Archive for category Home Amenities
Recently a friend called my walk in pantry my Costco closet. Then the other day I had a buyer mention that they needed shelving in the garage or a walk in pantry to use as their Costco Closet. How true!
This isn’t the first time a new “need” is uncovered as builders begin to catch up to it. Remember washer and dryers in closets? Now everyone wants huge laundry rooms with folding tables, hanging rods to drip dry, and cabinets for washing and drying products. The other thing that dawned on me was how uniquely American and probably middle to upper class this “need” is.
Years ago a friend from Bulgaria was at my home and laughed at the size of the shampoo containers I had in the guest room, along with a cabinet stocked with toilet paper. She explained that they only made enough money to buy what they need for the week and their homes were too small to store large quantities.
Then recently a friend from Singapore was staying with me and she was lamenting about missing the “Big Box” stores. She said when she moved to Singapore she had to take 2 years supply of paper towels as she was warned that they weren’t the same over there.
I know I can live differently and have when I was remodeling and basically liveing in a two bedroom apartment. I sometimes think things were easier with less then. As it seems something needs maintained everyday as a homeowner. But for now my pantry will be filled with huge boxes of Costco items for snacks etc.
Interestingly enough, you would think I’d face different requests with “empty nesters” as the term applies. You’d think they’d have less stuff – NEVER! They actually have decades of stuff they don’t want to get rid of. Thus they need to have a master bedroom on the main, and huge basements to store the stuff. They aren’t willing to get rid of their huge dining room furniture as they hope the family will come back at least once a year for the big dinner and they need the room for that one day! They don’t want a tiny dining room, because if they are going to use it, it needs to fit EVERYONE!
I think the 1960’s ranch plan is what is still desired by many. I realize the larger foundation is more costly, but empty nesters want everything on the main and are only willing to stick about 2 bedrooms ups.
A lot of current buyers think that floor plans that builders built in 2005 aren’t really working today, forget the Jack and Jill baths, every kid needs his/her own bath! I grew up sharing one bath with three brothers, but today heaven forbid a boy and girl share a bath.
Perhaps builders need to pick a specific demographic and design for that. There isn’t a one size fits all anymore. I always tell sellers that there is a buyer out there just like them and that’s the person that will buy their house – so true. Sometimes that pool of people is narrow and sometimes it’s wide. You’ll get a better price and sell quicker if the pool of people is wide, but you’ll always be able to sell at some price.
I have had people ask me over the years about my garage doors. I have solid wood carriage style doors and I believe from the feedback I get that they make a real impact on a home.
(I really dislike when the doors face the front of the house, but unfortunately mine do, there really isn’t a reason why as I have a wide lot which could accomodate side entry but that’s what they were building when my house was constructed. To cure the ugliness of it I added quality wood doors with windows and hardware. )
I just happened across a website that has great pictures and ideas to put barn style doors inside as well which many of my friends have now as it’s very in-style.
Take a look at their website and consider upgrading your doors if they are visible as I think it will add value next time you go to sell your home. I custom ordered mine at Home Depot, but it seems there are lots of speciality places now.
While the summer is quickly coming to a close, the temperatures are still high in metro Atlanta. There are still many days left in the pool season!
Swimming pools are a fun amenity to have in a home and I have lots of clients each year looking for a house with a pool or considering to put one in their current home.
As with any amenity, location and type of pool, and considerations on how to reduce ongoing maintenance are key factors. I do believe a pool adds value, however that value is diminished if the location of the pool or features of the pool don’t fit the house, neighborhood or lot.
I may have a few appraiser friends that can add a statement here as to their impressions, but I’ve seen appraisals come in with as much as a $50k bump for the pool.
That being said, good sized pools with the right equipment, decking and landscaping can easily cost $100,000.
Many people enjoy their neighborhood pools and country clubs, but there’s still nothing like the convenience and beauty of one in your own backyard! In my own home, we thoroughly enjoy our pool as well!
Below are some comments I’ve taken from the advice of a friend combined with my own thoughts, experience and recommendations when considering having your own pool.
1 – Planning Your Pool
My suggestion would be to try and gauge how comparable the proposed pool would be to the pools located at homes that have recently traded in the target price point of your home.
For example, some of the things I mention below may not apply if you have a $300,000 home, but would be a must at the $1M price point. I’ll add a caveat here that many people get frustrated with their pool contractor, so check as many references as you can that are close in location to you.
2 – Kinds of Pools
A heated salt-water pool with an interior finish that is either pebble-sheen or pebble-Tec, along with some amount of useable and attractive stone flat deck space for lounge chairs, etc., as well as space for any safety fencing that may be required.
I also believe that having a rectangular pool with an automated cover will help in resale if the buyer has small children or really wants to minimize maintenance. The cover reduces evaporation, reduces chemical usage and really keeps the pool clean of debris.
In terms of the interior pool finish, Pebble-sheen is the smoother variant of pebble tech but has similar optical properties in terms of interesting water color. Conventional white plaster shows every kind of dirt, so it’s tougher to maintain.
3 – Maintenance of pools
Mechanicals are important, and in terms of the heater, a +/-400,000 natural gas BTU heater at a minimum for pools 10,000 gallons or more is desirable, especially if there’s a hot tub.
Exploring feasibility of solar options for pool heating would be an excellent idea, especially given energy costs these days. A solar feature would certainly further distinguish the property.
I like the idea of having a hot tub separately as it takes a special design and eats up pool space to have one under the automated cover. Separate hot tubs are less expensive, more comfortable and easier to maintain.
In terms of maintenance, I love the Polaris automated cleaning robot. If they are configured correctly and maintained, they work very well.
Another popular but more costly option is the self-cleaning jets in the pool floor. I have heard nightmares about their repair and replacement and the cost may not justify the means. There could be some other self-cleaning technologies out there too that your pool contractor can discuss with you.
Maintenance costs of pools are so much less than they use to be. Having a saline/salt water pool requires next to no chemicals. Additionally, pool services aren’t really required if you have the cover and salt systems.
If you don’t have the desire to maintain your own pool there are many services that are under $50/visit and you can have them every other week. Chemical balance can be maintained very well through a salt-water pool’s automated chlorination catalyst.
Old pools can be remodeled to have the newer features such as: auto-fill feature, salt-water conversion, fountains, Polaris, automated covers etc.