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What to Expect from the Revised HARP

by David Tyler Mills

Revisions to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) announced last month, are by no means a game changer. HARP 2.0, as the media has started to refer to it, has some merit, but its scope is very limited and it will have little or no impact on foreclosures or the estimated 6.4 million homeowners nationwide who are behind on their mortgage payments. The new HARP essentially expands the net of underwater borrowers who were eligible to refinance under the original version.

HARP was created in 2009 to enable borrowers whose loans were backed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or the FHA; who were current on their mortgage; and who owed up to 125 percent of the current value of their homes to refinance.

Under the new plan, borrowers can refinance no matter how far underwater they are. Banks will only have to verify that they have made their last six payments, haven't missed more than one payment over the past year, and have a job or another source of regular income.

While the new HARP won't help homeowners who are behind on their payments and at risk for foreclosure, it will be a welcome relief for homeowners who have been caught in the Catch-22 of not being able to refinance because they owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth, but at the same time, don't qualify for a short sale or a loan mod because they are current on their payments and still have income and assets.

*Information collected from CDPE's "The Distressed Property Report" for November 2011

Need Money for Improvements for a Fixer-upper? There's a Loan for That.

by David Tyler Mills

We meet a lot of customers who desire a fixer-upper but don’t have the cash to repair, replace, or improve their dream home.  Most of these customers are aware of an FHA loan, which only covers the price of the home, but what they may not know is the other types of FHA loans.  One of these types of FHA loans allows you to borrow money that you can use towards improvements.

Introducing the FHA 203K!  This loan allows you to borrow up to $35,000 for repairs, replacements, upgrades, remodeling, and enhancing.  Below is a list of eligible and ineligible improvements as well as a bid/proposal requirement checklist:

Streamlined 203K “Eligible” Improvements

Below are the types of improvements that are allowed in the streamlined 203K program.

  • Repair/replacement of roofs, gutters, and downspouts
  • Repair/replacement/upgrades of existing HVAC systems
  • Repair/replacement/upgrades of plumbing and electrical systems
  • Repair/replacement of existing flooring
  • Minor remodeling, such as kitchens and bathrooms, which does not involve structural repairs
  • Weatherization: including storm windows and doors, insulation, weather stripping, etc.
  • Purchase and installation of appliances, including freestanding ranges, refrigerators, washers/dryers, dishwashers, and microwave ovens.
  • Accessibility improvements for persons with disabilities
  • Painting, both exterior and interior
  • Repair/replace/add exterior decks, patios, and porches
  • Basement finishing and remodeling, which does not involve structural repairs
  • Basement waterproofing
  • Window and door replacements and exterior wall re-siding
  • Septic system and/or well repair or replacement
  • Lead-based paint stabilization or abatement of lead-based paint hazards

Steamlined 203K “Ineligible” Improvements

Below are the types of improvements that are not allowed in the Streamlined 203K program.

  • Major rehabilitation or major remodeling such as the relocation of a load-bearing wall.
  • New construction (including room additions)
  • Repair of structure damage
  • Repairs requiring detailed drawings of architectural exhibits
  • Landscaping or similar site amenity improvements
  • Any repair or improvement requiring a work schedule longer than six months
  • Rehabilitation activities that require more than two payments per specialized contractor
  • Required repairs arising from the appraisal that do not appear on the list of eligible repairs
  • Walkways or driveways

Bid/Proposal Requirement Checklist

  • Must reflect date of bid/proposal
  • Must reflect borrowers name
  • Must reflect property address
  • Break out specific costs for materials, labor, permits, etc.  (Lender needs to understand what the reflected items are)
  • No “structural items” reflected
  • Indicate the estimated completion date (must be within 6 months)
  • Licensed Contractor must sign and date
  • Borrower must sign and date
  • Copy of Contractors license, references, and any other state licensing requirements
  • Copy of permit(s) for any work that requires a permit (if you are not sure, ask your contractor)
  • Homeowner/Contractor Agreement to be completed for each bid/proposal and must be signed and dated by the licensed Contractor and the Borrower (copy included in package.)
  • Total sum of bid/proposals and closing costs cannot exceed $35,000

*PLEASE NOTE…ALL REMODELING WORK MUST BE COMPLETED BY A LICENSED CONTRACTOR.  BORROWERS MAY NOT PERFORM REMODELING WORK!!!

*The only work that can be performed by the borrower is painting or installations of some appliances.  Please check with our office to determine if your project can qualify for SELF-HELP.

Buying a HUD Home: Easy as 1-2-3 (Video Included)

by David Tyler Mills

Here at McNaughton Real Estate, we are asked everyday on how to buy a HUD home.  Rightfully so, HUD homes are the hot topic in terms of getting the most value out of your investment.  Believe it or not, it is surprisingly easy to buy your own.

  1. Get a Pre-Approved letter.
  2. View the Property with a McNaughton Realtor®.
  3. Submit your Bid.
  4. Submit your Contract Package to Asset Manager.

Not only is it that easy, we’ll do steps 3 and 4 for you!  Don’t let the buying process keep you from a great investment.  Check out all the HUD homes in Northwest Arkansas at www.allNWAhomes.com and give us a call!

 

Old School U of A (Like REAL Old School)

by David Tyler Mills

Old Main

University of Arkansas campus

This two-towered hall was the first permanent building to be erected on the campus of Arkansas Industrial University, later renamed the University of Arkansas. It was designed by architect John M. Van Osdel in the second empire style. Today, it is home to the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences.
Old Main


Buchanan Hall

University of Arkansas campus

The first men's residence hall at the University of Arkansas, then still known as Arkansas Industrial University, was Buchanan Hall, named for the university's sixth president, John L. Buchanan. "Buck Hall," as the students referred to it, opened in 1888 and served the university until 1937.

Buchanan Hall


Dress Presentation

Front Lawn of Old Main, University of Arkansas

Because they were attending a land grant university, all male students at the University of Arkansas were compelled to participate in study of military science, which included drills on the front lawn of Old Main. Although no longer compulsory, students can study military science as well as aeronautics through the Reserve Officers' Training Corps.
Dress Presentation

Carnall Hall

University of Arkansas campus

Carnall Hall on the University of Arkansas campus was the first female residence hall on the campus, and it was named for one of the university’s first female faculty members, Ella Howison Carnall. It was designed by Charles L. Thompson in a colonial revival style and opened to students in 1906. Today it is an on-campus hotel and restaurant, used in part to train students in hospitality management.

Carnall Hall


Agriculture Campus

Agricultural Grounds, University of Arkansas

This lane, though paved and widened, is still used by students walking from Maple Street to Mullins Library. The buildings include the Agricultural Library at left, the Experiment Station beyond it and the Agriculture Building at right.

Agriculture Campus


Agriculture Building

University of Arkansas campus

Designed by Charles L. Thompson, the first Agriculture Building was finished in time for fall classes in 1906. Later, it served the campus as the university's infirmary but was put back into use for agricultural purposes after a new health center was built in 1965. Today, it is known as the Agricultural Annex.

Agriculture Building


Chemistry Building

University of Arkansas campus

The first Chemistry Building was finished in 1906 and served in that function until 1935, when the current Chemistry Building was erected. It was then used for the School of Law until Waterman Hall was built in 1953. Subsequently, the psychology and geography departments used the building and most recently, Student Support Services and the School of Social Work have been based in it.


Chemistry Building


Engineering Hall

University of Arkansas campus

The first Engineering Hall was built in 1904 by contractor Albert Byrnes for $22,500. It was southwest of Old Main on the University of Arkansas campus. After the new Engineering Hall was built in 1927, this building was renamed Commerce Hall and used for business classes. It was torn down in 1988.


Engineering Hall


Engineering Day

Front Lawn of Old Main, University of Arkansas

Engineering students began observing an Engineering Day each year starting in 1909 on St. Patrick's Day. The event developed a rivalry with the already established Agriculture Day and both eventually became week-long affairs.

Engineering Day


Gray Hall

University of Arkansas campus

One of the first dormitories for men on the University of Arkansas campus, Gray Hall was finished in 1906 and stood about where Mullins Library is today. It was named for Oliver C. Gray, a professor and commander of the military department at the university for many years. It was razed in 1966.

Gray Hall


Arkansas vs. Oklahoma

University of Arkansas campus

In 1909, the Arkansas football team went undefeated, fending off such powerhouse teams as the University of Oklahoma (pictured) and Lousiana State University. So tough was Arkansas that year that the University of Mississippi forfeited its game rather than make the trip to Arkansas. It was also the year that the term "Razorback" became popularized as the mascot of the University of Arkansas. The football field was about where the plaza between the Arkansas Union and Mullins Library is today.

Arkansas vs. Oklahoma


Experiment Station

University of Arkansas campus

Built in 1888, the original Agricultural Experiment Station was erected at the high point of campus next to present-day Maple Street. The cost of construction was $4,000 with a similar amount being spent on equipment. After agricultural operations were moved to other buildings, the experiment station became home to the music department and later still to the university's news bureau and alumni office. It was razed in 1972.

Experiment Station


Greenhouse

University of Arkansas campus

A horticultural greenhouse called the Conservatory was built in 1898 at a site about where Memorial Hall now stands. It was destroyed by fire in the fall of 1920.

Greenhouse


University Shops

University of Arkansas campus

Pictured is the third mechanical shop erected at the University of Arkansas. Two earlier shop buildings were both destroyed by fire, the first one in 1895 and the second in 1902. This one also was destroyed by fire after an apparent explosion of metal in the foundry room.

University Shops


Infirmary

University of Arkansas campus

The first infirmary at the University of Arkansas was built in 1906 about where the east end of the Leflar Law Center is today. It later served as home for the home economics department and still later for the social welfare department. It was razed in 1972 for the eastward expansion of the law school.

Infirmary


Hill Hall

University of Arkansas campus

Construction started on Hill Hall in 1901 but it didn't open for residents until 1902. It was named for Gen. Daniel Harvey Hill, the third president of the university. It served as a residence hall until 1946, briefly was a women's residence hall and then became the home of the journalism department, the university's news bureau, student media and university printing press. It was razed in 1993 to allow expansion of Mullins Library.

Hill Hall


Senior Walk

University of Arkansas campus

The longest tradition at the University of Arkansas in terms of distance, Senior Walk was established in 1905 and includes the names of graduates of the university, dating back to the first graduates in 1875.

Senior Walk


Content found on www.fayettevillehistory.com.

War Eagle Craft Fair is Coming Up!

by David Tyler Mills

 

About the Fair…

From the outset, the War Eagle Fair was a project of, by and for little people: A group of little old ladies exhibiting their weaving. When that attracted a greater than expected response, other unsung artists and craftsmen were invited to participate. There has never been a government subsidy or sponsorship, no professional nor commercial assistance, just unpaid volunteers led by an Arkansas farmer and his wife. It has all happened in a magical place.

The pioneer Sylvanus Blackburn built his home here in 1832 and it still stands, and the War Eagle River still flows where it powered the turbine of Sylvanus' mill. Nearly everyone who comes here feels something special, and no doubt that is one reason so many have come to this once obscure spot over the past quarter of a century. Untold numbers in the millions (yes, millions) and the great and the mighty have joined the poor and the humble here

Some Info…

Fall Fair dates: October 13 - 16, 2011

Parking fee $2 per vehicle

Seminars…

The War Eagle Seminar was an educational program of the Ozark Arts & Crafts Fair Association, sponsors of the nationally-known War Eagle Fair™. Writing of the early years of the Seminar, former Executive Director Blanche Elliott said,

“An unmatched opportunity was offered for the amateur or the professional to enlarge his artistic talents and improve his techniques at a very reasonable cost. To some, the seminar was a profitable vacation in a secluded countryside, knee-deep in June. To others, it was two weeks of uninterrupted painting, whittling, weaving, or potting that was difficult to come by at home. Out of it all came a fellowship of kindred spirits born of the joy of creating beauty with hands and heart…”

Exhibitors…

The War Eagle Fair began in 1954 to showcase arts and crafts of the Ozark region. The Board of Directors of the nonprofit association paid scrupulous attention to quality, went out of their way to revive traditional arts and crafts in danger of extinction, and offered visitors free admission and free parking. (Due to rising costs, 2011 will mark the first year the Organization will charge for parking.) Exhibitors undergo strict screening for entry, and must abide by carefully enforced rules and standards. They sell products of their own skill and creativity.

  • Who may exhibit?

Anyone who lives in the United States as long as they have handmade products.

  • How can I become an exhibitor?

This is the most common question asked at the Fair office. Those interested in becoming exhibitors can print an application in Adobe PDF file format or write and request a screening form, enclose a long stamped, pre-addressed envelope and mail to: The War Eagle Fair, PO Box 796, Rogers, AR 72757.   No applications are accepted via fax or email.

  • What are my chances of getting into the Fair as an exhibitor?

Each year, there are far more people who request applications than can be accommodated. Still there are new exhibitors each year. Providing you meet the other requirements, your chances are greater if you are among the best in your field and if the Fair does not already have a large proportion of offerings similar to yours.

Planning a Trip…

As always, there is no admission charge to the War Eagle Fair. Beginning in 2011, a $2 per car parking fee will be implemented. A well trained parking crew directs you in and out, and you won't have to hunt for good food. No dogs are allowed on the grounds, in the tents, or buildings except trained Medical Assist dogs. A first aid station is in the center of everything.  There are permanent restrooms and plenty of porta-potties and even a free package checking service. Don't get so caught up in the tents that you miss the exhibit building! Gates open at 8 a.m. each day and close at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and at 4 p.m. on Sunday.

  • What is the best route to the Fair?

Because of traffic congestion on the one-lane iron bridge across the War Eagle River, we recommend that visitors approach from the south via U.S. 412 and AR Hwy 303.

  • What's the weather like?

Generally, the nights are cool and days are warm, but bring a variety of clothing as it can be quite cool or quite warm.

  • Where can we camp?

There are many campgrounds in nearby areas, particularly along Beaver Lake, including both government and commercial sites ranging from rustic to those with complete facilities. Self-contained camping units are permitted in specified areas on War Eagle Mills Farm, along with tents.

  • What about the Spring Fair?

Started in 1962, the Spring Fair began as an Antique show. After 45 annual events, the last Spring Fair was held in 2006.

  • Is the Fall Fair always at the same time?

No. In the past it has been as early as October 13 and as late as October 29. However, beginning in 1990 it has always started on the Thursday before the 3rd Saturday in October.

***All Information collected from www.wareaglefair.com.***

It’s Time to Take Another Look at Short Sales

by David Tyler Mills

As recently as a few months ago, if you would have told a real estate agent who specialized in short sales that they’d be raving about a lender’s stellar service and rapid approval times—not to mention significant cash incentives for financially strapped homeowners for pursuing a short sale—you’d have gotten some strange looks.

That’s all changed.  And it’s changed faster and to a greater extent than most real estate professionals ever could have imagined.

With a glut of bank-owned properties dragging down the recovery of the real estate market, as well as the national economy, major lenders are more eager than ever before to avoid foreclosure. So they’ve sharpened their focus on short sales. Big time.

The biggest lenders in the country have staffed up to ensure rapid processing of short sale applications. They’ve ponied up with cash incentives at closing for homeowners who pursue a short sale. And they’re proactively reaching out to CDPE agents and putting them in touch with delinquent borrowers.

This is big news and the media has not really caught onto it yet. What’s important for you to know is that whatever you’ve read or heard in the past about long lag times and frustrations with short sales is probably no longer the case.

As a member of the CDPEAdvanced community, we’ve tapped into major lenders and on top of major developments affecting short sales and bank-owned properties.  We invite you to visit our website http://www.allnwahomes.com/ to learn more and feel free to contact us any time at 479-442-9099 if you or anyone you know is struggling with an unmanageable mortgage.

Repair or Replacing your Appliances

by David Tyler Mills

One of the proudest moments in anyone’s life occurs when they receive the keys to their new home, especially if you’re a first-time buyer.  One of the most nerve-racking moments in anyone’s life comes from dealing with a broken appliance, especially if it’s an expensive one.  In the August 2011 Consumer Reports “Repair or replace it?” article, a list of common appliances used by their 27,404 subscribers filled out a survey pertaining to maintenance issues.  Listed below are the big appliances that cause the most concern when deciding rather or not to repair or to replace it.

The first three bullet points of each appliance below explain what action you should take (repair, consider repair, or replace) when an appliance breaks between Year 1 and Year 8.  “Replacement Range” explains what the Consumer Reports’s subscribers paid to replace their appliance.  “Median Replacement” displays the middle amount in the set of data that consumers paid to replace it.  “Repair Costs” shows the approximate amount most subscribers paid to repair their appliance.  “Satisfaction with Repair” displays the subscribers’ satisfaction on a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 meaning the most satisfaction.  Information written in parenthesizes includes the general consensus of how the subscribers specifically felt about the outcome of the repair.   

Clothes Dryer (Electric) 

  • Repair:  Years 1-4
  • Consider Repair: Years 5-7
  • Replace: Year 8
  • Replacement Range: $400-$1,100
  • Median Replacement: $650
  • Repair Cost: $136
  • Satisfaction with Repair: 4

Percentage of three- to four-year-old products that broke: 12%

Reliable Brands: LG, Bosch, Amana

Repair Prone Brands: Fisher & Paykel

 Clothes Dryer (Gas)

  • Repair: Years 1-5
  • Consider Repair: Years 6-8
  • Replacement Range:  $450-$1,150
  • Median Replacement:  $750
  • Repair Cost: $136
  • Satisfaction with Repair: 4

Percentage of three- to four-year-old products that broke: 12%

Reliable Brands: LG, Whirlpool, GE

Repair Prone Brands: None stood out

Cooktop (Electric)

  • Repair:  Years 1-3
  • Consider Repair: Years 4-6
  • Replace: Years 7-8
  • Replacement Range: $400-$1,500
  • Median Replacement: $650
  • Repair Cost: $169
  • Satisfaction with Repair: 4 (Hard to get parts)

Cooktop (Gas)

  • Repair: Years 1-3
  • Consider Repair: Years 4-5
  • Replace: Years 6-8
  • Replacement Range: $400-$1500
  • Median Replacement: $650
  • Repair Cost: $171
  • Satisfaction with Repair: 2 (Expensive)

Dishwasher

  • Repair: Years 1-3
  • Consider Repair: Years 4-6
  • Replace: Years 7-8
  • Replacement Range: $300-$800
  • Median Replacement: $550
  • Repair Cost: $137
  • Satisfaction with Repair: 3

Percentage of three- to four-year-old products that broke: 20%

Reliable Brands: Whirlpool, Kenmore, Hotpoint, Bosch

Repair Prone Brands: Fisher & Paykel, LG

Microwave Oven (Over-the-Range)

  • Repair: Years 1-2
  • Consider Repair: Year 3
  • Replace: Years 4-8
  • Replacement Range: $250-$600
  • Median Replacement: $350
  • Repair Cost: $139
  • Satisfaction with Repair: 3

Range (Electric)

  • Repair: Years 1-3
  • Consider Repair: Years 4-5
  • Replace: Years 6-8
  • Replacement Range: $400-$1,000
  • Median Replacement: $600
  • Repair Cost: $170
  • Satisfaction with Repair: 3 (Hard to get parts)

Percentage of three- to four-year-old products that broke: 13%

Reliable Brands: Hotpoint, GE, Whirlpool

Repair Prone Brands: Jenn-Air, KitchenAid

Range (Gas)

  • Repair: Years 1-4
  • Consider Repair: Years 5-7
  • Replace: Year 8
  • Replacement Range: $500-$1,300
  • Median Replacement: $700
  • Repair Cost: $156
  • Satisfaction with Repair: 3 (Expensive & Hard to get parts)

Percentage of three- to four-year-old products that broke: 16%

Reliable Brands: Hotpoint, GE, Kenwood, Frigidaire

Repair Prone Brands: KitchenAid

 Refrigerator (Built-In)

  • Repair: Years 1-8
  • Replacement Range: $5,000-$8,000
  • Median Replacement: $6,500
  • Repair Cost: $309
  • Satisfaction with Repair: 2 (Expensive & Hard to get parts)

Refrigerator (Side-by-Side)

  • Repair: Years 1-5
  • Consider Repair: Years 6-8
  • Replacement Range: $800-$1,700
  • Median Replacement: $1,200
  • Repair Cost: $190
  • Satisfaction with Repair: 3

Percentage of three- to four-year-old products that broke: 36% with icemaker

Reliable Brands: Whirlpool, Kenmore

Repair Prone Brands: LG

Refrigerator (Bottom-Freezer)

  • Repair: Years 1-7
  • Consider Repair: Year 8 
  • Replacement Range: $800-$2,200
  • Median Replacement: $1,500
  • Repair Cost: $188
  • Satisfaction with Repair: 3

Percentage of three- to four-year-old products that broke: 28% with icemaker; 15% without icemaker

Reliable Brands: With icemaker: Jenn-Air, Kenmore, KitchenAid; without icemaker: Kenmore, LG, Amana

Repair Prone Brands: GE

Refrigerator (Top-Freezer)

  • Repair: Years 1-3
  • Consider Repair: Years 4-6
  • Replace: Years 7-8
  • Replacement Range: $500-$900
  • Median Replacement: $700
  • Repair Cost: $168
  • Satisfaction with Repair: 3 (Expensive)

Percentage of three- to four-year-old products that broke: 28% with icemaker; 15% without icemaker

Reliable Brands: With icemaker: Whirlpool, Kenmore, Frigidaire; without icemaker: Whirlpool, Frigidaire

Repair Prone Brands: Maytag

Vacuum Cleaner (Full-Sized Canister)

  • Repair: Years 1-5
  • Consider Repair: Years 6-8
  • Replacement Range: $200-$600
  • Median Replacement: $400
  • Repair Cost: $70
  • Satisfaction with Repair: 3

Percentage of three- to four-year-old products that broke: 18%

Reliable Brands: Rainbow, Dyson

Repair Prone Brands: Electrolux

Vacuum Cleaner (Full-Size Upright)

  • Repair: Years 1-3
  • Consider Repair: Years 4-6
  • Replace: Years 7-8
  • Replacement Range: $70-$400
  • Median Replacement: $235
  • Repair Cost: $60
  • Satisfaction with Repair: 3 (Bad job)

Percentage of three- to four-year-old products that broke: 14%

Reliable Brands: Kirby, Kenmore, Dyson, Dirt Devil

Repair Prone Brands: Simplicity

Wall Oven (Electric)

  • Repair: Years 1-3
  • Consider Repair: Years 4-6
  • Replace: Years 7-8
  • Replacement Range: $800-$2,000
  • Median Replacement: $1,000
  • Repair Cost: $239
  • Satisfaction with Repair: 3 (Expensive, Hard to get parts, & Took too long)

Percentage of three- to four-year-old products that broke: 16%

Reliable Brands: Frigidaire, GE, Kenmore

Repair Prone Brands: Thermador, Jenn-Air

Washing Machine (Front-Loader)

  • Repair: Years 1-3
  • Consider Repair: Years 4-6
  • Replace: Years 7-8
  • Replacement Range: $650-$1,200
  • Median Replacement: $750
  • Repair Cost: $176
  • Satisfaction with Repair: 3

Percentage of three- to four-year-old products that broke: 25%

Reliable Brands: LG

Repair Prone Brands: None

Washing Machine (Top-Loader)

  • Repair: Years 1-3
  • Consider Repair: Years 4-5
  • Replace: Years 6-8
  • Replacement Range: $400-$900
  • Median Replacement: $500
  • Repair Cost: $143
  • Satisfaction with Repair: 3

Percentage of three- to four-year-old products that broke: 20%

Reliable Brands: Roper, Amana

Repair Prone Brands: Fisher & Paykel

Have you ever had any problems with your appliances?  Do you have any preferable brands?  Share with us on our Facebook wall at “McNaughton Real Estate.”  You can help others decide which brands to buy and which ones to avoid.

-David Tyler Mills

10 Value Adding Home Additions for your Kids

by David Tyler Mills

Being from Southeast Arkansas, I remember my friends and I were always encouraged to go outside and play.  Our parents were concerned that we were spending entirely too much time playing Nintendo and not enough time enjoying nature.  It wasn’t until our parents bought us bikes that we really had an interest in the great outdoors.  Afterwards, my friends and I would be caught throughout the neighborhood building clubhouses out of anything you could imagine—haystacks, fallen trees and brush, rotted 2-by-4’s—nothing was safe from being used as supplies for our little colonies. 

Our parents were thrilled we were finally playing outside, but believe it or not, our clubhouses were not the most pleasant structures to the eyes.  Honestly, they were eye sores.  My parents loathed the idea of stifling our creative by deconstructing our ugly creations; however, they didn’t want their home to look like a tornado hit it either.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have something to inspire creative for your children, add value to your home, and be aesthetically pleasing?  Scot Meyer of SwitchYard Media came up with a list of 10 kid-spoiling home additions that could rock your kid’s world and potential increase the value of your home.  Some of these additions may require having deep pockets, but I’m sure you can use your own imagination to create your own inexpensive variations of these additions.

Secret Entrances

Even though this first addition won’t encourage your child to play outside, secret entrances throughout my house would successfully fulfill my inner James Bond.  Creative Home Engineering specializes in building secret corridors that are concealed behind bookcases and staircases.  Kids nowadays are really interested in the Harry Potter series and would really appreciate projects such as these.  Most of these projects are for children 8 and order and cost from $8,000 to $10,000 when done professionally.

In-Ground Trampolines

A company suitably called In-Ground Trampolines specializes in, you guessed it, in-ground trampolines.  This idea offers aesthetic and practical advantages such as reducing the risk of injury.  Since these trampolines are flushed with your lawn, you won’t have a jarring ornament protruding in your yard.  These trampolines are suitable for children 6 and older and cost $1,550 for the trampoline and $800 to $1,800 for a professional landscaper. 

Outdoor Theaters

Have any thespians or rock stars at your home?  Then, give them a stage to showcase their talents to the world or at least their neighborhood.  Theaters, such as a stained redwood theater like the one built by Barbara Butler Artist-Builder Inc., can add value to your home.  Their 12-by-9-foot rectangular stages have front and side walls with a curtain rod.  Outdoor theaters are suitable for all ages, and this company charged $29,920 for this magnificent platform. 

Backyard Skate Park

One sport that doesn’t pass too many parent’s minds as being one of the fastest growing sports is skateboarding.  If you don’t prefer the one at Wilson Park, then companies like Rampage LLC sell grind rails for $150 and half-pipes starting at $2,510.  An effective way to increase the value of your home is to have a company such as Pillar Design Studios LLC to create a custom skateable bowl that doubles as a pool.  A 1,500-square-foot bowl runs for about $45,000 and are suited for ages 6 and older under adult supervision. 

Rock-Climbing Walls

After watching 127 hours, this next addition may not be ideal for many moms, but rock-climbing walls are excellent for exercise.  For do-it-yourselfers, AtomikClimbingHolds.com shows a variety of ways to build a safe climbing wall.  Utah-based Spectrum Sports Int’l has experience in creating climbing boulders that have 31 linear feet of climbing surface, a 4-foot arch, and a 14-foot tube slide through the center of the boulder.  This addition is suitable for children 5 and older, and this structure costs $9,799.

Treehouses

It’s hard to beat an old fashion treehouse.  Of course, treehouses today are so elaborate that you could probably rent them out.  As a matter of fact, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes reportedly bought a $100,000 treehouse, complete with running water, electricity, nannies, and security cameras.  Companies such as Barbara Butler Artist-builder Inc. can construct a 30-square-foot treehouse 7 feet off the ground, which include windows, a deck, a ladder, and a fire pole.  It is recommended for ages 10 and older and costs $38,870

Wall Aquariums

Thanks to movies such as “Finding Nemo” and upcoming movie “A Dolphin’s Tale,” children have become fascinated with aquatic life.  Aquariums don’t only provide beautiful vocal points for a room but also spark interest for children interested in marine biology as well as teaching them responsibility.  For a couple hundred dollars, you can buy a regular, table-top tank.  Infinity’s designs create gorgeous wall aquariums starting around $10,000 and range to six figures, suitable for all children.

Swimming Pools

No surprise here.  All the cool kid’s parents have a poolPools are great for entertaining guests and kids and perfect for escaping the heat.  Depending on the quality of the pool, prices vary from a $249 above-ground pool from Wal-Mart to an in-ground pool that costs between $20,000 and $45,000.  According to the National Association of Realtors, an in-ground pool can add as much as 8% to the value of a home.

Playhouses

Maybe a treehouse is too dangerous and an outdoor theater is lacking more involvement, but a playhouse has everything to spoil your kids.  It’s capable to encompass most of the previous additions depending on how elaborate you want it.  Barbara Butler Artist-Builder Inc. customized a towering play fort for $119,940.  I know we all have that lying around.  If you don’t, then HomePlace Structures will build an 8-by-9-foot play cottage with flower boxes, two dormers, and two windows with shutters and screens.  Their playhouse costs $3,199 and is suitable for all ages.

Garden Railroads

Bring a little bit of magic into your garden by constructing an outdoor train set.  Kids love trains; ask Thomas the Tank Engine.  Actually the other day I had a hard time visiting with some friends at Chili’s from watching a train loop around the restaurant.  Basic train sets costs a few hundred dollars.  Train set expert Nancy Norris offers to customize bigger projects starting at $2,000 for do-it-yourselfers, but some projects can reach up to $100,000.  I would just buy my own train engine and call it a playhouse for that much.  

Hopefully, this blog can help stimulate some ideas for creating your own unique additions.  Let us know what you think.  Share on our Facebook page “McNaughton Real Estate” if you have some great ideas for an addition to your home that your kids would love.  You can also preview pictures of the most elobrate additions from this list on our Facebook page.  Don't forget to "Like" us!

-David Tyler Mills

Congratulations to Megan Watts-Pazdera!

by David Tyler Mills

How about those Razorbacks?!  I don’t want to sound superstitious or anything, but I would like to think that our pre-game tailgate this past Friday had a huge impact on the outcome of the game.  With such a great turnout, it was impossible to avoid the Hog Fever at McNaughton Real Estate.  Hamburgers, hotdogs, potato salad, cookie cake, brownies, and sweet tea as far as the eye could see!

“It was good to say the least,” smirked Mrs. Bobbie to me since I was absent due to having my wisdom teeth removed.  What a bummer!

In fact, I heard that everyone had such a good time that Terri decided to make this an annual event.  Talk about adding insult to injury. 

And to rub it in even more, I heard that I didn't even win the two free tickets out of pity.  Instead, congratulations to Megan Watts-Pazdera for winning the 1st Annual McNaughton Razorback Tailgate Free Tickets!

Let me tell you.  Nothing brightens my day more than hearing how great of a time all my co-workers and their clients had this past weekend while I try to keep these two ice packs on my face.  Stupid wisdom teeth…

Two Free Razorback Tickets!

by David Tyler Mills

WE CANNOT WAIT FOR RAZORBACK FOOTBALL!!!  The excitement is too much to bear.   In fact, we are so ecstatic about this season that we are having a tailgate this Friday on September 2nd.  We want to get things started early.  So without further ado, we would like to introduce the 1st Annual Razorback Kickoff Tailgate!

Starting at 11:00, come by for some free all-American food while we call those Hogs!

From 11:00 to 1:00, check in on your Foursquare or Facebook page to collect different prizes while supplies last!

At 1:00, we’ll have a drawing for TWO FREE TICKETS for the first Razorback game for anyone who has tagged themselves in the McNaughton Real Estate Logo Image on our Facebook page, “McNaughton Real Estate.”

To stay up-to-date on any new events, giveaways, homes, or rentals, click the “Like” button our Facebook page “McNaughton Real Estate.”

Woo Pig Sooie!

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Contact Information

Photo of Don McNaughton Real Estate
Don McNaughton
McNaughton Real Estate
4299 W. Persimmon
Fayetteville AR 72704
479-442-9099
Fax: 479-442-0948
       

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