Debbie Glass REALTOR® Broker/Owner's Blog
If you’re buying a fixer upper, whether you plan to live on the property or flip it, there are plenty of things that you’ll need to consider. So you can budget appropriately, below, many of the costs and fees are laid to so that you can see what you’ll need to budget for when rehabilitating a home.
The Overall Costs
The costs that you’ll incur in buying and finishing a home that needs to be rehabilitated are as follows:
- The team needed for rehabilitation
- The purchase price of the property
- The cost of owning the property
- The cost of selling the property (if you plan on flipping the home)
The people that you put together to rehab your home will be very important to the entire rehabilitation process. You should take the time to research each person that you’re hiring to be sure that they are a good fit for the job.
Professionals who will be involved in the process include:
- Insurance agent
- Home inspector
You can ask your realtor or other trusted contacts for recommendations. Putting a team in place helps to make the entire, sometimes cumbersome process of house rehabilitation a bit smoother.
Buying The Property
These costs are pretty standard as if you were buying any other home. You’ll need to pay closing costs, attorneys fees, realtor fees, and more. Costs typically included in a home purchase are:
- Purchase price
- Closing costs
You should budget for all of these typical home buying costs when buying a rehab home.
The Costs Of Home Rehabilitation
This is where things get expensive. You’ll need to first pay a contractor just to consult with them to see how they will create your vision for the property. You could also take another route an consult with a home inspector who has experience in construction. They can give you an idea of what the construction expense will be and what needs to be addressed.
When you do get to meet with contractors, you’ll want to understand their construction experience and feel comfortable that they can produce the work that you need at a high level of quality.
Owning A Home
Once you have the home in need of rehabilitation in your possession, you’ll need to pay the typical costs of any homeowner. These include:
- Mortgage payments
Even if you’re not currently occupying the home, once the property is purchased, all of these costs will need to be covered and considered.
If you decide to flip the property and sell it, you’ll need to consider additional costs including realtor’s fees and other closing costs.
The bistro table and chairs or patio set that welcomed your guests to gather outdoors and gave your porch a pop of color is now less than beautiful with its peeling paint and orange-brown crust. Your outdoor space deserves a freshening up and the best way to go about it for both your budget and the environment is to rescue your already well-loved furniture. Upcycling keeps old items that actually still have potential out of landfills, costs much less than purchasing a whole new product, and makes for an entertaining weekend project. It also gives you free rein to choose a new finish for your old furniture.
Even if your chairs and table have already begun to rust, it is very possible to salvage them for further years of use. If you like, take this opportunity to try a new color, or colors, of paint.
Cleaning and Preparation
Place furniture on a layer of old newspaper for easy cleanup of rusted paint flake and secure eye protection before you begin. Find or purchase a tough wire brush and slough off any peeling pieces of rust. For the remaining pieces that are more difficult to remove, use an electric sander. Finish off the sanding with coarse sand paper for the bends and joints, folding the paper to get in the small places as best you can. The rust color and appearance may still be visible, which is fine as long as you get most of the grit off and get the surface smooth.
Next, clean the furniture to ready it for repainting. Scrub with a vinegar and water mix or a baking sode and lemon juice combination, then clean with alcohol if needed. Apply at least two coats of a primer specifically formulated to discourage rust, being sure the solution reaches all joints and crevices. Let dry completely between each coat, preferably outside on a warm, dry day. Any place you choose should be open and airy for safety.
The best choice of paint is a rust-proof outdoor formula. Coat furniture with paint in a light layer, let dry completely, and then apply two to three more coats, letting dry each time. Restore your set to the same color, try a new neutral shade to complement your space, or take a cue from the mismatched teacups and china trend and use two complementary colors for mismatched chairs. Gently sand away any drips or pooled paint with sandpaper.
For the strongest protection from the weather and to put more protective anti-rust layers between your furniture and the elements, finish with a weather-resistant clear coat.
224 Menlo Street, Brockton, MA 02301
Essential oils are catching on as a natural way to spruce up your home. However, many people are unaware of the full array of uses for essential oils in the household.
In this article, we’ll cover some of those uses that you may not have heard of, and give you some tips on which essential oils are the best to use.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are the result of distilling large amounts of herbs, spices, or other plant-based materials. There are dozens of essential oils commercially available and they all emit strong aromas that can be used in multiple ways.
When buying oils, it’s important to check the labels to make sure you are buying 100% pure essential oils. Many companies dilute their oils in a carrier oil such as olive oil, coconut oil, or almond oil. While this isn’t inherently bad, it does probably mean you’re getting less for your dollar due to being diluted.
Aside from smelling nice, essential oils are often used for aromatherapy and other medicinal uses. However, be aware that they are not intended as a treatment for any medical condition.
Similarly, some oils might cause an allergic reaction in some individuals. So, be careful when spraying them in the air or using them on your skin if you think you might be allergic to a certain oil.
Which oils are best for use around the home?
There are dozens or even hundreds of essential oils that have various scents and uses. However, some are more pleasant and suitable for the home than others.
The main essentials that serve a number of uses around the home are:
There are various kits available online that include some or all of the oils listed above, or you can buy them individually from retailers.
Household uses for essential oils
There are many uses for essential oils around the home. They include:
Used as an air freshener with an oil diffuser. These diffusers humidify the air while diffusing the oil into the room, resulting in a pleasant aroma.
Mixed with water or alcohol to make a fabric spray. You can find several formulas for creating a fabric spray. However, the easiest way to quickly freshen up the sofa or carpet is to mix 10% oil to 90% water or ethanol and put the mixture into a spray bottle.
As a natural cleaning product. Lemon, lime, lavender, and peppermint all make great additions to a homemade cleaning solution. Diluted with water and vinegar, many essential oils can be used to freshen up a countertop or scrub a sink.
Spruce up your clean laundry/linen. You can put a couple of drops of lavender onto a damp washcloth and put this in your dryer with your clothes to give them a nice fragrance. This works particularly well if you use unscented laundry detergent. However, be sure not to go overboard--essential oils are strong and some can cause skin irritation.
Refrigerator deodorant. The best way to get rid of the smell of a refrigerator is to give it a thorough cleaning. But afterward, help keep it smelling clean longer by putting several drops of lemongrass into a small bowl with baking soda. Stir the baking soda on occasion to release the lemongrass fragrance.
It can be extra work, but holiday dinners are well worth the effort. Marinating your turkey not only adds flavor but helps keep it moist. You can’t go wrong with the Scarborough Fair herbs--parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. But a standout addition with something spicy like a Cajun herb mix or chili pepper will enliven the flavors, and with the size of your bird it won’t overtake the palate. A hint of sweetness like maple syrup or honey also goes great with poultry, especially with extra black pepper.
Offer a fresh version of the traditional accouterments with rosemary citrus cream gravy: simmer your turkey drippings with a stem of fresh rosemary, a splash of orange juice, and heavy cream.
Get Creative with Sides
A lentil salad with cilantro and bell peppers spiked with vinegar and creamy mayonnaise tastes fresh, bright and provides a lighter accompaniment to the heavier dishes of the day. Boil and drain a bag of dried lentils as directed, then add 1/2 cup each of diced red onion, bell pepper, mayonnaise, and 1/3 cup vinegar. Finish with fresh chopped cilantro, then salt and pepper to taste.
Give sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce some competition for the sweet-side title and serve a warm quinoa salad with cinnamon and golden raisins. Add 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/3 cup golden raisins to 3 cups warm, cooked quinoa. The comfort-food richness belies the many health benefits of the quinoa, a great source of protein, fiber, and antioxidants.
Vegetable gratin also ups the health quotient of the traditional au gratin dish with thinly-sliced sweet potatoes, parsnips, and rutabagas, but still covers it all in creamy, cheesy goodness. Try for 1/4 inch or thinner slices to get them tender faster, layering them with shredded cheese in a baking dish like scalloped potatoes. Cover with scalded heavy cream and milk, butter, and fresh thyme, then cover and bake until tender.
Make-Ahead but Still Spectacular Desserts
For a convenient eaten-by-hand dessert other than cookies - and you can still skip the dish washing - meringue shells are light, sweet, and feel a little like you’re in a French bakery. Beat 3 egg whites until foamy, then add 1/4 teaspoon each of cream of tartar and salt. Beat until still while gradually adding 3/4 cup sugar. Spoon dollops of meringue onto a foil-covered baking sheet and bake for one hour at 275 degrees for beautiful pavlova-like puffs.
Another super-easy yet classy dessert: simmer berries (even frozen) with red wine, cinnamon, sugar, and a little lemon juice until thick, then serve over ice cream or cake.
A fun leftover idea: Derby hot browns with béchamel sauce - perfect while watching holiday games. Make the sauce by boiling 2 tablespoons butter, 3/4 cup milk, and 1/4 cup vegetable broth, then thickening with cornstarch and parmesan. Season with salt and nutmeg. Pile sliced turkey, cheddar, and sliced tomatoes onto rye for an open-faced sandwich, then broil and top with sauce and bacon strips.