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Should You Remodel Your Garage?

garage remodel

Should You Remodel Your Garage? 

Sometimes homeowners may consider the option of converting their garage to living space in order to expand the living space of the home.  Maybe the current homeowners don’t use their garage much, or mainly use it for storage and the cars are parked outside due to space limits in the garage. Or maybe there is not much extra land to build on to extend a house so the garage becomes an easy area which when converted can allow additions to a home.  Depending where the house is located and how many garage spaces are available converting a garage to permanent living space can actually reduce the value of a home.

Garages Are Still Essential Feature Of A Home

Just like reducing the bedroom count or bathroom count for a home can reduce the value of a home so can removing garage space from a home.  While converting the garage space could be adding square footage to the home that additional living space may not always offset the reduction in price.  If a home has three or more garage spaces then converting one of the garage spaces into living space could be acceptable as most homeowners are expecting at least two garage spaces where it is common for the neighborhood.  Of course if your home is in a neighborhood where almost every home has a three car garage the reduction of a garage space would likely reduce the value of your home.

When buyers are shopping for a home they will be comparing any home on sale to similar homes in the neighborhood.  Homes with fewer features as compared to other homes in the neighborhood will generally be valued less.  On the other hand if you are in a neighborhood where most homes have no garage, by...

How Driverless Cars Will Change Real Estate and The Homes We Live In

HOW DRIVERLESS CARS WILL CHANGE REAL ESTATE & THE HOME

How Driverless Cars Will Change Real Estate and The Homes We Live In

Driverless or autonomous vehicles are currently on the road today making multiple trips in certain test areas.  While many of these cars are test vehicles and have a human driver sitting behind the wheel to take over in case a problem happens some of them are completely driverless. Companies like Uber, Apple, Google, Toyota, GM, Tesla and more are researching and investing in driverless car technology.  Driverless cars will change the face of real estate as we know it and even the very home and neighborhoods we live in will be impacted by driverless vehicle technologies. This article explores some of the impact driverless vehicles will have on where we live and work.

Will We Even Need To Own A Car?

Just as many are learning to get by without a car by using public transportation and services like Lyft, Uber or Turo driverless cars will make it even less likely someone will need to own a car.  A driverless car can be parked anywhere and can be ordered on demand at a moment’s notice. Yes it will take time for the car to arrive from where it is parked to the person requesting a ride but that time is easily accounted for by scheduling ahead of time when a car is needed just like done with Lyft and Uber.  The person wanting a ride will not have to worry about getting a driver who is overly tired from driving all night.  With a few clicks on a smartphone app a car can be at a person’s location and ready to take them where they want to go.  Driverless cars can get people to the airport or to other central transit location points so one can hop on the subway to take them to work downtown. With...

Tips For Building Up An Emergency Savings Fund

tips for building up an emergency savings fund

Tips For Building Up An Emergency Fund

Whether you own a house or live in rented living space having an emergency fund is smart thing to do. An emergency fund is there to help you in case you encounter some unexpected expense.  As a homeowner if your furnace goes out in the dead of winter you will need to have it fixed so you don’t freeze or don’t damage your house in the from frozen pipes later bursting and causing water damage.  If windows to your home are damaged by a storm having the money to get those windows replaced are critical to keeping your house safe and secure.  Even as someone living in a rented home while your furnace and broken windows should be covered by the owner of the home, other things like your car breaking down, major medical expenses (flu or injury) can quickly set your budget behind. This article provides tips for how anyone can build up an emergency fund so if something bad does happen you can financially weather the challenge.

How Much and Where To Save

At a minimum people should be saving at least three months of living expenses and on the maximum side of things saving up to 12 months of living expenses gives you enough of a cushion that you won’t feel very stressed if something major does happen like a job loss. Savings in your 401(k) and IRA accounts should not be counted towards this emergency fund.  Certainly you may be able to take hardship withdrawals from your 401(k), withdraw with penalty from your traditional IRA or withdraw original contributions from your Roth IRA but that does not mean you should be doing so. Most of the money in the retirement accounts will likely be tied up in...

How Artificial Intelligence Will Change The Home

artificial intelligence to change the home

How Artificial Intelligence Will Change The Home

With Smart Home technology taking off and smart home assistants (like Amazon Alexa, Google Home and Apple Siri) becoming more prevalent in homes the start of a new home technology revolution is underway.  Homeowners can monitor and control the house heating and cooling systems, security systems, door locks, garage doors and more all from where ever they have access to internet on their smartphone.  Artificial intelligence (AI) will add to that ability by allowing decisions about the home to be made without the need of direct input from the homeowner.  For instance a trusted dog walker walks up to the front door during their scheduled time to take Fido out for a walk.  The dog walker’s face is seen via camera which an artificial intelligence assistant recognizes and knows they are there during the correct time and allows the door to be unlocked so Fido can enjoy some outdoor time while the homeowner is away. This article explores both the positive and negative impacts of artificial intelligence for the homeowner.

What Is Artificial Intelligence?

Intelligence is defined “…as the ability to perceive or infer information, and to retain it as knowledge to be applied towards adaptive behaviors within an environment or context.”  Basically put it means using learned information in and around us to make choices. With regards to human behavior we make choices every day based on what we know.  We decide to wake up early on work days because...

Predictions For The 2019 Real Estate Market

2019 real estate predictions

Predictions For The 2019 Real Estate Market

The real estate market has been on an upward trend for a number of years now.  The stock market has also been on a bull market run for a record amount of time and based on recently volatility that upwards trend is being strongly challenged.  With interest rates being raised by the Federal Reserve that has pushed mortgage rates up as well which in turn is putting pressure on home pricing.  With higher interest rates the price of a home will need to be lower in order for buyers to afford the home at the same monthly payment or they will look for lower priced homes that meet their requirements.  This article will look at the current real estate market trends and attempt to make some guesses for the future.

Today’s Real Estate Market

In many markets average home prices have reached or surpassed the prices that were in play prior to the 2007 real estate market crash.  While some may argue that today’s market is more stable since the exotic no document loans or 125% mortgages are not present that does not mean a financial house of cards does not exist that could bring both the real estate market and the stock market crumbling down.  Just as happened in the past mortgage lenders are reducing their lending standards in order to issue more mortgages and that is not a good thing.  

Whereas in the immediate past there were higher requirements with regards to debt ratios versus income those have been relaxed allowing those with more debt to buy a...

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