Homestyle Renovation Mortgage

Caroline Gerardo Barbeau
C G Barbeau
NMLS  324982

Mortgage for a fixer upper
conventional loan under $417000
get money to repair like a mini construction loan
A Fannie Mae direct product


DIY Lay Hardwood Flooring

I have remodeled many homes and lived with the process. I'm 65 days into this mess. Demolition is completed. Well I've gotten all the carpet, pad, wood strip and scraped the glue.  Next step is to remove the floor molding and scrub the concrete. It's a dusty project. Wet  mop twice a day...

Here towards the end you can see my progress. 
After shopping on State College at seven stores, Home Depot, Lumber Liquidators, and two local flooring showrooms I decided on six inch wide plank with a matte finish. A number of Realtors told me dark is "out." I opted for a conservative tone that is in between gunstock, red oak and medium warm. I purchased from online. I am not certain this method is for everyone. after educating myself about all the brands, how they are made and prices I was careful to shop on their website waiting for a deal on the type of specs that I desired. It took me a couple weeks to actually execute the purchase as they have small lots and they come and go. Small company in Indiana that shipped for free. Price was vital as my budget for a 1100 square foot downstairs was $ 7000. I had bids for $12000 to $21000 including labor and all the parts.
I planned to order t-molding, transition strips and stair molding from them, but found they wanted to charge shipping and material was available at Ganahl Lumber.  
One problem about picking up the long strips of t-molding (one was 17 feet) I'm not certain I would
choose to do that again with my BMW X5 and the goofy flags hanging out the back. Might have been worthwhile to pay $33 in shipping to floors to your home as I worried about getting a ticket.
Here's the very first piece being "laid." Floor is clean enough to eat dinner off and wood is glued to my nice level floor. All my belongings are upstairs in boxes, and antiques scattered as best I could. My son Carson has been pretty ill, and I thought I was going to have my second pair of hands but all things you plan seem to go awry. 


Michael Graves Fire Sale!

Shiny new teapot

Some years back I bought several Michael Graves items for my home. If you are unaware Michael Graves is a brilliant architect and designer. Most of the items were not terribly expensive, but I wrongly assumed they were functional. I looked online and found a couple of my items for sale on ebay and they all seem to be like mine - non operational.

The singing teapot was such a cute item when we first bought it. My daughter loved to make tea but unfortunately it lasted about ten heat ups and the bird whistle actually melted. This was the first of the failures. I also bought the egg timer above which never seemed to keep time. Below is a photograph of my toaster- the plastic white front melted from the heating coil ( thank God it didn't burn the house down) and the handle that pops the toast down never seemed to remain intact or engaged. Also below is a garlic press note it is missing half of an arm. The metal used to create the handles was so brittle and soft it snapped off and is broken. We threw away the handle some time ago. Also the little battery powered clock is made of the same metal aggregate material- the hands of the clock fell off.

Target stopped making these cool housewares objects I believe in 2013. All of them were made in China. In retrospect I wonder does Michael Graves ever feel embarrassed that these items that he thought were bringing creative design to American homes were junk and maybe even dangerous? 

In my work I see this with homes. Buyers are still looking for deals in REO's but the danger is they have no idea what condition the home is in. The house might look nice from the curb, might even be polished up and painted over by some flipper but the bones inside are junk. 

I know of a couple people who bought a Flip house without knowing it was:
1. a meth house three years back
2. had leaks and mold
or 3. the plumbing froze and every pipe in the walls was brittle or removed
These houses all ended up needing major repairs to make them inhabitable

Like myself buying a new toaster, tea pot and housewares thinking they all looked
great - and enjoying the fun of the outside appearance- in the end quality is
what really lasts.

Buyer beware I guess.

Anyone want to buy six Micheal Graves things all soon to become museum pieces
that by the by don't work? Only $3.99 for all six. Fire sale!
my graveyard of Michael Graves home appliances

Broken house hold items that seemed nice on the outside