Making Smart Real Estate Decisions

There’s a reason that purchasing a home is high on the top ten list of most stressful life events. As context, marriage, divorce, and starting a new job also made the cut. It’s a financial investment, as well as an emotional one. Whether you’re purchasing your home to live in immediately, or as an investment for later on down the road, this is not a decision to take lightly. But with smart planning and the right resources, exploring real estate can be easier than you think. That’s why today Restumping Melbourne has prepared a handy checklist to ensure that you’re making the smartest real estate decisions.

Understand the real estate purchasing process

You’ve found the home of your dreams and you’re ready to make it yours. We’re looking at five main steps– making an offer, reviewing a disclosure, appraisal, inspections and final loan review (as applicable). In some states and countries, these steps will vary, but this is a good core list to study.

Research cash flows and returns

If you’re not planning on moving into your future home immediately, chances are that you’re looking at it as an investment. As with any investment, you want to understand what you’re going to make on it. First make a list of expenses related to the new property and understand how much cash that you’re shelling out. In a column adjacent, forecast how much money this property will bring in on an annual basis. This may be through consistent monthly rent, or it may be as a Airbnb or short-stay. There’s no universal best practice, but it’s important that you know what works for you.

If you’re going to need mortgage financing, shop around

Gone are the days when there was one avenue to procure a mortgage. This is now a market all on its own and you’ll want to do your homework so that you get the lowest rate. When your rate is lower, you pay less in interest over time (generally a 15 or 30 year period), which means more money back in your pocket. If you’re a student, or newer to the market, you may even qualify for special exceptions.

Reach out to your potential homeowners association (HOA)

Much of the time, you’re not just investing in a property; you’re investing in an area. We’re not talking about looking at the finances of your neighbours, but rather the state of the HOA’s finances. If you move into the neighbourhood or complex, where will your dollars be going? Have they invested them wisely in recent years and do you generally trust their instincts?

Know if your investment is standard or non-standard

This doesn’t mean that you’re investment is less special or important, non-standard investments refer to land, vacation rentals, flipping properties, etc. The area that you live in may have special stipulations and rules for what money you can make on properties like these.

Questions? Let us know. And be sure to check out our blog for more information around your home.

The Science Behind Restumping

The Science Behind Restumping

We harp all day long about the benefits of restumping. We wax lyrical about the euphoria that you and your loved ones will feel once your home has been properly fortified. And we do it for good reason. Homes that are properly restumped, reblocked, or underpinned are worth more, they’re more comfortable, and most importantly- they’re safer. But we spend all day long sharing the different benefits, the process, the key players that help make this happen. How are you supposed to know the why behind our work? Today, let’s take a step back and look at the reason that underpinning, restumping and reblocking came to life as necessary pieces of foundation fortification.

The number one reason behind the need for any of these services is natural shifts in the earth. It doesn’t need to be a 7.1 earthquake, like the one that unfortunately occurred recently in Mexico city. Earth, especially water soluble varieties like clay and silt, just moves over time. It moves because the tectonic plates beneath the earth are moving, minute by minute, year over year. Think about Antarctica. Did anyone ever anticipate that we’d end up with two different continents in the next 50 years? Preparation is key.

So, natural movement of ground just happens. But when heavy rains like hurricanes or tropical storms take place, this process is sped up significantly. When water interacts with the ground beneath the structure, it causes the soil to expand. As you can imagine, this is not ideal for the foundation of a home, as it is either spread too thin, or pushed in directions that the architect didn’t plan for. Key examples include homes that are built on hills, because it’s a regular occurrence that they may be pushed to lower altitudes without warning.

There are also human variables, which play a role in the need to restump a home. You may be looking to expand it in size. You may be looking to build lower levels like basements, or upper levels like attics. When your home was originally designed, the foundation was designed in a specific way to properly support the planned weight above. When this weight changes, that can put undue stress on the fortifying pillars beneath. This is the number one cause of foundation damage that homeowners tend to forget. It’s understandable. After all, you can’t see the foundation, or feel the pillars that are holding up your home. Not unless, you’re looking to explore a potentially dark and wet crawl space below. Just know, that any updates to your home, require keeping your foundation in mind.

None of these are anything to be terribly concerned over. That is, if you’re working with a company like Restumping Melbourne. We know that each property is as unique as its owners, and we’re dedicated to identifying a solution, which will fit the bill perfectly for you. Questions? Comments? Concerns? Don’t hesitate to reach out to the Restumping Melbourne team. We’re excited to make your home safe and comfortable.

How to Navigate Building Inspections Time

How to Navigate Building Inspections TimeThe search is over, the papers are signed, even the escrow period is complete. You’ve made it through with relatively few bumps and bruises, and you think the journey is over, right? Wrong. Let the fun of building inspections begin. This can be a tricky time to navigate, especially if you’re not used to the process. You don’t want to be taken advantage of, when it comes to the cost of the inspection, or the results that they share with you. But you also are looking for a comprehensive analysis of anything that could be wrong with your future home. Luckily for you, Restumping Melbourne is no stranger to such things. Read on for your pocket guide to building inspections.

First up, let’s get back to basics. What the heck is a building inspection? Also known as a property inspection, it can uncover design defects in the structure of the building, issues with the stability of the structure and conditional damage. A lot of the things that experts unearth are buried deep or difficult to find. Think of them as a support staff for when you’re riding the euphoric high of being a new homeowner. Examples of what they may find? Structural cracks, faulty roofs, evidence of termites, and rising damp.

It may be tough to source a building inspector that you can trust. You can rely on your broker or real estate agent to have recommendations. Just make sure that they’re accredited by Australian Standard. Research different rates, but know that the investment is necessary. A building inspection that unearths minor problems now, can save you thousands of dollars later. Bonus points? If you find significant issues before you sign on the dotted line, you may even be able to negotiate down the price of the home OR ask that the sellers mitigate any problems that are identified.

Building inspections are not all-encompassing, so we want to set expectations before you reach out to your company or consultant of choice. It’s their job to identify the problems, not necessarily to tell you the range of pricing for the solutions. It’s also not in their scope of work to take a closer look at plumbing or draining, paint, appliances or any of the electrical wiring.

Now we’ve gotten to the meat of it—how much is this going to set you back financially and how long is this going to take? First, the financials: Ballpark? A few hundred dollars. You may see that the companies you’re reaching out to are consolidating a building inspection with a pest inspection. This is not a red flag, rather, potentially a way to save even more money. Who wants to find out retroactively that there is a pest infestation in-between your home’s walls? Not us at Restumping Melbourne, that’s for sure. Now on to timeline, a building inspection will take between two-three days, not a timeline that will interfere with your daily schedule or obligations.

Bottom line—this is a good thing. Questions about building inspections? Let the Restumping Melbourne team know. We’d love to hear from you.

How to Build a Home- Part 1

How to Build a Home- Part 1Here’s a request that we get all of the time. Can you provide additional insight into how a home is built? Simple, but important. And we’re more than happy to answer. Because Restumping Melbourne is committed to reinforcing the foundation of your home, we understand how important homes are. We want to treat them with care, set them up for success, ensure that you and your loved ones will be safe and secure for generations to come. But why haven’t we been able to step back a little bit, take a gander at the bigger picture and provide this valuable insight to our customers? Well, today’s the day ladies and gentlemen. Over the next couple of posts, Restumping Melbourne will be walking you through these important steps. Let’s take a look at how you can build a home:

Build the foundation

Make sure that the site is prepared and pour the foundation. A lot of pre-work takes place before this step, but it’s a step near and dear to our hearts. This is where Restumping Melbourne shines, ensuring that the foundation is poured using only the best materials and smartest practices. This is also the step when footings (what connects the house with the earth) are installed.

Complete all rough framing

What on earth is rough framing, you ask? Rough framing is the roof systems, the walls, and the floor—they create the skeleton of the home, also known as the shell. This is also the step when the sheathing (plywood or strand board) is affixed to the exterior of the walls. Next, it’s time to install the roof, the windows and the doors. All of the sheathing is covered with a house wrap, which does not allow any liquid to infiltrate. No rot or mold entering this home!

Complete the roofing and siding

With the shell and the house wrap in place, you can begin to complete the roofing and the siding. This is a busy step, with lots of different players involved. It’s time to say hello to your electrical and plumbing teams, who can begin to run the necessary pipes and wires throughout the property. You finally have the room to drop the larger fixtures like bathtubs and sinks, so this is when these arrive and are installed, as well. Your HVAC team will install ductwork, as well as a furnace if necessary. Once your roof is in place, you have yourself a “dried in” house (layman’s terms—the trendy lingo you’ve been looking for!). One item of note—you’ll want to ensure that all plumbing and any HVAC duct work is completed prior to any wiring. It’s a little bit more tricky to run pipes and ducts around wires.

It’s important to note that many of these steps are bookended by important inspections by a variety of team players and organizations. Your neighborhood and city councils will definitely weigh in at some point. There are many different provisions in place for both your safety and the safety of those around you.

Stay tuned for future steps in How to Build a Home.

August Home Renovation News Recap

August Home Renovation News RecapIt’s that time again, ladies and gentlemen. That time of the month when you get to check out your favorite restumping blog and fill your brain up with knowledge about home renovation, landscaping, interior design, and the science behind fortifying your foundation. We could wax lyrical about all of the above, and we figured—why shouldn’t we? If you’re just visiting the Restumping Melbourne blog for the first time, welcome! We’re very excited to have you here. Part of our ethos as a company is to support our valued customers from the moment that we meet them. This doesn’t mean packing our bags and saying “goodbye!” as soon as we finish a job; (Although, we will make sure to pack our bags when we finish a job—promise!) It means that you’re a part of the Restumping Melbourne community.

When you’re a part of this community, we want you to feel taken care of and well-educated. We want you to know exactly what work is taking place, how and why. In support of this effort, we generate monthly news round-up’s with home renovation articles around the web that we’ve found entertaining and inspiring. Enjoy!

Would you believe us, if we told you that we’d found home renovations with a bigger ROI than the initial cost? We’re sure that many of you are shaking your heads back and forth. But the Huffington Post has set out to prove you wrong. This list includes seven important home renovation projects, which can actually get you a return on your money. We cannot stress enough the importance of investing in your home, treating it with care and completing all recommended renovations. This article shares an extra incentive to get the work done.

Peppered throughout the year, you hear the awe-inspiring stories of valuable relics found in modern-day homes. Sometimes it’s a bottle of 500-year-old scotch, sometimes it’s something a bit more morbid. Those profiled have found items beneath their front porches and deep within their backyards. These stories and articles are popping up more and more frequently and we wanted to share one today. It makes you wonder what could be buried just below your floor or right inside of your walls, doesn’t it? But if you’re going to get out your shovel and start digging, please give the Restumping Melbourne team a call first!

There are many reasons why homes designed in more modern styles are full of light and space. Light is great for so many systems in your body, even uplifting your spirits. But while these homes are beautiful, we’re guessing that not everyone is living in one. In fact, many of our neighborhoods and communities are filled with older homes that don’t flaunt this architectural component. They’re still beautiful – don’t get us wrong, but you just don’t get the same levels of light. That’s where this article comes in. It’s time to lighten up these spaces and we have eight simple rules on how to do so.

Words of Warning for Homes Near Trees

It’s a romantic notion, isn’t it? – the idea that you could wake up in your large, private mansion, cloaked in tree foliage, hidden away from the rest of the world. You throw open your window shades and the only thing you see is either the deep green or the chameleon-like rainbow hues of leaves. (We’re ignoring those in-between seasons when the trees colors or existence are less than desirable). Tree shade and surroundings are huge benefits, when you’re house-hunting. Real estate agents and brokers around the country, and around the world, are always seeking out properties which could double as arboretums.

But per usual, we here at Restumping Melbourne need to play the naysayer card. We’re not doing it to be cruel. We’re doing it to be realistic. For with every aesthetic touch that the homes of the wealthy and wonderful have to offer, there is an equally cumbersome maintenance plan. Today, we’re sharing some sage advice if your existing or future home exists near the tree-line.

Words of Warning for Homes Near Trees

The predominant issue is that trees are overlooked during the planning and design portion. They become more and more critical, the more they’re overlooked. It doesn’t matter if you weren’t planning to remove any trees. If you’re building anywhere near them, even if they’re officially on the neighbors side of the fence, the architectural integrity and stability of the foundation are both called in to question. And you know how much Restumping Melbourne supports both of these.

So we recommend that you do your research well in advance. Your local council will have all of the answers that are specific to your area or neighborhood. There isn’t a consistent yes or no answer, because just like many other elements of nature, trees are dynamic and ever-changing. (We know, we know, there’s an evergreen pun in there—we’ll save it for another time). When conferring with the local council, be sure to specifically the reference the Tree Protection Local Laws.

The Tree Protection Local Laws contain a wealth of information. They’re a one-stop shop to determine what sort of tree you’re working with. What you want to look for is the botanical name of the tree. It will be the part of the description that is written in italics. Looking for a second opinion? Never a bad idea. We recommend that you reach out to your local arborist.

Once you know what sort of trees you have on your property, the next question will be- significant or canopy? Share this information with the council to decide if there are next steps for you before you break ground. If it’s a canopy tree, you have less of a workload ahead of you. If it’s a significant tree, definitely mention this to whatever contractor that you’re working with.

Luckily, if you’re working with a company like Restumping Melbourne, you can cross this off of your to-do list. We aim to provide you with a seamless experience while reinforcing the foundation of your home.

Four Tips for Deck Upgrades in 2017

With the weather becoming significantly warmer in the (semi) near future, the Restumping Melbourne team is pretty excited. Don’t get us wrong, we love a good snowstorm, or a cozy afternoon while the rain pounds down outside. But when the sun comes out to play, we get to fully leverage the premium deck experiences that Restumping Melbourne customers have come to know and love.

Many are under the misconception that once a deck has been built, the game is over and the job is done. Not so! Any product that you purchase from Restumping Melbourne has a lifelong guarantee. This doesn’t just mean that we’ll come and repair whatever malfunction may occur, or replace pieces which have seen better days. It also means that we’ll provide expert input on holistic uses of the product, as well as ways to amplify the best possible experiences when using any product. In real time. So, though we’ve provided upgrade recommendations in the past, today- we offer the latest and greatest in product upgrades. Product, in today’s post, refers to the decks that we help to build. Here are our most recent recommendations for deck upgrades:

Explore new stains and colors

Sometimes, all it takes is a good coat of paint, to take any part of your home to the next level. You look at the same deck all year long, maybe it’s time to give it a little love and upgrade its paint color or stain. The elements tend to work against us. When the weather is warm and the sun is out, its rays break down the lining which holds wood fibers together. Then, to add insult to injury, water joins the party and rots both the boards and the shingles. This can easily render a deck unsafe, as you’re compromising the structure beneath. So, take a look at quality stains. This article talks about them in more detail.

Add a pergola

What is a pergola? This is a pergola. It’s the latest and greatest way to cool off on the hot days, without heading inside. This can become your quiet haven for reading, listening to music, even catching up on a favorite television program. Best of all, when it comes to deck upgrades, they won’t break the bank.

Build a bench border

Four Tips for Deck Upgrades in 2017

A bench border is a great way to identify the perimeter of the deck, as well as add additional seating. Benches are easy to build, and even easier to customize. You may think about adding pillows or textiles for those outdoor parties. You can also place potted plants on and around the bench border, providing additional real estate for your landscaping scheme.

Plan for hosting with a built-in banquet

Similar to bench borders, the built-in banquets add a different activity dimension to your deck. They’re simple to build, follow a tutorial here, and ensure that all future get-togethers will be much easier to both organize and navigate.

Questions? Comments? Deck upgrades that have been successful for you? Let us know, the Restumping Melbourne team would love to hear from you.

Spotlight on Deck Trends

deck renovationWe know that the weather isn’t optimal, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun (and prudent) to dream early about your warm weather home renovations like your deck. In fact, you can save hundreds of dollars, just by choosing your contractor, your chosen materials and your overall style, ahead of the summer curve.

Part of the fun here at Restumping Melbourne, is that we get to geek out over all of the trends coming down the home renovation pipeline. These aren’t just specific to our restumping work. After all, part of the reason that we got into this line of work, is to ensure that your homes are sturdy and comfortable. But part of the reason we got into this line of work, is what you do next with your home and your yard. We want to create the foundation for you to get creative and embark on projects that will drive lasting memories with those closest to you.

So whenever new trends come down the pipeline, you can bet that the Restumping Melbourne team gathers together to analyze. Once we decide if we endorse or if we recommend against, the next step is clear. Share with our valued customers and blog readers, of course! Here are several trends for your outside deck, that we’re hearing whispers about:

Underlay your deck

We’re talking twice the bang for your buck here, and we know that Restumping Melbourne customers like that. More and more homeowners are looking at adding their outdoor decks on the second or third floor of their home. This can be a great extension to social spaces, or even your master bedroom. The bonus here is, that when you build these patios at higher heights, you have an additional blank canvas belong the deck for a second patio or outdoor space.

Use composite materials for your deck

What is a composite material, you may say? Valid question. A composite material actually combines plastic with the fiber of the wood, which creates more of a plank-like material. The resulting material is more durable and it’s less likely to fade over time. These are just two of the factors, which make it the ideal investment for your outside deck this summer.

Explore deck exterior lighting features

The fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down, in the Restumping Melbourne world. So why should you have to head inside, just because it’s getting darker? Enter the plethora of available lighting solutions that you can integrate into the design of your home. LED lighting especially is very trendy now—it’s easy to install, doesn’t require much maintenance because the bulbs last so much longer, and it’s more cost-effective than the majority of the options out there.

Feeling your curiosity piqued? Ready to embark on your next home renovation project? Be sure to reach out to the Restumping Melbourne team with any questions that you may have. Though it may seem daunting at first, these projects can add exponential value to your home and your quality of life.

Four Hidden Tips for Your First Home Renovation

home renovationIt doesn’t matter how into a home renovation you are, the dollar amount is an important factor. You can throw all of your passion behind the update to any room, but if the budget isn’t there—how excited are you really going to be? It’s tough to put a specific dollar amount at it, to plan ahead for the year, but lucky for you—Restumping Melbourne has your back. Thanks to our decades of experience in the field, we’ve pretty much created the algorithm for proper home renovation planning. And if you know anything about us, you know that we love sharing our expertise with our valued customers Here are some things to keep in mind:

The questions

There are a couple of questions that you’ll want to ask. They include- whether or not you should renovate at all, how much can you afford and have you budgeted to spend on said remodel, and where should the money be allocated—whether by room, or on specific project. These questions are particularly important if you’re living in your first home, you haven’t built up the expertise to make informed decisions based on past experiences.

The mathematics of home renovation

Good rule of thumb? Don’t spend more than 5% of the price you paid for the home, on the total of renovations. Equation time! If your house cost anywhere up to $500,000, don’t go over $20,000 for your home renovations. On the flip-side of this, if you plan the home renovation well, it can add up to 10% in value to your home. This means that the same home could be worth up to $550,000 post home renovation, when it’s time to put it back on the market. We don’t want to hurt anyone’s heads, but that means that you’ve recouped your $10,000 and then some! This is the kind of mathematics that everyone likes, right?

The decision to or not to

As noted above, the question of whether you should renovate at all, is a big one. That’s why Restumping Melbourne likes to leverage the use of “pros” and “cons”. Standout pros include the aforementioned resale value and improving the overall quality of living for yourself and your loved ones. On the other hand, the Restumping Melbourne team frequently sees families and individuals which overspend and max out their runway or timelines to complete their home renovations- turning the entire investment into a bit of a waste. Other cons include the fact that you may need to relocate during said renovations… unless you’re partial to a bit of dust and potential mayhem.

The chosen rooms for home renovation

Look at your home as a giant lump of putty or play-doh. It’s malleable, it’s versatile, it’s a blank canvas for you to do with what you will. This means you’ve got some decisions ahead of you as far as where your dollars will go. Be selective, keep the above factors in mind, and get excited! One or more of the areas of your home are about to get a major upgrade!

Glass Doors- What’s the Buzz?

Maybe it’s just us, but it seems to be that interior design, architecture and home renovation trends come and go as quickly as fashion trends. What’s popular one day, may be completely out the next. This is probably to be expected as with any consumer industry, but the Restumping Melbourne team sure does love to dive in to whatever the experts are loving. That being said, there are some trends with staying power. We can’t even call these trends. They’re integral parts of the history of architecture. You can see them in some of the most beautiful homes and business structures out there. Today, we’re diving into a combination of the two. A piece of a structure that has stood the test of time. One that has picked up interesting attributes along the way. We speak… of glass doors!

What’s not to love? They enhance the views of the properties surrounding them, they’re great for the environment as they become more and more sustainable, and they let in maximum light and fresh air. Sometimes they’re the star of the show. And sometimes they’re in more of a background role—allowing the rooms around them to be the spotlight.

So what’s changing? Today, we take a look at three different styles that we’re noticing consumers installing in their homes and businesses- hinged single doors, French doors and bi-fold doors. Each has its benefits, let’s take a look:

Hinged single glass doors

This is the style that you’ll see most frequently. It has a hinge on one side of the frame, allowing it to open and close. Benefits include versatility of look and feel, and this style of door is an optimal way to maximize the space in a small room. This is an easy style of door to add a screen to, if you’re aiming to keep bugs out of the space.

glass doors

Bi-fold glass doors

These are constructed with multiple folding door panels, which can have frames or go without. They can be hinged on one or both sides of the opening in the home or business’ structure. They create an awesome illusion of a larger interior, if you’re looking to make a small space look larger. The important caveat about this style is that they’re most commonly hung from the top. So, if this isn’t the look you’re going for, you’ll probably want to steer away from bi-fold doors. This also means that you’ll need to plan ahead. The structural supports need to be sound enough to hold this weight.

French glass doors

We’re frequently asked why the doors are referred to as French, and while they are historically used in French-style architecture, they’re used the world over. They open away from each other and are used in both the interior and exterior. They’re an elegant choice for social and entertaining spaces. They’re commonly built with PVC, fiberglass, timber or aluminum- a whole range of materials.

As you can see, Restumping Melbourne is a bit of a treasure trove when it comes to fun facts about architecture. Questions? Give us a shout. We’d love to hear from you.