5 affordable home renovations that give you best bang for your buck

1. Update key areas with paint

A fresh coat of paint is one of the quickest, cheapest and easiest ways to transform your home quickly, Resene’s marketing manager Karen Warman said.

“Kitchens and bathrooms are often the areas of a home that the owner most wants to update but can’t always afford the price tag to go all new,” Warman said. ” A quick and easy update is to paint the cabinetry.  Change the handles to a current style, and you’ll have a new looking space for the fraction of the cost of full replacement.”

If you decide to paint your entire home, Warman recommends breaking the project down into smaller parts.

“Start with the most used areas first, so that you can enjoy the changes while you work on the rest of the house,” she said.

Expect to pay: About $200 to $300 if taking the DIY route. Add on about $40 per hour for professional painters. (note: this is in Aussie dollars)

2. Install a new kitchen back-splash

Kitchen renovations don’t come cheap. But don’t let that stop you from giving your kitchen some TLC.

If you can’t afford to completely re-fit your kitchen, make it feel fresh by installing a new splash back.

read more at: https://www.domain.com.au/advice/the-top-5-affordable-home-renovations-that-give-you-the-best-bang-for-your-buck-20180409-h0yir4/?utm_campaign=strap-masthead&utm_source=smh&utm_medium=link&ref=pos1

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Chinese buy less U.S. real estate in 2017

Speculation that Chinese investments in U.S. real estate would plummet after Beijing enacted tighter regulations on outbound investments last August has proved correct

There was a 55 percent drop in new Chinese investment in U.S. commercial real estate in 2017 compared with the year before, as spending fell from $16.2 billion in 2016 to $7.3 billion last year, according to a report earlier this week by real estate brokerage Cushman & Wakefield.

China fell from first to third place among foreign investors in the U.S.,behind Canada and Singapore.
While investor activity has declined noticeably, established Chinese investors who already have a presence in Southern California “remain active pursuers of large high-profile offerings in this region,” property broker Jeffrey Cole of Cushman & Wakefield said.

“We still expect Chinese capital to flow into Southern California, albeit at a reduced and slower pace in the short term,” he said.

BY Roger Vincent       Vincent writes for the California News Group.

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San Diego home prices continue to gain in January

Home prices were up 6.9 percent in January over the last 12 months in San Diego County, said the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index released Tuesday.

National prices were up less in the same time period at 5.4 percent. The biggest gainers were Portland, Seattle and San Francisco.

From December to January, the median home price in San Diego County, adjusted for seasonal variation, increased 1.1 percent, beating the national average by 0.6 percent.

David Blitzer, managing chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said in the report that home prices nationally continue to climb at more than twice the rate of inflation. But, housing supply is still a major issue.

“While low inventories and short supply are boosting prices, financing continues to be a concern for some potential purchasers, particularly young adults and first-time homebuyers,” he wrote.

Lack of housing supply is typically cited by analysts and real estate agents as a reason for increased housing prices and rent. The latest data from the U.S. Census, from July 2014 to July 2015, showed more people left the county than moved in — and housing is considered a major factor.

San Diego had the lowest drop in home inventory, 30.2 percent, in the nation from January 2015 to January 2016, real estate tracker Zillow said.

Read more at: http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/business/real-estate/sdut-case-shiller-home-index-2016mar29-story.html

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