Francesca Alves-Hines' Blog
54 Plain St, Brockton, MA 02302
After settling into your home, you start to notice a few things either need to be retouched or completely overhauled. The biggest issue that a lot of homeowners run into is the money for the project. Even after assessing whether the project is a DIY or you’ll need a professional, funding still comes before action. Here are a few funding options to consider before you begin your home improvement projects.
Borrow from Your Future: 401(K)
A vast number of traditionally employed homeowners have a 401(K). Often, an employer will deposit funds into this account just as the employee does, but did you know you can borrow from it? If your housing project requires a little more than what you have in your savings account, try taking a little from your 401(K). Remember, even though it’s your account, it’s not free money. You will have to put it back once you’re able, and if you separate from your current company, you may run into a few extra fees if the money isn’t returned within five (5) years.
Government-Backed Improvement Loans
There are a few different types of government-backed loans that allow you to improve your home. You just need to identify the category your home improvement falls under. If you’re looking to do a few moderate improvements, try the 203K loan. These loans are great if you’ve purchased a preexisting home and have a few hefty renovations to cover. You can even add this loan to your mortgage payments.
If your home improvement project happens to fall more along the “greener” side of things, such as heating/cooling, water-efficient landscaping, energy reduction systems, etc., you may be able to apply for a PACE loan. These loans are pretty easy to get approval for, can often receive tax credits and may be sold to your next buyer when you decide to move.
Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)
Have you been in your home for a while? Maybe a HELOC would be the best method for you to finance your home improvement projects. Since your home has accrued equity over the years, you’ll be able to secure the loan by using it as collateral. These loans are often suited for long renovations or projects that may require a few extra stages.
If your home improvement projects end up with a longer price tag than you were expecting, don’t fret. There are several other ways that you’ll be able to cover the cost, including tax credits and grants. If you’re prepping your home to sell in the near future, chat with your agent about the best renovations, improvements and repairs, as well as, how to fund them.
38 HAMILTON ST, Brockton, MA 02301
Home designers are seeing a pretty specific dream sheet of most-desired features in contemporary kitchen design. And those features aren’t as surprising or innovative as you might think. Here’s a brief overview of today’s most popular (and useful) kitchen features.
1. A Kitchen Island
For many people building a home, the dream is an expansive kitchen island that effortlessly becomes the focal point of the kitchen, allowing people to gather and talk while providing extra counter space and storage below. Not all kitchens have the floor space for a large island, but even small kitchens can benefit from a compact island, which can add much-needed versatility and storage. Keep in mind that the recommended floor width on either side of an island is 42" (for a kitchen with a single cook) or 48" (for a kitchen with two cooks working at the same time).
2. A Farmhouse Sink
A double-width sink with no dividers is topping the list of today’s homebuyers who are sick of not being able to fit their 8-quart Dutch ovens (and other large pots and pans) into their kitchen sink. Large, wide sinks are in, often with a small removable basin for soapy water during the washing process.
3. Ample Storage/Pantry Space
A walk-in pantry provides many home cooks with the space they need to close the door on a mess. For others, a floor-to-ceiling pantry built into the cabinet design is more than ample for their family’s needs. But that storage needs to be well-designed to allow for easy visibility and access of items at the very back. Some pantries feature sliding or pocket doors—either glass or wood—to enable shutting the door on the mess without necessitating door-swing space in the kitchen’s interior.
4. Built-In Appliances
For a truly streamlined look, a built-in refrigerator/freezer with custom panels matching your cabinets is hard to beat. These refrigerators are typically counter-depth, matching the depth of your cabinets exactly, and feature fully articulating hinges so doors open completely for easy access to the inside. Pair a built-in refrigerator with a coordinating drawer-style dishwasher, and your kitchen will be the envy of all your guests.
5. Double Ovens
For those who cook and bake regularly, double ovens—especially double wall ovens—are an absolute must. The double oven makes large meal prep a breeze—and dramatically simplifies the oven schedule when preparing special occasion feasts or holiday dinners.
Many home chefs also opt to incorporate these nice-to-have kitchen additions:
A pot-filler above or right beside the kitchen stove, making it easy to fill up a pot or kettle without carrying it back and forth to the kitchen sink.
A commercial-style gas range that meets chief industry standards and cuts down on cooking time and temperature inconsistencies.
A coffee bar with everything the household needs to make their preferred cup of joe in one convenient spot.
An appliance garage on the counter for hiding away appliances like blenders or stand mixers.