Thursday, June 22, 2017

Hiring a Licensed Contractor for Home Renovations

When it comes to renovations around your home it is important to hire a licensed contractor to perform the work that is needed.  The benefits of working with a professional that is not only licensed, but also insured and qualified are plentiful.  Your home is the biggest investment that you will ever make in your lifetime.  It is important that you are careful when hiring someone as you want to be sure you are careful not to employ an individual who will cut corners.
Everyone likes to save money, especially when it comes to services performed around their homes.  When it comes to renovations and home remodeling you will get what you pay for.  Many times it is not worth haggling with a contractor as they set their prices based on the number of hours they believe the project will take and the materials used.  Haggling may lead to lower quality materials being used.  This is not what you want when it comes to saving a few bucks here and there on your homes renovation project.
Depending on where you live the rules for obtaining a builders license differ slightly.  This is done for the benefit of the consumer.  Some states, such as California, have frequent earthquakes thus building codes are updated to include extra elements of safety when building a home.
In order to get a license, a building contractor must prove that they are qualified to perform the work and may also be asked to undergo testing, fingerprinting, background checks and bonding requirements.  Some states only require specialty contractors such as plumbers and electricians to be licensed however if you are looking for quality craftsmanship in your home improvement projects it is best to look into hiring a licensed contractor even if it is not required by your state.  Working with a licensed builder often gives homeowners extra peace of mind.
Below are just a few of the many benefits you can expect when working with a licensed general contractor for renovation projects around the home.
  • A licensed general contractor will control, synchronize, and oversee a complete renovation. This involves scheduling with multiple subcontractors within different trades to work together on your remodeling project.  This is especially important for home remodeling that involves moving electrical outlets or plumbing.
  • A contractor saves both time and money. Many homeowners mention that at the end of a renovation they have spent just as much on materials alone than they would have spent on hiring a contractor to perform the work in the first place.
  • Contractors have connections and often have a great pull for the urgency of your renovation. It is much easier to get one of their own to help them with a deadline because next time they might be the one needing the favor.
  • A licensed contractor will pull all of the necessary permits and call on inspections when needed. This keeps the project moving along.
  • When working with a licensed contractor, financing becomes a bit easier to obtain from lending institutions. There is an aura of completion when individuals hire a professional.
  • Not only is it important that the contractor that you work with on projects within your home is licensed it is crucial that they are also insured. This holds their company liable for any damage that is done to your home while they are performing repairs, as well as the liability if someone gets injured while working on your home.
For most homeowners hiring an experienced, licensed and insured general contractor will help to ensure a headache free renovation on their home.
Learn more about licensed and insured general contractor Glen Miller the Home Doctor and the variety of home improvement services he offers clients including: home maintenance plans, handyman services, kitchen remodels, bathroom renovations, handicap ramp installations, age in place modifications, basements transformations, and hardwood flooring installation and refinishing at www.glenmillerthehomedoctor.com.  To contact Glen Miller the Home Doctor call 734.255.9793 for a free estimate.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A renovation boom is turning homes into ATMs again

If you can't move, renovate. Fast-rising home prices and a record-low number of homes for sale have a lot of homeowners choosing to stay put — and put in a new bathroom or update the kitchen. Higher home values also mean they have more cash to take out of their homes. With mortgage rates so low for so long, most borrowers are opting for a second loan rather than refinancing their current mortgage to take cash out. Second loans, such as home equity lines of credit (HELOC), are booming. HELOC originations were up 10 percent year over year in 2016, hitting an eight-year high, according to Black Knight Financial Services, and they continue to rise. Homeowners gained an aggregate of $570 billion in 2016, bringing the number of homeowners with "tappable" equity up to 39.5 million, the highest since 2006. Those borrowers have at least 20 percent equity in their homes. All that new-found housing wealth has homeowners taking out ever more cash. The average HELOC at the end of last year was $120,000, surpassing the pre-recession peak. While the amount is higher, home equity lending is still below the 2005 peak levels, and credit scores are near all-time highs. Borrowers are taking out the lines, but they're not using all the cash at once. They appear to be more prudent this time around. Home remodeling hit an all-time high That may, however, be changing already. Home remodeling hit an all-time high in the first quarter of this year, according to Metrostudy's national "Activity Index." The index is up 4.5 percent compared with last year. "The current strength of the remodeling market can be attributed primarily to economics – low mortgage rates, strong existing home sales, the bull stock market run, good job gains and now more recently, wage gains," said Mark Boud, chief economist at Metrostudy. "With housing affordability an issue in many markets across the country, millennials will be more inclined to purchase older, more-affordable, existing homes that will necessitate renovations." Today's home equity lending, like all other lending, is more strict than it was during the last housing boom. Borrowers need full documentation and must have at least 20 percent equity in their homes already. Principal payments kicking in for 2007 loans Ironically, the new boom comes just as the pain of the last home equity line boom is ending. These credit lines have a 10-year "draw period," when borrowers are required only to pay interest on the loans. After 10 years, the loans "reset," and borrowers must start paying principal, which can more than double the monthly payment. That caused huge jumps in home equity line delinquencies, which were up 74 percent last year, according to mortgage data firm Black Knight Financial Services. This year, about 1.5 million home equity line borrowers will start having to pay principal on loans they took out in 2007, as the last wave of pre-crisis loans reset. That is roughly 19 percent of all active home equity lines of credit. It could have been worse, but thousands of borrowers got out of their loans before the reset. "For the 2007 vintage, we've seen much higher rates of prepayment out of those HELOCs, mostly because there's been such a favorable interest environment," said Mitch Cohn, spokesman for Black Knight. "But basically everybody who could refi their way out of the payment shocks already has." For those who did not, equity is a problem. One in 5 borrowers facing resets this year has less than 10 percent equity in their homes, making refinancing out of the loans difficult. Original Source: http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/26/home-renovation-boom-is-turning-peoples-houses-into-atms-again.html Original Author: Diana Olick Original Date: May 26 2017