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Home Improvement Projects That Add Value To Your Home - Boston, MA

Joseph Coupal - Monday, May 01, 2017

McMullen Group, Hanover, MAThat home renovation project you’ve been considering might look great on Houzz, but is it worth the investment? When it comes to home improvement, “Will this help my house’s resale value?” may be the most critical question you need to ask yourself before heading to the hardware store or hiring a contractor. If you anticipate selling your home in the near future, here’s a list of renovation projects that can boost home value to potential buyers:

Replace the Front Door with Steel

The front door is one of the first things people notice about your home. In addition to adding instant curb appeal, a steel front door can help you save money. Thanks to foam insulation, steel doors are more energy efficient than wooden or fiberglass doors, meaning lower energy bills. They’re sturdy and weather-resistant, and they offer better security against break-ins than other types of doors. Think about it: it’s much tougher for a burglar to quickly and discreetly break down a steel door. In addition to blocking air from getting in and out, seals on steel doors can also help stop outside noise.

Revamp the Kitchen

Whether you decide to selectively upgrade the kitchen or completely renovate it, it’s likely to pay off. As they say, “The kitchen is the heart of the home,” making it one of the most important rooms that homebuyers take into consideration when house hunting. A complete renovation might be a good idea if the kitchen’s layout is awkward and if adding an island can provide some extra space to prepare food. New appliances and upgraded countertops can also go a long way in freshening up your kitchen’s look and they’re high on many buyers’ wish lists.

Finish the Attic or Basement

If you have an attic or basement in your home, you’re likely to add value if they’re finished. No matter if you plan to use attic or basement space for an extra bedroom, an office or something else, they add extra room and square footage, which is attractive to homebuyers. Over the past few years, homes with attic bedrooms have been a hot commodity on the market. The typical cost recouped for insulated attics is about 116 percent, according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2016 Cost. Vs. Value report.

Update Your Lighting

Good lighting is everything when it comes to making a home feel inviting and cozy. Exterior lighting can give a home extra curbside appeal and make it elegantly stand out. The right ceiling and wall lighting can help brighten up dark rooms and is a great way to help transform the interior of older houses. A quick way to give your home a more modern feel is to replace older light fixtures. Certain lighting styles, like recessed lighting, remains a popular way to accentuate some rooms. For other lighting effects, you can add lighting to bookshelves or under cabinets to create a custom feel with a punch of drama.

Add a Deck

There’s no better place to relax on a warm day than from the comfort of your own deck. Decks make perfect spots for summer grilling and entertaining, which are just some of the reasons that many house hunters seek homes that have already them. Adding either a wooden or composite one to your home will help add some extra living space while boosting your home’s value and making your yard look more appealing. Depending on the size of the deck you want and whether you plan on building it yourself or hiring a builder, some decks can be built in as little as three or four weeks. Deck additions, depending on what type of deck, can recoup a cost between 64 and 75 percent.

If you need help financing home renovations, contact the McMullen Group. We can walk you through our range of loan options. blog.primelending.com


Loans for Spring Home Improvements - Hanover, Boston, MA & Save Money

Joseph Coupal - Tuesday, April 25, 2017

You’ve made it through winter and spring has officially sprung! Now’s the time to do some heavy lifting around your house and time to take care of some essential home repairs and renovations that can help keep you leaping forward through 2016.

Springtime repairs and renovations are great for improving the overall look and functionality of your home. But some critical maintenance can also help erase yearly wear-and-tear and prevent serious, weather-related damage. From interior and exterior upkeep and repair basics, to roofing renovations and storm drainage overhauls, we’ve put together a checklist of important action items that can help you prepare your home for the impending warmer-weather months.

Outside Action Items: Water Woes And Roofing Red Flags

Household damage from water is the second most frequently filed insurance claim in the United States; however, 93 percent of this destruction is preventable. Below are some tips, tasks and information to help you defeat some of the common culprits that cause water woes for your home.

  • Keep It Out of the Gutter — A clogged gutter or downspout can be one of your home’s greatest and costliest foes. According to Moneypit.com, an overflow of rainwater can cause mold, rotten wood, bugs, chipped paint, slippery sidewalks, cracked foundations, landscape damage and more. With spring showers arriving, not to mention seasonal hail and thunderstorms, it’s important to inspect drains and downspouts to make sure they are clear of leaves and debris, intact, and ready for rain.
  • Move Up the Ladder — If you plan to tackle the gutters yourself, Cleaning & Maintenance Management suggests using a sturdy four-legged ladder and reviewing important ladder-safety protocol. In addition, gloves and goggles can go a long way in protecting your hands and eyes. For fast and efficient cleaning, try using a garden hose, nozzle spray or gutter scoop.
  • On Guard! — Jazzing up your gutter with a leaf guard or cover is one way to speed up gutter maintenance. If you’re going to tackle this renovation DIY-style, do your research. Home Depot and Lowe’s both have a variety of products, and a quick search on YouTube can yield a few detailed how-to videos. HGTV.com recommends a roll screen gutter guard as a quick and easy DIY installation.
  • Generate Curb Appeal — Inspecting the storm drains just beyond your yard is also a good practice, according to the City of Portland — a place that knows a thing or two about rain. Portland city officials recommend clearing a path for water with a rake if any blockage is visible around street drains.
  • Don’t Be a Drip — Standing water in your yard could indicate an issue with your sprinkler system. Run a brief test on the zones where you see water, and repair or replace busted or malfunctioning sprinkler heads.
  • Do As the French Do — If your drains and sprinkler systems are in tact, but you still have a huge water puddle problem, it might be time to check the elevation or slope of your yard. Before you plant spring foliage and flowers, take time for some “yard-scaping” to alleviate any water-runoff issues. Consider installing a French drain to help redirect the flow of water.
  • Shingle Out the Problem — Roof repairs can be among the most costly fixes for a home. Keeping ladder-safety in mind, perform a quick visual inspection of your roof for issues. Owens Corning suggests checking for worn, curled, bent, loose, cracked or damaged shingles, as well as bald areas, dark streaks and excessive algae or moss growth.
  • Phone a [Professional] Friend — Keeping an eye on your roof and fixing small problems with sheathing, underlay, flashing or tiles can help you avoid major water catastrophes. Just remember, some renovations may prove harder than they appear. So keep the number of a professional handy, just in case.

Additionally, many insurance companies have resources available to guide your decisions. Be sure to find out what services your company provides.

Inside Action Items: Weatherproofing And Keeping Cool

Making springtime home repairs and renovations inside your home is every bit as important as tackling outdoor challenges. Some fixes can have a major impact on your financial bottom line, by reducing energy costs and preventing the need for future repairs or complete replacements. Where should you start? We recommend starting at the top — in the attic.

  • Evict Unwanted Pests — Make sure your attic space is free and clear of pesky vermin, like squirrels, raccoons and other unwanted furry friends, before tackling any big projects. As we reported in “Did You Hear That?,” pests in your attic and walls are often the result of roof or siding damage. And once they’ve nestled into your space, these critters can make a tasty meal out of your electrical wires and cables, all while leaving unsanitary droppings in their wake.
  • Pamper Your Water Heater — If your water heater is located in the attic, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests wrapping an insulating blanket around the unit to reduce heat loss by 25-to-40 percent. These specialized materials can be found at most large hardware stores for between $25 and $50 dollars.
  • Filter Out the Nonsense — HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) manufacturers typically recommend changing air filters once a month to preserve good air quality. In addition, it’s good practice to also visually inspect each of your HVAC units about every 30 days.
  • Go Pink! — One of the most important renovations you can tackle is pink and fuzzy — insulation! In truth, there are many grades and varieties of insulation that are not all pink. And while some products are suitable for the DIY weekend warrior, some products, like a high-grade blown-in insulation, are best left to the professionals. Do your research and be diligent about taking appropriate safety precautions as outlined by This Old House.
  • Light A Candle — Sealing windows is another great energy saver. One DIY trick to check for air leaking through windows is to light a candle and slowly move it around each window. Wherever you see a flicker, you probably need to apply caulking.
  • Peel and Stick — Weather-stripping your exterior doors can not only help keep you cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, but it can also save you potentially 10-to-15 percent on your utility bill. Weather-stripped doors also help keep out moisture and bugs. Win-win … and win!

We hope you have a safe and fun time tackling your springtime home repairs and renovations. Let us know what’s at the top of your to-do list in the comments section below.

If you love home repair projects, but are in need of the actual home in which to channel your DIY energy, contact McMullen Group to learn what mortgage plan is best for you.


Welcome to The McMullen Group at PrimeLending - Hanover, MA

Joseph Coupal - Monday, April 24, 2017

The McMullen Group has a combined experience of over 30 years in the mortgage industry. We offer a wide range of home financing options designed to take advantage of today’s real estate market. Our team takes the time to ask all the necessary questions up front to determine the best available loan program to fit your specific needs. We’re invested in our client’s success and it is important to work with true professionals to help guide you through the loan process. Whether you are purchasing a home or refinancing an existing home, we are with you every step of the way.

Brian McMullen has been recognized by Mortgage Executive Magazine as being in the top 1% of mortgage originators nationwide and has also been a consistent President’s Club member.

The McMullen Group will be with you step by step and through the entire loan process. We ensure you understand every aspect of the process and we are available to you whenever you need us.

We look forward to working FOR you.


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