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    5 Signs You Should Renovate the House You’re Living In – - February 20, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    How do you know if your current digs have potential to become your dream home? Its a question familiar to Victoria Sass, who founded her Minneapolis-area design firm Project Refuge Studio with a focus on renovations that keep young families in old homes. We get people who want to know, Should I invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in this house or not? she says. At some point, its not a good investment if what you really want is a different house. Its like a marriage: Is this the one, or are you trying to make it into something itll never be? Here are five signs you should stay right where you are, and renovate the house to make it suit your needs.

    Whether its the home, neighborhood, school system or other local ties, a deep emotional connection to the property is worth listening to. Thats a really good reason to take the time to change your space to make it suit your needs, says Laura Fenton, author of The Little Book of Living Small. For those clients, we suggest renovation to increase square footage and fit their lifestyle, adds designer Juliana Oliveira, the principal of Dallas firm Beyond Interior Design.

    Spending money on a property youre already invested in offers more potential to create additional value. With a renovation, you get a lot more bang for your buck in terms of finishes, says Oliveira. There may be some reconstruction costs, but more of your money will go to details that create a lasting impact. A 2019 study by the National Association of Realtors Research Group estimated that a homeowner could expect to recover between 50 and 60 percent of the cost of most renovation projects in the value of the homea $75,000 boost in value on a $150,000 renovation of a new owners suite, for example. (The biggest impact? Replacing or refinishing wood flooring, which saw a return of 100 to 106 percent.) That said, where you renovate matters if youve got resale in mind: Less than 1 percent of real estate professionals said that a new owners suite helped close a sale, while 20 percent reported that a kitchen upgrade sealed the deal for new buyers.

    Old homes often come with quirks and charm that cant be replicated by a new build, even with antiqued or upcycled finishes. Whether its a wonky window or the fact that there are no right angles anywhere, if a homes imperfectionsor at least some of thembring you joy, you should stay.

    If youre looking to start fresh due to a temporary dissatisfaction with a home you otherwise love, its probably worth making small adjustments and weathering the storm. A friend of Fentons nearly moved out of a beloved Brooklyn two-bedroom because their teens no longer wanted to share a room. I said, Wait a second. Your daughters going to be moving out in four yearsdo you really want to give up this apartment and neighborhood you love for a relatively short season of life? she recalls. They decided to do a light renovation, and theyre so happy they invested in the home they already have rather than look for a bigger one.

    In many parts of the country, build-ready lots are in short supply. As developers struggle to keep up with demand, it drives up land prices and makes it difficult for families to move up to a bigger, newly constructed home, says Clark. If this is the case in your area, a major renovation may be a more cost-effective solution.

    Living long-term on a construction site is far from ideal. And even if you think you want to tough it out amid the dust and the noise, designers suggest having a plan B just in case. Clients who think that they can live in the home during a renovation and dont have a backup plan on where they could temporarily stay is a red flag for me, says Oliveira. (Contractors dont like interrupting your life any more than you like having them in their spaceand if theyre tiptoeing around you and your family, youre going to pay for it, adds Irving. If they have to come in, set up and then pack up day after day, its a lot less efficient for everyone, and it may be worth the cost of getting out of your house for a bit.)

    No matter how closely you hew to your budget, the costs of a renovation can be staggeringespecially if youve encountered one of those aforementioned unpleasant surprises along the way. Sass says budget fatigue often sets in as the project is winding down. People will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars restructuring a space and doing engineering modifications, she says. But then they go really cheap on something like the knobs on their cabinets. That fixture might feel like a big splurge [after a costly renovation], but in the grand scope of the whole project, that's the piece that you're going to see and pass on to the next generation. Don't skimp on that at the end of the day just because you're tired of spending money.

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    Police department renovation on the table | News | – Abilene Recorder Chronicle - February 20, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    The Abilene City Commission will consider accepting bids projected at $445,000 to remodel the second floor of the city building to house the Abilene Police Department.

    However, just when that remodel will occur was undecided.

    At the next meeting Feb. 22 commissioners will only decide if they want to accept bids.

    A feasibility study was presented at Mondays study session.

    I think at the stage that we are at now, my understanding is that it is just a feasibility study looking at some options that are available and what it would look like, said Mayor Brandon Rein. Obviously, the next step would be to take it out to bid to see what the exact numbers would come in at.

    He said other recent bids have come in below the projected costs in feasibility studies.

    I dont think it harms us to move forward to see a closer look at what an actual cost would be, he said.

    However, Commissioners Chris Ostermann and Dee Marshall said the timing wasnt right.

    Making a decision like this before the actual new city manager, I am hesitant about that only because you yourself (City Manager Jane Foltz) didnt want to fill the fire chief position unless the new city manager was involved, Ostermann said. So, in this process, are we doing this before we make a selection? They wont have any input. That is something I have been thinking about. Maybe they (new manager) would want to do something else.

    My thought is, this is a lot of money to be spending right now during COVID and not know for sure what is happening to us, said Commissioner Dee Marshall. I think that is something that should wait a while.

    Marcus (Rothchild) will be giving you the 2020 financial review and I think you will be very surprised how well the city is doing, Foltz said.

    That could be but I still think we need to tread slowly, Marshall said. I just dont think this is anything we should be considering at this time even though it is a project I think we should do at some point. I just dont think it is feasible right now.

    Financial Director Marcus Rothchild said the money will come out of the capital improvement fund which was set aside a few years ago. He said the funds had been collected when the city was considering a new building.

    The voters rejected the replacement of the building, he said.

    Since we are in an historic building, they would like to see us stay there, he said. But, at the time, money was being set aside each year.

    He said the 2020 budget ended with $352,000 in the capital improvement fund. He said the budget includes $350,000 for the capital improvement project.

    Marshall said she was concerned about putting all the money to the renovation, leaving little or no reserve.

    However, Foltz said tax credits of 25 percent of the project could be available.

    It is a great opportunity for us to get some of the cost of this remodel back, Foltz said. Weve already heard from the state historical society, I hear you are remodeling the city building. I said not until we get commission approval. We are just bringing it to the table.

    Rothchild said the tax credit could be close to $100,000.

    Commissioner Trevor Witt said both Chief Anna Hatter and Assistant Chief Jason Wilkins were involved in the design and that it was important for the users to be involved in the design.

    They are the ones going to be using it, he said. It will also help us with employee retainment too, if they have a good space to work in and it is functional and safe.

    Architect Bruce McMillan said a key element of the design is bullet resistant glass and bulletproof walls.

    This is one area that I would emphasize very strongly and that is the protection of your officers and not having a situation where they are vulnerable, McMillan said. This is a major concern.

    Police would take over the second floor and planning and zoning would go to offices on the first floor where the police department is now, Foltz said.

    The police department doesnt see people one-on-one much anymore, Foltz said. We have many more opportunities to meet with the public in planning and zoning then we do with the police department.

    Current Abilene Police Department facilities on the first floor of Abilene City Hall do not meet the needs of the department, according to the report.

    Architect Garric Baker outlined the renovation project.

    Space was identified on the second floor of the building that could be remodeled to provide more space and improve the efficiency of APD operations.

    The project timeline was estimated to begin late Spring 2021 and conclude in late 2021.

    The police department currently resides on the first floor in City Hall, a portion of the fire department area, and it has utilized available space by expanding into the unused auditorium as well.

    However, the needs of the department moving forward will see new technology, a need for expanded space, allocated office space, dedicated workstations, an interview room, as well as a functional layout specific to the Department.

    Therefore, the Department anticipates moving to the second floor where an open layout can accommodate the needs more suitably than the existing configuration.

    The proposed project on the second floor would see the existing landing at the current courtroom receive updates to include finishes, a window for visual security access for the receptionists and new furnishings.

    Upgrades within the reception area would entail new finishes, a security door, and bullet-resistant counter and transaction windows. New finishes, modified desks, and storage layouts are provided for the service

    center to conduct business in a safe manner.

    In the north wing of the second floor, the chief and assistant chief of police would be outfitted with private

    offices with direct access to the bullpen, allowing for improved communication with officers. The bullpen would include four workstations, radio docking station, filing and storage space, mailboxes, and a dedicated evidence work area.

    Additionally, this space would include a reporting desk where on-duty officers may sit and write their daily reports at the end of their shifts. The patrol sergeant would have a private office. Two investigators would work in a joint office in the northeast corner of the existing space. An interview room located nearest the rear exit and exit staircase would be dedicated for confidential informants, suspects, or individuals being interviewed so they could be escorted into the building, up the stairs, and directly into the interview room in a discreet manner.

    Proposed improvements to the existing courtroom include removal of flooring, finishes, court furniture and equipment.

    New proposed finishes include installation of an armory, breakroom furnishings with coffee bar, refrigerator, and tables and chairs. Additionally, the space could be arranged in a classroom style layout for training sessions.

    Foltz mentioned in her report that City Clerk Penny Soukup said the deadline for filing for the city commission is June 1.

    Three commissioners, Tim Shafer, Ostermann and Witt, will be up for election next fall.

    Witt was appointed to fill the vacated seat on the Abilene City Commission in 2018.

    Voters will elect three commissioners, two to serve four-year terms and eventually be mayor, and one to serve a two-year term.

    If necessary, a primary will be held on August 2 with the general election on Nov. 2.

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    Police department renovation on the table | News | - Abilene Recorder Chronicle

    Immune therapies for heart disease aim of international research network Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis – Washington… - February 20, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

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    Washington University researchers part of team probing inflammation after heart attack

    Inflammatory cells are visible as colored areas in this PET scan of a persons torso, with brighter colors indicating denser cell clusters. A bright spot on the heart indicates that inflammatory cells are clustered around a site that has lost blood supply, causing a heart attack. An international team of researchers, including scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, has formed a network to study the role of inflammation in heart disease, with a goal of finding new therapies to improve recovery after heart attacks.

    When a patient arrives in the emergency room with symptoms of a heart attack, doctors first priority is to restore blood flow to the heart muscle. Over the past few decades, therapeutic advances aimed at getting blood flowing and reducing strain on the heart have improved patients chances of surviving heart attacks to more than 90% from 50%.

    However, survivors face a heightened risk of future heart attacks and heart failure, and current therapies do not optimally reduce those long-term risks. Even a brief cutoff of blood supply can trigger an inflammatory response that weakens the heart and leaves it with lasting scars.

    An international group of researchers has teamed up to study the biological processes that drive injurious inflammation after heart attacks, with a goal of finding therapies to help people recover more completely and reduce the risk of permanent heart damage. With a $6.5 million grant from the Leducq Foundation, they have established a network called The Inflammatory-Fibrosis Axis in Ischemic Heart Failure: translating mechanisms into new diagnostics and therapeutics network (IMMUNO-FIB HF) to study the intertwined roles of inflammation and fibrosis, or scarring, in driving long-term heart damage.

    IMMUNO-FIB-HF is part of the foundations Transatlantic Networks of Excellence, an effort that aims to foster innovative scientific research in cardiovascular and neurovascular disease by bringing together European and North American scientists with complementary expertise. Robert J. Gropler, MD, a professor of radiology and senior vice chair and division director of Radiological Sciences at Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology(MIR) at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis,leads the North American effort.

    Heart failure progression is one of the leading causes of death in the world, said Gropler, also a professor of medicine. Inflammation and fibrosis are the twin drivers of heart failure progression, but we dont really understand how these processes occur. The idea was to bring together experts in inflammation and experts in fibrosis to unravel the mechanisms and design specific therapies to ameliorate the process.

    A heart attack triggers an inflammatory response and sets off a cascade of biological events that can end in structural changes to the heart that impair the organs ability to pump blood, a process called cardiac remodeling. Researchers have tried to find drugs to interrupt this process, but a lack of detailed information on how the process unfolds has stymied efforts to come up with good therapeutic targets.

    We know that inflammation is important, but the problem is that the immune system is very complex, said co-principal investigator Kory J. Lavine, MD, PhD, an associate professor of medicine in theDivision of Cardiology. Also an associate professor of developmental biology and of pathology & immunology, Lavine leads the teams effort to identify the immune cell types and molecules that mediate harmful inflammatory responses.

    There may be multiple pathways that lead to detrimental cardiac remodeling, and different patients may benefit from different therapies, Lavine said. The challenge is: Can we identify the right immune cells to target, can we figure out how to target them, and can we deliver these therapeutics to the patients most likely to benefit from them?

    To better understand the processes at work, the researchers need to be able to see what is going on inside the heart in the aftermath of a heart attack. Co-principal investigator Yongjian Liu, PhD, an associate professor of radiology at MIR, has developed a positron emission tomography (PET) imaging agent that detects inflammatory white blood cells known as CCR2+ monocytes and macrophages. Another co-investigator has developed an imaging agent for fibroblasts, cells that produce scar tissue. Both imaging agents have proven useful in animal studies. Liu leads the teams effort translating them for use in people, so they can track inflammation and fibrosis in heart attack patients in the days, weeks and months after such events.

    Some people recover well from a heart attack, some recover poorly, some have persistent symptoms even after they recover, and we dont understand why, Liu said. Imaging gives us a noninvasive way to see whats going on in actual patients.

    By combining these imaging agents with other measures of heart damage and abnormal function, the researchers expect to be able to see how such cells contribute to cardiac remodeling and whether investigational therapies have an effect on these cells. Two experimental therapies are being developed by other groups in the network.

    We dont really have treatments available to reduce inflammation and fibrosis in people who have suffered heart injuries, Lavine said. The goal of IMMUNO-FIB-HF is to find novel therapies that block or attenuate these pathways and give people the best chance for their hearts to heal.

    Washington University School of Medicines 1,500 faculty physicians also are the medical staff of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Childrens hospitals. The School of Medicine is a leader in medical research, teaching and patient care, ranking among the top 10 medical schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Through its affiliations with Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Childrens hospitals, the School of Medicine is linked to BJC HealthCare.

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    Immune therapies for heart disease aim of international research network Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis - Washington...

    Here’s what $52 million did for Willmar Public Schools – West Central Tribune - February 14, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Now, with work nearly finished, the projects funded by the referendum have brought about changes to every building in the district.

    Referendum projects ranged from a $26 million elementary school to a broad array of smaller remodeling and maintenance projects. The district also budgets nearly $2 million of state and local funds to building maintenance each year, and that funding was used in some projects, too.

    The work has alleviated overcrowded conditions in the elementary schools and provided more classroom space in other buildings.

    Superintendent Jeff Holm started working in the district about a month after the referendum passed. He said he has been grateful to his predecessor Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard and the School Board at the time for pursuing the referendum.

    Can you imagine what our challenge would have been (in the pandemic) if we still only had Roosevelt and Kennedy and needed to try to keep kids six feet apart? Holm said. I've felt very grateful to have a third elementary, and a very nice one at that.

    Other larger referendum projects were $5.5 million science classroom additions at Willmar Middle School and a $7 million expansion of physical education/athletic facilities at Willmar Senior High School.

    The building program included millions in maintenance projects that were past due. Jefferson Learning Center got a new boiler, and four buildings had roof work done. Several buildings, including the Area Learning Center in Garfield School, now have improved fire suppression and ventilation systems.

    Aaron Pilarski, buildings and grounds manager for Willmar Public Schools, joined the district as work on Lakeland Elementary was ending, and he turned his attention to Kennedy and Roosevelt elementary schools.

    I think that quality buildings reflect on a students education as much as other things, he said.

    Kennedy and Roosevelt were well-maintained, but they needed some work. Roosevelt was newer, but Kennedy, which originally was a high school, looked dated, he said.

    Both buildings were remodeled to develop collaborative spaces, and corridors were updated. Kennedy needed new windows and improvements to its exterior walls, too.

    The Senior High had the biggest price tag among the existing buildings, about $12 million total. In addition to the gym expansions, the work included pool dehumidification, roof replacement and numerous building improvements.

    The school was built in the mid-90s and hadnt had many updates, Pilarski said. Music rooms needed work, and an industrial technology expansion was needed to give those classes the room they needed for classes and projects.

    The high schools classrooms are clustered around pods, which had never been redone. Remodeling of the pods added new furniture, carpet and paint. Students helped with designing the pods. Each has its own theme.

    Pilarski said the referendum projects were done with an eye toward getting as much done as possible with the money available. He found there were some low-cost cosmetic improvements that could add to a buildings visual appeal.

    You had to be really wise with it, because there was a lot we wanted to accomplish, he said. Im biased; I think it was really well spent.

    School Board Chairman Mike Reynolds said he was impressed with the range of projects and just how well weve stretched our money.

    Credit goes to many people, but especially Pilarski, he added.

    Weve just done so much with so many things, he said. Our buildings are modern, they're up to date, and theyre safe.

    Reynolds and other board members have commented that they hear comments in the community about how nice the buildings look, and they appreciate it.

    Its nice to know the parents and community members take notice, he said.

    Reynolds said the building upgrades might be noticed by families making decisions about where to send their children, too, but people make those decisions for a variety of reasons.

    All we can do is keep making the product we have and the facilities we have top notch, he said.

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    Here's what $52 million did for Willmar Public Schools - West Central Tribune

    Freehold Borough bonds will help to finance library improvements – - February 14, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    FREEHOLD Municipal officials in Freehold Borough are planning to appropriate $1.78 million toward the cost of improvements at the Freehold Public Library, East Main Street.

    Members of the Borough Council have introduced a bond ordinance that provides for the issuance of bonds or notes in that amount to finance the costs. A public hearing on the ordinance is scheduled for Feb. 16. Council members may adopt the ordinance that evening.

    According to the bond ordinance, municipal officials expect to receive an $889,000 grant from the New Jersey Library Construction Bond Act to help finance the planned improvements at the library.

    The improvements at the library are expected to include wheelchair access to the entire facility; two new restrooms that will be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act; a kitchenette for staff/program use; and heating, ventilation and air conditioning upgrades, according to council President Annette Jordan.

    Jordan said additional accessibility improvements will be made at the library; there will be designated parking spaces adjacent to library for individuals who have a handicap; the staff office will be relocated; the circulation desk will be repositioned; and there will be a new teen room public space that will be reclaimed from storage and utility areas.

    She said safety improvements to the front entrance of the library will preserve the buildings historic character; there will be remodeling and new shelving in the childrens room; updated electric service; a designated conference/study room; and additional shelf capacity, specifically for the childrens, teen and adult fiction collections.

    The Freehold Public Library opened in 1904. It operates independently of the Monmouth County Library System and is funded exclusively by Freehold Borough taxpayers.

    The library was built with a grant provided by industrialist Andrew Carnegie, who funded the construction of 36 libraries in New Jersey. The Freehold Public Library is one of 17 Carnegie libraries that remain operational in the state.

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    What Should I Expect During A Home Renovation in Florida? – South Florida Reporter - February 14, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    A home renovation project can dramatically transform the visual appeal of your house, whether its renovating the interior or exterior, remodeling can increase the value of a residential property and make it look more modern. But it will get messy before everything gets completed.

    As a homeowner, you may have mixed feelings, you know your house will look amazing after the remodel, but you are probably dreading the whole renovation process and the mess that usually comes with these home improvement projects.

    According to remodeling contractors in Miami, renovating your home is an investment that will pay off in the long term. For homeowners that want to transform their house into their dream home, starting a renovation project with a professional construction firm is a step in the right direction.

    In the midst of all the construction work that is going on during the renovation, your day-to-day activities and usual schedule will be turned upside down in order to accommodate the work that needs to be completed by the remolding company you hired.

    Dealing with dust When there are walls being torn apart, drilling, cutting, and hammering, dust is inevitable and can make you sneeze and cough non-stop. But there are several ways to deal with the dust. You can consult with your contractor to install temporary compression-fit walls to close off areas where construction is taking place, or you can place air filtering systems to collect floating dust.

    Loud noises Loud and annoying noises are expected when it comes to renovating your home. The banging of hammers and mechanized noises from saws are annoying and may hurt your ears, you may find locking yourself in the furthest room away from the construction area possible until the work is finished, which can take days, weeks, or even months depending on the renovation.

    Reduced walking space A construction zone is messy and usually takes up a lot of space to make room for all the equipment, tools, and materials needed for the renovation. It can help to consult with your contractor in ensuring there is ample walking space in and around the house if you need to get something.

    If you have pieces of expensive furniture and other items you want to protect, its best to cover them with durable plastic bags or slipcovers before the renovation so they can be protected when the renovation work is taking place. Not doing so can leave your valuables covered in dust and other construction debris.

    Depending on the level of renovation that is being performed on the residential property, remodeling can range from simple to complex. Circumstances may arise where moving to a temporary location may be necessary such as a nearby hotel, a family members home, or elsewhere if major renovations are being done and living on the property is no longer convenient for you or your family.

    It is possible during the renovation process that complications can occur such as going over budget and project delays, that is why its important to keep in direct communication with your contractor or the renovation company to discuss these issues.

    The worst part of the whole process is probably coming to terms that the renovations may take longer and will be more expensive than originally anticipated and is a common concern homeowners will have.

    What Should I Expect During A Home Renovation in Florida? - South Florida Reporter

    Snake Pit reopens as esports gaming arena | The Southern – FSC Southern - February 14, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Jameson Champion

    On Jan. 30, the Snake Pit reopened as an esports gaming arena, following its remodel.

    Last week marks the first time the Snake Pit has been made available to the general student population since last semester.

    The event saw visitors trying out the new computer systems in the repurposed Snake Pit, as well as view all the new renovations to the arena.

    This spaces renovations include 24 computers for general student access, 12 of which are usable under current COVID-19 restrictions. There are also an additional six computers that have been placed on a stage for esports teams to use during livestream production and live esports events.

    These renovations are an exciting new addition to many, especially students who do not have access to consoles or computers capable of playing games.

    Its pretty nice. It gives our community a space to play games, sophomore and esports athlete Casey Kabit Freudenthal said.

    The Snake Pit was formerly a room for

    commuters to spend time between classes. In the Fall 2020 semester it was announced that the esports department would be remodeling the space into an esports arena.

    Prior to this, all esports related events were held using a dedicated room within the Carlisle-Rogers building.

    Due to its conversion from a student hangout spot to an esports arena, there are some who are unhappy with the change.

    The esports arena is great for the esports teams, but it almost seems as though the commuter students were cast aside and forgotten about, sophomore Joshua De La Pena said. Not only was the Snakepit my place to chill, but to do homework without worrying about being too loud, like in the library, or being uncomfortable like outside.

    After the announcements that the esports department would be changing the space, a soft opening to the Snake Pit occurred in September 2020 with a highly limited capacity.

    This included students having to reserveacomputer in order to follow COVID-19 guidelines.

    An important new feature to the arena is the potential for live competition play by esports athletes.

    The rooms stage offers an opportunity for the players to be front and center with seating for viewers during play.

    Once COVID is over I think being able to play live will be a cool opportunity, Freudenthal said.

    The Snake Pits hours are from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. every day.

    In order to receive swipe access to the room, students must fill out the esports room access form on Engage.

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    Snake Pit reopens as esports gaming arena | The Southern - FSC Southern

    5 Easy Repairs to Make If You’re Trying to Sell Your House – - February 14, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Thinking about moving? While the selling process can sometimes be long and complicated, there are ways to not only increase the speed at which your home sells, but also increase its value. And the best part? Most of these fixes are pretty simple! Things like painting the walls, pulling weeds out of the garden, and just giving your home an extra-thorough cleaning could actually make a difference in your sale.

    But before you jump into repairs, determine how much youre willing to spend and where you want to spend that money. A good place to start is by looking at other local listings. Daryl Fairweather, chief economist at Redfin, suggests seeing what improvements neighbors have made and how much they were able to sell their homes for. She also points out that you want to be careful not to over-improve. A luxury home in a normal neighborhood doesnt make sense, she says.

    So how much should you spend? While this largely depends on your area, Brett Jennings, owner and founder of The Real Estate Experts, says that the average homeowner in California spends between $10,000 and $30,000 preparing their home for market, though some spend up to $100,000. (Bear in mind, however, that the price of real estate in California tends to trend higher than in most other areas of the country, so these averages are likely lower elsewhere.) Although this might seem like a lot of money, Jennings argues that its worth it. If you dont do home improvements, dont expect your home to sell at the price other homes are selling for, he says. Most people think that if your home is worth $500,000 and you spend $10,000 on improvements, youll really only be getting $490,000. The reality is that youll likely double or triple your investment when you bring it to market. Fairweather adds, People want move-in-ready homes, especially now.

    Of course, it pays to be smart about where those investments are going. Kitchens and bathrooms sell homes, states Karen Swanson of New England Design Works. And with all the home improvement shows out there, she continues, buyers are savvy about the work involved. So the nicer these spaces can look, the better. Thats not to say you need a total gut renovation, but small swaps could make all the difference. From minor repairs to slightly more involved projects, read on for everything you should do to prepare your home to sell.

    Painting your home before putting it on the market can undeniably help your sale. Jennings says its actually the most important improvement you can make. Both Jennings and Dolly and Jenny Lenz of Dolly Lenz Real Estate agree that painting provides one of the best returns on your investment, since its relatively low-cost, especially if you can do it yourself. New paint can rid your home of old odors, cover all those dings and fingerprints, and provide a fresh canvas that piques the buyers imagination, says the Dolly Lenz team.

    And new paint isnt limited to the walls. Painting the homes cabinets could also have a positive impact on a sale, though Jennings recommends steering clear of daring colors and opting instead for a hue thats on-trend. Swanson adds that paint color preferences are often regional. In terms of the Northeast, people love their white kitchens, so thats usually a safe bet, she suggests.

    If paint is the outfit of a home, consider hardware and light fixtures the accessories. Both have the ability to dress up a home, and without them, a space can feel boring. Often, lighting and hardware can make the difference between a good and a great home for potential buyers, meaning its worth your while to swap out dated pieces for more contemporary counterparts. Jennings even goes so far as to state that these seemingly minor repairs could get you double or even triple what you invested. After all, first impressions are major when it comes to making a sale, according to Jenny and Dolly Lenz, so its important to invest in areas that might influence that impression.

    As with paint, preferences for hardware and lighting fixtures vary, so its useful to research whats trending in your area and whats most likely to sell. Need a suggestion? Swanson says, Aged brass is very popular, so choosing this and perhaps adding an inexpensive pendant light also in aged brass would likely make a big impact.

    Potential buyers want to be able to envision themselves living in the home theyre looking at. Pulling up to a yard full of weeds risks clouding that vision. As Dolly and Jenny Lenz point out, A lack of effort can kill your sales process before it begins. They add, You want those people to stop and get out of their car, not keep driving by. Easy fixes like pulling out weeds in flower beds or putting down wood chips in muddy spots could make all the difference for a potential buyer whos imagining pulling up to the house every day.

    While this might seem obvious, youd be surprised at how much gets overlooked. Dolly and Jenny Lenz say, No one wants to walk into a house with lights that dont turn on, shades that cant be opened, or doors that are stuck. As an owner, you may not even know that something is broken, but a discerning buyer will certainly zero in on your homes imperfections. Put yourself in the buyers shoes and go room to room looking for issues. Fixing any obvious defects can pay dividends in the future.

    OK, so this one might not be as easy as getting out the paint roller or doing an afternoon of gardening, but it could make a pretty major difference in your sale, according to Jennings. Along with painting, flooring is another improvement that can maximize your return on your investment. Scratched, dated floors might not seem like a big deal to you, but for a buyer, its just another thing they would need to fix upon moving in. At the very least, get an estimate for the work to pass along to your buyer if you cant do the repairs yourself.

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    5 Easy Repairs to Make If You're Trying to Sell Your House -

    Details Abound in This Dreamy Wayzata Abode by Hage Homes – Midwest Home Magazine - February 14, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Photos by Corey Gaffer

    We are a different breed of builder, because wethe ownersare actually the ones building the home, says Kate Hage, who co-owns Hage Homes with her husband, Kerry. This project, a dreamy Wayzata home with sweeping views of Ferndale Preserve and Lake Minnetonka, only reinforces her sentiment.

    On a near 5-acre lot with mature trees and unique elevation above the preserve, a stone turn-around driveway welcomes you to this tucked-away house straight out of a fairytale. The client wanted their new home to look as if it had always been there, Hage says, which is why the Minneapolis-based builders strengthscraftsmanship and detailmade them the perfect fit for the job.

    The pairs commitment to quality is utterly apparent as you walk inside, where a basketweave floor design immediately pulls focus in the entryway. In fact, careful attention to custom finishes like this took precedence in every facet of the project. For example, antique flooring sourced from a tobacco farm in North Carolina is both historic in nature and beautiful in composition, while the sunrooms tile work is delicately hand-painted. The kitchen cabinets and drawers, which feature dovetail joints and ornate detailing, are highly customized by the best craftspeople in the Twin Cities. A recurring floral motif carved into pullouts, vanities, and more makes thoughtful appearances throughout the home.

    An emphasis on natural materials is also evident, seen in the stone, stucco, and cedar incorporated inside and out. Reclaimed timbers enhance the walls and ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows send natural light into the 28-foot-tall living room, a massive wood-base island grounds the spacious kitchen, and a stone fireplace with a custom limestone surround keeps everyone warm during cold winter months.

    Other standout elements include a custom four-season conservatory with full irrigation capabilities, operational windows, and temperature control; a stone porch with automatic retractable screens, a wood-burning stone fireplace, and ceiling heaters; a steel-and-glass window wall that peeks into a green-accented garden room from the kitchen; and a three-story staircase often drenched in sunlight. Dcor and art fill open shelves and glass-enclosed cabinets, and in many spaces, unique light fixtures suspend overhead. A lower-level bar area, wine cellar, and billiards table round out the homes extensive offerings.

    The result is a truly custom home with unsurpassed care for not only the homeowners vision, but every detail and finish along the wayexactly what Kate and Kerry Hage promise every Hage Homes client.

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    Details Abound in This Dreamy Wayzata Abode by Hage Homes - Midwest Home Magazine

    Out of the past – - February 14, 2021 by Mr HomeBuilder

    125 Years

    February 13, 1896

    The stockholders of the new Driving Club met at the home of Louis Kah, Jr., last night and decided to incorporate the club with a capital stock of $3000. The following were elected: John Loughlin, president; Dr. T.W. Johnston, vice president; Louis Kah, Jr., secretary; Louis Wagner, treasurer.


    Hick and Hess have opened a bicycle store in the business room of W.H. Fistoe on North Main avenue.

    100 Years

    February 13, 1921

    The Potts brothers, well known young men of this city, have established a new industry here, their plant being located on Carey street, south of the plant of the Sidney Tool Works. They have outfitted a polishing and nickel-plating plant, and have had almost 16 years experience in this line of work.


    There were indications today that President-elect Hardins inaugural address will be short and will be devoted principally to domestic issues.

    75 Years

    February 13, 1946

    The first annual meeting of the membership of the Sidney Civic association will be held the evening of Feb. 26, with a dinner to be served at the Masonic temple. Principal speaker for the meeting will be John H. VanDeventer, president and editorial director for the magazine Iron Age.


    Houston and Botkins joined top-seeded Anna and Holy Angels in registering thrill-packed victories as the Shelby County High school basketball tournament got underway at the Sidney High school gym last night.

    50 Years

    February 13, 1971

    Edward L. Gerstner, 80, of R.R. 1, Sidney, State Route 29 east, died at 5:35 p.m. Sunday at Wilson Memorial Hospital where he was admitted Dec. 25.

    He was one of the co-founders of the Liberty Folder Co. now a division of Bell and Howell.


    New personal loan manager for Citizens Baughman National Bank will be Jerome Wanger Jr., former Fort Motor dealer here for many years, it was announced today by Chairman Joseph B. Cook and President J. Lowell Fowble.

    25 Years

    February 13, 1996

    A television crew from the NBCs Dateline news program was in Sidney Tuesday to interview the editor of Coin World, an Amos Press Inc. publication.

    Beth Deisher, editor of the international weekly newspaper for the coin collector, was interviewed by Chris Hansen for a program to be broadcast the end of March or early April. The interview was conducted at the Sidney Holiday Inn since remodeling is currently under way at Amos Press.

    These news items from past issues of the Sidney Daily News are compiled by the Shelby County Historical Society (937-498-1653) as a public service to the community. Local history on the Internet!

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    Out of the past -

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