RETURN ON improvement

Are you thinking about selling your home, or do you just want to spruce things up and don’t know where to start? If you’re working within a strict budget, the thought of remodeling your home can be daunting. It’s best to assess
your needs and also educate yourself on current market trends before you get started.

The 2015 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report, produced by Remodeling magazine in cooperation with the National Association of REALTORS®, reports that large-scale jobs aren’t likely to return sellers their full cost.
Instead, smaller replacement jobs tend to generate a higher return than remodeling projects. The report uncovers that replacement projects showed an average return of 73.2 percent, while the cost-value ratio of
remodeling projects showed an average rate of return of 60.8 percent.

Arming yourself with information like this is key before you invest in making improvements. Here are a couple of mid-range projects that are most likely to recoup the cost of investment.

Front DoorGarage DoorDeck


While some regions of the country have been battling severe flooding conditions in recent months, a considerable chunk of the U.S. is struggling with the opposite problem: drought. Communities across the country
face tough challenges to help them maintain a healthy and affordable water supply. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends several simple tactics to help homeowners limit their water use — which
averages 260 gallons of water each day per household. 

Install water-efficient appliances and fixtures: WaterSense and ENERGYSTAR®, programs sponsored by EPA, have identified high-performance, water-efficient appliances, fixtures, water systems and accessories
that reduce water use in the home and help preserve the nation’s water resources.Faucet

Upgrade to a water-efficient toilet: Toilets are the main source of water use in the home, accounting for nearly 30 percent of residential indoor water consumption. A switch to a high-efficiency toilet can save a family of
four $2,000 over the lifetime of the toilet.

Focus on faucets and showerheads: Faucets and showerheads account for approximately 32 percent of all home water use, the EPA says. High-efficiency fixtures, marked with the “WaterSense” label, can
provide a huge reduction in a household’s annual water consumption.

Landscape wisely: By using native plants in the yard as part of a greenscape, homeowners will be able to spare the expense and hassle of watering a large swath of lawn. Trees, shrubs and other leafy plants
can help absorb rainfall and reduce runoff.

Learn more at


With all the advancements in smart-home security technology and systems, some homeowners may overlook one of the most basic keys to home security — door locks and keys. According to This Old House, nearly 3
million U.S. homes are broken into each year. Locks have come a long way in terms of the protection they provide, and it’s a good time to examine some options for improving home security with a simple upgrade of
door-lock hardware.Deadbolt

Determining what kind of exterior lock you need is the first step. Consider the pros and cons of various keyed-entry doorknobs, handle sets and dead bolts before you buy. All exterior doors need a dead bolt no
matter what kind of knob or handle set you decide on. You can mount the dead bolt and doorknob together or separately, or purchase a set that includes both as one installation.

Exterior locks should be either Grade 1 or 2. Choose locksets with a dead-locking latch bolt or dead bolts that include hardened pins. Install these with a heavy-duty plate and at least 3-inch screws. Prices for the
locksets vary from $25 to over $300 depending on quality, style and safety rating.

When you’re shopping for a new lockset, keep in mind that you want to look for a dead bolt that will withstand door jimmying with a credit card or saw. According to a study by, forcible entries such as
door kick-ins are the most common type of home break in. The report also found that the majority of new smart-home locks that are opened by a fingerprint, passcode or key failed their prying/wrenching test. Since technology
isn’t necessarily the solution when it comes to home security, reinforcing doors with upgraded locks that feature good safety-rated parts will keep your home safe.

HOME SEARCH Did you know you could search for homes on our web site? Simply click on the “Home Search” button at the top of the page, or use the “Property Search” window along the left-hand side panel. You can search by zip code, price range, area, MLS #, etc. 

REMEMBER, if you are considering buying a home, either new construction or resale, we can help you as your Buyers Agent. As your agents, we will protect and defend your interest and advise you throughout the entire process. The agents that sit in the model homes represent the builder/seller, they do not represent you. And, the builder pays the commission! There’s no cost to you! Give us a call to find out how we can work for you!

If I can be of help to you in either buying or selling real estate in the Charlotte Metropolitan area, please contact me, Debbie Arriero. In the meantime, please check out these resources:

Have a GREAT day!


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