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The Best Remodeling Bang For Your Buck

All this time at home + our Instagram/Pinterest feeds can make a remodeling project seem not just doable, but fun. Before you bust out the demolition sledgehammer, let’s look at what homeowners want most and understand the differences between the cost, price, and value of such projects. It won’t just save you money now, but it will also help you know where you can make money back if/when you decide to sell your home in the future.

The Homeowner’s Dream List

Think back to the last time you went through the home buying process. Whether you wrote them out formally or simply had a list in your head, I bet you had a few things on your “must-have” list. In fact, at GARDNER, REALTORS, we think listing and rating these items is crucial for a successful home buying result. According to a recent survey by, here are the top 5 things that American homeowners covet the most.


Project Cost vs. Value

Ok, so now we know what people want when searching for their dream home. Does this look similar to your dream list? Are there other remodeling ideas that you’d like to tackle? Regardless of the project, it’s important to understand the cost vs. the value you actually get out of it. Just because your pool resembles the finest 5-star resort doesn’t mean you’ll recoup all of the money when it comes time to sell. Fortunately, we have local data to put your mind at ease. According to the Remodeling 2020 Cost vs. Value Report (, these are the top 5 projects that statistics show will recoup the most value when you decide to put your home on the market:

 1.  Replacing your siding with fiber-cement 
 2.  Replacing your siding with vinyl
 3.  Adding a stone veneer to your home’s exterior
 4.  Replacing your garage door
 5.  Replacing your old windows

So, whether you want to make an upgrade to your forever home or finally make that improvement you know will increase your resale value, I’m here for you. With the expert GARDNER, REALTORS team behind me, I can help you feel confident in your financial knowledge and help you create the life you love.

7 Winter Energy Savings Tips

Save a little on home energy costs in the wintertime. 

Let the sunshine In: Pull back any window shades and open your blinds as soon as you wake up in the morning. This allows sunlight to shine in and raise indoor temps by a couple of degrees. It doesn’t seem like a lot at first, but you’ll notice it as the day progresses. Watching a cat or dog nap in pools of sunlight is a good indication that it’s working. When the sun starts to set, do the reverse and close curtains. This will help retain any heat absorbed during the day.

Storm window installation: Storm windows are a cost-effective way to upgrade existing windows that are old, drafty, and energy inefficient. Low-emissivity storm windows are coated with a thin, virtually invisible layer of metal, which reflects infrared heat back into the home. This can help lower utility bills just as much as replacing an entire window. On average, they can save you up to ? of home heating costs.

Adjust your temps: Another way to save on your heating bills is by reducing the temperature in your house by a degree or two. If you usually keep the house at 72 degrees, move your thermostat down to 68. You may feel the need to wear a sweater indoors, but in reality, the small difference is hardly noticeable. 

Space heaters. Paying to run a central heating system to heat the entire house — when you might be retired to a single room or home office for hours each day — doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Portable space heaters don’t replace a traditional system, but they can perform a perfect quick fix for a space that just won’t heat up. Focusing on only the room you’re in will reduce the wear and tear of your central heating system. Wayfair has a great selection of portable space heaters starting at under $75.

Rock the oven: Dining at home again? Try turning your home heating way down before you start cooking. The heat from a stove or oven can raise the temps of a kitchen/living area by several degrees, especially if you live in a condo or a smaller home with an open floorplan.

Reverse your ceiling fans: If your ceiling fans have a switch that changes the direction that the blades spin, you’re in luck. In summer, you want a ceiling fan to push air down, creating a breeze. However, in winter, you should be reversing the direction to draw air up. This pushes warm air away from your ceiling (heat rises, remember?) and circulates it throughout the house, making it more comfortable without increasing the strain (and costs) of using central heating.

Lighten up: The sun goes down much earlier in the winter months, which means that you’ll probably be turning on interior lights earlier as well. We suggest splurging for energy-efficient light bulbs. They save you money on your wintertime electric bills and tend to last longer than less expensive bulbs, so you won’t need to replace them as often.

Hung Le (Movement Mortgage)

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