way to get the same results. Try reconfiguring your existing space to add a bathroom for less. 6. A Dream Garage-The price tag for a top-of-the-line detached two-car with all the trimmings is about $90,053, according to the report. This is a garage that is completely top-of-the-line. You can expect to recover about 53.6 percent of that when you sell. Instead go for function over form and stick the basic garage if you plan on a garage project.  





Posted by Kathy Foran on 1/6/2013

Everyone is on a budget nowadays so redecorating your house can seem like its impossible. Yet, with some small, inexpensive updates, you can transform the look of your house. The most basic way to update the look of a room is color. A new paint color on the walls can transfer a dull room to a stunning room. With a gallon of paint around $25, you can repaint a room for under $75. Top it off with a chair rail (around $9 for a 8ft piece) and you have a completely different room. Not in the mood to paint? How about some throw pillows on the couch? Or a new comforter? A little splash of color can go a long way. Now let's get creative - have plain knobs or handles on your kitchen cabinets or none at all? Get some decorative knobs for around $1.00 a knob and you have yourself updated cabinets. (Try this on any cabinet in your house!) Add some drama to your dining room or entry way with a new chandelier. For as low as $50.00 you can add a focal point that will wow. And how about that bathroom? Adding a new shower curtain and bath mat can really change the whole look of the room for under $50! No matter what room you are looking to update, house gutting renovations are not needed. With a little imagination, the smallest updates can create a whole new look for a room. Need some ideas? Take a walk around your local home improvement center and see what catches your eye. You never know what you might find that sparks an idea for a inexpensive update!