How to Prep for Kitchen Renovation

Remodeling is a good way to raise the property value on a house and also to make any space more livable and unique. You’ll want to forge a solid strategy, however, before you go knocking down any walls. Here are a few things that you should consider before getting started.

Budget, for the sake of your wallet, you’ll want to keep your vision loose in the beginning. What you think looks good and what you can afford might not match perfectly, so don’t hammer anything in stone. If you keep the concept rough, it’ll be easier to make compromises as you go. Kitchen renovation costs can range between $10k to as much as $80k, not including labor. It may be a good idea to break the whole project down into manageable portions and tackle things a bit at a time over an extended period. Prioritize what you can afford at the outset and work from there, (do you need to add space? Is the counter big enough? Do you require additional lights?) figure out what needs remodeling right away, and go from there. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you need to do the whole kitchen at once.

Once you’ve got a rough idea of the budget figured out, start gathering up inspiration for what the new kitchen will look like, you can do this any number of ways. Pinterest, for instance, is an excellent way to flesh out ideas, and it doesn’t entail creating a physical, tangible collection of photos, fabrics, and textures. Alternatively, you can hunt down images of kitchens online that inspire you and compile them into a folder on your device.

Find out if the renovation requires a permit. Some improvements will need permission from the city depending on the size and scope of the changes. If you are doing major electrical work, knocking down walls, or changing the floor plans of the house in any major way, you’ll need to get permission to do so from the city first. If you hire a licensed contractor to help tackle your project, he or she should let you know if they think you need one.

Speaking of contractors, get a contractor! If this is your first time remodeling, you probably don’t want to try to DIY this. Too often we make plans and realize too late that we simply don’t have time, or are suddenly inundated with other obligations, if that happens during a renovation, you will end up with sections of your kitchen being rendered useless for weeks or months at a time. Hiring qualified professionals to do the job for you cuts-down on the risk of you getting sidetracked by life. If you are only remodeling cabinets, you’ll probably be okay handling things on your own, but if it’s something more complex involves plumbing, gas, electricity, or knocking down walls, it’s a good idea to hire a licensed contractor. Get estimates from them for labor costs (labor costs are usually less than the overall price of parts and materials,) and ideas on how best to utilize the kitchen space. Remember, these people do this for a living, so if there is a flaw in your initial layout/vision, they will spot it and help fix it before it becomes a problem.

Lastly, make sure you have the following things figured out before the project begins.

  • Your time management. What hours will the project be taking place in, sometimes things run over, will your job interfere with the project, will you be home to let the contractors in, will you have to cancel certain days because of work?
  • Be prepared for the unexpected. Halfway into the project, it might turn out that you need some part or other and will have to factor it into the budget, that’s okay, that’s why we kept our original vision flexible, to compensate for incidentals.
  • Making compromises. The bigger a renovation is, the more likely it is that you will have to make some compromises to your initial design for one reason or another. Approach this logically and listen to what the professionals tell you. If they think that it’s best to avoid doing something, or that something simply isn’t possible, then take their advice and prevent a headache down the road.
  • Don’t stress over the mess. If you are living in the house while the renovations are happening, it might seem stressful to see your kitchen in a prolonged state of remodeling, but keep in mind that it is only temporary and that when the renovation is over, it will look better than ever.

For further details on your investment, don’t hesitate to reach out to ConBro Buyers Brokerage, we’re here to assist you:

Rising Property Taxes – Will Homeowners Be Driven Out Of Their Own Homes?

Rising Property Taxes - Will Homeowners Be Driven Out Of Their Own Homes?Throughout the US, homeowners are fighting property taxes, which are on the rise. If you think a slip in home prices ought to reduce property taxes too, you are wrong. There are many factors at work to impact property taxes. For one thing, the tax rate is determined in the budget policy. Ohio residents were on an outbreak for a last minute increase in property tax rate. Other than that fact, let’s consider what causes property taxes to rise?

Home Improvements and Rise in Area Value

A significant factor that causes property taxes to rise is home improvements. Any improvement like adding a garage or home office raises its value in the next tax assessment. A higher value is proportional to a higher property tax. However, you can control this factor by filing an appeal and requesting a lower assessment amount.
A general rise in property value also increases property taxes. This increase in value can be attributed to an influx of residents or nearby luxury home constructions which drives the value of your neighborhood higher.

Government Need or School Funding
Local governments use property tax to raise quick funds. However, to ensure checks and balances, some states have placed limits on the maximum amount of property taxes. Local governments use the money generated from property taxes to fund many of their operations. If a school in a district requires financial assistance, the local government may raise the property taxes in that area to get the extra funds.

What to Do About It?
Nationally, property tax collections rose to $182.8 billion during the last three months of the year 2013. This tax collection topped the previous peak, which was four years earlier. Some homeowners have also complained of an overvalued real estate assessment raising their property taxes. The government is gritting their teeth and passing on the burden to taxpayers to fill the budget gap but the question is, will homeowners be able to bear the burden in this state of economy? However, they can file for an appeal with their local tax assessor’s office and get the property re-valued for a fair estimate and lower property tax.

How Can Veterans Secure Housing?

Helping Homeless VeteransThere is a large population of US veterans that are homeless. Overall estimates stood at 23 million in 2008. Many veterans enter the armed forces just after high school and upon returning home, may face many challenges, including finding work and housing.

For Ohio Veterans threatened with homelessness, there are non-profit organizations and shelters available for immediate solutions; such as the Cleveland Veterans Resource Center, Walton Avenue Housing Program, and Veterans Domiciliary at Wade Park.

Understanding VA Loans

Estimates show that annually 6650 veterans struggle with the home buying process in Ohio. Since the 2008 housing crash, private and public lenders have tightened regulations, which makes getting financing more challenging. This poses particular difficulty for veterans wishing to purchase a home, fortunately they can utilize federal VA loans to do so. The VA loan program was created in 1994 to help returning service members as they re-enter civilian life.

VA loans are guaranteed by the federal government and are a mortgage loan issued by approved lenders. Some benefits of VA loans, which makes it easier and affordable for veterans to purchase a home include: competitive interest rates, no down payment and no private mortgage insurance.

How do I know if I am eligible for a VA loan?

For the Veteran seeking to purchase a home, you must first have a Certificate of Eligibility (COE) and to be eligible for a COE you must have acceptable credit and a viable source of income. You must also be either a retired or active member of the military. You would not be ineligible if you were dishonorably discharged. Borrowers who qualify for the VA loan have a little to no out-of-pocket expense.

For assistance with your VA loan, you can contact ConBro Buyers Brokerage today at



Retiring With Investment Property – How It Is A Good Choice!

iStock_000014064608_SmallWith the volatility of the stock market and other saving avenues requiring you to become a complete miser – both before and after retirement – what other option do you have left to plan an early retirement? It is both understandable and important that you should consider your finances and sit with your financial investor when planning your retirement. However, consider investment property as a means for early retirement!

How Is Investment Property A Good Option To Retire On?

Consider investing in the stock market. If you are good to go with $40,000 as your retirement salary, that would mean having saved $1 million and investing it appropriately. However, that would only work when you find the stock market appreciating at an average of 8%. That does not seem so likely. In a matter of years, the market is seen rising and falling at 50%.

Owning property allows you to profit up to $250,000 from it upon selling, provided you have lived in the house for two of past five years. That means you will pay 0% tax on capital gains. Investing in real estate allows you to nest a constant income stream for yourself in the later years. Not only can you own a property, which can sell at a profit, but you can also rent it and enjoy a monthly income stream from it.

How Can You Buy A Second Home?


If you own a property, you can buy another easily through a home equity line of credit. It is a second loan after your mortgage, which you can take out. This second loan, which you take out, can be used as you please. This loan has a fixed interest rate and time period. You can withdraw loan money as you please through a debit or credit card.


You can also withdraw money from your 401(k) to purchase a second home. You can borrow up to half of the accounts vested balance or $50,000 – whichever is less to make the down payment on the property you are planning to purchase. Generally, a 401(k) loan has no credit checks and usually features low interest rates.


Why are Young Professionals Moving to Northeast Ohio?

Why Young Professionals Should Relocate to Northeast Ohio.Lately, a number of young professionals have been moving to Cleveland, Ohio. There are a number of reasons that contribute to the massive migration. The rapid development is probably the most important of all. When you come to Cleveland, you will notice that everyone is well employed as the unemployment rate has fallen greatly in the last two years. There has been a considerable rise in jobs in Ohio. During 2011-2012, over 10,000 jobs were added to the industries functioning in downtown Cleveland. Talking about downtown, it is not only the central business district of the city of Cleveland but also Northeast Ohio. Since the early 1990s, commercial developments have been on the rise making downtown Cleveland the biggest downtown district in Ohio.

Young Professionals find it easier to move to Cleveland because of its considerably affordable real estate. A few years ago, the demand for Ohio homesfor families fell greatly, as a result of which single family homes were high in demand. However, the recent rise in the demand for townhouses has made living in Ohioeasier for single individuals in Cleveland as one can rent a 650 sq. feet condominium starting from $450. Buying a house in Cleveland is a lot easier than many of the other states. Even though these condos may be placed in the suburbs, it is not a discouraging factor since over 37% of the Fortune 500 companies are located in the suburbs. Not only does it give a rise to employment opportunities, it has led to the opening of places such as Beachwood Place, Eton Square, Legacy Village and Crocker Park. There are numerous stores in all of these places which give you the feeling of living in downtown, the only difference being, it’s less crowded.

Besides employment opportunities, a number of youngsters move to Cleveland for educational opportunities. The city has some of the nation’s best institutes located there. Case Western Reserve University was rated as the state’s best and 37th in the U.S in 2012 while John Carroll University is ranked 7th in the mid-west region. Since, most of the colleges and universities are located in the suburbs, the studying lot prefers to stay in those areas while the working class prefers downtown.

In terms of Healthcare, Cleveland is one of the best places in the U.S because of the Cleveland Clinic. The clinic has over 10 regional hospitals in Northern Ohio and is rated as the nation’s 4th best hospital. Also, its medical research facility is the largest in the country encouraging medical students from all around the country to come here.

From all that’s mentioned above, Cleveland may sound a little boring but that would be completely false as it is one of the most happening places. You can just pick an activity and make a move. The metroparks provide facilities such as canoeing, boating on Lake Erie, kayaking, etc. If you are a fan of sports, the Quicken Loans Area also known as The Q is the place to go for NBA, AHL or AFL matches. The multipurpose arena serves all these sports. For entertainment, you can enjoy a night at House of Blues or The Cleveland Orchestra.

Relocating to Northeast Ohio

Let ConBro Buyers Brokerage help you relocate within Northeast Ohio.People relocate for various reasons. While, some relocate to cut down on their traveling time, some relocate to experience a change in the environment and some relocate to experience serenity. Whatever the reason maybe, we all relocate at some point of time and relocation would be a chaos-free procedure if one opts for the service of a real-estate professional. Often, people consult friends and family to find homes in a new place. However, they fail to understand that seeking professional assistance aides as a catalyst in securing the best property at an attractive price. With Ohio’s educational and business environment flourishing, many are developing an interest towards relocating to Ohio.

Before planning relocation, there are various things one needs to consider; like financial resources, property condition, and even inclement weather. Although, the weather conditions of Ohio are unpredictable, one can choose the best home as per their taste and preferences by hiring a professional real-estate agent. Real-estate agents have a clear knowledge on the process of property investment, the legal contract procedure, tax laws and the insurance policies. Being skilled negotiators, the exclusive-buyer agent is the buyer’s advocate in designing a relocation strategy that befits the client’s needs, while getting the best deal for the client. When you choose the professional service of ConBro Buyers Brokerage, you get the benefit of having professional guidance and an agent that has your best interest at heart. The guided personalized approach will surely make the documentation and house-hunting procedure hassle-free.

Real-estate agents spend most of their time studying the market and the local environment. Hence, they are able to guide their clients on making the right decisions. Local realtors regularly update themselves with the latest news and happenings in their area. They usually know the exact market price of their area and possess knowledge on properties that are available for renting and selling.

First time-home-buyers should seek the assistance of professional real-estate services as they are skilled to buy and sell properties in a legal way. A realtor ensures that you are provided with research on the market, home inspection reports, community information and additional industry knowledge that isn’t available to the general public. Working with an exclusive buyer-agent goes beyond obtaining the best property at the best price. An agent updates his database regularly which keeps him in contact with prospective sellers and buyers. Most of the times, the realtors possess knowledge on the properties which are going on sale even before they hit the market. Therefore, before buying homes in Ohio, one surely needs to seek the assistance of professional realtors.

The database collected by real-estate agents and their brokerages comprises of additional information which is not easily available to general public. By hiring the services of a real-estate agency, one can safely make transactions and buy their dream home without any hidden charges. Moreover, hiring a real-estate agent, cuts-down on the trauma and tension as someone else would be hunting for a home for you. They say big things come in small packages and we, at ConBro Buyers Brokerage close big deals at a fair fee, a fee paid by the listing brokerage’s seller and not the buyer. With dedicated agents, providing effective ways for buyers to feel safe and confident in their buying process, ConBro Buyers Brokerage puts the client first; which places them ahead of the competition. Well connected through roads that are connected to important cities, Ohio apartments and buildings are always on demand for sale. So, close a deal before anyone registers your dream home as theirs.

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