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Utilizing Your Current Space

by Samia S. Morgan
Many homeowners will at one time find that their current home is running out of space. A growing family or changing needs over the years contibute to homeowners need for more space. However, with the sluggish economy, many are unable to purchase a new home to fill their growing need for more room. The good news is that there are some solutions to utilize the space you have with some helpful hints below!
 
Take advantage and utilize attic and basement storage. For most attics you can store almost anything up here as long as you gauge the temperature and the moisture. The last thing you need if your attic gets moldy is for your clothes to get moldy! If your attic does have a lot of moisture, you can consider placing other items up such as old toys, sports equipment you aren't going to use right now, baby furniture, etc. Now, if you have no attic and no basement, but you have a lot of wall space, you could consider utilizing wall shelving units for things like books or pictures.
 
Make the most of your closets.  The problem a lot of people have with their closets is that they put too much in here and they don't utilize all the space available. If you need to reorganize your closet, it's a good idea to get your hands on some shoe racks, clothing bags (with hangers), storage systems, containers, etc. Try using some jewelry boxes as well for your earrings, watches, and necklaces. Storage systems are really popular right now for closets and most can be customize for your specific needs.
 
Don't overlook hidden space.  The solution to finding extra space can be found in the areas you might have not thought about before. Some ideas are building drawers and shelves beneath a staircase or installing ceiling shelving units in the garage. Nooks and corners you may have thought were useless might end up being the extra space you need!
 
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Home Improvements that Pay Off

by Samia S. Morgan

What is the most common misconception about the value of home improvement? That your investment translates dollar for dollar into added value. When investing in remodeling – from small updates to major renovations, take a good look at the real impact of the project on your home’s value.

The state of the market, the homes in your neighborhood (‘comps’), how long you hold on to your home and the kind of improvement all play a role in determining what you will recoup out of the initial investment. Sometimes remodeling pays of and sometimes it does absolutely nothing to increase your home appraisal.

Here are some of the home improvement winners:

  1. Kitchens: Updates to cabinets, appliances or flooring can really make a difference in both the appeal and actual value of your home. Kitchen makeovers rate an A+ for adding value.
  2. Additions:  These are great as long as the addition doesn’t take your home out of the neighborhood comps, well thought out square footage adds a value approximate to the investment you put into it.
  3. Extra bathroom:  An extra full bath, well done can come close to paying for itself, but gets only a percentage back of the actual cost.
  4. Decks: A great way to add square footage cheaply and create outdoor living space, which is a hot trend right now.
  5. Windows: As long as the windows are a standard size and you make the extra effort to get double pane, energy rated glass and trim, you will save money on utility costs while waiting to sell and they will make the home more appealing.

One home improvement that likely won't bring a return on investment is a swimming pool. Only put one in if you love to swim and plan to use it, don't install one on the assumption you will get your money returned. In some markets such as warmer clients a pool may be expected, in others it can be a wow factor if well done, but pools add no resale value to your home and may even be considered a liability.

A good piece of advise is to keep your home well maintained, make sure all the basics are take care of before you add any new features.

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Photo of Samia S. Morgan, Inc. Real Estate
Samia S. Morgan, Inc.
dba Samia Realty Group
BRE# 00967165
San Mateo CA 94403
650-678-3633