5 Room Makeover Ideas

If you own a home in the Fort Myers or Cape Coral area and have been on the hunt to spruce up a room or two in your house then you have landed at the right spot.  Consider these 5 room makeover ideas during your planning!

  1. Everything Has A Place: A Walk In Closet

If you have become a recent empty-nester or looking to do something with the guest room, converting an old bedroom into a walk-in closet is something to think about!  Just imagine having a whole wall…just for shoes.

If the room is large enough, you can even have a center island installed to hold ties, accessories, and jewelry.  Full length mirrors can be added to wall areas or section doors.  Shirts can be separate from slacks and sweaters can have their own kingdom.  If you need to sit while you tie your shoes, no worries – just use your footwear bench. The possibilities are endless and overall, converting a bedroom into a closet is relatively inexpensive and can typically be done without structural changes or permits.

  1. A Space for Your Passion: The Hobby Room

Perhaps it’s time for your passions to have their own space.  Bedrooms can be transformed into spaces that house materials and work areas for a variety of fun hobbies and pass times.  Are you a crafting maven?  Into model building? How about sewing?  Or perhaps a music room with a collection of guitars?  With the right lighting and ventilation, that old bedroom could even become a new studio for painting or sculpting (or both!).

Transforming a former bedroom into a hobby heaven can be as simple as removing furniture and adding a work bench.  If you want something more dramatic or high-end you can add cabinetry, storage areas, power strips, custom lighting, and even soundproofing.

  1. Be Your Best You: Your Personal Fitness Center

Perhaps you’ve had a gym membership that should qualify as a donation when you figure you have been to the gym 3 times in the past 5 years.  Perhaps those dollars are better spent converting an old bedroom into a fitness area designed just for you.

Fitness means a lot of different things to different people.  Maybe you are best motivated by the cardio trio of Treadmill, Elliptical, and Stationary Bike.   Or, sculpting muscle with free weights might be more up your alley. Quality fitness equipment can be purchase brand new or you can save quite a bit by shopping online or at second-hand stores for used equipment.

If investing in a ton of heavy equipment isn’t in your retirement plan, imagine a serene yoga room achieved with some soothing paint colors and a plush carpet.  Add a small self-contained water fountain and a quality speaker for playing music and presto, you have a peaceful meditation room that can serve as an escape from your everyday routine.

  1. Watch Your Flicks In Style: The Movie Room

Bring on the sun blocking curtains and leather recliners!  With the abundance of streaming services brining dazzling HD movies into your home, your home can beat out any fancy movie theater.   A simple and indulgent movie room can be created with a large screen TV and comfy couch.

For those who want more of a movie theater experience, there is a vast collection of theater style seating for the home.  Some seats even include cup holders or built in speakers!  Your viewing experience can range from an oversized flat screen TV, to a curved 4K screen that brings you in close.  Movie buffs may take it even further with a projector and screen that makes you feel like you should be holding a huge tub of popcorn.  Sure, these higher-end options can add up to a sizeable budget, but at least the popcorn will be much cheaper at home!

  1. Indulge Yourself: Master Bath with Home Spa

Speaking of higher-end budgets, how about luxuriating in a brand new master bath with spa features? If your empty nest goals involve more relaxation rather than entertainment, this might be just the make-over you need.

While building a bathroom requires a greater investment of time and money, the results can be so worth it.  Imagine never having to share a sink again.  You’ll have plenty of counter space, plus storage for your skincare and spa products.   How about a beautiful Jacuzzi tub – for two!  Or a rainforest shower with side jets. Other perks you can add include heated floors, a towel warmer, and….how about a personal sauna?

It’s a wonderful fantasy that can be your reality!  Visit spas in your area to get ideas, check out boards on Pinterest, and/or consult with a designer who specializes in crafting home spas.  In just a few weeks you could be fully submerged in a deep, warm bubble bath in your own home enjoying some much needed relaxation.

Make the House Yours with a Makeover

Former bedrooms can sit unused for years adding to the quiet and creating a space of nostalgia.  At some point, it becomes time to let go and reclaim the space in your home.  Add excitement, color, purpose, or even relaxation by transforming that room into a space that brings you joy.  Whether it’s painting, working out, watching movies, or hanging out in your sauna – a room makeover can be exciting and add a whole lot of fun to your life!

At Title Junction we care about helping you stay informed throughout your real estate transaction. Have questions? Give us a call at 239.415.6574.

In case you missed it, check out our last Title Junction post: What Does The Ability To Repay Mean?

What Does Ability To Repay Mean?

 

Looking to secure a home loan in the Fort Myers or Cape Coral areas and curious about the “Ability to Repay” rules?

In a nutshell, as this video shows, new laws require lenders to make a good-faith assessment of a borrower’s capacity to pay back their loan over time.

It’s a longer-term view that goes beyond immediate income, debt and credit rating.

These new Federal laws- supervised by the CFPB – require lenders to ask more questions –

about income, assets, employment, credit history, and monthly expenses –

as they relate to the proposed loan.

For example, a lender offering a mortgage with a low initial rate must try to assess how a borrower will handle the later, higher rate as well.

If you’re applying to borrow ask whether the program you’re considering is a Qualified Mortgage

Ability-to-repay rules are built in to loans that meet Qualified Mortgage guidelines.

At Title Junction we care about helping you stay informed throughout your real estate transaction. Have questions? Give us a call at 239.415.6574.

In case you missed it, check out our last Title Junction post: 5 Tips If A Storm Damages Your Home

5 Tips If A Storm Damages Your Home

We can all agree 2017 has been a year of intense storms and natural disasters across our country.  For us living in Florida we are no stranger to storms.  Although we hope you never have to deal with damages resulting from a storm we thought it would be helpful to share some tips in case you ever find yourself in this situation.

Below are 5 tips to keep in mind in the event your home is ever damaged by a storm:

1) Document the Damage

The more comprehensive your documentation the better. Video has become a favored medium for recording damage, however, insurance companies and government agencies aren’t always able to receive or process video files.  In addition to video, make sure you have still photos and plenty of notes to clarify what the photos represent. If available, before and after photos can be helpful in demonstrating the extent of the damage.

This can be a traumatic and overwhelming task, so try not to do this alone.  Take a relative or friend that you can trust to be emotionally supportive and also helpful in identifying and documenting damage.  Avoid lingering in unsafe conditions.  However, if the area is safe, then take your time and document carefully.  If you are taking video, slowly narrate what you are seeing and explain the damage you see, for example:  “White door with broken window laying in about 4 inches of water in the backyard is the backdoor to the house.  It is now about 25 feet away from the house, all hinges are broken, and the doorway is completely exposed”

Inside the home, check for evidence of flooding and roof leaks. Be methodical, yet avoid any areas that seem unsafe.  Never enter a flooded basement or climb unto a potentially unstable roof.  If you are not certain if your roof has been damaged, speak to your insurance company about an assessment by an approved roofing company.

2) Secure the Area

Again, safety is key here.  Even small pieces of debris can feature sharp edges, so be abundantly careful if you must clear an area.  For large jobs including removing trees or sizable debris such as cars, boats, parts of homes, etc. contact your insurance company to get access to their preferred provider list.  Beware of post-storm opportunist who canvas neighborhoods asking for exorbitant prices for debris removal.

Your insurance company will likely have approved resources listed for water remediation as well as companies that will cover damaged roofs and broken windows to prevent further water damage.  These resource are often available on the website so you don’t have to spend time holding to get information. Providers vetted by your insurance company will often not ask for money upfront, instead, they will help you file a claim to cover the costs of damages.

It can be confusing to know what is covered by the insurance company and what falls under your responsibility.  Your best option is to gather information directly from your insurance company and your local municipality.  Often, local sanitation departments will help with debris removal, but it can take time for them to get to your home.

3) File a Claim

After a storm, be prepared for possible long hold times when calling your insurance companies.  Use a landline or make sure your mobile phone is sufficiently charged.  Especially if you need to contact multiple insurance companies such as your home insurance company, auto insurer, flood insurer, and/or wind insurer.

When calling insurance companies, it is typically better to stay on hold rather than hanging up and calling back.  Have your policy information handy (if possible), be prepared to calmly describe the damage sustained to your home, and have photo and video files ready to transmit once you have instructions from your insurance providers.

It’s a good idea to have pen and paper ready to take notes.  Also, if you are leaving the area or do not have access to mail service, provide your insurance companies with a forwarding address where they can mail important documents.  The same applies if you have a new or temporary phone number.

4) Tap Into Government Resources

Stay abreast of communications emerging from local, state, and federal agencies.  They will have critical information on resources available to help with damage control and debris removal.  Depending on the nature of the storm and the total impact to your community, your region may be declared a disaster area in which case different types of financial assistance and services may be available to you.  There are many misconceptions about payouts from FEMA and other agencies, so please make sure you conduct careful research and speak to qualified personnel.  Try not to rely on rumors or unofficial social media posts.

5) Watch for Deadlines

Insurance claims and applications for financial assistance all come with important deadlines.  In the aftermath of the storms, days can be lost while you struggle to clean up and get life back to normal.  Set reminders for yourself and make sure you have access to phone and internet service when needed to submit applications or substantiating documentation.   Put your claim or case number on all correspondence and keep careful documentation of all submissions, conversations, and contacts.

Helpful Links

Always start with local and state websites for information relevant to your immediate community.  If weather is still a factor, tune into www.weather.com or any reliable weather channel in your area.  If there is a risk of inclement weather during clean up, it is important to have a working cell phone or battery operated radio with you and audible at all times.  Knowing about tornados or flash floods even minutes in advance can be life-saving.

If your community is declared a disaster area, visit www.FEMA.org to learn about resources and aid available to your area.  Agencies such as www.redcross.org and https://www.disasterassistance.gov may also be helpful in accessing needed resources and support.

We certainly hope you never need to use this information and that you and your family are always safe and sound.  However, should there be an incident in your area, we hope that the information and resources provided give you peace of mind and helpful guidance during a difficult time.

At Title Junction we care about helping you stay informed throughout your real estate transaction. Have questions? Give us a call at 239.415.6574.

In case you missed it, check out our last Title Junction post: What Is An Escrow Account And Do I Need One?

What Is An Escrow Account? Do I Need One?

 

Shopping lenders for your Cape Coral or Fort Myers new home purchase? Have you come across the term “Escrow Account” and wondered what it means or if you even need one?

As we show you in this video, an escrow account is an account, established by your lender, to set aside a portion of your monthly mortgage payment to cover annual charges for homeowner’s insurance mortgage insurance (if applicable), and property taxes.

Escrow accounts are a good idea because they assure money will always be available for these payments.

If you use an escrow account to pay property tax or homeowner’s insurance make sure you are not penalized for late payments since it is the lender’s responsibility to make those payments.

At Title Junction we care about helping you stay informed throughout your real estate transaction. Have questions? Give us a call at 239.415.6574.

In case you missed it, check out our last Title Junction post: What Should I Know Before Investing In Real Estate?