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Top 3 Inexpensive Hardwoods

Most people have thought about installing hardwood floors at one time or another. The natural beauty of wood brings a soft, elegance to any home. Today, hardwoods are not just for floors. Modern homes feature hardwoods for counters, back splashes and even entire walls. Traditionally and expensive material to work with, there are inexpensive hardwoods that will bring that ambiance you crave with a price tag that won’t shock your wallet.

Top 3 Inexpensive Hardwoods

1. Bamboo – Our first inexpensive hardwood isn’t really wood at all. Bamboo is actually a grass yet it’s harder than most hardwoods. Bamboo comes in only two shades – light and dark (boiled) – yet because of the variety in the plant itself, there are many color options available.

2. Hickory – Hickory is most often used in rustic or country style homes. A very strong wood, it’s perfect for homes with high traffic and provides great durability and value for the price. With proper stain, hickory can take on a light, pine, tone or a darker, richer look.

3. Lyptus – Never heard of lyptus? You’re not alone. Lyptus is commonly mistaken for mahogany. Beautiful and durable, lyptus costs a fraction of the cost of actual mahogany and provides the same lustrous look.

Hardwoods come in a large variety of tones, hardness and finishes. With so many to choose from and nice options starting at prices comparable to quality carpet, many homeowners and designers are incorporating hardwoods in their homes than ever before

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2020 Pantone Color of the Year – Classic Blue

Drum roll please – Pantone has chosen Classic Blue as their color of the year. Over the past couple years, bold colors on walls have become common  place in designer magazines and new model homes. Bucking the old guidance of using bland, light hues to make rooms look larger, deep greens, rich reds and even soft blacks are used in even the smallest spaces. This year, Pantone has chosen a fresh Classic Blue to inspire homeowners and designers in 2020.

Classic Blue is just want it sounds like – as classic. Think of your favorite sneaker or school binder and you’ll be right on track. Described as a calming, familiar azure, Classic Blue is an uncomplicated, straightforward tone intended to provide a “neutral” backdrop for modern color palates and urban chic styling.

Modern interior design has been trending towards more unassuming color schemes for furniture, flooring and accents. Kitchens sport sleek white cabinets and subway tile counters and backsplashes. Tone on tone design with urban elements of steel and soft wood tones lend themselves to this fresh blue hue. Pantone suggests that the simple color palate of blue and white is a comforting return to more traditional styling and expects that Classic Blue is the perfect wall color to compliment the Mid-Century and 60s décor that have emerged with a modern twist.

A great weekend project for a room or rooms, Classic Blue would add a fresh look to any space.

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How to get over losing your dream home

“I’m so sorry, they went with another offer.” It’s a shocking thing to hear; you’ve already moved into that dream home in your mind. It’s common to start second-guessing yourself, even condemning yourself for not offering more money or better terms, but the truth is sometimes it just doesn’t work out. The next step is to figure out how to move on.

• Go Ahead and Mourn – It’s perfectly reasonable to mourn the loss of the “perfect” home. • Take a Break – This might not be as easy as it sounds if you need to move, but even a short weekend off to regroup and refresh will allow you to continue the search. • Understand What Went Wrong – It may be that you did nothing wrong and the seller got an all-cash offer 20% over asking, but it’s still a good idea to talk with your agent about your offer, make sure you truly offered a fair price with reasonable terms and if not, make adjustments next time. • List What You Liked About the Home – Make a list of the features you liked about the home – open floor plan, big yard, expansive view, etc. This will allow you to watch for these features as you continue the search.

Losing out on your dream home is sad, but it doesn’t mean you won’t find another home you love just as much. Take some time to think through the experience and keep going – there are so many homes to choose from, you’ll find another home to love.

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Why house flipping isn’t like an HGTV show

We have all seen “Fixer Upper” or “Flip or Flop” but as an experienced remodeler, I am here to tell you that anyone can NOT flip a house and should not flip a house. Unless you have a true mentor with verified and proven experience to guide you through the process there are so many things that can go wrong and derail your dreams of becoming a real estate investor.

  1. You must have cash. I know you can use hard money or get a traditional mortgage to purchase the house but let’s be honest hard money is expensive and puts deadlines on you that may be out of your control. Which without experience you would not expect and a regular bank loan is going to have different but still challenging guidelines. They are going to have on-site inspections and contractor requirements that may not meet your budget constraints.

So, you need to have some cash. Things will come up and you don’t want to be stuck without the money to finish the project or have to cheap out on the final touches.

2. Vet your contractors. Make sure you have seen their work, checked their credentials and are named as an additional insured on their GL policy for the project they are overseeing for you. Get your scope of work in writing and make sure they are securing required permitting.

Many local areas no longer allow homeowners to act as the GC on an investment property. You must occupy the home for two years in order to qualify as your own GC. Make sure you check into this. I have seen it halt many projects and drain many bank accounts.

3. You can’t use cheap materials and cheap finishes but still expect to ask top dollar. Flips are put under a microscope by buyers because of the stigma they bring. House flippers are known as corner cutters and only concerned with their profits and not doing it correctly. Make sure you budget for quality materials or know where to source them.

4. Know your market. Who is the buyer for your finished product and what finishes can you put in your house that will make it stand out which will help ensure fewer days on market and higher profits? The cheapest square tiles from Home Depot aren’t going to cut it in many price points but may be fine for a starter home. I tour flipped properties all the time that have been on the market for months to make sure I don’t make the same mistake in my own projects and this is a big one. Putting granite in a house and new windows won’t sell it alone. You have to have some charm and character.

5. Partner with a great realtor who understands what sells and can work with you through the process. A great realtor partner will be a valuable resource but make sure you check their credentials as well. Real estate is a crowded field full of used car salesmen. Know the difference between a talker and a doer.

About the author: Tabitha and her husband Kris have flipped over 25 homes to date ranging from the lowest margin of 11% to the highest at 38%. Their homes typically sell for at or above list within days of listing. They have gained a following and pre-sell many homes due to demand for their brand. Check out Southern Pine Construction & Investments for project details.