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Children in one of the best places to raise a family in Marin County.

By, Lisa Roberts

Marin County is a very desirable area to live in. People are drawn there for its many opportunities and great opportunities. It’s a great area to raise your family in. If you’re planning on doing that, here is the list of the best places to raise a family in Marin County.

1. San Anselmo

San Anselmo is a little town located about 20 miles north of San Francisco. It has a dynamic, close-knit population with plenty of charm. A small group of Marin County residents deemed San Anselmo the finest location to call home. The beautiful creekside site, intriguing history, and many activities are all reasons to come here. San Anselmo has a lot to offer:

However, your credit card may be at risk if this ends up being the place where you decide to raise a family in Marin County.

2. Ross

This Marin County town is one of the most excellent locations to call home. There’s a rural vibe about Ross, and most inhabitants own their houses. You can find several restaurants, cafes, and parks in Ross. Ross’s public schools have an excellent reputation. This is one of the most important considerations when purchasing a property in Marin County. It’s a lovely upmarket town with a good number of small businesses. For the most part, this is a secluded area.

However, there isn’t a lot of variety (racially, economically, or otherwise). Despite this, the public is polite and wealthier individuals are not pretentious. Ross is a lovely town with excellent public safety. In general, the people in this area are kind and welcoming, making it a wonderful environment where one can raise a family. Kids from kindergarten to 12th grade can benefit from public school education.

3. Corte Madera

Corte Madera, a bright piece of suburbia tucked amid Marin’s countryside, is considered Larkspur’s twin city. Whether you’re a young couple starting a family or an empty nester looking for a peaceful retreat – Corte Madera, California, might be the perfect destination. The town’s various open spaces encourage residents to spend time outside.

Living in Corte Madera also has the advantage of being close to San Francisco, which is only 15 miles away. Since the city is just a short distance away, you’ll enjoy all of its perks while still avoiding fog. Corte Madera inhabitants place a high value on education. So, many of the town’s schools are recognized as California Distinguished Schools.

Many choose it for their families

A great education system is one of the biggest reasons families come here from far away. You may be planning a long-distance move across California to provide your children with the very best public education. If that’s the case, make sure to hire reliable long-distance movers and have a safe transfer across California, where all of your items will remain out of harm’s way. 

4. Kentfield

You can find beautiful hiking paths here and some really friendly people! It appears as if nature surrounds you everywhere you go. There are fantastic eateries such as Pico’s Pizza in downtown Larkspur and fantastic coffee shops such as Rustic Bakery close by. Additionally, being near San Francisco while being located outside of the city in Marin County is a perk on its own. Simple transit options such as public buses and the Larkspur Landing Ferry that connect you to city life are also quite handy.

5. Larkspur

Known for its tight-knit community, charming streets, and rich history, Larkspur is a picturesque tiny town. Larkspur is an excellent spot to relocate your family if you don’t want to be surrounded by the continual traffic of San Francisco. It’s far enough away from the city to escape traffic, making it convenient to get to work. Many historical buildings, world-class dining establishments, charming shops, and first-rate educational institutions may be found here. Like neighboring Marin County communities, Larkspur has impressive parks and trails. That makes it an ideal location for hikers of all fitness levels.

6. Tiburon

Tiburon is a little town that is safe and tidy. It provides breathtaking vistas and is also a mini-bike path in and of itself. Because so few people are aware of it, it does not receive much traffic. However, it is a famous tourist attraction because it is accessible via boat from Angel Island or San Francisco.

According to whatever side of the Tiburon peninsula you are on, you will either be able to view the Richmond Bridge and the Berkeley, Oakland and the Bay Bridge or see the stunning San Francisco cityscape with the Golden Gate gleaming out into the Pacific Ocean. Even though Tiburon is home to a handful of fancy restaurants and stores that are all within walking distance of one another, the city is most renowned for its real estate and family-friendly atmosphere.

7. Mill Valley

Mill Valley, California, has long been considered one of the loveliest little towns in the country, and with views of the San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge to boot, it’s easy to understand why. In Mill Valley, you’ll find the stunning Muir Woods National Monument, ideal for wildlife enthusiasts. Residents and visitors alike enjoy the convenience of being close to the city yet having access to the beach and a vibrant downtown area. Having so many gorgeous open space preserves, lush woods, and meandering trails make it difficult to be lazy while you live here.

It’s a wise decision to raise a family in Marin County

When you want to provide the best of the best for your family, and you have the means to do that, Marin County seems like a logical choice. Great schools, low crime rate, and high living standard are all the great reasons one would decide to raise a family in Marin County, in any one of the places mentioned above. Yes, it might be a high-end area that’s a bit pricier. But, nothing can put a price on your children’s future, and by investing in a property in these neighborhoods, you’re investing in your kids’ quality of life.f

Photo used:

https://pixabay.com/photos/children-brothers-boys-brother-4894710/
A man’s hands holding a mockup house and a key.

People decide to sell their homes for many reasons. Sometimes it’s because they want to relocate for a job; other times, their home no longer satisfies their needs. Nevertheless, selling a home is not an easy process, and it’s best to seek help from California real estate professionals. But in any case, before you list your home on the market, there are some things you need to take care of. One of the most important steps is to depersonalize your home for sale. It might sound harsh, but this step is essential for finding a buyer.

Take your emotions out of the process

Selling the home you’ve lived in for a few or many years can be very emotional. This is because you’ve inevitably made lots of memories there. You must first accept that those memories will stay with you forever, regardless of where you live. The second step is to try and take your emotions out of the process. It’s hard to pack away all those family photos and memorabilia, but remember that it is only temporary. You’ll be able to display it all in your new home in no time.

Plan everything

Selling and buying a home are both time-consuming and stressful. Therefore, it’s imperative to have a good plan in place before you start.

Begin by researching to find experienced real estate agents in California who can give you good advice and help you sell your old home and buy your dream home. If you’re making a cross-state move, hiring professional CA movers is essential to make it stress-free. This will save you the headache of packing, lifting, and transporting everything yourself. Besides, due to their experience, professional movers will make sure your valuables don’t break during the move.

Start by decluttering your home

People tend to accumulate a lot of stuff in time. And usually, many of those things have no use or are damaged. So, to depersonalize your home for sale, you should begin by decluttering. This is important because if you have a full storage room or garage, the buyers won’t even be able to estimate their size. This is also very important for the moving process because you’ll have fewer items to pack and transport. So, go through every room and decide what to keep, donate or throw away.

A woman sitting in front of three boxes labeled: keep, donate, trash.
Start by decluttering your home.

Remove all the personal items

When potential buyers visit a home, they have to be able to imagine themselves living there. Therefore, they don’t want to see reminders of the family living there before them. Here are some personal items that you shouldn’t skip:

A couple smiling next to their wedding photo that is hanging on the wall.
If you want to depersonalize your property for sale, you need to remove all personal items.

Get rid of most of the furniture

To depersonalize your home for sale, you have to get rid of most furniture. Again, it’s about the fact that your style and taste might not match that of the potential buyers. Moreover, large pieces of furniture will make rooms seem smaller and darker. What you have to consider here is whether you want to move while you’re selling your current home or not.

If you decide to move before the sale of your current home, you can simply pack the furniture and transport it to your new home. However, if this is not an option, you still have to remove some of those large items. In this case, the professionals at royalmovingco.com recommend renting a storage unit where you can keep all your belongings safe. And since these companies usually have both long-term and short-term storage options, it doesn’t matter how long the sale will take.

Make it as neutral as possible

As previously mentioned, your personal style and taste may differ significantly from the buyers’. And this doesn’t refer only to your furnishings and home accessories but also to the color palette. There’s nothing wrong with liking bright and bold colors, but the potential buyers might not feel the same way.

The cheapest and most effective option is to paint the walls white. This way, the future buyers can choose to leave them like that or repaint only some walls. Or, if you feel that white alone is too impersonal, combine it with other neutral colors, like beige.

A bedroom with white walls, a gray bed, and dark beige curtains.
To depersonalize your home for sale, make it as neutral as possible.

And don’t forget about the wallpaper. Specialists suggest that home sellers remove wallpaper because it deteriorates in time and can give an old vibe. Moreover, if it has many patterns and colors, the potential buyers will probably not like it.

Don’t forget about the outdoors

If you’re selling a house, the exterior is as important as the interior. There are many tricks to enhance your home’s curb appeal, but you also have to depersonalize it. If you have kids, you should hide away all the children’s accessories, such as bicycles, kids’ pools, toys, etc. Maybe the potential buyers don’t have kids and won’t relate to this. Furthermore, if you’ve designed your backyard with lots of accessories, take them down and leave only a table with some chairs. It’s all about style and taste that appeals to the largest buyer pool.

Final thoughts

As emotional as it may be, it’s very important to depersonalize your home for sale. This is because the potential buyers need to imagine themselves, not you, living in that home. The idea is to make your home as neutral as possible. And don’t forget that your style and taste might not match that of the potential buyers.

the exterior of a house in California

By, Lisa Roberts

The outside of your home is as important as the inside. Improved curb appeal is not only making your home look beautiful, but certain details can make it safer and more comfortable. Also, curb appeal is the first impression for the visitors who can turn out to be potential buyers. So, if you’re planning to sell, doing your best to make the first impression positive is crucial. This is the guide that will give you tips on how to enhance the curb appeal of your California home and make it more welcoming to your guests or even buyers.

Be objective and see the importance of curb appeal

If you’re ready to jump into the real estate market and sell your home, you should reconsider the importance of curb appeal and take a look at your home objectively. Step outside and look at your home as if you’re seeing it for the first time. It can be hard to do that as we get used to all the flaws of our home after spending years there. A good curb appeal should be clean, tidy, and symmetrical. A house in California should look great in the sun, as buyers love Mediterranean-style places with welcoming outdoor spaces, which they use to have fun with their loved ones. Let’s see the best ways to achieve that look.

Begin with the front door

Most often, one of the first things you see when you look at a house is its front door. Homeowners usually don’t pay attention to their front door – they forget about it over time. That’s why they don’t notice the faded or chipped color, worn-out doorknobs, and other potentially problematic areas. The first thing you can do is revamp it with a layer of fresh paint. Depending on the style of your home, you can go with the classic – elegant charcoal or white or experiment with a pop of color, with colors such as deep orange or blue. Replace the hardware (knob and knocker), and there you have it – a brand new front door that’s tempting the guests to come inside and see more.

Don’t forget garage doors, too

Many California homes have garage doors facing the street. If they are not in good condition, garage doors can bring your curb appeal down. The easiest way to make them pop is to pain them. You can also go for a more expensive solution and replace the doors with more modern electrical options. If you are thinking about converting your garage into a livable space, it’s only natural to start with the doors. 

Replace the street number

This is not only a decorative detail – it is practical, too. If your current door number is old, dirty, and not that visible, it will make it difficult for people to find your home. Replace it with a new house number – you can find so many different styles on the market, even the ones with LED lights in them, making the house look better at night. This is a relatively inexpensive and straightforward project that will surely enhance the curb appeal of your California home.

Take care of your mailbox

Even though it’s ‘just’ a mailbox, this item is one of the first things people see when they come close to your home. Due to humid weather and a lot of sun in California, mailboxes often have faded or chipped paint, or they simply get rusty. Replace your mailbox with a new piece and give your home a new look.

Power washing for power results

Over time, the exterior of your home, including the driveway and sidewalk, gets dirty and loses its original color. Power washing is a fantastic way to transform your curb appeal and restore its original shine.

Add plants

Greenery is probably the best way to add dimension and a welcoming feel to your outdoor area. Potted plants and other green items will surely enhance the curb appeal of your California home. However, due to the specific climate, you should pick your plants carefully – it’s best to choose ones that are local and used to the local weather. It will increase your chances of succeeding in growing those lovely decorations and helping them last longer.

If you put a lot of effort and time into growing your plants, especially potted ones, you might want to take them with you if you decide to sell the house and move. However, you should know that plants are difficult to relocate and are one of the items your movers will refuse to move. Make sure you know what they will take and know what to pack and what to leave.

Install new outdoor lighting

Make your home attractive even when it’s not covered with California’s sunshine. Lights with even the lowest voltage will give a whole new look to the property. One of the ways to enhance the curb appeal of your California home is to add some new lights along the walking path or around trees. Outdoor lighting is also one of the most desired home features in California’s real estate market. Landscape lighting and accent lighting give an elegant touch to every house, so consider adding them to your property.

Doing these little things to your home can help you find a buyer much faster. It can happen a lot more quickly than you thought, so you could find yourself moving very soon. However, don’t’ forget that even if you are in a hurry, you can have a pretty smooth and utterly safe relocation as it’s possible to prepare for a local move in less than ten days, although it does take a bit of luck. Just be sure to hire experienced and reliable pros you can rely on.

But, even if you don’t want to sell, these tips on how to enhance the curb appeal of your California home will pay off. You’ll make the most out of your property and ensure everyone comes home with a smile.

An apartment rental building, symbolizing signs you’re ready to buy an investment property

By, Lisa Roberts

Buying an investment property is a huge step, especially your first one. When planning this project, it is crucial to set yourself up for success. You want to make all the right decisions, minimize expenses, and have a return on investment as quickly as possible. However, before you even start this project, you need to understand if you are ready to buy an investment property or not. A wrong decision in a bad moment will cost you a lot.

What are the signs you are ready to buy an investment property?

Generating income from an investment property is the perfect work-from-home job. But, before you can make your dream come true, you need to make sure you are acting in the right moment. The signs you should be looking for are:

Let’s go through this list one item at a time, and give you a bit more information.

Set your goals first

You cannot just purchase an investment property and think that’s a done deal: the money will just start coming, and you are set for life. There are so many nuances to think about and potential problems to tackle. You need to treat buying an investment property as just like starting a new job.

A chalk drawing on a blackboard showing stickman climbing stairs toward a light bulb.
Caption: Know what you are trying to achieve before you make an investment.

Where are you getting your capital from? How much are you willing to invest? What type of property should you buy? At what location? What will you do with the property? Who are your clients? How long till you start making money? How will you manage the property? What can go wrong?

You need to take all of these questions and more into consideration before you make a purchase. It’s best to define your goals and know exactly what you want to do before doing it.

Can you support this project financially?

Government-backed loan programs are not usually available for purchasing an investment property. That’s why you need to have some money on your account before you can consider making a purchase. You need to have at least 30% to 40% of the property price on your account.

Banks usually ask for a 20% down payment, but they also want to see that you can cover additional expenses for at least three months. You need to have that money in your savings account. On top of that, you should be able to afford to do some apartment repairs on the property after you purchase it, so it is ready for renting. If you are buying an empty lot and intending to build an apartment complex, you need to be able to start that as soon as possible.

This is necessary because lenders want to ensure that you have enough money to continue paying the mortgage. The requirements are stricter for investors.

Do you understand the math behind the project?

When it comes to buying an investment property, it all comes down to doing the math correctly. Understand your metrics and the cash flow before buying.

A paper with calculations, a calculator, and a pen.
Doing calculations is one of the most important steps of this project.

While there are many rules of thumb you can follow, these three should help you out the most:

These three rules should help you do the basic math before purchasing an investment property.

Are you ready to invest in your first property?

Managing an investment property will require a lot of time and effort. As we have said before, it is a 24/7 job. It is a massive commitment to be a landlord, and you need to be sure you are ready for that.

Understand the maintenance process first, and make sure you know how and where to find qualified tenants quickly. On top of that, be ready to balance your budget, work with the contractors, take care of delivery schedules, and so on.

Do you have the people who will help you with the project?

Going into this project on your own is not impossible, but it will be very challenging. It would help if you had reliable and knowledgeable people who understand real estate, lending, contractors, maintenance, building management, and so on.

A couple of people fist-bumping.
You should never do a project of this size on your own. Always work with professionals.

Furthermore, if you purchased a property in a different city and need to move long-distance, you need to find someone to help with your project until you relocate. It is possible to find assistance with ease, so you don’t have to manage your relocation while closing the deal on the property.

All investment properties come with a risk

It is not possible to invest in an investment property without risking something. You need to understand that, accept it, and be ready to deal with the consequences. There is no profit without risk. However, a good thing to know is that owning a property is far less risky than starting a classic business and failing. You can always sell the property and take back a large portion of the money invested. If you are ready to buy an investment property, do the math, be patient, and your effort and investment should pay off! With that in mind, best of luck with this project!

By, Lisa Roberts

Selling a home is a big undertaking. It often takes a lot to decide to sell and move to a new residence. Our homes are rich with memories and all the small and large things that make them special to us. However, once the decision has been made, it’s essential to have everything well planned out. Many people struggle to sell their homes while still living in them. Staging a house while living in it is not the easiest thing to do. Let’s not even get into having work done around the place to prepare it for the big sale. So, what is the best strategy for selling your home? Should you stay in, or should you move out while you sell? Let’s dive in and have a look at all the pros and cons of moving out while selling.

The Pros of moving out while selling

There are numerous benefits to moving out of the property that’s being sold. Understandably, this is often difficult due to financial factors. But is it worth temporarily relocating to another place of residence until the property is sold? Some of the positive sides of moving out while you sell are:

Living in a home that’s being renovated

Often, before the house is ready for sale, there needs to be some work done. This may involve work that demands a lot of space and isn’t very clean. Staying at a house while works are underway is very difficult. There is often a feeling of a lack of privacy, and the noise can be unbearable. Being kept out of entire areas of your house can additionally complicate your day-to-day activities. This is especially true for homes with a single bathroom currently undergoing renovation. Just imagine not being able to use your only bathroom for days! Indeed, this could prove to be a complete nightmare.

A worker renovating a house wall
It’s essential to make room for any work that needs to be done on the property before you put it up for sale to raise its market value

Emotional involvement

It’s indisputable that selling a home is more emotionally demanding than buying one. Having to leave behind a lot of memories is never an easy decision. Because of this, it may be a good idea to distance yourself from the property while potential buyers are looking at it. Being less involved emotionally will make the sale smoother as there is a smaller chance of questioning the decision to sell.

Living in a house while staging it

Properly staging a house is key to a successful sale. Potential buyers will want to see the property in its entirety. This could prove to be difficult with personal belongings all around the place. The walls may be covered with paintings and family photos, and all the rooms may be lined with shelves and furniture. Looking at a house with all of this on display can create a wrong first impression. Potential buyers need to be able to feel a sense of freedom. Looking at an empty room is like looking at a blank canvas. It’s up to them to create their masterpiece of interior design.

Alt-tag: A broker showing a house to a family interested in buying a new home
When wondering whether you should move out while selling, consider that the potential buyer should see as much available space as possible.

The cons of deciding to move out while you sell

While there are plenty of convincing arguments to move out while selling, there are things to consider on the other side of the fence. When deciding whether you should move out while you sell, it’s important to lay everything out before making the final call. Let’s explore some of the drawbacks of moving out.

Renting another house or apartment

While it may be helpful to be away while the house is being staged and viewed, financial factors are also at play. Sometimes, it’s not viable to move out due to a lack of funds to rent another place. Even if it’s temporary, this could put a considerable dent in your budget. This is especially problematic if it takes a little longer to sell than initially anticipated. Staying at your house while potential buyers are looking at it helps you bypass these expenses. You may even need to stay after the property has been sold for a certain amount of time. It would allow you to buy a house in the meantime. It is also something you can negotiate with the buyer.

Storage

If you decide to move out temporarily, it’s not as simple as packing a bag or two. There will be items that should be removed from the house, but you may not need or want them with you in your temporary accommodation. In this case, you will have to look at storage options. Depending on the size of the unit and how specific your demands are, this could be a significant expense. As with renting a house or an apartment, the longer it takes to finalize the sale, the longer you’re paying for the storage.

Moving made easier

If you’ve decided to move out while you sell, you want to make the moving process as simple as possible. Many companies offer professional services for local and long-distance moving, but make sure you browse USA Moving Reviews first. You need to take a detailed look into services offered by multiple licensed moving companies before you can choose the one that will give you the best value for your money. Only once you have compared a few companies can you pick the one that seems most in line with your requirements. Get your free quote and be on your way to a temporary residence while your house is being sold. Just remember to make sure the company you pick has storage options available!

Moving company employee in front of a white van
Consider hiring moving experts if you decide to move out while selling

Should you move out while selling – concluded

While remaining at the property during the selling process may cut some costs, it’s usually the best idea to move out. Most realtors also agree that it makes their job easier if the owners are not on the premises at all times. Keeping this in mind, it’s now probably easier to make the right decision. Good luck with the sale!

Written by Mary Van Keuren for Bankrate.com

You may have never heard of ADUs but we bet you’ve seen them. ADU stands for “accessory dwelling unit,” and these small living spaces go by many names. You may know them as in-law suites, granny flats, tiny homes, or more.

So what is an ADU? It’s a secondary living space that is placed on a lot that also includes a primary home, usually a single family dwelling or sometimes a duplex. An ADU can be attached to that main dwelling, or it may be in a separate structure such as a garage. It is usually

self-contained, with a kitchen, living space, bedroom(s) and bathroom.

ADUs have been around for a long time, but recently they’ve been receiving a lot of attention. One 2020 study suggests that their numbers grew by an average of 8.6% each year between 2009 and 2018, with the fastest growth seen in Sun Belt states like California and Florida.

What makes ADUs so popular?

Of course, deciding to turn your garage into an ADU is a big decision, and there are numerous factors to consider. Here are some of the elements you might want to consider when turning your garage into a dwelling unit.

Converting your garage: Is your ADU legal?

As you probably know, adding a building or changing that building’s use — such as turning a garage into living space — usually requires building permits and inspections to ensure all the work is legal and within the scope of local zoning and construction codes.

Whether or not converting your garage into an ADU is legal depends on where you live. Few states regulate ADUs at the state level, with California being at the forefront of those that do. The vast majority of states leave it up to local municipal codes to determine the legality of ADUs.

If you live in a zoned area, which includes most urban and suburban regions, your first stop when planning an ADU should be your local zoning office. They will have answers for you on the legalities of ADUs as well as any restrictions that may affect your project.

When ADUS are legal

Generally, if ADUs are legal in your region, that means you live in an area zoned for residential use. Even in areas where ADUs are legal, there are still typically rules regarding their construction. These are some common restrictions:

When ADUS are not legal

Although it’s a pretty common occurrence, it’s usually not a good idea to try to build or rehab an ADU without legal permissions from your city’s zoning board. You may be able to fly under the radar for a time, but sooner or later your illegal ADU will likely be discovered and you may face fines and more.

In addition, you’ll want to be careful to understand any restrictions that are placed on ADU use in your area, including size and usage restrictions. If ADUs are only allowed for family members, for example, you could face fines and further restrictions if you put it up on Airbnb. Some regions require ADUs to be on a permanent foundation, as opposed to units that are on wheels. You may also find local law requiring minimum setbacks from property lines.

If you live in a rural area with few zoning regulations, you will still probably want to check with your local government on the advisability of placing an ADU on your property.

ADU regulations by state

StateADU Rules and Regulations
AlabamaRules vary depending on county/city; contact your local government for regulations.
AlaskaAnchorage allows ADUs no larger than 900 sq. ft. in residential districts; no regulations exist for the rest of the state; consult your local government before building.
ArizonaRegulations vary by city. For example, in Tucson an ADU can be up to 10% of lot size up to a maximum of 1,000 sq ft. and a maximum height of 12′.
ArkansasRegulations vary by region; ADUs are not encouraged in some areas. For example, Fayetteville allows 1- and 2-story ADUs of up to 1,200 sq. ft.
CaliforniaADUs are generally allowed and possible funding is available. The state incentivizes and promotes creation of ADUs statewide.
ColoradoProperty needs to be zoned for ADUs. In Denver, attached structures must have 36″ foundation and be insulated.
ConnecticutState has strict zoning regulations, but most regions allow ADUs if no rent is paid.
DelawareMajority of states have zoning restrictions on ADUs; in some places, you can apply for a special use permit; rental restrictions apply.
FloridaRegulation of ADUs is at the local and regional level. In Orlando, the maximum floor area is 1,000 sq. ft. and the ADU must be finished to resemble the main dwelling.
GeorgiaGeorgia is ADU-friendly, but regional codes apply. In many districts, it’s illegal to rent an ADU. Atlanta allows ADUs in R-5 districts and Decatur allows them up to 800 sq. ft.
HawaiiRegulations can vary. On Oahu, you must have a 3,500 sq.ft lot to build an ADU. Landowners must live on the property and renting is allowed.
IdahoRegulations of ADUs are regional. In Boise, they can be no larger than 700 sq. ft or 10% of lot size, no more than two bedrooms, and must include a dedicated parking space.
IllinoisLaws are made regarding ADUs at the county level. Chicago offers conditional approval for ADUs in some zones; size regulations vary depending on location.
IndianaIndiana allows ADUs in some municipalities; in Bloomington, ADUs for attached structures in residential zones are allowed of up to 600 sq. ft. with 1 bedroom.
IowaADUs are more common in rural areas. Des Moines allows detached ADUs up to 17′ high; which matches main dwelling; owners must live on-site.
KansasRegulations vary by area. In Kansas City, ADUs must be 10′ or less in height, and no more than 200 sq. ft, with some exceptions.
KentuckyCodes vary depending on region; current legislation pending in both Lexington and Louisville to allow ADUs.
LouisianaRegulations vary by region; one room must measure at least 120 sq. ft.; ceiling must be at least 7 ft. tall.
MaineMaine is very ADU-friendly; ADUs are encouraged; regional zoning laws apply regarding size and height.
MarylandAllowed in some urban and suburban locations. In Montgomery Co., min. lot size is 6,000 sq.ft and ADU must be less than 1,200 sq. ft.
Massachuset tsADU-friendly state; ADUs allowed in many municipalities, which have their own zoning requirements. In Newton, owner must live on-site; long-term rentals allowed; ADU must be at least 250 sq. ft.
MichiganADU-friendly zoning laws in many municipalities; Ann Arbor requires owner residency, max. height of 21′; no short-term rentals.
MinnesotaLaws vary regionally; St. Paul allows ADUs in lots at least 5,000 sq.ft.; with principal structure of at least 1,000 sq. ft.
MississippiFew regulations on ADUs, even at regional level: ADUs expected to meet existing state construction codes. Oxford allows ADUs in lots over 10,000 sq. ft.
MissouriADU code is determined at city level. In Kansas City, ADUs must be set back from street and property lines, no more than 10′ high, and up to 200 sq.ft., unless built from a detached garage.
MontanaLimited code has been written at city level; none at state level. In Missoula, must be between 350-600 sq. ft.
NebraskaPermitted in some cities, including Lincoln, in zones R-1 through R-4; no larger than 800 sq.ft or 40% of main building size; only one bedroom.
NevadaCodes vary regionally; ADUs cannot have kitchens in some areas; Reno allows in some districts, up to 800-1,500 sq. ft or 50% of the size of the main house.
New HampshireNH state law allows ADUs with few restrictions; regional zoning may restrict owner-occupancy, size, and parking.
New JerseyNo statewide ADU laws; a few regions have approved them, such as Maplewood, where they can be occupied by up to 3 people, no more than 800 sq.ft., and up to 2 bedrooms.
New MexicoNM is ADU-friendly. In Albuquerque, ADUs must have a room that’s at least 70 sq.ft; there must be a bathroom with hot and cold water, and plumbing must connect with an approved sewage system.
New YorkNYS legislation permitting ADUs is currently pending; detached ADUs are allowed in Adirondack Park but not elsewhere.
North CarolinaLaws vary depending on region. In Raleigh, they are allowed in some districts; ADUs must be smaller than the main dwelling and be constructed on a permanent foundation.
North DakotaADUs are prohibited in many places; Burleigh Co allows them on agricultural land of 40 acres or more, but not residential zones. They must have access to water, sewer and electricity.
OhioOhio has no state laws regarding ADUs, but many municipalities ban them. Some, such as Hudson, Yellow Spring and Hamilton allow them with restrictions.
OklahomaNo ADU regulations statewide. In Oklahoma City, you will need a variance to build an ADU, and must be zoned R2.
OregonADUs allowed in urban areas zoned for single family dwellings; not to exceed 900 sq.ft.; other municipal zoning restrictions may apply.
PennsylvaniaPA’s cities have differing zoning laws for ADUs. Philadelphia is ADU-friendly, allowing them in some single-family zones; owners must live on the premises; must be 800 sq.ft or less.
Rhode IslandRI state law allows one ADU per single-family dwelling, as long as the resident is a family member with disability or over 62 years old.
South CarolinaNo state-wide codes. Charleston allows ADUs for no more than 2 people; no short-term rentals; 850 sq.ft. or less, plus 1 parking spot.
South DakotaCode regulated regionally; Rapid City allows ADUs in most zones; they must be located near the rear of property and not used for short-term rentals.
TennesseeADUs are allowed in some urban areas, but no statewide codes. In Nashville, ADUs in residential and historic properties, sized a max of 750 or 1,000 sq. ft. depending on lot size.
TexasADU zoning is regional. Austin allows ADUs up to 1,100 sq.ft., 1 parking space; limited short-term rental use.
UtahADU zoning varies, but they are becoming more common in municipal areas. In Salt Lake City, they are permitted in some residential zones; ADUs cannot exceed 50% of home’s footage.
VermontState law permits 1 ADU per residence. ADUs must be no more than 30% of the square footage of the main dwelling.
VirginiaLegislation is pending in VA to amend zoning laws to allow for 1 ADU on single-family lots; details determined at municipal level.
WashingtonWashington state encourages ADUs; owners must live on premises; size no more than 40% of main dwelling size or 800 sq.ft.; no more than 2 bedrooms.
Washington, D.C.Allowed in certain residential zones with restrictions. Either ADU or principal dwelling must be owner-occupied during the ADU’s use. Size and occupancy restrictions.
West VirginiaZoning varies by region; in Jefferson Co. they are allowed up to 2 bedrooms; owners must live on premises; 1,700 sq.ft. max.
WisconsinZoning varies by region. Madison allows 1 ADU per lot with min.sq.ft. of 5,000. Owner must live on premises; ADU must have a separate entrance.
WyomingNo state-wide legislation; some municipalities allow them; Cheyenne encourages ADUs up to 1,200 sq.ft. or 35% of main dwelling size.

Budgeting for Pros vs. Joes

Once you have the necessary permits for your ADU and understand any restrictions, you’re ready to consider what needs to be done. If you are putting an ADU in an existing garage, you will probably have less construction, and at a lower cost, than if your ADU is going to be new construction.

Your final cost for an ADU will include many factors, including construction costs per square foot in your region, whether you are increasing the footprint of the garage — and thus need to pour new foundation — and the quality of the materials you use. You may be able to save some money by handling certain tasks yourself.

A recent study from University of California at Berkeley found that the cost of an average

free-standing ADU in the Pacific Northwest was $156,000. Your own costs may be considerably less, depending on where you live and the complexity of your ADU, with $30-60K possible for a simple garage conversion.

Here are a few of the jobs you’ll need to consider, along with an idea of the technical knowledge needed to accomplish it.

Property value impacts

How does your ADU impact the value of your property? Considering the variety and range of costs associated with ADUs, it’s hard to put an exact number to this question. In fact, it may be

a good idea to get the opinion of a local realtor about resale benefits before you build your ADU if that is one of your concerns.

In general, however, ADUs, when properly built and according to local code, provide a positive benefit to your property value. This is especially true in regions that allow ADUs to be used for rental purposes, since these allow the homeowner to recoup some of the cost of building the ADU with monthly rental payments.

A study of ADUs in Portland, OR, indicated that sale prices on homes with ADUs were priced an average of 7.2-9.8% higher than those without; and that ADUs contributed an average of

25-34% to a home’s appraised value.

Keep in mind that if your ADU is built in your garage, thus costing you the use of this space for your car, it can decrease your property value somewhat. One appraiser suggests that a functional garage adds between $5,000-25,000 worth of value to your home. Losing that value may indeed be offset by the value of an ADU, but you’ll need to crunch the numbers to find out how much value your ADU will bring you.

ADUs: The short game vs. the long game

You may have many reasons for wanting to convert your garage and they might not all be related to finances. For many people, an ADU is the most cost-effective way to keep a loved one close in a safe and protected environment where they can maintain some independence but still have help when needed.

If that’s your rationale for building an ADU, your short-term costs will be offset by long-term benefits to your family, and money may not play a role in your decision to build it. The increased quality of life for an aged parent or other relative may be priceless for you.

If you’re looking at a garage conversion as a way to make money, however, you may find that it’s possible to recoup much of the cost of an ADU in rental income — though it may take a while to break even. If you’re willing to add your own labor to the work of the professionals you hire for the job, you could save significant money in the process, allowing you to earn a ROI in less time. But be mindful of your local regulations, as an increasing number of municipalities do not allow or place restrictions on ADU rentals.

Before you start building, however, no matter what your purpose, it will pay off in the end if you sit down with the facts and figures to determine how much your own conversion project may cost. This may require gathering estimates from contractors, calling your local zoning board, and thinking carefully about what you have the skills to do yourself — and what is better left to the pros.

If you’ve been thinking of converting your garage to an ADU, you’ve chosen a good time. ADUs are becoming more popular, and municipalities are becoming more and more likely to develop building codes that favor the construction of these handy little structures. So perhaps it’s time to sit down with a spreadsheet and your cell phone, make some calls and start on your journey toward developing and building a useful accessory dwelling unit in your garage.

A beige and white concrete house surrounded by trees

Buying a second home in another state is something most people can only dream about, and if you are one of those lucky people, congratulations! However, even though it’s not your first time, buying a home in a different state comes with an extra set of challenges, and long-distance buying is just one of them. So to help you have a smooth buying process and avoid buyers’ remorse, we’ve prepared simple tips, and you can find them further in this article.

Tips for buying a second home in another state

If you are searching for your second home, you’re probably doing similar things to when you were buying your primary residence. However, as this will be your second property, things tend to be slightly different. Plus, you’ll be buying out of state, which comes with additional complications.

 A house on a beach with a red roof and a white porch fence
As the second home is a place to get away and relax, most people choose states with great weather and access to the beach.

We’ve prepared tips to help you have a quick and successful home buying process out of state. And as California is one of the most popular second-home destinations, we’ll use it to simplify our explanation of purchasing a second home in another state.

Be financially prepared

You probably already know how important knowing your finances is for buying a home. However, as you will be investing in a second property, there are many more things to consider. Therefore, before you jump into buying another home, make sure to ask yourself the following questions:

If all of your answers are yes, it’s pretty much safe to say you’re ready to buy a second home.

Set a realistic budget

Most people imagine beach properties with stunning views when buying a second home. However, before you rush to find your California dream home, make sure to know how much you can afford.

Make sure to list all expenses related to this purchase. As you’ll be buying from a different state, you need to factor in moving costs, too. Let’s say you are moving from Florida to California and you want to have a smooth transfer across the US. Interstate moving can be costly, so planning these expenses in advance is crucial.

Don’t forget the travel costs for attending open houses and many similar expenses. They don’t seem much at first but can certainly end up taking a significant toll on your budget.

Know where you’re buying and what you want

Before you start looking for a perfect California property, it’s essential to research the state you’re buying a property in. Analyze the cost of living, taxes, state laws, and various other things. Before you commit to buying a second home in another state, make sure to understand all costs associated.

A woman sitting at a desk and researching buying a second home in another state on her laptop
It’s important to find out everything you need to know about the state you plan on buying in.

It would be best to think about what you want from your second home too. For example, if you want a California beach home but only plan on spending a couple of weeks a year there, why not consider renting your property for the rest of the year? You need to think of ways to make your investment pay off, as otherwise, you might end up regretting your decision.

Hire the best local realtor® you can find

Hiring a great real estate agent is crucial even if you are buying a home in the same street as your current one. However, when it comes to purchasing in another state, having an experienced local realtor® from California as your ally is that much more critical.

As you are buying out of state, chances are you are not very familiar with the place you plan on buying your home in. For that reason, you’ll need a local realtor® who has experience in the area you’re interested in. A good realtor® will listen to your requirements and make sure to find homes that best suit your needs and budget.

Schedule video tours but plan a trip to view homes in person

As you will be buying from a distance, it will be challenging to travel to see each home your agent wants to show you in person. Imagine flying across the country a couple of times a month to see a house and return? It doesn’t make sense.

Therefore, make sure to ask your realtor® to schedule video tours of the properties instead. This will make the home buying process that much easier and cheaper for you.

A real estate agent showing a home to a pregnant woman and her husband
Before making your final decision, make sure to view homes you like the most in person.

Of course, you shouldn’t base your final decision only on what you’ve seen on a computer screen. So once you’ve seen enough homes, you’ll be able to narrow down your list and choose several you’ll want to go and see. That way, you’ll be able to cover several homes on a single trip.

Let your realtor® know which homes you’re interested in so they can organize house viewings for you. After seeing homes in person and thoroughly checking everything, you’ll be able to decide whether you want to make an offer or not. Your experienced agent will surely help you negotiate the best possible price.

Good luck

We hope that our tips made buying a second home in another state that much simpler and easier for you. Once more, we congratulate you on making such a big step. If you need any help finding a property to call your second home, get in touch with a reputable Marin County realtor®. They will make sure your real estate dream quickly becomes a reality.

A view of a beach home with nearby trees at sunset.

By, Lisa Roberts

Second-home destinations are more in demand than ever, especially when it comes to the California real estate market. In addition to that, the recent rise in second home buyers is shifting the real estate landscape. The significant change is mainly pandemic-driven as many choose the freedom to live anywhere in the U.S. This change has made owning a second home more desirable than ever. Many buyers are looking for second homes within driving distance to their hometowns, and more affordable second-home markets are gaining popularity. The in-demand destinations tend to be close to major cities and are vacation-friendly. California has more than enough to offer in this domain; in fact, you might be confused by so many options. Follow our guide for the best places in California to buy a second home for some clarity.

Lake Tahoe

Buying a second home in Lake Tahoe is the dream. It offers warm summers, snowy winters, a breathtaking lake, forests everywhere, and just enough modern amenities. The easy-going atmosphere is what Lake Tahoe is famous for, but it also has shops, restaurants, and plenty of activities. Think of a mini-golf course, driving ranges, a dog park, and all kinds of water sports for the whole family. This is the ideal spot for a second home in California. Lake Tahoe is extremely popular for families to spend summers, ski in the winter, and visit on long weekends. It is located just a few hours from Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area and offers incredible scenic views. Owning a second home in Lake Tahoe is an excellent investment for a vacation home and an opportunity for a rental for the remainder of the time—if you are looking to make an extra profit.

An aerial view of Lake Tahoe.
Lake Tahoe is one of the best places in California to buy a second home.

Dana Point and Newport Beach

An exceptional place for a vacation home in California is the stretch of coastline between Dana Point and Newport Beach. This area is in very high demand at the moment with both American and international holidaymakers. Dana Point, Laguna Beach, and Newport Beach are all top-notch options in this area. Dana Point Harbor offers gorgeous marinas and countless boutiques but is, more importantly, a starting point for dolphin and whale-watching cruises.

Even though this coastal area is less popular than the famous Manhattan Beach, it is still on the pricey side. Keep in mind that the Newport Beach housing costs are over 100% more expensive than Dana Point. Therefore, if you are looking for a more affordable option to buy a second home, go for Dana Point. But if you need more exclusivity and are willing to invest in the high-end market, Newport Beach is the perfect option.

San Diego

San Diego is one of the best places in California to buy a second home if you are dreaming of a beach house in a city with gorgeous weather year-round. Add to that dozens of miles of beaches with soft white sand. San Diego is ideal for vacationers looking for a relaxing place to escape the bustling city life. The famous city in Southern California offers a myriad of activities and places to visit:

Napa Valley

California’s famous Napa Valley wine country is a stunning area with massive appeal for wine lovers. It is also attractive to vacationers looking for something other than the beach. It is different from your traditional California getaways, and that’s its primary appeal. Napa Valley is known for hundreds of hillside vineyards in the wine region. If you are a fan of wine and laid-back vacations in nature, you will not go wrong with this beautiful place. Its appeal is also in the proximity to San Francisco. If you are the big city’s resident, owning a second home in Napa will give you an option to visit every weekend if you feel like getting away. The average home price in Napa Valley is around $800,000. The rental market there is also fantastic as it’s a great location for wine lovers, and many tourists take weekend trips to enjoy wine-tasting tours.

Malibu

This beautiful city is famous for its beachy-boho lifestyle and is very close to Los Angeles. Regardless of this proximity, Malibu offers a different culture and way of life ideal for buying a second home by the beach. It is known for its perfect climate and its 21-mile strip of the Malibu coast. The Malibu Colony has been home to Hollywood celebrities for decades, so if you are a fan of that vibe, the vibrant city is an ideal choice for you. You will have no difficulty finding your sense of adventure as you can:

  1. Go rock climbing at Point Dume
  2. Drive along the Pacific Coast Highway
  3. Hike to waterfalls
  4. Find your ideal surfing destination
Malibu beach view with white houses lined up along the coast.
The beachy city is ideal for laid-back summer vacation homes.

Big Sur

Big Sur is internationally famous for its stunning natural scenery on the central California coast. It is actually one of the top 35 tourist destinations worldwide. The scenic route through Big Sur is absolutely breathtaking. The natural beauty of Big Sur has been carefully preserved as the city has highly restrictive city regulations. Consequently, there are no billboards, ads, or businesses close to the highway. Big Sur is also very close to many state parks and famous waterfalls that go directly into the ocean. The city has long summers and short, snowy winters. Big Sur is a quiet town perfect for a peaceful second home in California. It should be noted that Big Sur is one of the most expensive real estate markets in the U.S., so be prepared to set aside a larger fund for this investment.

Spending Your Vacations in One of the Best Places in California

Once you have bought your perfect home in one of the incredible destinations, you will want to move some of your things there. However, the relocation team at Mod Movers suggests making any necessary changes before you bring in your furniture. This will allow you to remodel without having to move pieces back and forth.

Moreover, if you are planning to spend vacations there or rent the property while you are in your home base, furnishing the home ahead of time would be super-useful.

A woman sitting on the floor and a man standing on a stool, both painting the walls.
Get movers to help you transfer furniture and decorate with a neutral palette.

Go for a neutral palette when decorating, in case you plan to rent your property for a portion of the year. This way, you will have no problem finding renters and getting a return on your investment in one of the best places in California, if you wish to do so.

Russian dolls arranged in order of size, signifying growth and upsizing

Upsizing sounds like an enticing prospect. Of course, it does; we are hard-wired to believe that bigger is better. An opportunity for a bigger paycheck? It would pay to check that out. Longer working hours? Take an hour to think about how long you want to be spending at work. Yes, bigger can be better, but it depends on the situation and your goals. Buying a bigger home may sound like a no-brainer; it’s a sign that you are advancing. It sends out a clear message that you have this whole adulting thing figured out and are ready to move to the next level. The problem is, if you bite off more than you can chew, you’re left with one pain of a problem to resolve. There is a right time for everything in life. Today’s question states; is now the right time to upsize your home?

Bigger Homes, Bigger Loans

It’s unavoidable; the financial aspect will always be the first stop. Even though the reasons that are to come are equally, if not even more important, they can’t take precedence. This is the bite I was alluding to earlier. We all think we can win that hotdog competition, so we sign up. Halfway through the third one, our stomach sends us that all-important signal that this might not have been the most fabulous idea you two had concocted. If job security is questionable, credit scores are not as flashy as they could be, and your current debts are a bit on the hefty side, you heed these warning signs. Take care of this before thinking about a bigger home. Even if you are doing well in this department, be realistic about how much house you can afford; you don’t need a mansion, after all. Upsizing your home can be good. Upsizing stress levels over mortgage payments may not be the wisest choice.

Another point to consider is market trends. Every home you buy is a place to live, but an investment as well. Pick a home carefully, taking into consideration the neighborhood as well and what you expect the value of the said home to be in the future.

A big, glamorous house with a big front yard
We all dream big, but the reality is there to help find a more sensible solution. Be sure to set a realistic budget!

Family Matters

As you’d expect, the right time to upsize your home could be when you’re expecting. Starting a family requires more space, and there is only one way to obtain that. This goes for our furry members too, getting a pet or two can also be a good indicator that it’s time to change something. Every kid wants to be Harry Potter, waiting for that owl to deliver them the good news. What they don’t want are his living conditions! Kids need their own rooms to have their privacy and comfortable environment. Nobody wants to be jammed in a small space. If your family is expecting new members or your current ones are growing exponentially, as kids tend to do, if you are asking yourself whether now is the right time to upsize your home, the answer is probably yes!

The Old Place is Cramping Your Style

Have you ever been to a friend’s house and noticed that new TV they have, the one with a ridiculous number in front of the word ‘inches?’ You come back home, thinking that you are going get an even bigger one and then see your modest living room. It’s so tightly packed that you wonder how there is any air left for you to breathe. There’s no way you are fitting in anything in there any time soon. It’s completely normal to want newer furniture, and yes, this invariably means bigger furniture. If you are financially sound and think that a new place could offer you a quality of living your current situation cannot afford you, then go for it.

A man and a woman sitting in front of a trailer
My search engine mistook cramping for camping. Still, the picture makes a valid point; what was cool for two, won’t cut it for three!

Clutter, Clutter…and Behind that Clutter? A Bit More of the Same!

Closely linked to the previous point but just as valid. Ever read an article about turning your garage into a dream home office but then looked at your garage and realized that would be impossible. Maybe you don’t want to replace your bed with one big enough for an NBA starter to be able to sleep in comfortably. Perhaps all you want is to have a little wiggle room in your own home. You know, space to move about freely. Clutter makes it sound like you have a bunch of things you don’t need, but that’s not what we are talking about. That grandfather clock is a treasured family heirloom. That couch that is a slightly different color from the rest of the interior is the first thing you ever bought and has more sentimental value than it has aesthetical repellence. The piano in the corner is a highly disguised little white lie that one day you will learn to play that instrument, a lie that has been upheld for some 11 odd years and counting. All of these are important, after all! Imagine if you could keep it all and have enough space to entertain guests?

An extremely cluttered room with various objects messily arranged inside of it
Is now the right time to upsize your home? If your living conditions match the above picture, you have your answer!

Me Time

We all need some privacy. A tiny island of space to call our own, where we can unwind. Hard to find this little isolated pocket of happiness when four members live in a two-bedroom house. If you feel like you are in dire need of some alone time but can never find it, it could be a good sign that it is, indeed, time to upsize.

What Now?

Your bank account looks relatively healthy, and you check some or all of the above boxes. It’s time to upsize your home. That means two things, you’re making a substantial financial commitment, and you still have one more task to do; you need to pack and move. What’s the problem? Moving can be expensive too. It can be, but it doesn’t have to be. It doesn’t have to be an additional financial burden if you make the necessary preparations and hire the right movers. There are plenty of time and money-saving tips you can employ, and if you do, you will see that hiring help pays off in the end.

UPSIZING

Had to try this upsizing thing, seems pretty good. Certainly makes the above heading pop out more. There is a time and place for it. If all of the headings were written in this manner, it would defeat the purpose. On a similar note, upsizing makes sense if it is done when it should be done. Not because you are trying to impress others or prove something to yourself, but when life tells you it’s time and your bank statements chirp in with their consent. Is now the right time to upsize your home? The only person who can answer that question is you. If you need any additional help, you can always ask the experts; they’ll have your back. So go out there and live large!

Pictures:

https://www.pexels.com/photo/2-blue-and-yellow-ceramic-owl-figurines-4966171/
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We all think about it from time to time. Extra space, a bigger home, sounds appealing. So, is now the right time to upsize your home?

When you own a home, you have a lot of important decisions to make. You also have big responsibilities on your shoulders. This is the most significant investment you will make, so you need to do everything you can to get the most out of it. Repairing worn-out and broken-down parts of your home and updating other elements will keep it functional and looking nice. Of course, renovations can be costly. The good news is there is a way to reduce these costs and make things easier on your budget.

A California home warranty plan can help you manage the financial responsibilities of replacing and repairing certain systems and appliances in your home. This protection will cover the costs up to a certain limit on qualifying items. A home warranty may not make sense for everyone, so you should determine whether you are a good candidate and could benefit.

Consider How Old Your Home Is

For people who live in older homes, a home warranty is a good option. Older homes are much more likely to experience problems with the electrical system, plumbing, HVAC, and other elements. Repairing or replacing these parts of the home can cost thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. Paying out of pocket for such work can be difficult, if not impossible, for many people. If your home is older than 10 years, you should strongly consider getting a home warranty. In homes this old, the systems and appliances will no longer have warranty coverage.

Conversely, homes less than 10 years old likely still have the original builder’s warranty. This means if these areas break down or fail, the warranty that came with the home should still be in effect. There would be no need to spend the money on an additional warranty.

How Long Will You Be in the Home?

Another way to answer this question is how long you plan on being in your current home. For many people, a home is a long-term investment. If you intend to live in the home for the next several years and beyond, it is wise to get a warranty. The costs of making repairs and replacements over time can add up. Think of the savings you could have if you were to get a warranty. However, if you know you will be moving within the next year or less, it may not make sense to spend the money on a warranty.

How Handy Are You?

Saving money is not the only reason to buy a home warranty. The costs to fix items can be high, but when you have a warranty, you can also rely on a professional to do the work. If you don’t have a warranty, you are either stuck doing the job yourself, or you will have to pay a contractor out of your pocket to do so.

Some people, however, have the skill and experience to do home improvements and renovations. Other homeowners even enjoy such tasks. You will spend less doing the work yourself than you would to hire a contractor. If you are handy and prefer do-it-yourself solutions, you may be better off not getting a warranty. You will have to evaluate the costs of warranties versus how much you would pay to do the work without professional help.

Are You Diligent About Maintenance and Upkeep?

An important facet of home warranties is that the plans do have limitations. The warranty will not be valid if you intentionally break something. Plus, it will not take effect if the failures occur because you did not perform routine maintenance and take reasonable steps to keep appliances and systems running well. If you have been good about doing tune-ups and improvements to appliances and other areas of the home, you will be able to count on a warranty. But if you have neglected these duties, you will not be able to qualify for such a plan.

A home warranty plan can protect you from having to pay many of the costs that come with home improvements and renovations. It can give you peace of mind and reduce stress. In some cases, you may need such coverage. Either way, consider these factors and ask yourself these questions. You can then make the right decision for your finances and homeownership.

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