Question: “What are some things which add value to a home in a remodel?”
Chris’ Answer: When remodeling a home, consider the different ways you can increase value to the home:
REDECORATING – Redecorating is the most popular home improvement. Changing the paint color is a relatively inexpensive way to improve your living space. Other things like new accent pillows, area rugs, and artwork make big changes!
KITCHEN – Kitchens are often the main focus. You may not be able to afford a whole new kitchen but, for a relatively small budget, painting units or replacing cupboard handles or doors are great alternatives. Good lighting and clutter-free, clean surfaces will also make a big difference.
FRESH BATHROOMS – In the bathroom, re-grouting, eliminating all limescale and replacing fixtures are good options. Bathrooms need to look fresh and hygienic.
GARDEN APPEAL – If you have a front garden, spend a little time sprucing it up. Add plants in the flower beds or pots, and have a clear pathway. In the backyard, a well-designed garden can add a great deal of value. It should feel like an extra space for entertaining or relaxing.
THE FRONT DOOR – First impressions count, and the front door of your home can say a lot about the rest of the house.
LOOK SMART AND BE ENERGY EFFICIENT – Smart home technologies are increasingly important, along with solar or wind systems, to the value of a home. Statement systems like multi-room music platforms can also make a difference.
FIX SUPERFICIAL DEFECTS – Small problems and defects can create an impression of a house being run down or not well cared for. Things to look out for include: peeling paint, dirty walls, dripping taps, squeaky floors, doors or stairs, and moldy sealant in kitchens or bathrooms.
Question: “When renovating a home, what are some ideas to make a home more comfortable?”
On St. Croix, both indoor and outdoor spaces of a home are crucial in forming a comfortable and welcoming setting. A spacious and open floor plan allows for movement, mingling, and conversation to flow, as well as for comfortable breezes. Here are 7 ideas which will make a more comfortable home:
The heart of a home is its kitchen. Create a space where you like to be while cooking for yourself or your guests. Make sure there’s a place for them to sit while talking with you, and enough room for them to help you cook!
Replace older AC units for energy efficient mini split units.
Shade for comfy outdoor furniture make a wonderful space for you and guests. Have around 150 square feet of shaded space, the size of a small room, if it will fit in your plans, more is always welcome. Use all-weather outdoor furniture which can handle the elements of the tropical climate.
Replace old windows, ceiling fans, and screens as needed for good air flow. You are going to want those breezes!
Think about how you use your home at night. Appropriately recessed lighting, wall sconces, and outdoor lights can make a huge difference in your comfort and tranquility.
If you don’t have the space or resources for a swimming pool, a plunge pool goes a long way to help cool you on those hot sultry days.
How about an outdoor shower? Showering outside while enjoying the view is delightful, especially after a day of snorkeling or diving, and decreases the amount of sand getting into your home!
Home remodeling can be challenging, especially on an island where resources are fewer, and items can take time to arrive by boat. Whether it’s something relatively easy like changing the paint color, or something major like a complete home remodel, if you plan ahead the process is not only survivable, it can even be fun and very rewarding. It changes your life!
Don’t let renovation anxiety stop you from achieving your real estate dreams. Here are 5 strategies to help you remodel your home:
Keep track of your progress, no matter how small, in a journal or photographs. It’s important and encouraging to see how much progress you’ve made toward reaching your goal as you go along.
Avoid decision fatigue. It’s good practice to purchase fixtures (sinks, faucets, ceiling lights, and even door handles) well before you need to install them so you don’t encounter delays. Batch fixtures by the room or by type. This will put you on a path to interior design success.
Consider working on one room or floor at a time and sealing it off with plastic sheeting to prevent dust from getting everywhere. And though it should go without saying, always keep one bathroom fully functional.
Get clever with cooking. You use your kitchen every day, so if it’s under construction, things get a little tricky. Stock up on no-bake and one-pot recipes (all you need for the latter is one hot plate). Use an outdoor grill to get away from the construction scene and dust.
Keep your eyes on the prize! No matter how much preparation you do, renovations can be draining. One of the best ways to maintain enthusiasm is by taking “before and after” photos. The visual comparison will help you relax and remember just how far you’ve come, serving as an instant pick-me-up on tough days. It also becomes a record for any future reference.
Our Clients, who’ve become our friends, purchased this home with us. They’ve completed their beautiful kitchen renovation. See the BEFORE & AFTER photos they shared with us (above)!
Looking to buy a home to renovate? Check out our video below as we walk through some questions you should consider when searching for a ‘fixer-upper.’
Question: “I’m interested in buying land to build a commercial property. Who would I contact?”
The same lending institutions for home loans could potentially lend to build a commercial property. The Lender’s Commercial Loan Department handles this type of lending. They will require much of the same information in our other Q&A. It’s always a good idea to call to speak with a Commercial Loan Officer.
Question: “What are the different zoning codes I will see on a listing?”
When you are buying land to build your island home, it is important to know if you can use the land as planned. The most common zones you will see:
R-1 – residential, low density, set backs – 15 feet all sides R-2 – residential low density (1 – 2 family dwellings), set backs – 15 feet front, 10 feet rear and sides
These are all of the zones:
A-1 Agricultural District A-2 Agricultural District R-1 Residence—Low Density R-2 Residence—Low Density R-3 Residence—Medium Density R-4 Residence—Medium Density R-5 Residence—High Density B-1 Business—Central Business District B-2 Business—Secondary B-3 Business—Scattered B-4 Business—Residential Areas C Commercial I-1 Industry—Heavy I-2 Industry—Light W-1 Waterfront—Pleasure W-2 Waterfront—Commercial—Industrial P Public S Special
Contact us with any questions about home buying on St. Croix. We have worked with many Buyers on and off the island to purchase their dream home on St. Croix. We can help you with every step of the process.