Renovating a 1950’s Ranch style single family home: The design process

My husband and I purchased our home four years ago as a foreclosed property. It was a bidding war, lucky us, we were right in the middle of what I refer to as the “Robo Signing Debacle of 2010”. After submitting our initial offer and driving over to see our vacant home almost daily I convinced my husband to raise our offer. As a residential real estate broker with almost fifteen years of experience, I’m my worst client. After 5 months of waiting we got the call I had been praying for saying we had won the bidding war and we were going to get our house.

When we first purchased the home we did a simple face lift on some of it in order to move in but we had rented out our old house so we only had one month to get it all done. Since then we have added brick pavers to the backyard and landscaped the entire yard but haven’t done a lot to the inside. Earlier this year, we decided to initiate the process of renovating this home, and started meeting with contractors. We were advised to enlist the help of a designer, which we did. My husband and I are used to hiring trades to do work on our homes and had not been down the road of working with a designer or a general contractor.

The designer came over to our house, took all of the measurements and put together what is called an “As Built” drawing. This is necessary in older homes like ours that no longer have floor plans handy for review. If you have a newer home with a copy of your floor plan, you can save yourself this step which generally costs anywhere from $200-$500. After we had a copy of our current floor plan, we met with this designer to try and come up with a design for our home. This can be a grueling process for someone like me, that tends to be indecisive and treats decisions like this as a perfect opportunity to survey whoever I come into contact with about their home and floorpan and what they think about toilets in front of showers or master bedroom doors off of foyers. After I was able to weed through all of my input, we were able to get a drawing of something my husband and I both thought looked functional. This is referred to as a “conceptual drawing”. This can cost anywhere from $500-$2,000.

Our designer provided us with a simple pdf for this part and in retrospect I wish I had done a little more digging before we went down this path. It seems there are different understandings from designers as to what a “conceptual drawing” entails. We thought we would be giving a drawing with elevations and measurements sufficient to pursue our initial contractor bids. After all, why would you put more money into drawings if you get your bid and realize you can’t afford the project and need to scale it back? Luckily we met a contractor that was a able to bid off of our simplistic drawing and in the end we decided to scale back our project to focus on one large area that wouldn’t require any further work from an architect.

Orlando Home sales are skyrocketing!

http://www.orlandorealtors.org/news/240885/Orlando-home-sales-skyrocket-21-percent-in-June.htm

 

July 2015

ORRA Originated Sales

Average Mtg Rate

Total Inventory **

Active With Contract

New Listings

New Contracts

Under Contract

Back on Market

Expired

Withdrawn

Sales Closed

Days on Market

Jan ’14

4.47%

9,927

518

3,931

3,089

6,460

741

323

857

1,889 *

73 *

Feb ’14

4.37%

10,184

504

3,982

3,232

7,085

732

303

774

1,997 *

76 *

Mar ’14

4.43%

10,343

526

4,406

3,659

7,530

812

330

906

2,435 *

76 *

Apr ’14

4.39%

10,647

469

4,401

3,604

7,465

848

324

849

2,698 *

77 *

May ’14

4.16%

10,908

694

4,693

3,275

7,407

824

310

921

2,683 *

73 *

Jun ’14

4.17%

11,518

762

4,267

2,701

7,135

1,122

450

895

2,834 *

71 *

Jul ’14

4.17%

12,093

764

4,265

2,745

6,768

1,191

368

907

2,542 *

73 *

Aug ’14

4.16%

13,084

839

4,002

2,711

6,507

1,142

344

886

2,540 *

69 *

Sept ’14

4.20%

12,316

768

4,017

2,666

6,315

1,176

332

942

2,770 *

70 *

Oct ’14

4.05%

12,507

706

4,125

2,645

6,384

1,100

355

960

2,888 *

72 *

Nov ’14

4.01%

12,121

705

3,128

2,341

6,161

982

342

831

2,290 *

77 *

Dec ’14

3.86%

11,557

634

2,947

2,101

5,310

725

651

849

2,803 *

79 *

Jan ’15

3.67%

11,631

717

4,066

2,960

6,034

643

282

913

2,120 *

82 *

Feb ’15

3.80%

11,446

802

3,922

3,072

6,668

537

217

766

2,457 *

88 *

Mar ’15

3.78%

11,529

859

4,418

3,244

6,713

528

320

803

3,132 *

80 *

Apr ’15

3.69%

11,725

954

4,508

3,303

6,975

520

254

779

3,107 *

79 *

May ’15

3.92%

11,798

998

4,431

3,197

7,015

513

255

788

3,117 *

72 *

Jun ’15

4.08%

12,058

1,083

4,370

3,067

6,896

593

165

822

3,435

67

ORRA Originated Sales

Average Mtg Rate

Total Inventory **

Active With Contract

New Listings

New Contracts

Under Contract

Back on Market

Expired

Withdrawn

Sales Closed

Days on Market

* Corrected monthly sales. ** Includes listings with a status of “Active with Contract.”
Complete stats and data may be found under Market Info at www.orlandorealtors.org. Comments or suggestions? Contact Mike Blinn, Statistician.

Market PulseTM data represents all listings taken or sold by ORRA brokers, regardless of location and is exclusive to residential property, which includes townhomes, duplexes, single-family homes, and condos. It does not include vacant land or commercial transactions.

 

Updated Fannie Mae waiting periods post short sale or foreclosure

This past summer when Fannie Mae changed their guidelines, what they thought they were doing was helping consumers be able to get back into home ownership with less money down, unfortunately with those changes the timeline before purchase was extended. Here is a look at the most recent waiting periods.

Summary — All Waiting Period Requirements

The following table summarizes the waiting period requirements for all significant derogatory credit events.

Derogatory Event Waiting Period Requirements Waiting Period with Extenuating Circumstances
Bankruptcy — Chapter 7 or 11 4 years 2 years
Bankruptcy — Chapter 13
  • 2 years from discharge date
  • 4 years from dismissal date
  • 2 years from discharge date
  • 2 years from dismissal date
Multiple Bankruptcy Filings 5 years if more than one filing within the past 7 years 3 years from the most recent discharge or dismissal date
Foreclosure1 7 years 3 yearsAdditional requirements after 3 years up to 7 years:

  • 90% maximum LTV ratios2
  • Purchase, principal residence
  • Limited cash-out refinance, all occupancy types
Deed-in-Lieu of Foreclosure, Preforeclosure Sale, or Charge-Off of Mortgage Account 4 years 2 years

ParkNeighbor.com’s first video

Watch as Aaron Pak, manager of Sushi Lola’s in Audubon Park Garden District shows me how to make one of their delicious specialty rolls, the Magic Roll!

Creating a breakfast nook

A couple of weeks ago I decided I wanted to change my seating in our Kitchen/Breakfast nook from a table and four chairs from IKEA

 

 

 

 

 

to more of a traditional breakfast nook with benches. I was talking to my friend, Jeni and she forwarded me a couple of pins from Pintrest. I have to limit my exposure to that sight. It’s amazing but I would do a project every single day, if left unattended. Here’s the pin and here is what I did.

 

 

 

I purchased a round table from a woman on Craigslist. The table is wood and has a leaf and four chairs. The two book shelves, from IKEA I turned sideways and am using as benches. I then got two yards of material and three yards of foam to make cushions. I think the best idea was my Mom’s, who happened to be hanging out with me as I worked on this, to take down these old blinds and expose this beautiful window overlooking our pool. It has totally opened up our little nook and my kids eat, do homework, play here for hours. That being said, I bought two cans of scotch guard and doused the material before putting the cushions out.

 

 

Refinishing an old wooden desk

Organizing a small closet

What does the FCAT determine?

Public, Private, Charter, Home and Virtual Schools

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