Here’s What You Should Know About Home Renovation Loans

Home Renovation Loan

Have you always dreamed about buying a so-called “fixer upper” and turning it into your dream home? If so, you might be able to do it by applying for a home renovation loan. These types of loans can provide qualified home buyers with the money they need to fix up a property when they first move into it. Learn more about home renovation loans and see if one might be right for you below.

What is a home renovation loan?

First things first: Let’s discuss what a home renovation loan actually is. It’s a loan that you can take out when you’re buying a home that gets wrapped up into the mortgage loan that you’re getting to purchase the home. This type of loan will give you an opportunity to buy a home for a low price point and fix it up to make it more valuable in the end. There are some people who utilize these loans to turn fixer uppers into their dream homes.

What can a home renovation loan be used for?

If you’re able to secure a home renovation loan from a lender, it can be used for almost anything that you want. You can use this type of loan to remodel a kitchen or bathroom. You can also use it to replace an HVAC system. You can even use it for things like mold remediation if you would like. However, more often than not, people use these loans to make a beat-up house look dramatically better once it’s done being renovated.

How can you obtain a home renovation loan?

To obtain access to a home renovation loan, you’ll need to find a lender that specializes in offering them. Many mortgage companies have started to offer these types of loans, but not all of them do. Once you’ve found a lender willing to extend a home renovation loan to you, you’ll also need to figure out how much extra money you want to borrow for your home. This will require you to come up with a home renovation plan so you can decide how much it will cost you to pull off.

Considering taking out a home renovation loan to fix up a house you’re going to be buying? Scott Merle Builders has experience helping homeowners carry out the renovations they want to perform. Call us at 315-409-4124 to learn more about how you can use a home renovation loan to your benefit.

Avoid These Errors When Hiring a Home Contractor

Are you planning on remodeling or renovating your home sometime soon? Rather than do it yourself, you should hire a home contractor to take on the challenge. As long as you bring the right home contractor on board, they can bring all the ideas that you have for your home to life and make it look its best. To hire the right home contractor, you’ll want to avoid making a series of common mistakes. Here are some of the mistakes that homeowners often make.

Hiring the cheapest home contractor they can find

Hiring a Home Contractor

When you’re performing a home remodeling or renovation project, you want to try and keep the costs associated with it as low as you can. Unfortunately, this leads some homeowners to choose to hire the cheapest home contractor they can find, even if they’re not the best option. The home contractor you hire should provide great services at a competitive price. Even if they’re not the cheapest contractor, you’ll be better off working with them than someone who won’t do a great job.

Failing to check out the references for a home contractor

When you’re trying to decide which home contractor to use for your home remodeling or renovation project, you should always ask contractors to provide you with references. What’s more, you should also go the extra mile by calling on as many of those references as you can to find out everything you can about a home contractor. Don’t allow those references to go to waste like some homeowners do.

Working with a home contractor that doesn’t have a business license or insurance

“Do you have a business license and insurance?” is one of the first questions you should ask to a home contractor. If they aren’t able to respond with a resounding “yes!” right away and provide proof of a business license and insurance, you should run the other way. The last thing you want to do is make the mistake of working with an unlicensed and/or uninsured home contractor.

When you contact Scott Merle Builders to serve as your home contractor, we’re confident that we can deliver superior remodeling and renovation services to you at the right price. You won’t have to worry about making a mistake when you hire us to take on your project. Call us at 315-409-4124 to find out what makes us different from other home contractors.

Is It Better to Renovate Your Home Or Build a New One?

Is it better to renovate or build a new home? That’s a good question.

If you’re looking at an older home to renovate, you have to consider expenses. Would it be cost effective to renovate the house or would it make more sense to just build a brand new one? What are some of the factors that would influence your decision?

Consider the Foundation

Home's Foundation

First, how’s the foundation? Older homes were built long ago when construction techniques were different than they are today. Therefore, your foundation might not meet the standards of today. If you have a basement, it might need all new wiring, heating and ventilation– and these are just the basics. Oftentimes, the really older homes– from the late 1800s or early 1900s for example– are just so old that it’s more cost effective to build a brand new home and start fresh. However, if it’s a home from, say, the 1950s onward, it might make sense to renovate. One thing to consider in particular is the land the house is built on– is it prone to flooding? Is your foundation cracked or sinking? Are your floors level or not? Sometimes the land a house is built on is just not a “good fit” for a home and it behooves you to move and start over in another location. But, for most people, the land below the house is stable and renovations, if not too expensive, make sense.

Flexibility

Next, if you were to build new, you could pick and choose what you want in your new house. There are cost advantages to this “flexibility.” For instance, if you don’t want or need a garage, then don’t get one. Or perhaps you don’t want a fireplace in the new house… or a pool out back… With constructing a new house you get to customize it with regards to your desires.

What’s the Budget

The budget is usually what ultimately guides the decision on whether to renovate or start new. You have to assess your financial situation and decide how much money you can afford for fixing up an older place versus starting fresh with a brand new one. Costs tend to need a little “wiggle room,” so if the estimate is, say, $10,000 to renovate a part of your home, keep in mind that unforeseen circumstances may require an extra $1,000 or two. This is true with new builds, too. And, of course, there are maintenance costs to be considered as well. If you can, come up with a spreadsheet that is detailed with cost estimates, including potential overruns. Look at the sheets, comparing renovation costs with new build costs to get a clearer picture to help influence your final decision. It’s a good idea to write down your end goal(s) and to get advice from experts about your project. 

Home Renovations Vs. Complete Rebuilds

Duration

Here’s something to consider: time is an issue. Some people don’t want the hassle of living in a home that is being renovated. And sometimes renovations take a long time. Should they move into a hotel temporarily? Or live at home while workers are coming and going, daily? Then again, waiting for a new home to be constructed will probably take even longer!

Personal Preferences

Ask yourself this simple question: “What do I want most?” Can your existing home get up to par with renovations? Or is it impossible to please you, even with potential renovations? Here’s something to think about… some people live in developments where they’re not allowed to make big changes. The homeowners association has a set of rules and regulations. For example, a house in this kind of community might have been built with a one car garage. But the person living there marries, and his spouse wants a two car garage– but that’s not allowed. In this case, it would make sense for the couple to build a new home somewhere else, matching their wants and needs. 

Financial Implications

Budget for Building or Renovating a Home

For those with a mortgage, did you know some mortgages include clauses that deal with whether or not you can tear down your home to make way for a rebuild? Stipulations might be in place about how soon the rebuilding process has to begin, and some lenders will want to be included in the planning process. In some cases, your mortgage could forbid you from demolishing your home!

Energy Efficiency

Finally, if you’re the type of person who wants a more “green” type of house– one that’s more environmentally-friendly, then you’ll be thinking about more energy efficient windows, siding and appliances. Building a new home basically gives you the opportunity to make the greenest of choices with things like high-efficiency insulation and water-saving fixtures. It can be harder to achieve green goals with remodels.

Are you thinking of renovating your house in the Syracuse area? Or do you want to build a brand new house? Either way, Central New York’s Scott Merle Builders can meet your needs. Please call 315-409-4124 today with your questions. 

Don’t Forget These Things When You’re Building a Home

Building a New HomeBuilding a custom home from scratch can be an amazing experience. You can create your dream house and customize it to suit your needs and preferences. Nonetheless, it can be a little bit overwhelming trying to remember all the little details that will make your new house a home that you’ll love for years to come. Here are some things you should try not to forget when building a new home.

More than enough electrical outlets

From smartphones and tablet computers to TVs and gaming consoles, the average American family owns dozens and dozens of gadgets. You’re going to need somewhere to plug all of them in, and there’s nothing worse than realizing you only have one or two outlets in a room full of electronics. Make sure your electrician installs lots of outlets, so you don’t have to go back and add more later.

A drain in your garage floor

Do you want to make sure it’s simple to keep the floor in your garage clean? Install a drain in it that’ll allow you to clean it whenever you want. The drain will also come in handy when you pull your car into the garage in the middle of a thunderstorm or when you experience unexpected flooding in your area.

Heated flooring

There’s nothing worse than stepping out of bed on a freezing-cold winter morning and putting your feet down on a floor that feels like ice. Heated flooring can heat your floors up and make your entire home more comfortable. It can also heat your home more efficiently, which can reduce your energy bills. You won’t mind getting out of bed in the morning anymore when you have heated floors to greet you.

A large embedded safe

Studies conducted over the last few years have revealed that more and more Americans are stashing cash and other valuables in safes in their homes. And while most people can get away with a freestanding safe, you might want to consider embedding a safe in a concrete wall if you plan on putting very valuable items into it. This is something that’ll be pretty easy to do when a home is first being built.

These are just a few of the things that you should remember to install in a custom home. Scott Merle Builders can talk to you about some of the other great features you can add to your dream house. Call us at 315-409-4124 today to hear about how we can help you bring your dreams to life.

What Permits Do You Need for a Kitchen Remodel?

Kitchen Remodel Permits If you’re planning on painting your kitchen, installing new flooring in it, or replacing a faucet, you probably won’t have to worry too much about obtaining permits to do it. However, if you’re going to be taking on a more extensive kitchen remodeling project, you will need to get your hands on the proper permits to avoid facing fines and other penalties in the future. There are some instances in which you could even need to redo work done to your kitchen if you don’t get the right permits before remodeling it.

Permits You’ll Need for a Full Kitchen Remodel

There are a couple of permits you might have to get during a kitchen remodeling job. The first kind of permit is called a trade-specific permit. It’s the type of permit you’ll need if you’re going to be doing any electrical, plumbing, or mechanical work in your kitchen. If you’re adding new electrical components to the space or moving your plumbing around, you’ll need to apply for a trade-specific permit to do it. You can usually get this permit within a matter of just a few days without much of a fuss.

The other kind of permit is called a building permit, and it’ll cover you in the event that you’re going to be taking out or adding walls to your new kitchen. You’ll typically need to provide your city or town with your kitchen remodeling plans before you’re able to get this type of permit. You may also need to obtain both a trade-specific permit and a building permit if you’re going to need to do electrical or plumbing work while putting up or tearing down walls.

As you might imagine, it can be a huge hassle to get permits prior to starting a kitchen remodel. Scott Merle Builders will make things easier on you by getting the right permits for any project you ask us to do. Whether you want us to remodel your kitchen or renovate another part of your home, we’ll make sure we get the proper permits before we begin. Call us at 315-409-4124 today to find out more about our home remodeling and renovating services.

An Overview of Home Insulation

Home InsulationHave the energy bills for your home gone up dramatically over the last year? It could indicate a problem with your HVAC system. It could also be a sign that it’s time to consider replacing your windows and doors. However, more often than not, rising utility costs are closely tied to an issue with a home’s insulation. The insulation in your home might not be doing a good enough job, which is forcing your HVAC system to run all the time to heat or cool your property. Here is a quick overview of home insulation.

What is home insulation?

Insulation is a barrier that’s placed in the walls, ceilings, and floors of homes to prevent both heat loss and heat gain. Insulation can be made using a bunch of different materials, including fiberglass, mineral wool, polystyrene, cellulose, natural fibers, urea-formaldehyde foam, and more.

Why is it important?

Home insulation is important because, without it, air from inside your home will work its way through your walls, ceilings, and floors and end up outside. This will prevent your home from ever getting as hot or cold as it could be when you’re running your HVAC system. You could potentially cut your energy bills by more than 30 percent with the right insulation.

How often does it need to be replaced?

Because home insulation can be made from several materials, there is a chance that your insulation could last anywhere from just a couple years to more than a decade. But it’s important for you to remember that insulation doesn’t last forever. It may wear out over time and stop doing its job. It may also get damaged if it’s ever exposed to moisture and need to be replaced right away.

How can you check your home’s insulation levels?

It’s usually not possible to check the insulation levels in your home’s walls and floors. Nevertheless, you can climb up into your attic to see what kind of condition your insulation is in. Generally speaking, home insulation should be approximately 10 to 16 inches deep for it to function properly. You can also call on a contractor to come out and look at your insulation if you’re unable to do it yourself.

At Scott Merle Builders, we understand the importance of home insulation and strive to provide our clients with the best insulation in the business. Call us at 315-409-4124 today with any questions you might have about insulation or home renovations as a whole.