Get Greater Joy From Your Home! The Real Impact of your Remodeling Dollars

Remodeling Impact 2017

Homeowners and renters remodel, redesign, and restructure their home for a variety of reasons. This report takes a deep dive into the reasons for remodeling, the success of taking on projects, and the increased happiness found in the home once a project is completed.

The 2017 Remodeling Impact Report, the second of its kind from NAR, surveyed Realtors®, consumers who have completed remodeling projects, and members of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.

Here’s what’s in this report:

→ The typical cost of 20 remodeling and replacement projects, as estimated by members of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI).
→ How much appeal each project is likely to have for buyers, according to REALTORS®.
→ How much REALTORS® estimate that homeowners can recover on the cost of the projects if they sell the home.

Homeowners who take on remodeling projects gain not only equity and more resale value in their home, they are also more likely to find satisfaction and enjoyment from their home, according to a new report from the National Association of Realtors®, with insights from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.

Read the report here :

What does the report say?

Homeowners Who Remodel Gain Equity and Enjoyment

The report reveals the top remodeling projects, as well as well as the increased value – both financially and emotionally – that specific projects bring to homeowners once completed. After completing a remodeling project, 75 percent of owners have a greater desire to be in their home, 65 percent say they have increased enjoyment in their home, and 77 percent feel a major sense of accomplishment when thinking of their completed project. Fifty-six percent felt happy when they see their completed projects, and 39 percent say they feel satisfied.

“Realtors® understand which remodeling projects and home upgrades will bring the most value to homeowners, whether they are remodeling with the hope of impressing potential buyers, bringing in higher offers or gaining more equity in the home,” said NAR President William E. Brown, a Realtor® from Alamo, California and founder of Investment Properties. “Realtors® also understand that many of these projects are undertaken solely to get more enjoyment from spending time at home. No matter the objectives, Realtors® have unique and invaluable insights into how renovations and remodeling will bring the most benefit to homeowners.”

Interior projects. For owners looking to sell their home, Realtors® named complete kitchen renovations, kitchen upgrades, bathroom renovations and new wood flooring as the interior projects that most appeal to potential buyers. When asked which interior projects yield the largest financial return upon resale, Realtors® named:

♦ Hardwood floor refinishing (recovers 100 percent of project costs upon resale)
♦ New wood flooring (91 percent of costs recovered)
♦ Insulation upgrades (76 percent of costs recovered)
♦ Bathroom renovations and adding a new bathroom yielded the smallest financial return upon resale, recouping approximately 50 percent of project costs.

Exterior projects. When it comes to exterior projects, Realtors® said new roofing will recover 109 percent of costs upon resale, more than any other project in the report. New roofing was also named the exterior project that most appeals to buyers, followed by new vinyl windows, a new garage door and new vinyl siding.

Brown also reminds consumers that exterior projects are just as, if not more, important than interior projects when it comes time to sell. “A home’s exterior is its first impression to potential buyers, so any project that improves curb appeal will yield plenty of bang for the buck,” he said.

Satisfaction from projects. When it comes to the enjoyment homeowners get from projects, several projects received a perfect Joy Score of 10; Joy Scores range from 1 and 10, and higher figures indicate greater joy from the project. Projects with a perfect Joy Score of 10 included both interior and exterior project of all price ranges, such as a new master/owner’s suite, with an estimated cost of $125,000 for a fully makeover, and new steel front doors, with an estimated cost of $2,000.

While Americans spent $340 billion on home remodeling in 20151, many homeowners find the idea of attempting a remodeling project too overwhelming to take on. Thirty-five percent of homeowners in the U.S. said they would rather move than remodel their current home. Owners in urban areas are the least likely to take on a project, with only 52 percent saying they would be willing to remodel their home, compared to 55 percent in suburban areas and 70 percent for owners in rural areas.

“Even though a remodeling project may seem overwhelming at the onset, working with a professional, qualified remodeler who has the required experience and training can make a big difference,” said Tom Miller, president of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. “This year’s report confirms how remodeling can increase home value and day-to-day enjoyment. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to work with a contractor you can trust who adheres to a strict code of ethics and can help define a realistic budget. Get the project done right with a NARI member contractor.”

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.2 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

The National Association of the Remodeling Industry is the medium for business development, a platform for advocacy and the principal source for industry intelligence. NAR connects homeowners with its professional members and provides tips and tricks so that the consumer has the positive experience of remodeling done right.

1 Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University 2017 Remodeling Report


Love That Olive

Experience the taste of Italy at home

Love That Olive in Maple Grove is the place to find inspiration for all your cooking needs. Whether for your own family dinner table or the big holiday bash, we can help. We’ve been the source of fabulous gourmet extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars for great cooks and newbies alike since 2010. Our wonderful producer in Italy delivers to us the gift of true full flavored olive oils. The balsamics are so delicious and versatile, from salads to marinades to desserts, you’ll soon have your very own favorite can’t live without it private stash. We find many of our customers have shared their love of our products in their own homes, at pot-lucks and even in our store while shopping. Our community of great food lover’s reach all groups.

Throughout the year Love That Olive hosts many Tasting Events. Booking a private event for your special group is easy. We are currently accepting new bookings for January. We also hold Open Tasting Events for those times you can’t get everyone on the same schedule. During the holiday season and typically around other special holidays we have Tasting Weekends to sample new products, give you ideas for gift-giving or highlight new products. There is always something good happening here!

Love That Olive is the year-round Gift Giving Headquarters! Our Mini Boxed Set is extremely popular. Unique Holiday Gifts include Olive Oil skin care, kitchenware, Italian Pastas, flavorful sea salts and seasonings, gluten-free and salt free soup mixes, serving vessels, custom gift baskets and so much more. Need a quick Thank You gift for a special teacher or a Secret Santa gift? You’ll find it here. Who doesn’t love great food or a fun kitchen gadget? And when you just can’t decide, a Love That Olive Gift Card is a perfect choice.


Here at Love That Olive we understand, life is busy! We aim to educate on how easy it is to drizzle your way to a great, quick, delicious meal. Tips, recipes and classes will assist you in your fear of “I can’t cook!”. Be sure to check our website at for recipes, pairing suggestions, and gift ideas. Follow us on Facebook for current events, recipes and fun ideas in your cooking adventures. Our Facebook community is always coming up with delicious ideas for our wide assortment of products. Especially within our Weekly Feature Product post.


Enroll in our Email Club for even more ideas, tips and event announcements. Do you have a birthday? We a have a Club for that as well! Enroll on our website for a special treat from us in your birthday month.

Are you always looking for great recipes? Check in-store for featured recipes, on our website (with a search feature) or our brand new cookbook, The Art of the Olive, filled with tasty dishes for any occasion. Pre-orders are being accepted, with expected delivery right before Christmas.
We hope you will visit us in person or online and experience the taste of Italy and all thing good from Love That Olive. We make food fun!

Learn about the health benefits of:

Terri Chaffer has a passion for olives. She also has a passion for her community. She and her husband, Ron, own and operate Love That Olive in Maple Grove. Their business has grown exponentially by providing products and services around the lifestyle, baking, skin, nutritional, and health benefits of olive, balsamic, and nut oils.  Find their store at 13551 Grove Drive in Maple Grove across from JC Penny.

If you want to learn a ton more listen to the podcast Still Growing with Jennifer Ebling by clicking the audio below. Jennifer sits down with Terri to talk about her experience as an “Oil Bar” owner and her passion for introducing quality oils and balsamics into our everyday cooking. They cover the noble history of the olive tree, how olive oil is processed and marketed, as well as the many varieties Terri sells in her shop.



Why Staging Sells

Staging Matters

At some point in your life, there is a very good probability you will be selling your home. Zillow’s question and answer section will tell you that the average person sells their home every 7-12 years. This means that more than likely, you will need this advice at some point in your life.

As the owners of JS Design Studios, we could be accused of being bias in our opinion that staging is a critical component of selling you home. We could tell you experience has done nothing but validate our position that staging will help you sell your house for top dollar and as fast as possible. We could tell you about the clients who have had their homes on the market for months without any success. Once they made some cost-effective improvements and had their homes staged, they sold within 24 hours with multiple bids. But don’t take our word for it…or even the glowing feedback from numerous satisfied clients. That is simply our experience, and again, we are a staging company so we are naturally bias.

Let us quickly look at a few facts from the National Association of Realtors (NAR). During a recent survey, the NAR found that 81% of all buyers find it easier to visualize a staged home, 45% said staging had positive impact on the value of a properly decorated home, and nearly a third (28%) of buyers are more willing to overlook property faults if the home is staged professionally. If you are not already convinced, 12% of real-estate agents believe proper staging increases the dollar value of the home at least 11%-20%! That means if your home is worth $300,000 today, properly staged you could get an additional $33,000-$60,000 – just by professionally staging your home. Depending on your state, you nearly missed those tax-free dollars!

While this is exciting news and helps you realize the importance of staging, it does not practically help. JS Design Studios is passionate about educating and providing solutions for our clients. We offer everything from working with existing furniture and accessory packages to add pops of color, all the way to complete home staging with furniture rental. We also enjoy working with our clients to provide “tips and tricks” to enhance your home.

One way we educate potential home sellers is through community classes we hold with area realtors. However, most of the time we will come out to your home to consult with you on an individual basis. Our goal is to take the stress out of staging and selling your home. During the consultation, we will do a walkthrough with you of your home and gather information. We will then go back and write up a detailed, yet prioritized and simplistic report that goes room by room for you to follow. Think of it as a roadmap to successful selling. Many times, there will be recommendations such as decluttering your home, assisting in paint color choices, and moving or removing select pieces of furniture. In some cases, there may be minor home improvement tasks we suggest such as replacing flooring or updating trim and bathroom updates. We provide cost effective solutions based on our experience as well as trusted contractor recommendations for each of these suggestions. If you are the DIY kind of person, we also have options for tried and proven enhancements you can utilize – and recommendations on which ones to steer clear from…just do not ask how we know they do not work.

Selling a home can be a lonely and stressful process if you do not partner with professionals. Leveraging the knowledge and experience of your realtor and stager can take the stress out of selling, clarify priorities, and help you avoid the pitfalls of putting money in areas that do not maximize your investment.

We are Johanna and Tim Steffensmeier, owners of JS Design Studios. We specialize in residential design and staging solutions. Our staging offerings range from full home furniture rental, to working with existing furniture. We also write recommendation reports for clients preparing their homes to sell with tips and tricks. On the design side, we perform a wide variety of projects. Something as simple as assisting in paint color selection, to structural changes and completely different layouts. We can also provide 3D renderings of the space.

Johanna has been involved with interior design and staging for over 10 years. Tim brings his expertise in business management, as well as construction experience. We have a passion for creating beautiful spaces and take a “seek first to understand” approach when dealing with all clients to determine which solution best suits their needs. Tim and Johanna can be reached at

App of the Month


This month we begin a regular new feature called App of the Month. We will look at the popular apps that seek to help make our lives a little better in some way, shape, or form.  So many apps come out every day that it’s difficult to keep track of them all. It’s difficult to determine the best of the best but if you’re getting bored with what you’ve got and want to try something new, check out this regular app feature. This month, the blue ribbon goes to a maps & navigation app called Waze.

Waze, is a GPS navigation software that works on smartphones and tablets with GPS support and provides turn-by-turn navigation information and user-submitted travel times and route details, while downloading location-dependent information over a mobile telephone network. Waze describes its app as a community-driven GPS navigation app, which is free to download and use. The app was first developed and popularized by Waze Mobile, an Israeli company founded by Ehud Shabtai, Amir Shinar and Uri Levine, funded by two Israeli venture capital firms, Magma and Vertex, and an early-stage American venture capital firm Bluerun Ventures. Waze Mobile was acquired in 2013 by Google.

Cool Features
  • Wazers share real-time road information to bypass traffic and saves precious time off their daily commutes.
  • Waze analyzes traffic in real-time to find you the quickest detours and shortcuts.
  • Simply driving with Waze helps other drivers. You can also actively report on incidents like crashes, hazards, police and more.
  • Customized voice navigation is fun! I like the “boy band” voice. He sings navigation to you as you drive…hilarious!
  • Gas prices – in honor of my father who will drive 5 extra miles to save $.03/gallon this feature is awesome. It will show you the current prices at all the gas stations on or near your route.
Waze vs. Google Maps

When evaluating Google Maps vs Waze, there are a few key differences:

Waze is community-based, Google Maps is more data-based
Waze is pretty much just for cars, Google Maps offers walking, driving, and biking options.
Waze requires a data connection, Google Maps is available offline.
Google Maps includes business data such as menus, hours, and phone numbers, while Waze does not.
Google Maps is fairly basic, Waze offers a high level of customization (including celebrity voiceovers!)

If it is any indication of usefulness, Uber or Lyft drivers overwhelmingly use Waze. My personal take is that Waze is more useful, given the sheer amount of data that the app collects through it’s massive user base. The collaborators are the the key to real-time data. Whenever possible, I don’t want to stop for traffic, hit potholes, or get a speeding ticket.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Google Maps, and I use it when I am driving. I don’t always need to avoid traffic, or don’t necessarily care about avoiding traffic when I have nothing to do.

In summary, it really depends on what you’re looking for. If you want to just get to your destination, Google Maps is probably good enough. But if you’re looking to supercharge your navigation, give Waze a try.

Download the free app by clicking on either of these two platforms: