How Myers Constructs Can Help You & Your Home in 2021 — Part 2 in a Series

Your Partner in Property Purchases

Are you considering buying a primary home or an investment property? If so, you already know that there are many complicated layers to this life-changing decision.

Generally speaking, you’ll spend more on a home you plan to live in, and you’ll be there for at least seven years, during which you’ll be looking to build a cushion of appreciation and make it as comfortable and attractive as possible. For most of us, our home not only houses us, shielding us from the elements, but it communicates to us and others what is important to us.

Your goals for a rental property will be much different: you’ll want it to generate positive cash flow, last a long time with minimal maintenance, and hopefully also produce appreciation. Of course, if you’re investing in a unique commercial property situation like adaptive reuse, rezoning property, doing land development, or building new construction, there are even more specific challenges that our experienced team can help with, as well.

Before you make an offer in any of these scenarios, we can help you understand your prospective property through the lens of the necessary construction, zoning, fixes, upgrades, and ongoing maintenance items it will need in the future.

We can even join you on a property visit to gather answers to important questions like:

  • What attracted you to a prospective house? Looking at what you love, we can get a good feel for how it can be made even better — including what that will cost and how long it will take to achieve.
  • How well is the home built? By examining the major systems and infrastructure features, we can tell a lot about the overall construction quality of the property.
  • What year was it built, and what are some common issues and concerns associated with that construction era that you should look out for?
  • How does this property compare to similar ones in the area — and how can you maximize your rental or resale potential? By analyzing quantitative data, we can show you whether it’s worth adding that third-floor addition, new kitchen, or extra bathroom.
  • What are the permitted uses and changes that are possible for a primary home? Together, we can look at options like future additions and other structural upgrades.
  • What are the problems the home inspector found, and what will they cost to fix? Which ones should be considered “deal breakers”?
  • What is the highest and best allowable current and future use for an investment property based on its zoning? For example, you may want to subdivide a single-home property into multiple lots and homes or expand a one-level commercial building into something like a low-rise condo.
  • How can you design an investment property to maximize cash flow, force appreciation, and/or put plans in place now for future payout?

The answers to all of these questions will help us provide an overall outlook on whether a property is the right fit and a smart investment for you. Unlike a home inspection, our home buyer’s service addresses not only physical problems with a property, but it also helps assess the emotional or quality-of-life issues you will face in achieving your dreams for your new home or property. We look forward to discussing the exciting possibilities with you!

Buying a Home? We Can Help

Whether you are considering buying a home to live in or a house to invest in, purchasing real estate is a huge investment with many complicated layers. We can help you understand the property you are considering buying through the lens of the necessary fixes, upgrades, and ongoing maintenance items you will face in the future.

We can join you on a property visit to gather answers to questions like:

  1. How is the home built? Looking at important systems and infrastructure features, we can tell a lot about the overall construction quality of the home.
  2. What year was it built? We’re familiar with common issues and concerns associated with certain construction eras that you should look out for.
  3. What are the problems the home inspector found? By evaluating the cost of the fixes, we can help you determine which ones should be considered “deal breakers.”
  4. What are the allowed uses and changes that might be made? Together, we can look at possibilities like future additions or structural upgrades.
  5. How does this property compare to similar in the neighborhood — and how can you maximize your rental or resale potential? By analyzing quantitative data, we can show you whether it’s worth adding that 3rd floor addition or an extra bathroom.
  6. What attracted you to the house? Looking at what you love, we can get a good feel for how it can be made even better — including what that will cost, and how long it will take to achieve.

The answers to all of these questions will help us provide an overall outlook of what needs to be done for the house in order for it to be perfect for you. Unlike a home inspection, our service addresses not only physical problems with the property — we also help you assess the emotional or quality of life strengths and deficiencies of a house to help you reach the goals and dreams you have for it.

Selling a House? We Can Help

So you’ve lived in and loved your home for a long time. You have fond memories when you look at every single thing in it. And now you’ve made the emotional decision to sell.

The first thing you need to know is buyers don’t want to buy your memories. They want to make their own memories in the home you cared for all of these years. What’s more, they typically don’t want to have to do a single thing when they buy your house. They want it to be perfect and “turnkey.” Some will even walk away from a house that is painted “the wrong color.” I even once met a home buyer who complained about the doorbell chime!

Buyers want that charming older home you’ve loved so long to look like a brand new vintage house fresh off the best shelter magazine presses — but with all the charm and character intact. We can help you take the necessary steps so you can see your home from the buyer’s point of view, as it is now, so we can help you prepare to sell it. We guide you through the changes your home needs to attract its next caretaker, the new owner of your house, the future buyer and custodian.

Many of the changes needed to prepare a home for sale can be small and inexpensive, like cleaning and decluttering. But sometimes it makes sense to put in that new kitchen or add that missing bathroom. Many older homes don’t have a bathroom on the first floor, and this is a “must have” for today’s buyers.

We guide you to find solutions to attract the largest group of buyers at the highest price. Often, this means avoiding personal preferences, which can be very challenging for a homeowner.

We can help you weigh all of the options in making your house look better than its competition: all of the other local houses listed for sale at your price point. We aim to get the best return on what you spend, with a faster home sale at a higher price.

Keep in mind that even after you have an offer on your home, the buyers may ask for some things before making the sale official. Maybe they want more closets, or they need an option for accessing the house via a ramp instead of stairs. Often, we can help you and your agent counter those buyer objections by coming up with creative solutions so you get to closing faster. And sometimes, you don’t have to pay for these changes — the buyer only needs to know a solution can be found.

Final Reveal: Mt. Airy Kitchen Photo Shoot


Our clients have lived in their spectacular schist stone single Mt. Airy home, located near Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, since the 1980s, and they have wanted to renovate since the day they moved in. They have two sons, and the oldest is now at college. We often find that major life milestones like this spur projects into action.

This space, which once served as a servant’s kitchen and butler’s pantry, was last renovated sometime during the early 1980s. In the process, a structural wall had been removed, and home made cabinetry boxes were installed. The homeowners wanted to completely update this kitchen, making it a modern space that they can use and enjoy on a daily basis. To that end, we streamlined the layout to make it more logical and easy to use, and we installed radiant floor heating so we could eliminate the large existing cast iron radiators. These clients opted for a combination of totally custom cherry-stained lower cabinetry and painted glass-front upper cabinetry, with a beautiful hand made custom order ceramic tile backsplash serving as a transition between the two. As you can see from the photo, the tile pattern features a combination of rectangular and circular shapes in gradated shades of blue — providing a nice focal point for the space! The appliances were selected to fit the way they use their kitchen, as was the lighting plan, which includes task, ambient, and accent fixtures.

Especially important to the clients was keeping an easy, breezy, slightly artistic approach to the design of this space — we think we accomplished this quite nicely!

See the rest of the photo shoot images here.

P.S. Want to watch this project in progress? View the step-by-step slideshow here.

Image: Mark Gisi/Tabula Creative

Home Inspections: You Get What You Pay For

Tamara Myers measures a space

In our line of work, we see a lot of home buyers who try to save money in the purchase process by either skipping a home inspection or shopping around for the lowest-cost option. Interestingly, we see this across the purchase price spectrum, from small homes priced at $150,000 to luxurious properties valued at over $1M. This is a huge mistake with serious potential repercussions. A home purchase is the largest investment most people will ever make, so it is very important to do thorough due diligence before signing on the dotted line. You can expect to spend several hundred dollars on a professional home inspection, and the price will vary based on the inspector’s credentials and the size and location of the home. This is money well spent! Negligence during this phase of a home purchase can mean having to deal with serious and expensive problems down the line.

Here are our tips for a successful home inspection process:

  • Hire a licensed and experienced home inspector, and accompany him on his visit to your prospective new home. Bring your buying agent with you. Ask lots of questions. Take notes and photos. This is your opportunity to learn about the house you are buying. On a small home, this might take a few hours; a larger home with complicated systems may take a few days to inspect properly.
  • Every home inspector has general knowledge, as well as a specialty such as heating systems, structural systems, or particular building methods. If you suspect certain potential issues in the home you want to purchase, lean towards an inspector with some deeper knowledge in that specialty area. Don’t just select an “off the shelf” pro.
  • If you have a relationship with a design build contractor, have them survey the house for potential needed repairs and estimate the associated costs. Expect to either pay them for their time, or hire them to do the repairs. Keep in mind that the home inspector is not a design build contractor, so they can only provide general cost information about repairs. Likewise, a design build contractor is not a home inspector, so their advice cannot replace the inspector’s official report. However, the combination of the two professional opinions is invaluable.
  • Case in point: One of our repeat clients recently put in an offer on a $1.7M home and hired us to ballpark their planned renovations. They had a very good home inspection performed, too. The inspector brought out a thermal scanning gun that detects moisture and found tremendous water-infiltration problems around every window and door in the house. Basically, the stucco work/window install was all wrong from the standpoint of systems used. From inside the house, one could only see a little popped drywall tape that indicated anything was amiss. Together, we were able to give the home buyer the best inspection and repair price information for this massive hidden problem.

  • Once you have reports from both professionals, you can have your agent go back to the sellers with requests for repairs or equivalent negotiations in purchase price. Don’t expect the seller to pay for cosmetic or subjective things like cabinet style upgrades, paint color, or even replacement of knob and tube wiring if it is working properly. Do request the sellers correct or compensate you for any true infrastructure deficiencies.
  • Finally, keep in mind that the seller has an obligation to provide a Disclosure Statement which, except in cases of new construction, identifies any “latent” defects which may not be readily apparent to you. Carefully scrutinize this statement, and address any red flags that it raises.

If you have questions about this process, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Related reading: Choosing a Contractor — The Inside Scoop