Don’t pay a contractor more than 30 percent upfront. Make periodic payments as the contractor completes certain portions of the project (expect to make an average of three payments per project), dangling a significant amount – at least 10 percent – to be paid only when the job is completed to your satisfaction.
via Zillow News.
You may have heard me comment here that mortgage underwriting guidelines aren’t really tighter now - they are the same as they always were, they’re just being used now.
But over the last few months one thing has gotten a lot tougher – how to handle repairs.
This site compares the average cost for 35 popular remodeling projects with the value those projects retain at resale. Choose your state to display data for one of 9 regions; choose any one of 80 U.S. cities to download a PDF with local data.
via Remodeling Magazine
RISMEDIA, September 15, 2010—In today’s housing market, many homes for sale are in need of repairs and renovations. The FHA Streamlined 203(k) program helps add money into a mortgage for repairs and renovations. Lowe’s and REbuildUSA are partnering to bring a national in-store program offering customers a one-stop destination for all of their repairs, renovation products and services needs.
The great news is that one of the most important keys to successfully greening America’s current stock of housing can be found in using the 203k loan, and along with it, the Energy Efficient Mortgage. The 203k really is the “Green Mortgage” since it offers a practical, cost-effective solution to providing funds for these improvements.
Dennis Kefalinos purchased the 2.2 million square foot Russell Industrial Complex for $1.5 million in 2003, gambling manufacturing or industrial tenants would appear. They haven’t.But seven years later, he has filled 25% of the factory with artists and small businesses who pay $550 a month, heat included, for 1000-square-foot studios / shops. And he didn’t pursue this angle. The tenants came to him, one at a time, at a rate now of one new tenant a week.
via Agent Genius
Jim Stauffer, a painting contractor in Lincoln, estimates the new regulations and lead-containment requirements could boost the price of painting an older home by as much as $1,000.
via Journal Star.
Even so, the rule illustrates how EPA is currently driven more by progressive ideology and bureaucratic inefficiency than common sense. The rule requires that any renovation of any building built before 1978 affecting six or more square feet of paint must be overseen by a government-certified renovator and conducted by a government-certified renovation firm. Certification requires completion of an EPA-approved training course and payment of a fee to the agency.
The rule applies to anybody — including painters, electricians, plumbers, and carpenters, plus general contractors and property owners — who “disturbs painting” in covered structures.
via Washington Examiner.