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Mary Alice Ruppert
REALTOR®, ABR, AHWD, CRB, ePro, GRI, SFR
Licensed Associate Broker
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Articles Tagged "Remodeling"

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October
25

Bathroom Remodel: How to Choose the Right Bathtub

Choosing a Bathtub - Remodeling Tips - Coach Realtors

Soaking in a warm, relaxing bath is something everyone looks forward to after a long day. When showing properties, our REALTORS® are always asked about bathroom upgrades with spa-like features seen in many of these Nassau County homes for sale and Suffolk County homes for sale.

If you're considering a bathroom remodel, you have many bathtub styles to choose from for your space. Before you make your final selection, consider the size of your bathroom, your personal needs, and the finished look you want to achieve.

  • Drop-In Tubs
    Drop-in tubs are the most common type found in homes. The tub shell is fitted inside a framed enclosure that may be surrounded by sheetrock walls or tiles. With drop-in rectangular tubs, three sides are sealed in and one long side is open so you can step into the tub.

    Undermount drop-in tubs are installed where the top of the tub sits at floor level creating a very modern bathroom. Most drop-in tubs are made of porcelain, acrylic, or fiberglass, the least expensive options.

  • Corner Tubs
    Corner tubs are similar to drop-ins, but they're much larger and wider. Their large, square proportions make them great for dual bathing. To accommodate the size and shape, you need a large corner area in your bathroom for installation. If you have an area near a large window, this may be the perfect place for a relaxing bath while enjoying a beautiful view of the garden.

  • Freestanding Tubs
    Freestanding tubs feature solid bases or cradles and sculpted bathing bowls. They come in many shapes including rectangular, square, oval, and round. One advantage of freestanding tubs is they can sit anywhere in the bathroom and don't have to be connected to walls for stability. However, you need a larger bathroom because the tub will take up open floor space. Freestanding tubs are most popular in porcelain and acrylic, but they also come in copper, stainless steel, and colors for a higher price.

  • Clawfoot Tubs
    Although clawfoot tubs made out of cast iron date back to the Victorian era, they are still very popular with homeowners today. Their freestanding style, oval shape, and brass or chrome claw feet create a reminiscent eclectic style that works in both traditional and contemporary homes. Most clawfoot tubs are especially deep, so they're perfect for those long bubble bath soaks.
  • Special Features
    Most bathtub manufacturers offer a variety of options for special features, especially for their top-of-the-line products. If you want ultimate relaxation and health benefits, you don't have to look far for a lot of great options:

    • Whirlpool Jets – By choosing a tub with whirlpool jets, you can relax in water with various heat settings, foot massage jets, multi-speed bubbles, and silent motor technology.

    • Chromatherapy – Whether you prefer peaceful pink or soothing blue, chromatherapy includes underwater LED lights that change color to suit your mood.

    • Music – With resonant speaker panels that attach to the tub and send sound through the water, you can relax to your favorite playlist while soaking.

    • Digital Controls – A built-in digital touchpad lets you easily control water temperature, jet direction, water color, and your favorite tunes.

If you're planning to buy or sell a home, contact us for information and real estate advice from our professionals.

April
12

Don't Hire a Contractor Until You Ask These Questions

Ask These Contractor Questions - Remodeling - Coach Realtors

You've probably heard this before, but a contractor can make or break your remodeling or home addition project. Finding the right contractor will determine the timeliness and quality of work, and the amount of financial and emotional stress you'll have to deal with. Before paying thousands of dollars for the job, you'll want to carefully screen potential contractors and make sure they know what they're doing. Our REALTORS® have collated a list of questions to ask before you hire a contractor.

  • How Long Have You Been Working in This Town?
    When hiring a contractor, you want to know how much experience they have and how long they've been working in your local area. A contractor who has been around the block for a few years is more likely to have a proven track record. They're a safer bet than a contractor planning to commute to your home from 50 miles away.


  • Are You a Licensed Contractor?
    Licensing is an important element in the construction industry. A licensed contractor will have extensive knowledge about local building laws, follow proper safety guidelines, and complete your work on time. If you hire an unlicensed contractor, they may disappear after doing half the work, and you'll be on your own when it comes to resolving the issue. And it's not just important to have a license; you want to make sure it's applicable to the types of project you're looking to have completed.


  • Are You Insured?
    In response to this question, you want to hear that the contractor has general liability insurance and workers' compensation insurance. The last thing you need is to pay for repairs when a worker hits a water line and floods your house or pay for the medical expenses of a worker who got injured while working on your property. Ask to see a copy of the contractor's insurance policy to ascertain that they have insurance, and it's enough to cover your home if things go sour.


  • How Long Will the Remodeling Take?
    An experienced contractor should give you a projected timeline for the completion of the project. But it's also worth noting that construction isn't always cut and dry. Behind existing walls or floors might be hidden damage or problems that call for additional work. Ask your contractor about the possibility of delays and how necessary changes to the timeline will be addressed.


  • Would You Itemize Your Bid?
    There are so many things to keep track of during a remodel. Some contractors will give you a bottom-line quote for your project, but this will leave you in the dark about payment breakdown for each aspect of the job. You'll stay saner and more secure if you're given an itemized bid that shows the cost for all elements of the job. Also, make sure you discuss the payment terms before the work begins. Do not pay a large sum of money upfront.


  • Got References?
    Speaking to past clients and gathering their input is one of the best ways to find out about a contractor's work. Call and ask questions about the contractor's quality of work, adherence to budget and timeline, ease of communication, willingness to fix projects after the project is completed, and how they keep the work area clean.


  • Who Will be Doing the Work?
    Ideally, the contractor should handle the entire project with just their own crew. You'll want to know if the same team will be working on your home each day and whether the contractor works with subcontractors. Find out if they've had their background checked and covered by the contractor's workers' comp and liability insurance. Don't forget to ask about site-management and the point of contact between you and the company.

This is not an all-encompassing list, but it will help you get the conversation started. Remodeling your home or building an addition can make your home a more enjoyable place to live. And if you decide to add your home to the pool of Nassau County homes for sale or Suffolk homes for sale, the right improvements can really separate your home in the market. Contact us today to learn more.

March
1

Kitchen Makeover: These Trends Are Making Waves

Kitchen Makeover - Home Improvement - Coach Realtors

The kitchen is the heart of the home, and sometimes it's good to give in to your heart's desires. Remodeling your kitchen is a tried and tested way to breathe fresh life into your home. It's a project that our REALTORS® guarantee will go a long way toward enhancing your comfort and adding to your home's resale value. As you consider all the options, be certain to note the following kitchen trends for 2021.

  • Marble Beats Granite
    Granite was the go-to stone of the '90s and the start of the new millennium. However, as tastes have evolved, marble has emerged as the trendiest stone for kitchens and bathrooms. Heavily veined marble is the epitome of luxury and will give a durable finish to your counters, backsplashes, and more.

  • Wood is Back in Style
    Wood is undergoing a revival, and while cherry and oak have held the title of most popular in the past, modern homes are opting for the inclusion of subtle-grained ash and other lighter woods. When choosing wood, choose one with a well-defined grain and light finish that will add an airy, sophisticated ambiance to your remodeled kitchen.

  • Enjoy the Lush Luxury of Dark Walls
    Dark-colored walls create a sharp contrast against light-grained woods and white marble countertops. Black or brown paint, or dark-colored tiles, can create a luxurious backdrop for family gatherings and everyday living.

  • Islands Emerge From the Floor
    If you have a larger kitchen, islands are fabulous to create a focal point for gatherings in the kitchen. If you have a large kitchen, double islands are a feature worth exploring. However, be careful not to try and put an island or a double island in a small kitchen as this can make the room feel closed in and cluttered.

  • The Jetson's Meet the Jones'
    The inclusion of technology in the kitchen is sure to be a hit with the whole family. Installing smart screens, smart appliances, and other smart home technology will make it easier to listen to your favorite music while you cook, pull up recipes, and even manage your pantry and shopping lists.

  • Storage Takes Center Stage
    Storage space is always at a premium in the kitchen. That will never change. What has changed is that many older kitchens have plenty of wasted space that is now being converted into usable storage for appliances, spices, foodstuffs, linens, etc. In fact, you will see many Nassau County homes for sale where interior designers have found some creative ways to add shelves and cabinets to the kitchen to open the space up while providing ample storage in the process.

  • Pantry Space is at a Premium
    One thing the pandemic has done is change the way we shop. Many families have prioritized having a ready supply of food on hand "just in case." Of course, more food requires more space, which is why you will see plenty of Suffolk County homes for sale where the owners have converted closets and other spaces into walk-in pantries. Not only does this create ample space for storage, but it also makes it easier to organize your foodstuffs.

We invite you to contact us to learn more about the kitchen trends we recommend our clients incorporate in their properties. It is our pleasure to answer your questions and help you find the best kitchen design team to create the kitchen of your dreams. 

November
9

5 Tips to Make a Splash in Your Kitchen

Update Kitchen Backsplash - Coach Realtors

Whether you're fully remodeling your kitchen or just giving it a bit of a facelift, choosing the right backsplash is one of the most important decisions in the design process. When showing homes, our real estate agents find that a kitchen's backsplash can have a make-it-or-break-it effect. It might not be a large space we're talking about, but it puts the finishing touches on your new look and ties everything together.

Here are five tips to help you pick the right backsplash for your kitchen.

  1. Try Before You Buy
    How materials and paint colors look in the store, under harsh fluorescent lighting, is one thing; how they'll look in your home is quite another. Never commit to anything before taking samples home with you. Prop the backsplash samples up against your existing backsplash, along with other samples you are considering, and just live with them for a few days. Notice how they look as the lighting in your kitchen changes throughout the day, and how they coordinate with other samples such as paint chips.

  2. Be Practical
    It's natural to want your kitchen to look the best your money can buy, but don't forget to be practical, too. Make choices that will help you stay within budget and also think about your purchases as an investment. What materials will wear the best over time, stay in fashion the longest, be the easiest to clean, and require the least maintenance? For example, some tile is very porous and may be difficult to clean, especially over the stove where grease from cooking is likely to find all the nooks and crannies. And marble, while very attractive, will need to be sealed with special chemicals once a year to maintain its look long term.

  3. Coordinate, Don't Match
    Your backsplash may be an extension of your countertops, but don't make the common mistake of trying to match the two perfectly to one another. Matching makes them blend together, rather than drawing the eye, the way you want to do. Instead, look for something that coordinates with your countertops and other design elements of your kitchen, but stands out a little from the rest.

  4. Choose a Great Grout
    Don't underestimate the importance of grout! Grout does more than just fill the spaces between the tile. A well-chosen grout sets the tile off, showing it to its best advantage. A quality grout is important for a long-lasting quality renovation, of course, but the color of your grout and how well it coordinates with the tile is also important.

  5. Make a Splash
    Most kitchen updates are fairly straightforward. There's not a lot you can do with a kitchen, other than picking out countertops and cabinet colors. Your backsplash is your chance to make a statement! It's a small space, so you can afford to take some risks, especially over the sink and stove, two important focal points in most kitchens. Spring for the better tile or do something a little different, like turning square tile on the diagonal.

The Importance of Kitchen Updates

Most real estate agents agree that the kitchen is one of the top areas of the home to invest in. It's the heart of every home, and everyone loves one that is attractive and well-appointed. If you're interested in listing your house among other Nassau County homes for sale or Suffolk County homes for sale, we can help! Contact us today to start the process.

June
22

Where You Should Put Your Remodeling Dollars?

Remodeling ROI - Sell a Home - Coach Realtors

Everyone wants to live in a beautiful home. Warm weather means that most homeowners are making their way into the home improvement stores and dialing up contractors for those special projects around the house. Whether you plan to spend a little or a lot, our REALTORS® want you to get the most for your investment. Some remodeling projects are worth their weight in gold, while others will return pennies on the dollar. It's important to know which is which before you make your plans.

Golden Opportunities

You'll never get every penny you spend on remodeling back when you put the home on the market. However, the following will give you between 60-70% return. Where these investments are most valuable is in the foot traffic they'll generate from the listing.

  • Update the Kitchen. The kitchen is the heart and hearth of the home. It's a place to gather and relax, to entertain and enjoy the company of family and friends. Thus, it should be comfortable, open, and updated to reflect modern design tastes. Farm sinks, plenty of storage, and stainless steel will go a long way toward attracting the attention of prospective buyers.

  • Give the Master Bedroom a Facelift. The master bedroom is a retreat from work, family, and all the pressures on the other side of the door. Repainting and redecorating can give the bedroom a comfortable, relaxing ambiance.
         
  • Polish the Bathroom. No one wants to take a bath in a dingy, dark, cramped bathroom. updating your bathroom with new tile, updated fixtures, comfortable lighting, and a fresh coat of paint is an investment in your comfort and the home's appeal to prospective buyers.

  • Trim up the Landscape. Landscaping is often overlooked, but the fact is it's the first thing prospective buyers notice. Make sure that your grass is green, your trees are trimmed, and the flower beds look their best. If you don't have a green thumb, hire a professional landscaper to design an easy-to-maintain yard that blends into the neighborhood.

Money Pits to Avoid

  • Swimming Pools and Hot Tubs. These flashy amenities are fun. However, they're expensive to install and costly to maintain. Further, most people don't use them as much as they think they will. Most sellers only recoup a fraction of the installation costs when they sell their home.

  • Special-Purpose Rooms. It's great to have a nursery for your kids, a woodworking room for hobbies, and other special-purpose rooms. However, prospective buyers whose needs/interests don't match yours won't be willing to spend a premium for it; in fact, they'll likely ask for a price reduction so they can renovate it for their own special interests.

  • More Garage Space. Unless you have none or extremely limited garage space, most people are content with a one or two-car garage. At most, you'll get 60% of your investment back when you sell the home.

The Final Rule of Thumb

Whether you plan to spend $1,000 or $50,000 on renovations, one thing every homeowner needs to keep an eye on is the value of real estate in the area. There is no limit to how much you can spend, but there is a limit on what buyers will pay. One of the first things they'll look at is home values in the neighborhood. If your home is $100,000 more than a comparable home for sale down the street, they'll get the contract.

Contact us for more information about remodeling projects we recommend to our clients. It's our pleasure to help you choose upgrades and features that will stand out in the market. 

November
25

Selling to Millennials: Unnecessary Upgrades and Welcome Features

Selling to Millennials - Coach REALTORS

Every seller wants their home to be the one buyers can't wait to make an offer on. Often that means making some improvements before you sell. Some upgrades and features are better than others, and ideally, you'll want to focus on the ones that will actually help sell your home.

According to the National Association of REALTORS® millennials now comprise 37% of buyers, the largest segment of the market for any generation. So it makes sense that some or all of the home improvements you make before selling should appeal to them. Our REALTORS® can offer some advice about what today's buyers really want.

In-Demand Home Features

  • Green building materials and energy efficiency
    This feature is important, so when making home improvements, materials like low VOC paint, sustainably sourced flooring, energy-efficient windows, and programmable thermostats are all appreciated.

  • Move-in ready and low maintenance
    Millennials aren't big on buying fixer-uppers or home maintenance. They want move-in ready. Low maintenance is a necessity for today's busy lifestyles. The reality is many buyers want to spend as little time as possible on home maintenance. Making sure your home looks well cared for, immaculately clean, and in good enough shape that major repairs aren't looming on the horizon will go a long way with buyers.

  • Greenspace
    A yard seems to top everyone's list of most-wanted home features. That goes double for millennials since many of them are pet owners, and they're raising families. Some green space for pets and kids to play and entertaining guests is a must.

  • Smart home features
    Smart thermostats, automated blinds, doorbell cams, security systems, and smart light bulbs are just a few of the possibilities. Hubs that can control a whole home automation system and monitor indoor conditions are popular features too.

Unpopular Upgrades

  • Over the top landscaping
    While millennials appreciate having some greenspace, they don't want excessively landscaped areas that require lots of maintenance. Maximize your lawn space and make sure to use plants that require little upkeep.

  • Formal dining rooms
    Formal dining rooms aren't seen as a necessity, even for families. More informal dining options are popular, such as a kitchen island with bar stools, a breakfast nook, or an eat-in area in the kitchen.

  • Closed off rooms with designated uses
    Open spaces with multi-function rooms offer lots of flexibility that can apply to many different lifestyles, making your home as appealing as possible to as many buyers as possible.

  • New carpet
    It can be fine in bedrooms, but in general, today's buyers prefer other types of flooring. Lower maintenance and more pet-friendly options such as engineered hardwood, laminate, and even some types of tile are great choices if you're looking to replace flooring before you sell.

Getting your home sold is much easier when you willing to pay attention to the features buyers really want. And things are even easier when you have the right real estate agent on your side. Coach REALTORS® can answer your questions and help get you with selling your home or buying your next one. Contact us today to get started.  

Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 05/18/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 05/18/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of OneKey MLS (last updated Wed 05/18/2022 6:32:33 PM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Coach Realtors may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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