2018 Top Trends in Kitchens-It's not what you think!

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Clutter Free Counters

The #1 2018 kitchen trend according to a Houzz study, reported on Builder. Is it possible to maintain and still find storage? The study by Houzz outlines kitchen trends homeowners are incorporating into their kitchen designs and remodeling. Take a look at some stats below:

Kitchen Storage

With Clutter-free space, where's the storage? Trends in storage for high functioning, high traffic kitchen might opt for designs like those made by Wellborn. I haven't used Wellborn myself, however, according to the website, it's a family owned and operated business. There are 6 lines of products includes Home Concepts, Premier, Estate, Elegant Bath, and Wellborn Closets. There is also a creative element for the DIY'er in the Estate Collection. Beautiful solutions for much-needed storage in busy households. Contact the company on their site for sales options.

Cleaning Products for Quartz

According to the Houzz survey, a whopping 43% of homeowner's prefer engineered quartz. Cleaning quartz isn't hard once it's been sealed. Bob Vila, TV personality, quartz care is as simple as wiping with a mild, non-abrasive cloth and dishwashing detergent. He recommends non- abrasive sponges and surface cleaners for a deeper clean. Though quartz will resist permanent stains from wine, tea, etc. he suggests not placing heat about 300 F on it or using it as a cutting board. Drastic changes in temperature can break down the resin found in quartz. Knife slices will leave marks!

Easy Made from Scratch Food Dishes

The survey reports 48% of homeowners prefer cooking from scratch. I'm in this category. Cooking is my jam. I love it. I'm plugging Ina Garten, aka Barefoot Contessa not because I'm getting paid (nada, nothing) I really love her recipes. I watched all of her Food Network shows when my daughter was first born, but she really hooked me when she signed her Back to Basics cookbook my mom bought me for Christmas years ago. So exciting! Ok, enough girl gushing, her cookbook, How Easy is that provides lots of homemade dishes that taste and look like they were professionally cooked. Combining both is the dream. Quality, substance, and sustenance. I do also use All Recipes (old fashioned pancakes, yummy!) and I use Food Network. They both offer a variety of options for Quick and Easy Meals. I'm also a huge fan of the crockpot. I cook our chicken in it for Taco Tuesday (Every week. Meal planning saves me from hangry kid and spouse). I will share my secret ingredient in another post. 

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San Diego 203k Renovation Loans: Use Lender Cash to Renovate

San Diego's current housing shortage provides current homeowners and home purchasers the chance to renovate a home with your style and design in mind. 203k FHA Renovation Loans are not for the faint of heart. My advice: Have a plan, find a solid contractor, and set expectations. In addition, work with a loan officer that has either many years in the business or has completed many, many renovation loans. A solid mortgage advisor is not only helpful and will expedite the process, they are worth their weight in gold.

San Diego Renovation Loans: Quick List for 203k Loans

1. Have a Plan: Make a list and separate "needs" from "wants". This will be helpful when hiring a contractor to itemize your priorities. Take inventory of the house yourself and be prepared for the contractor to find things outside your scope. Consider paying for a home inspection. This independent 3rd party will assess all the challenges your home currently faces. A contractor can work off this inspection, saving time and money.

2. Find a Contractor: Contractors are a plenty, however, find one that really understand the needs of the job. Lenders want all I's dotted and T's crossed. Liability insurance and workmen's compensation are required. In some cases, depending on the renovation expenses, they will will be accountable to a 3rd party that will oversee their work. Remember, you're working on the lenders money. Be clear and specific. A contract will be signed prior to commissioning work.

3. Set Expectations: Understand your goals and communicate them to the contractor. Check in and insure they are being met along the way. Open communication and setting expectations up front will save everyone time. Talk to a real estate professional and/or your mortgage consultant on what renovations will add value to the home, i.e. new windows, central heat/air, electrical, etc. This may assist in selecting a "need" over a "want" as it increases your property value and ultimately your equity in the home.

When in doubt. Ask your lender. Making changes to estimates or sub-contractors selected can be a recipe for disaster. Always, always ask your lender first and get it in writing. Communication and written proof that a change has been approved are key to keeping more money towards the project. Take good notes and save receipts and invoices. They can become your lifeline to communicating with all parties. Fix it, don't nix it!