The Top Remodeling Projects for 2016


Remodeling magazine’s 2016 Cost vs. Value Report recently ranked 30 remodeling projects based on how much money they recoup—in other words, how much of the initial investment a homeowner can expect to earn back when the house goes up for sale. According to the report, investing in a home’s energy efficiency and curb appeal gave the best return on investment. Here are some of the renovations that recoup the most upon resale.

Extra Insulation
Improving a home’s energy efficiency is one of the best investments a homeowner can make. Adding fiberglass insulation to a home attic is a relatively easy renovation; according to RemodelMax, the job costs around $1,268 nationwide. If the home were to sell within a year of the project’s completion, real estate professionals would value that renovation at $1,482—a 116.9 percent return. What’s more, installing attic insulation gave homeowners a return greater than 100 percent in 60 out of the 100 markets across the country.

Curb Appeal Wins
Out of the report’s top 15 renovations, 12 of them were for exterior work, proving once again that curb appeal is incredibly important to home buyers. Coming in second in the report two years in a row, manufactured stone veneer also proved a smart investment with a return of 92.9 percent. Last year’s number one renovation—a steel entry door replacement—still gives homeowners a bang for their buck with a 91.1 percent return. Replacing an old garage door also boosts a home’s curb appeal. Midscale garage door replacements gave a 91.5 percent return on investment, and homeowners who chose an upscale garage door replacement recouped 90.1 percent of their remodeling dollars.

Outside vs. Inside
When grouped by job type, windows and siding were a better investment than new kitchens and bathrooms. Projects that replaced windows and doors saw a return on investment in the high 60 to high 70 percent range. In contrast, most kitchen and bathroom remodels had percentage returns only in the 50s and 60s. Replacing existing features with upgraded ones costs less in labor and materials than remodeling an entire room, explaining why replacement jobs have a higher cost-value ratio than remodeling projects.

Remodeling Values Are Up
No matter what renovation homeowners took on, they made more money this year than the previous one. For all 30 projects in this year’s report, homeowners can recoup an average of 64.4 percent of their total investment. This is up 2.4 percent from the 2015 report; what’s more, it is the second-highest return in the past 8 years.

The Psychology of Decorating: 5 Ways We Experience a Room

Article originally appeared on the RISMedia Blog

by Mikkie Mills


The positive or negative response we get upon entering a room is nearly instantaneous. We don’t need to carefully examine each corner, or walk around turning over every pillow to decide if a room makes us feel good or not. But, what is it that gives us such a strong first impression? Many of the ways we experience a room have to do with a psychological response that happens behind the scenes. This is why most homebuyers end up choosing a house based on the emotional response they get within moments of entering a home — not the detailed list of pros and cons they’ve made!

There are many different factors that go into how we experience a room, and in fact, many of the principles of feng shui are based on the intangible influences of design. Here are five different ways we shape our impression of a room:

Through the Senses

How we perceive a room with our senses tells us what we know to be true about the room, and provides a way of describing it. Through our sense of sight we can experience colors, each of which will elicit a different impression. Our eyes also pick up on important details such as patterns, scale and lighting.

Our sense of smell is the most tied to memory, so a pleasant one will connect us with memories that inspire positive emotions, while a foul smell will really turn us off. Flowers, scented candles and essential oils will please our nose while mildew, garbage or cat boxes will give us a poor experience.

Textures used to decorate a room should also be taken into consideration. Materials such as silk, wood, linen or wool give satisfaction to our sense of touch.

Through Our Assumptions

We usually always have some kind of preconceived notion when it comes to interiors. This can be based on our own past experiences or what we expect from a room’s design. These expectations we have conjured in our heads can greatly impact our experience. We might use our imagination as something to compare a home to, but that can either dampen our experience or make it a more positive one. By keeping a home predictable, it’ll add comfort and familiarity, but a few unexpected design elements like re-purposed antiques or unique barn door hardware can be visually appealing and interesting when used the right way.

Through Intuition

Another way we experience a room is through our intuition, though this one can be difficult to define. An example would be walking into a room where an argument has just taken place, which will feel a little less comfortable. It can also be an area of a home that hasn’t been used in a long time, so you can imagine the stagnant or cold vibe those areas give off. If you feel like your home has any stagnant or lonely corners, you can help it by placing a plant there, keeping the door open or making sure some natural light reaches the area.

Many feng shui tips come from following “conventional wisdom,” or the things we intuitively know to be good or bad for decorating. For instance, placing a mirror directly across from your bed at night is considered bad feng shui. Intuitively we know that having a mirror across from us at night is distracting, potentially creepy and not conducive to good sleep.

Through Our Emotions

Our personal feelings greatly impact how we experience a room, and will usually take precedence over our ability to rationalize. With that in mind, there are many decorating details that can trigger subtle (or not so subtle) emotional responses.

Decorations such as art is one example. If the subject matter features a depressing scene or sad characters, then it will definitely bring down the mood of a room. If you had some cut flowers on your coffee table, but they’ve wilted and dried out, that’s another detail that will put a damper on someone’s emotional response. It’s important to think about the kind of symbolism placed in a room and how they might influence our emotions. Other things like low or high ceilings, natural lighting (or lack thereof) and color psychology will all contribute to our emotional response.

Through Spacial Harmony

harmony roomIf furniture placement and scale is out of sync or doesn’t make sense, it can negatively effect how we experience a room. Chairs that are placed too far away from each other make conversation difficult, while being too close together will make a room feel cramped. It’s important to consider how the furniture and decorations are meant to interact with each other.

Choosing furniture to fit the size of the room is also important. Small spaces already have a negative effect on our psychology, so keep small rooms from becoming too crowded. Furniture that is in harmony with and the right scale for the room, and a floor plan that provides a sense of fluidity will greatly improve our perception.

As you can see, there’s a lot more to interior decorating than just picking the right shelf ornament. If you keep these principles in mind, guests won’t be able to quite describe why they feel so good in your home.

Great Opportunity to Purchase “Street-to-Street” Parcel of Land!


This is a great opportunity to purchase a “street-to-street” parcel of land. Lot size is 48 feet wide and 266 feet deep, per tax assessor. Develop or lot split? Check with the city of Monrovia in regards to development and/or lot splitting possibilities. This scenario does not come up often. Act fast, great opportunity!

  • 3 Separate Units – 341 S. Madison Avenue, 343 S. Madison Avenue, 330 S. Lincoln Place
  • Total of: 7 Bedrooms/4 Bathrooms
  • 3,449 sq. ft.
  • Lot Size: 12,732 sq. ft.
  • Zoning: MORH

Listed at: $999,000

For more information, please contact:
C 626.825.0161  P 626.639.1676
897 Granite Drive | Pasadena, CA 91101
CalBRE #01334603