Curb Appeal Remodels a Growing Trend

‘Curb Appeal’ Remodels a Growing Trend
As the winter thaw begins, and spring buying and selling fever heats up, there are certain renovations you can make on your home to ensure you get an optimal return on investment (ROI).

Whether you’ve been waiting for that perfect time to list, or are looking to flip fast, being strategic with your home renovations can make the difference between losing money and having extra cash in your pocket.

As a Houzz article points out, when it comes to home renovations, the “size of your space, the scope of work involved, your DIY abilities, the quality of materials you choose and even your geographic location all play a part.”

Invest in curb appeal

However, your renovations don’t have to be earth-shattering. According to Remodeling magazine’s 2017 Cost vs. Value Report, the trend of making “curb appeal” renovations to your home scored a higher ROI than larger renovations.

Boost energy efficiency

Surprisingly, installing loose-fill fiberglass insulation in the attic came in as number one on the report. Although it doesn’t seem as exciting as other home remodels, it makes your home more energy efficient, and it can be accomplished yourself, inexpensively. Plus, it returns an estimated 107.1% on your investment.

Interestingly, something as subtle as replacing your garage door could yield you as much as an 85% ROI. Landscaping is another tried, tested and true improvement that can return as much as 105% on your investment. Installing new windows, adding high-efficiency appliances and repainting the exterior and interior of your home can make a huge impact for little cost.

Key to success

Craig Webb, the editor of Remodeling, offers this advice: “If you see yourself keeping the house for at least five years, you shouldn’t worry about value at all … Housing trends and fads can change dramatically … If you plan to stay put, renovate however will make you happy, period.”

You Just Might Have Been Wearing Blue This March 17

“The wearing of the blue?” St. Patrick’s Day on March 17 usually celebrates all things green. But St. Patrick – in whose name we celebrate St. Paddy’s Day – was British. So even though he was credited with introducing Christianity to Ireland in the fifth century, he might well have worn British blue instead of Irish green.

March 17 hasn’t always been a celebration. In fact, it began as a solemn day recognizing Ireland’s patron saint, whom some believe died on that day. And there doesn’t appear to have been anything green about it. Says an article on “The color green only became associated with the big day after it was linked to the Irish independence movement in the late 18th century.”

Even stranger, St. Patrick was born Maewyn Succat, taking the name Patricius when he became a priest. Imagine if it had been St. Maewyn who chased the snakes into the sea, ridding Ireland of the pests?

And what about those snakes? According to fossil experts, there never were snakes in Ireland. And, says Popular Science magazine, there still aren’t.

The shamrock worn on St. Patrick’s Day actually is associated with the Saint himself, who allegedly used it as a teaching tool to symbolize the Trinity. But interestingly, it was the Druids who believed the shamrock brought luck by warding off evil spirits.

These days, though, March 17 is a great party that celebrates Irish culture with grand parades, Irish dancing, and green everything. In fact, Paddy himself would probably be celebrating the day if he could.

Time to Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

Coffee drinkers are becoming younger. According to online restaurant supply store WebstaurantStore: “The fastest-growing demographic of coffee drinkers is the 13- to 18-year-old age group.” And this is changing the way we drink coffee. Here are some WebstaurantStore trends to look for:

Younger consumers like mobile coffee. Ready-to-drink portable bottles of prepared Frappuccinos and other popular hyper-sweetened coffee beverages are now readily available in convenience stores, meaning fewer trips to coffee hangouts.

When they do head to local coffee spots, younger drinkers are looking for something special: presentation. The Instagram generation now loves selfies with coffee and milk served French-style in beautiful café au lait bowls.

Nitro coffee – coffee infused with nitrogen gas – is popular thanks to its rich creamy taste, and the new cold brew coffee is an in-demand cold drink that’s stronger, but less bitter. Finally, the interest in gourmet coffee continues, driven by more sophisticated consumers who aren’t interested in the latest trends and still value the taste and the experience of drinking good coffee.

Wondering How Much Your Home Is Worth?
How has the price of your home changed in today’s market? How much are other homes in your neighborhood selling for?

If you’re wondering what’s happening to prices in your area, or you’re thinking about selling your house, I’ll be able to help.

Click the market report below or select San Antonio Real Estate Market and complete the requested information about your home!

The Best-Laid Plans: Things to Consider in Your Kitchen Remodel
If a kitchen remodel is on your agenda for spring, be sure you have a comprehensive plan in place.

Here are some issues to address in your plan. (Your New Kitchen: 7 Tricky Questions You Didn’t Know You’d Ask, published recently on, identifies other factors to consider.)

Research your local building code: In the Houzz article, designer Yanic Simard notes that some building codes have rules around venting and the type of hood fan you install. And, if you’re renovating an apartment-style condominium, you may not be able to relocate the plumbing. Check with your association.

Outlets: Early on, decide where your electrical outlets should go. If you’re adding an island, consider outlets at the outset.

Flooring: This decision should also be made early, as everything else will depend on it.

Appliances: Your kitchen needs to work for you; where you put your appliances will affect everything from cabinets to countertops.

Sink: Before you consider finishes or backsplashes, decide what sink style you want. These range from undermount, with no edges, to drop-in, which offers the easiest install. Apron or farmhouse sinks have a deep basin for washing big pots.

Cabinets: Making a mistake here can be expensive. Decide the function and location of each cabinet before thinking about hardware. If it’s a DIY, online 3-D software can help you envision cabinet placement so two cabinet doors don’t open into each other.

Once the tough decisions are made, you can relax and consider the “jewelry,” such as cabinet hardware and backsplash. Enjoy. You’ve earned it!

SA Realty Watch Group
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Lamb Kabobs with Creamy Avocado Dressing
Serves 4
1 ripe avocado
Juice of 1 lemon
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 pounds lamb, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon salt and pepper
Blend the avocado flesh, juice, oil, vinegar, and seasoning on high for 10 seconds or until it reaches a smooth consistency. Set aside.

Marinate lamb pieces in lemon juice, oil, garlic, oregano, paprika, salt, and pepper for at least one hour or overnight. Thread lamb pieces onto skewers and discard marinade. Preheat grill or grill pan over medium-high heat and cook skewers until charred and cooked through, about 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove from heat. Drizzle with avocado dressing and serve over greens, grains, or grilled vegetables.

Ask the Agent: This Month’s Question
Should I Sell My Home Myself?

Probably not, and here’s why.

It’s more work than you think. Will you be able to rush home if a buyer wants to see your house in 30 minutes? Do you have time to keep track of your showings, follow up for feedback, and vet any potential offers? You’ll also need the know-how to negotiate any offers that come in. This negotiation is extremely difficult when you factor in the emotional and financial investment that comes with being the owner of the home. Similar struggles come into play when prepping your home for the market. It’s hard to see what changes should be made when the space is your own.

An agent has all the necessary resources at his or her disposal to handle these situations for you. Agents’ professional perspective and experience create a smoother and more profitable process. Consider leaving it in their capable hands, so you don’t wring yours.

This newsletter and any information contained herein are intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal, financial or medical advice. The publisher takes great efforts to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this newsletter. However, we will not be responsible at any time for any errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, that result from its use. Seek competent professional advice and/or legal counsel with respect to any matter discussed or published in this newsletter. This newsletter is not intended to solicit properties currently for sale.
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