Geoff Hausmann - RE/MAX Property Consultants


The spare room. How is it that they always seem to be a catchall for random household items and never quite turn into a useable room? If you’re tired of walking by your spare room and it’s dismal mish-mash state keep reading for tips to turn it into a room you’ll be excited to use. Art studio. Whether you were born with a paintbrush in hand, haven’t touched one since high school or have always wanted to learn how an art studio can bring creativity into your life and home. Invest in an easel and a paint set to get started. But be sure to cover the floors for easy clean up! Unless that is you want to go for the splattered look. Reading room. Turn your spare room into a cozy reading nook by installing floor to ceiling bookshelves and some reading chairs. Create a room others will envy by building a window seat snug between two bookcases. Add ambiance with thick, ornate curtains and a plush area rug. Music room. Have you been longing to learn piano or guitar for years? Set your spare room up to be a practice space by installing soundproof walls and adding some instruments. Hooks on walls to hang your growing guitar collection or a small bookshelf for sheet music will keep your room neat and organized. Crafting room. If you have more craft supplies than you know what to do with you would probably benefit from a craft room. By dedicating space to your hobby you can organize your projects to be picked up at will and safely stored when you are ready to dive back in. If you have more than one craft you prefer you can even set up station dedicated to each one throughout your room. Add a cozy sitting chair for knitting or needlepoint or a large desk for scrapbooking or sewing. Playroom. Give your kids a space of their own by creating a playroom to store all their toys and have ample room to play with them. The extra space allows you to add fun playtime extras like a rug with a racetrack printed on it or a large dollhouse. A playroom also helps kids transition from playtime to other activities throughout the day. Movie theater. If you are a movie buff consider turning your spare room into the ultimate home movie theater experience. Large reclining chairs with cupholders add the comfort of the movie going experience. Pick up a screen projector and popcorn machine to recreate that theater feel. Home office Don’t let the extra space your spare room offers go to waste. Clear out any clutter that’s built up over the years and dedicate it to a new hobby, a long loved pastime or a place for your family to gather and spend time. Your options are endless so get creative and then get to work!

Bad housing contractors have a conscience. It's just that they don't behave as if they have a conscience. A big reason for this has to do with the contractors' focus. Instead of putting you, your family and your house first, bad housing contractors focus on how much money they can make after you give them access to your property.

What happens when you're not your housing contractor's top priority

Money is so important to bad housing contractors that these workers publish ads and seek out customers right after a hurricane, tornado or another natural disaster. Instead of seeing the suffering caused by a severe storm, bad housing contractors see opportunity.

To safeguard yourself from bad housing contractors, you have to be alert. And you can't just be alert right after a severe storm, the type of storm that causes millions of dollars of damage in a town over the matter of a few days.

You have to be alert year round and in all situations. Specific safeguards from bad housing contractors starts with a simple search. You can conduct this search online.Simply log into your local licensing department's website.

Confirm that housing contractors you want to work with have an active license. Look to see if there are any complaints against the contractor. Also, check to see if the contractor has had a lapse in her contract.

More safeguards from bad housing contractors

Make sure that housing contractors have a license for the type of work that they will be performing at your house. For example, contractors who you pay to repair or replace plumbing fixtures should have an active plumbing license. Before performing electrical or wiring work, electricians should have an active electrician's license.

Other safeguards from bad housing contractors include:

  • Thoroughly reviewing legal agreements before contractors start working on your property
  • Speaking up on points in legal agreements that you don't feel comfortable adhering to (Don't be intimidated by strong willed housing contractors. Remember that housing contractors are working for you.)
  • Seeking referrals on licensed contractors. Don't rely on the fact that contractors are licensed. Check to see how satisfied customers are with contractors' work.
  • Asking contractors about the process that they follow when preparing to perform work and while they work. Also, find out about the process that housing contractors use to clean up after they finish making renovations or repairs at a property.
  • Putting valuables in a safe place to avoid having the valuables get damaged by paint or other materials or equipment.
  • Ensuring that contractors stick to work schedules so that you don't end up paying more for a job than you had budgeted for.

Safeguards from bad housing contractors come with far reaching effects. Not only do the safeguards protect you from overpaying for repairs or renovations, these safeguards protect you during other business situations. The first step alone teaches you how to review legal documents, experience that you can use in other work negotiations.



This listing recently sold for $186,000.

146 Clark Lane, Waterford, CT 06385  

$192,000
Price
$186,000
Sale Price
6
Total Rooms
3
Bedrooms
2/1
Full/Half Baths
This cape has been completely renovated including all new electrical wiring and plumbing. This 3 bedroom 1.5 baths has a newer roof and a 3 year old furnace. The hardwoods have been refinished. Kitchen is brand new! Driveway has been resealed. Insulation added in the attic and many windows replaced to make this home energy efficient.


Choosing the right home renovation crew can save you headaches. Make the right crew choice before you start upgrading one or more rooms at your house and you could avoid heated arguments with your teenage children or your spouse.

What to look for in a home renovation crew

The benefits are clear. But, picking the right house renovation firm isn't always easy,especially if you're dealing with renovation crews that have been taking advantage of unsuspecting homeowners for years. Dishonest home renovation crews have been taking advantage of trusting homeowners much longer than you have been thinking about upgrading your home.

It's important to familiarize yourself with signs that a home renovation crew is setting you up to be ripped off. As with other business dealings, think twice before you hire the first crew that approaches you or that you find online or in person.

Don't let emotion play too big a role in your choice. Workers who are part of a bad home renovation crew know how to awaken strong emotions inside of you, making it easy for you to believe what they tell you.

Another temptation to avoid getting pulled into is the temptation to take a crews' pricing at face value. Just because one or more members of a home renovation crew tells you that they will repair your roof or another part of your house at a huge discount, doesn't mean that you'll actually save huge on the services.

Get renovation work in detail and in writing

Good crews put their work and costs of their services in writing. They don't offer general prices on a broad range of work. Instead, they list out their work and costs in detail.

An example is providing pricing on new living room floor tiles separately from pricing to paint your dining room. You also won't have to ask home renovation crew members for their licenses. They will take the initiative to present you with their active licenses.

In addition to providing you with their active licenses, top home renovators offer a guarantee on their work. They might even run specials that allow you to get one or more services performed at your house free of charge. For example, some crews will conduct a thorough inspection of your entire house without charging you a cent.

Home renovation crews make or break your personal finances

When you choose the right home renovation crew, you increase the likelihood that work performed on your property will be top quality. You can reduce damages to your home. Choosing the right home renovation crew is also a good way to finish upgrades on time, if not ahead of schedule.

This saves you money. Yield enough money and time savings and you could be well positioned to cover another home renovation, adding more value to your home. On top of that, you could enjoy the beginnings of a long term relationship with talented,honest and experienced home renovators.


If you’re thinking about buying your first home, it’s good to be close to a city that has all of the amenities and characteristics that you want out of life. However, recent economic growth and an increasing wealth divide has made some cities and their suburbs expensive and overcrowded.

Fortunately, there are several cities and metropolitan areas across the U.S. that are currently experiencing both job growth and a cultural rejuvenation. In this article, we’ll cover the top 10 up and coming cities to move to.

 1. Colorado Springs, CO

An hour drive from Denver and two hours to the mountains, Colorado Springs is a rising alternative to the Denver Metropolitan area. It is home to several high ranking colleges and the unemployment rate is low. Best of all, Colorado Springs is a highly affordable place to live.

2. Portland, ME

Portland is a small coastal city but is packed with restaurants and the arts. It’s proximity to the ocean and affordability make Portland a great place to move to. There’s also a thriving do-it-yourself scene, an emphasis on green living and repurposing old infrastructure.

3. Indianapolis, IN

Indianapolis combines affordable living with in-demand amenities like shopping, professional sports teams, and highly sought colleges. It’s also home to the biggest sporting event in the country, the Indianapolis 500 auto race.

4. Nashville, TN

Nashville and its surrounding suburbs are experiencing growth and demand for their rich musical culture and history as well as their affordability and short commute times. Residents of Nashville often rank it as being a great place to live, and if you trust anyone it should be the people who are there 365 days a year.

5. Grand Rapids, MI

Grand Rapids has the industry and infrastructure of a large metropolitan area but maintains the affable nature of a small, midwestern town. Grand Rapids is known for its large public waterway on the Grand River as well as its close proximity to Lake Michigan.

6. Houston, TX

Just an hour’s drive to great beaches on the Gulf of Mexico, Houston boasts a beautiful skyline and a rich cultural heritage, especially when it comes to food. Houston is also the home to several national companies and homes in the area are relatively affordable since Houston wasn’t largely affected by the housing crisis.

7. Raleigh, NC

The Raleigh metropolitan area is home to several competitive research universities and the population is booming with nearly 80 people migrating to Raleigh each day. Affordable housing and a stable but increasing job market make the Raleigh metropolitan area a highly desirable place to live.

8. San Jose, CA

Silicon Valley shows no signs of slowing as major companies like Google, Apple, and Facebook, continue to expand. One problem residents of the area will face is growing real estate prices and a shortage of housing, but living in both a technological and a natural paradise might be worth it for the right people.

9. Sarasota, FL

Beautiful beaches and year-round warm weather attract retirees to Florida each year. But Sarasota also offers a large and growing job market in healthcare, tourism, and hospitality.

10. Salt Lake City, UT

Salt Lake City is within driving distance of several national parks, holds close proximity to mountains, and is nearby Utah’s Great Salt Lake, the largest salt lake in the Western Hemisphere. Salt Lake City has a growing job market, a low unemployment rate (2.8%), and low average commute times.




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