Tag Archives for " Home Improvement "

June 23, 2015

Open House in Ballantyne Country Club!

open house ballantyne

OPEN HOUSE! No appointment needed, just stop by! The open house will take place this Sunday, June 28th from 1PM-3PM. The address is: 11506 James Jack Ln, Charlotte NC 28277. Come check out this BEAUTIFUL home in Ballantyne Country Club and see what it has to offer.

11506 James Jack Lane is a beautiful 3-story home located in Charlotte, N.C. Nestled in the Ballantyne Country Club subdivision, this executive home overlooks the 14th green and has newly refinished hardwoods in all of the formal entertaining rooms. The master suite is conveniently located on the first floor and is complete with a large sitting area and a fireplace.

11506 James Jack Lane, Charlotte NC 28277

11506 James Jack Lane, Charlotte NC 28277

The finished basement has been newly remodeled and offers additional entertaining space with a custom wet bar and a fully covered patio. Another master suite is located on this level as well, which is a plus for the homeowners and any guests they have.


James Jack Lane is listed at $1,025,000 and has 5 additional bedrooms, 5 full bathrooms and 2 half baths. This home is a must see! There will be an open house on Sunday, June 28th, 2015 from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. If you have any additional questions, contact Showcase Realty at 704.997.3790.

November 28, 2014

5 Top Home Improvement Myths

5 Top Home Improvement Myths

You have decided to do a certain home improvement project, but are you sure you’re making the right choices in improving your home? This is a valid concern because you should understand that not all home improvements could provide you will equal benefits or any advantages at all. So as not to waste your time and effort, here are some home improvement myths you need to be aware of.

Any kind of home remodeling projects will increase your home’s value. This is certainly not true since only some home improvement projects can truly add value to home your home. Therefore, you should be aware which projects are worth doing like kitchen and bathroom improvements.

Adding a pool is worth the investment. It’s a common belief of homeowners that adding a swimming pool or a hot tub is a sure way to boost a home’s value. This is not always true because not all buyers see a pool as an important feature in a home. In fact, some see it as an additional expense as it needs regular maintenance that others can’t afford.

Keeping up with the latest trends. A lot of homeowners think that it’s a great idea to follow the current design trends in the market, but actually it’s not. When you improve your home, make sure that the styles and designs aren’t too faddish and if they are, be sure that they are easy to change when the trend starts fading.

It’s easy! A lot of people consider doing the home improvement project by themselves because they basically think that it can help them save money. There is a time and place for do-it-yourself projects but it will take careful planning and intensive work; for instance, adding a new room, redesigning your basement, and other major repairs. Before thinking about doing it on your own, ask yourself whether you have the skill, time and license necessary to get the job done correctly.

Changing a garage into a living space. This is certainly not a great idea because a garage conversion is always viewed negatively by a lot of future homebuyers unless you replace the lost garage into a better one. Of course your future buyer surely wants a space to park his car someday.

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November 26, 2014

Dos and Don’ts In Painting Your Home’s Exterior Wall

Dos and Don'ts In Painting Your Home's Exterior Wall

Whether you’re painting your home’s exterior wall to increase your home’s value, enhance its overall appearance, or simply to protect your investment, this is actually an excellent home remodeling choice because a fresh coat of paint is enough to transform your shabby and unattractive house into an a fresh and attention-grabbing home. But before you get started with your paint job, you should know its dos and don’ts.


  • Hire a professional unless you’re obsessive in doing things on your own. Remember, unless you’re willing to put all that kind of sweat like climbing ladders, getting spattered with paint, or working in a warm weather, then you’re better off hiring a professional painter to help you get the job done.
  • Decide the type of paint you will use – latex, water or oil based. This is important as the type of paint you’ll apply depends on the surface of your exterior wall, the durability, as well as the ease of cleaning you prefer. Latex is actually a smart choice since it can resist UV-fading compared to alkyd. Plus, it’s less likely to crack or peel.
  • Check the weather report regularly. Before painting, be sure to check the weather report for that day because you need to avoid painting on a rainy day, overly windy or humid day since such weather conditions can affect the finish. To achieve the best results, it’s recommended that you paint on days with a temperature of 10 to 30 degrees Celsius.
  • It’ll really be helpful if you mix all cans of paint of the same color into a bucket before you start painting. This ensures uniformity because if you use two cans of the same color, there might be a slight different in their color concentration.
  • Invest in the right tools for your project. If you’re going to use latex, you’ll need to invest in high-quality synthetic brushes to paint your shutters, trims and other areas. This also means choosing the correct width roller and the type of roller suited for your home’s exterior surface.


  • Never choose low quality paint because extreme weather conditions, rain or even sunlight may cause the paint to crack or peel. Premium paints last much longer than their cheap variety plus they have better outcome.
  • Never paint over surfaces that have peeling paint, mildew or are dirty. You have to make sure the surfaces are dry and dull before painting so wash the surfaces and then sand it if necessary.
  • Do not choose Technicolor if you live in a quiet street where houses have almost the same aesthetic and palette. Keep this in mind especially if you plan to sell your home in the future.
  • Don’t be lazy especially if you’ve chosen to do the job all by yourself. Never over reach to paint a larger area as this is not only dangerous, it can also lead to a poor and patchy paint job.
  • Don’t start the project if you won’t be allotting enough time to finish it. Nothing looks worse than having a half painted house.

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November 26, 2014

Important Things To Know Before Starting Your Home Renovation

mportant Things To Know Before Starting Your Home Renovation

Whether you’re going to do a home renovation by yourself or you’re enlisting the services of a professional to carry out the job, keep in mind that there are still a lot of things you need to know before embarking in this kind of project. So before starting your renovation, keep all these information in mind to ensure you have a smooth home renovation.

Be realistic. This is among the most important thing you need to have before starting any home renovation as you need to be realistic about what you can accomplished based on your available budget or resources. Some homeowners will live beyond their means just to get the home renovation they want, which is sometimes unnecessary. If you really want to do such renovation, you can do it in stages rather than ending up losing your home to a bank loan or mortgage.

Budget. There will always be additional costs in each remodeling project, even those smaller ones. Therefore, when calculating for the total possible expenses of the project, add 10 % to 20% to the estimated cost of the project.

The right person for the job. If you decided you wouldn’t be doing the job yourself, you’ll need to find the right person to help get the job for you. Be sure you do a diligent and in-depth contractor search before you start considering the type of financing you’ll use for this project. Always check a contractor’s references and feedback plus, compare price quotes from different contractors as much as possible.

Return of investment. Regardless if it’s your first time to do a home renovation project or not, you have to understand that not all renovations are worth doing. You have to think about the cost of your renovation in terms of resale or rental value. So if you plan to sell or just rent your home in the future, you should know which home remodeling projects are worth doing and not.

Get advice. This is necessary especially if it’s your first time to undergo a home renovation projection. You can either chat with your family, friends or neighbors who have gone through such experience before. You can get referrals from them, tips and even save money based on their advice.

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November 25, 2014

Financing Renovations: Different Ways To Pay For Home Remodeling

Financing Renovations Different Ways To Pay For Home Remodeling

Home renovation can be an expensive process but it’s still recommended especially because of the different benefits it gives the homeowners. This includes increase in the resale value of your home, better quality of life, and sometimes, lesser utility bills. Although many aspects about home renovation are flexible, one thing is certain – you’ll need to money to make it happen.

So to help you out, we’ve prepared interesting facts about the different home renovation financing options you can choose to help you plan your remodeling realistically.

Cash. This pertains to the most readily available money you have like in your savings account or savings bonds near maturity. The good thing with such option is there are certainly no fees, extra charges or interest. However, this will surely deplete any reserves you may have and sadly, not all individuals have a lot of cash available to spend for home renovation. Therefore, cash remains the best way to finance a home renovation project, especially if it’s just a minor project, but only if you’ve got plenty to spare.

Credit Card. If you’ve got an existing credit card with enough credit limit to spend for your home remodeling project, lucky for you since you can now skip the hassle of waiting for a loan approval. There are credit cards that you pay off at the end of every month while there are those zero-interest cards that you don’t need to pay off for six months or a year. The advantages of such option include money being quickly available and other cards accumulate points or rewards, which you can later on enjoy. However, you need to be careful about the high interest rates and fees, plus it actually gives you a false sense of security that you have more money than what you actually have.

Bank Loans. This option is considered the most straightforward way to financing a renovation. You can do fixed repayments, which will be withdrawn from your bank account at regular intervals – weekly, biweekly or monthly. If you’ll choose this option, you’re encouraged to do weekly payments as it can reduce the amount a lot quicker than a single monthly payment without costing you a cent.

Personal Loan. With this financing option, you will pay regular payments of principal and interest for a certain time frame, usually one to five years. You’ll also have the option of a fixed or a variable interest rate for the term of your loan, which is typically lower than that of the credit card.

Home Equity Loan. This option is the traditional way to finance a home remodeling project wherein your home’s value less the cost of the mortgage is used as a collateral or security. The advantages of this option include the fact that you can get a huge amount of money for large projects and it comes with lower interest rates compared to personal loans and credit cards. Sadly, if you continue to deplete your equity, you also lessen the sum you will get once you sell your house. Plus, you are pushed to spend on unnecessary things unrelated to the renovation because of the huge amount of money available.

Mortgage refinancing. This option allows you to spread your repayment over a long period of item at mortgage interest rates usually lower than credit cards or personal loans especially during funding your major home renovations. It also allows you to borrow up to 80% of the appraised value of your home but you’ll have to spend for legal and appraisal fees as part of the initial set-up costs.

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November 21, 2014

Managing Home Renovation Costs: Tips On How To Stick With The Budget

Managing Home Renovation Costs Tips On How To Stick With The Budget

At some point in your life, you’ll be considering renovating all areas or a part only of your home. This may be because you plan to sell your home, that area already has lots of issues, or you simply want to upgrade and change how the way it looks. However, one important thing to remember is it’s becoming more and more common for homeowners to spend more than what they plan to during renovations. This is actually not good especially if you’ve only got a limited budget. Therefore, to avoid facing such problems, keep in mind the tips we have prepare below to manage your costs when renovating.

Compare prices. It certainly pays to look and shop around even if it means saving $100 on a $1000 job. Therefore, spend enough time getting a number of quotes from different bidders. It’s also doesn’t hurt if you inform the homebuilders that you’re seeking for the best price therefore, you’re looking into a number of options.

Learn from others on how they stick to their budget. Experience will always be one of the best teachers even during home renovation. Therefore if you know some family members, friends or neighbor who recently did a home renovation, ask how they did it, what were the necessary materials, and what were there experiences both good and bad. In this way, you’ll learn from their mistakes and hopefully, you won’t commit the same mistake during your home renovation.

Never accept a bad plan. Some designers usually do not look into the budget of the homeowner, so they tend to spend too much even on a simple renovation. Therefore, as a homeowner, you should be prepared to face and be frank with the designer if you’ve noticed that he or she isn’t paying attention to your preferences and your budget. If they say the job can’t be done, then try looking for another designer.

Be sure that you’re happy with the plan before starting. This tip is very important especially when you’re in a very tight budget because if you change something, even just a part of the plan, the design fee and the costs also changes and it usually goes beyond the budget.

Know where your money is going. The bigger the project, the greater the chances that you’ll go over your budget. Therefore, once you’ve decided which contractor to hire, be meticulous when it comes to drafting the contract. You also need to establish with them the estimated time frame for the job, the payment terms, the warranties and how your existing property can be protected once the job starts. Furthermore, you need to check the quotations carefully especially those low-ball quote because if it’s good to be true, then it surely is. If you’ll be doing the job on your own, keep a detailed account of all your expenses and receipts so you monitor your expenditure.

Do the home renovation yourself. Not all home renovations need professionals to get the job done. In fact, there are lots of renovation tasks that homeowners like you can do on your own. You just need a bit of perseverance, patience, and knowledge you can get from books, other individuals or professionals on such field. This will surely help you stick with the budget and even save more than what you’ve expected to save.

Renovation is certainly a big task but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible for you to stick with your budget.

November 17, 2014

Home Remodeling Projects: What To Expect

Home Remodeling Projects What To Expect

If it’s your first time to take on a remodeling project, it’s normal to feel a little anxiety. You certainly have a lot of questions in mind like the cost, the amount of time necessary to get the job done, and the problems that might arise in between. Knowing what to expect will help lessen your fears while allowing you to be more prepared in handling anything that may come. Below are some things you can expect during your home remodeling projects.

Dirt and dust. There are a few ways to control dust and dirt from accumulating in non-construction areas of your home. You can use a compression-fit temporary wall to close off the construction area from other parts of your home. Another way is running an air filtering system that can pull the dust from the air. Otherwise, you can also hang a plastic sheet over the doorways that lead to the construction area, the cabinets and pantry doors too to keep the dust and dirt out of your bard.

Noise. This is something you couldn’t control unlike dirt and dust. Noise will become incessant therefore, if you want to sleep, you better find another place. And unless your office or working area is far from home, don’t consider working from home too because you certainly won’t be able to concentrate.

Other items can get broken. Even if the items aren’t found in the area where your remodeling project is taking place, they are still prone to getting damaged. There will be accidents but there are a few things you can do to prevent this from happening. For instance, you can move your valuable things out of the house. You can ask your other family members, neighbors or friends to keep these items while the remodeling is on going. Remove picture frames hanged on the wall too especially those opposite the wall of the room being working on.

Loss of privacy. A lot of your contractor’s workers will be in your home for a few weeks or months to do complete your home improvement project. Therefore, you have to learn to compromise, as this is inevitable while the project is on going.

The project might take longer that what you have estimated. Before the project starts, you will be discussing a few things with your contractor and one of which is a rough estimate of the project’s completion. Once you’ve determined this, add at least 15 percent to your estimated time because you might lose a day to rain, the materials might get delivered late, or some areas of the project might need to be re-done.

November 11, 2014

7 Home Upgrades That Usually Don’t Pay Off

7 Home Upgrades That Usually Don't Pay Off

While it’s a smart move to add value to your home, don’t overdo upgrades. Spending too much on remodeling doesn’t guarantee a return on your investments – especially in a buyer’s market. To get the most bang for your buck on home improvements, check out the list of upgrades to avoid and not waste time and money.

  1. Home OfficeOnce you convert one of your bedrooms into a home office, your house will be listed as having one less bedroom, which obviously is not a good feature. So, think twice before officially converting a bedroom into an office since most homebuyers, especially growing families, prefer more bedrooms.
  2. Swimming PoolSwimming pools actually rarely increase the property’s value especially in today’s housing market. This is due to the fact that homebuyers see an in-ground swimming pool as an additional maintenance cost and a potential safety issue, especially with children.
  3. Green Marble CountersStay away from boldly colored finishes and materials because they can turn off a lot of homebuyers. If you would like to upgrade your counters to marble opt for solid black or a less splashy design.
  4. CarpetingNot all homebuyers like wall-to-wall carpeting. Hardwood flooring is now a popular trend. So before you shell out cash for carpeting remember that plush Berber may not appeal to all buyers especially if it’s not well maintained or has managed to attract with stains.
  5. Miscellaneous upgradesStop and think long and hard before installing or adding unusual and or expensive home upgrades. Pause a moment before you start digging a temperature controlled wine cellar, a pool-sized Jacuzzi or pricey “green upgrades”.
  6. New RoofThough this may sound odd, according to some studies, adding a new roof doesn’t really appeal much to homebuyers. Not only is this a costly upgrade but you should make this investment only if the roof has major issues.
  7. GarageBefore you start sound proofing a major home feature like a garage to turn it into a music studio, think about your next buyer. In a housing market where most homes listed have a one or two-car garage, you don’t want to be the only house in the listing without one at all. Homebuyers prefer to have a sheltered place to park their car rather than having a place for their garage band.
November 10, 2014

5 Reliable Techniques to Find A Reliable Contractor

5 Reliable Techniques to Find A Reliable Contractor

Thinking about having a major renovation or repair in your home? Is the project to difficult or complicated to take on by yourself? Then you’ll need the help of a reliable contractor to work with you and get the job done. In these tough economic times, you’ll need to be careful when hiring a contractor to do work, as you certainly don’t want your renovations to go wrong. Below is a guide to help you find a reliable one.

  1. Ask referrals from family, friends and neighbors. Do you know someone who just had renovations done? Then ask referrals from them and ask their experience with the contractor. Just be sure that you talk to people who have undertaken a similar renovation to the one that you’re planning to have.
  1. Check if the contractor is insured. You’ll need to ask the contractor if his/her company is insured against claims covering worker’s compensation, property damage and personal liability in case of accidents. Once you have determined that the company’s insured, then verify the insurance coverage.
  1. Check with your local building centers. Local building centers usually keep a list of contractors who get materials from them. They as well list the job such contractors usually do so you can ask from them for any referrals.
  1. Compare costs from prospective contractors. When you haven’t decided which contractor to hire, solicit at least three bids from your prospective contracts based on the project you plan to have. The bid should include the same building specifications, materials, labor, along with the time it will take to complete the project. Since there will be variations in the price, discuss this with each contractor so you understand why there is a variation.
  1. Trim down your list of potential contractors by interviewing them. It’s recommended that you choose at least three potential contractors and interview them one by one. Some questions you’ll need to ask them during the interview is how long they’ve been in the business, how many projects have they done similar to yours, do they have a license to do the job since some states require contracts to have a license, are they covered by insurance, and a list of names of their previous clients whom they have done jobs similar to yours. In this way, you’ll know the capabilities of the contractor not just from his credibility or background but also from feedbacks from his previous clients. If possible, also ask the contractor to bring you to some similar projects he has completed.
November 7, 2014

Saving Big On Your Home Improvement Project

Saving Big On Your Home Improvement Project

As a homeowner, you certainly want to get the most value for your money even when you do some home improvement projects. Sadly, homeowners discover than most of the projects they plan to do cost up to more than half of their estimated cost. But you can actually prevent this from happening by keeping in mind these five effective ways below.

Buying closeout materials. Purchasing closeout items is similar to buying a new car wherein when a new model is released; the last model is marked down significantly. For instance, if you plan to purchase a new refrigerator and its newest edition was just released or will be released soon, then you’ll be able to save big as manufacturers usually offer the last model a lot cheaper to make room for the newest model of the year.

Conceptualize your vision through the use of technology. Technology can help you a lot in overcoming the challenge of spending money on a remodeling but not being happy with the final result. Visualizing your target home improvement is very challenging that’s why you’ll need to use technology in your remodeling plan. In this way, you can clearly see what it looks like before the construction starts even in 3-D and you can do any alterations before you spend too much on something that you really don’t like.

Focusing more in must-haves. Especially when you are on a tight budget, it’ll really help if you prioritize your needs than your wants. It’s common for homeowners to be tempted on spending on their wants so to avoid this from happening, you should ask yourself wherever you need to do such part of the renovation project or not. If you’re unsure, you can ask yourself the following questions: Is it absolutely necessary to do such part of the project? Why? If you don’t change or remodel it, what happens? In this way, you can determine yourself whether it’s a must-have or a nice-to-have.

Purchasing items during special promotions. Manufacturers usually offer special promotions especially on costly items like appliances, furniture, and expensive finish materials. So if you want to save big on your home improvement projects, time your purchases during such promotions as this will surely help you save hundreds to thousands of dollars on your purchases.


Purchasing surplus materials. If you have family, friends or neighbors who recently did home remodeling or improvements, you can always ask them for any finish or building materials that they weren’t able to use or did not totally finish during their project. Try this as you can certainly walk away with a great deal which you can use on your remodeling project.