KENNETH BARGERS BLOG

Realtor, Tennis Player, Titans & Vols Fan, Nashvillan

Refacing Kitchen Cabinets

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Refacing Kitchen Cabinets
Courtesy of Nashville Home Inspection | May 2015 Monthly Tip

NHI-Mayeblast-imageWhat is the remedy for kitchen cabinets that are beginning to look a little down-and-out? A new face, of course.

How do you go about getting your cabinets a new face? Refacing means covering the exposed cabinet frames (boxes) with a veneer of real wood or plastic laminate. Doors and drawer fronts are then replaced to match or compliment the new veneer, and new hinges, knobs and pulls complete the face-lift.

There are a number of benefits to refacing such as a cost savings of half or more over replacing cabinets. It is also quicker to do, and infinitely less messy than tearing out or cabinets and installing new ones. And it can be an environmental-friendly gesture, because the old cabinets remain in place instead of adding to a land-fill.

There is no shortage of refacing options, with veneers available in a wide variety of colors, patterns and textures. Some options include rigid thermofoil (RTF) doors, which feature a durable plastic coating over fiberboard, along with plastic laminates and real wood veneers in style including oak, cherry and maple. (Wood veneers are the most expensive option and need to be sealed to protect against moisture).

In addition to choosing the style of materials and hardware, homeowners need to decide whether to hire a professional installer or to tackle the job themselves over a couple of weekends.

Here are some other questions that will be important to think about before starting the project – will the backsplash or countertops be replaced at the same time? Will anything else in the kitchen be changed such as appliances or lighting?

Once homeowners have a good handle on the scope of the project, the next decision will be determining if refacing is a viable option. It won’t be worth the investment unless the refaced cabinets will hold up for at least another ten years of life. If the cabinet boxes are sagging, water damaged or won’t hold up to refinishing, they may have to be replaced.

If the cabinets can be refaced, the cabinet doors must be measured accurately to determine the amount of veneer required, and the correct sizes and quantities of doors and drawer fronts that need to be replaced and ordered. It should be noted that doors and drawer fronts may take up to two weeks or more for delivery.

Regardless of who handles the work, the first steps include removing the old cabinet door and drawer fronts and washing the exteriors of the cabinets with a degreaser. The finish on the boxes needs to be lightly sanded so that the new veneers will adhere correctly. The veneer is then applied and then the new cabinet doors, drawer fronts and hardware is mounted.

Refacing an average kitchen with laminate is estimated to cost between $1,000 and $3,000 installed, and $2,500 to $5,000 or more for real wood veneers. Wood veneers can range even higher, depending on the wood that is chosen. Replacing kitchen cabinets completely can easily run double or triple the cost of refacing cabinets.

Source: John Watkins, Nashville Home Inspection, May 2015 Monthly Tip, 052015 eblast distribution

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12 Most Popular New-Home Amenities in 2015

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12 Most Popular New-Home Amenities in 2015
Article by Daily Real Estate News | May 18, 2015

NAHB-LogoMaster bedroom walk-in-closets and a laundry rooms are the top features that builders are most likely to include in a new home this year, according to a survey of builders conducted by the National Association of Home Builders.

“Both features speak to improving organization and storage characteristics of new homes,” according to NAHB on its Eye on Housing blog.

Greater energy efficiency amenities also were ranked more important, with low-E Windows coming in No. 3 on the most likely amenity list on new homes. Energy-Star rated appliances and windows as well as a programmable thermostat also rated high.

The following were ranked as the most likely features and amenities to be included on an average single-family home in 2015:

  1. Walk-in closet in master bedroom
  2. Laundry room
  3. Low-E windows
  4. Great room (kitchen-family room-living room)
  5. Energy-Star rated windows
  6. Ceiling height on the first floor of 9 feet or more
  7. 2-car garage
  8. Programmable thermostat
  9. Granite countertop in the kitchen
  10. Central island in the kitchen
  11. Bathroom linen closet
  12. Front porch

On the other hand, the features identified in the survey as the most unlikely to be included in new homes this year are:

  1. Outdoor kitchen (cooking, refrigerators and sinks)
  2. Laminate countertops in the kitchen
  3. Outdoor fireplace
  4. Sunroom
  5. Two-story family room
  6. Media room
  7. Two-story foyer
  8. Walking/jogging trails in the community
  9. Whirlpool in the master bathroom
  10. Carpeting as the flooring on the main level

Source: “What Builders Are Building,” National Association of Home Builders Eye on Housing Blog (May 13, 2015); REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 051815

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Home Prices Are Accelerating

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Home Prices Are Accelerating
Daily Real Estate News | May 12, 2015

NAR LogoThe number of metro areas seeing double-digit price appreciation doubled in the first quarter of this year compared to last quarter, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ latest quarterly housing report.

Strong demand mixed with tight inventories of homes for-sale continues to push up home prices nationwide. The median existing single-family home price rose in the first quarter in 148 out of the 174 metro areas NAR tracks. Only 25 areas recorded lower median prices compared to a year earlier, while 51 metros saw double-digit increases – a sharp increase from the 24 metro areas in the fourth quarter of 2014.

At the end of 2014, home prices had mostly moderated to healthier, more sustainable levels of growth, but now prices are picking up again, says Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist.

“Sales activity to start the year was notably higher than a year ago, as steady hiring and low interest rates encouraged more buyers to enter the market,” Yun says. “However, stronger demand without increasing supply led to faster price growth in many markets. Sales could soften slightly in some of these markets seeing sharp price appreciation unless housing supply markedly improves and tempers its unhealthy level of growth.”

The median existing single-family home price in the first quarter was $205,200 nationwide, up 7.4 percent from the first quarter of 2014. Meanwhile, total existing-home sales decreased 1.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.97 million in that time frame.

Inventories remain tight. By the end of the first quarter, there were 2 million existing homes available for sale, with the average supply during the first quarter at 4.6 months – down from 4.9 months a year ago. Most economists consider a 6- to 7-month supply to be a healthy balance between buyers and sellers.

“Home owners throughout the country have enjoyed accumulating household wealth through the steady rise in home values in the past few years,” Yun says. “However, some home owners are hesitant to move up and sell because they aren’t confident they’ll find another home to buy. This trend – in addition to subpar homebuilding activity – is leading to the ongoing inventory shortages and subsequent run-up in prices seen in many markets.”

Regional Breakdown  Here’s a closer look at how existing-home sales performed across the country in the first quarter:

  • Northeast: Existing-home sales fell 11.2 percent in the first quarter but are 2.2 percent higher than the first quarter of 2014. Median price for single-family homes: $245,000 in the first quarter, up 2.4 percent from a year ago.
  • Midwest: Existing-home sales dropped 2 percent in the first quarter but are 6.3 percent higher than a year ago. Median home price: $156,600, up 8.9 percent from a year ago.
  • South: Existing-home sales dropped slightly by 0.5 percent in the first quarter but are 7.8 percent above the first quarter of 2014. Median home price: $182,300, up 8.2 percent compared to a year earlier.
  • West: Existing-home sales rose 1.5 percent in the first quarter and are 5.4 percent above a year ago. Median home price: $295,500, up 5.8 percent above year ago levels.

Source: National Association of REALTORS®; REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News 051215

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Greater Nashville Area Home Sales Make Another Healthy Gain in April

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Home Sales Make Another Healthy Gain in April
Press Release by Greater Nashville Association of REALTORS® | May 7, 2015

GNAR-225x100NASHVILLE, TN (May 7, 2015) – There were 2,940 home closings reported for the month of April, according to figures provided by the Greater Nashville Association of REALTORS®. This represents an increase of 6.3 percent from the 2,767 closings reported for April 2014.

Year-to-date closings total 9,844. That is a 7.8 percent increase compared to the 9,133 closings reported through April 2014.

“April followed the trend of upward home sales that our region has been experiencing for some time now. We are keeping with the slight increases in both sales and median price, which keeps our market healthy and stable,” said Cindy Stanton, GNAR President. “The combination of low interest rates and continued growth and confidence in the job market, like the recent General Mills expansion announcement, has spurred more buyers into the marketplace.

“As Realtors, we are often asked about when and if interest rates will rise. The talk has been out there for some time without any movement,” added Stanton. “While it is possible they may rise by the end of the year, the increase would likely be minor as the lower rates have so positively boosted the housing industry.”

There were 3,198 sales pending at the end of the month, compared to the 2,795 pending sales at this time last year. The average number of days on the market for a single-family home was 66 days.

The median residential price for a single-family home during April was $224,975 and for a condominium it was $169,640. This compares with last year’s median residential and condominium prices of $204,905 and $158,000, respectively.

Inventory at the end of April was 13,521, down from 15,637 in 2014.

“Inventory is increasing as predicted, but not at the rate that can keep up with demand,” said Stanton. “The demand on the limited inventory has prompted buyers to get a head start on the spring buying and selling season, setting us up for a busy summer.

“If you are even considering selling your home, contact a Realtor today. Realtors are beginning to sound like a bit of a broken record, but the truth is the inventory is needed. Working with a Realtor can help a seller to navigate the flurry and fury of the market.”

### The Greater Nashville Association of REALTORS® is one of Middle Tennessee’s largest professional trade associations and serves as the primary voice for Nashville-area property owners. REALTOR® is a registered trademark that may be used only by real estate professionals who are members of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict code of ethics. ###

Source: Greater Nashville Association of REALTORS®, GNAR, Press Release 050715

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MarketGraphics Releases March 2015 New Home Permit Reports for Greater Nashville

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The Greater Nashville Area (12-County) New Home Permit Reports for March 2015
Courtesy of MarketGraphics Research Group | May 6, 2015

MarketGraphics-LogoMarketGraphics Research, located in Franklin, Tennessee, releases March’s New Home Permit Reports for the 12-county Greater Nashville area: County/Builder/Subdivision New Home Permit Report, Permits by County New Home Permit Report, Top 50 Builders New Home Permit Report

MarketGraphics-March2015Source: Paula Charles | MarketGraphics Research Group, Inc.
(615) 371-2282 | paula@mgresearch.net | http://www.mgresearch.net

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Outdoor Living… tips and ideas

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Written by Kenneth Bargers

May 6, 2015 at 5:20 pm

Remodeling Jobs—Baths Edge Kitchens Again for Top Spot

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Remodeling Jobs—Baths Edge Kitchens Again for Top Spot
Article by Paul Emrath | May 1, 2015

NAHB-LogoTo lead off National Home Remodeling Month in May, we report results from NAHB’s quarterly Remodeling Market Index (RMI) survey on the most common type of jobs performed by NAHB Remodelers in 2014.

The results show that kitchen and bathroom remodeling remain the two most common types of projects, as they have been consistently since NAHB started asking the question in 2001. Through 2009 kitchens were was slightly more common than bathroom remodels, but this tendency flipped in 2010, and in 2014 bathroom remodeling finished first again, but only by the narrowest of margins. Bathroom remodeling was cited as one of the most common remodeling projects In 2014 by 78 percent of NAHB Remodelers, compared to 77 percent for kitchen remodels.

Remodeling NAHB 1Other types of projects trail kitchens and baths by a wide margin, but window and door replacements, whole house remodeling, room additions and repairing property damage were each cited as a common project in 2014 by at least 30 percent of remodelers.

Remodeling NAHB 2Whole house remodeling continues to recover from its low point during the depths of the housing downturn. Prior to 2010, whole house remodeling was a common project for over 40 percent of remodelers, but the share fell to 21 percent in 2010, before posting solid gains in the next three surveys and coming in above 40 percent once again in 2014.

Source: “Remodeling Jobs – Baths Edge Kitchens Again for Top Spot,” National Association of Home Builders Eye on Housing blog (May 1, 2015)

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