Beach Clean Up Day – Volunteers Needed

Every year during Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup®, hundreds of thousands of volunteers comb lakes, rivers and beaches around the world for trash. Over the course of nearly three decades, more than 9 million volunteers have collected nearly 164 million pounds of trash.

But our ocean needs help more than once a year, and BTN can help by taking a lead role on the front line of one of the world’s most preventable problems by doing our own beach cleanup. Bring your kids and grandkids, your aunts and uncles, your parents and grandparent, and join us for this worthy cause and some beach fun!!

When: Saturday, June 24th, 2017

8:00 am— Check in

8:30 am— Cleanup starts

11:00 am— Beach Potluck (BTN to provide sandwiches, chips, and water. Please feel free to bring something to share)
Stay as late as you want to.

Where: Main Beach- Laguna Beach (plenty of street parking or metered parking available)

What: BTN to provide gloves and trash bags for the cleanup. Please bring your own beach towels, chairs, sun protection, umbrellas, and whatever you might need to make this a fun day at the beach.

For more information, please call our Community Service Director, Gracie Morris at 714-688-6288

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Kitchen Remodel Survival – Part 5

The decision to remodel your kitchen (or ANY room) is an exciting one, but it is usually made with at least a little hesitancy. There are many unknowns when first beginning your project – you have to determine an appropriate budget, find the right contractor, plan for the disruptions, and more. Many homeowners feel justifiably overwhelmed by the prospects of a remodeling project and aren't sure where to turn to get answers to their questions. To help you with this process, we have compiled a series of blog posts, this one is titled Kitchen Remodel Survival – Part 5.

At last, the fun begins! You get to begin shopping for a brand new design for your kitchen.

As you start working with a designer, keep in mind that you will be working with a well-trained professional who should be working to turn your dreams into a reality. Clearly share your vision for your new space and what you are trying to accomplish while building a relationship of trust with your new designer. It is equally important to ensure that your designer is shaping your vision for the space, not theirs.

Be completely honest with your designer on your budget, project timeline, and design considerations. You should be available for phone and email correspondence at least a couple of times a day during the design phase of your project and should return requested information quickly. Most homeowners are surprised to learn that little items like hardware selections can significantly delay an entire remodeling project.

Soon, you will receive your completed design and quote. You primary goal should be to find a plan that clearly matches your vision. Although it is common for minor design changes to be necessary, you should see a layout that closely resembles your vision. Keep in mind that kitchen and bath design is part artistry and part science. Your salesperson understands local building codes that might make some of your wishes prohibitively expensive, if not impossible. Don't hesitiate to ask to see alternative design ideas or styles if minor elements in their plan fail to meet your expectations.

Obviously, an important second consideration is price – the design must fall within your budget range. As you are thinking about the quote, try to avoid scrutinizing every line in the proposal so long as the total is within your budget. It's ok for your contractor to make a reasonable amount of money on your project, as long as you love the design and are satisfied with the price. It is also good to remember that your designer invested their knowledge, talent, and artistry in planning your new kitchen. Although you might be tempted to shop their design to other contractors looking for a little savings, the process is rarely worth the effort.

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Ben Webster – Waterstone Mortgage

At Waterstone Mortgage, we take the confusion and anxiety out of the mortgage process so you have a clear path to your dream of homeownership.

Ben Webster believes it is his job is to help you enjoy the homebuying experience – not to keep you waiting and wondering about the status of your loan. He takes care of as much as possible up front, so when he tells you “yes”, he means it.

That’s how Ben has continued to grow and stand out in the mortgage industry – by doing what’s right for his customers. He’ll help you every step of the way, from application to moving day.

Here’s what Ben's commitment to excellence means for you:

  • Local, Quick Service – in-house processing, funding, and underwriting ensure mortgages will be ready in weeks, not months.
  • Competitive Pricing – our large volumes result in outstanding rates.
  • More Program Options – our lender relationships allow us to offer the most program flexibility, helping us to fulfill your needs.
  • Stable Ownership – we are a wholly owned subsidiary of WaterStone Bank SSB, backed by assets of $1.6 billion.

Contact Ben today and discover how close you are to achieving your homeownership dreams!

Phone: 714-619-2114

Email: bwebster@waterstonemortgage.com

Facebook: @BenWebsterTeam

Website: Click HERE

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BTN Explained

What makes BTN (Building Trades Network) different than most networking groups? This short video says it all! BTN Explained! Video credits to BTN member Tom Gertsen of Reflections Video Productions

 

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Spring Business Expo

Take a break from the daily grind and join us as the Santa Ana Chamber and South Coast Metro Alliance team up at the Spring Business Expo with food tasting and special offers!!! $10 entrance – GREAT NETWORKING OPPORTUNITY. B.T.N. will have a table represented – and many businesses from all over Southern California will be present.

Thursday, May 18, 4-7pm

1661 W Sunflower Ave, Santa Ana, CA 92704-7441

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Kitchen Remodel Survival – Part 4

The decision to remodel your kitchen (or ANY room) is an exciting one, but it is usually made with at least a little hesitancy. There are many unknowns when first beginning your project – you have to determine an appropriate budget, find the right contractor, plan for the disruptions, and more. Many homeowners feel justifiably overwhelmed by the prospects of a remodeling project and aren't sure where to turn to get answers to their questions. To help you with this process, we have complied a series of blog posts, this one is titled Kitchen Remodel Survival – Part 4.

Select a Vendor/Contractor

Creating a list of potential dealers can be challenging. A referral from a friend or neighbor is often a great choice. An internet search can also be an option, or you can contact BTN for a professional referral. You will then need to pre-screen these potential contractors by phone or email to create a list of two or three candidates. Some questions you should ask include:

  • Where have you recently completed a project similar to mine? They should be able to give you several actual addresses within a reasonable driving distance.
  • Can you provide references? They should be able to provide several, and you should check at least 2 or 3 references. A great question to ask a reference – "Would you use this dealer again?"
  • Do you have before and after photos of your work? Some dealers may even have this posted in their portfolio or social media pages online, but if not, they should be able to show you some in person.
  • How would you describe your sales process? Your dealer should be able to describe an organized sales process. If the process doesn't seem well-planned, they may not be the best person to take the lead in your remodel.
  • What is your quality control process after the job is complete? The contractor or one of their quality control staff should inspect the completed job with you and correct any deficiencies that are discovered.

Once you have your "short list" of potential dealers, you are ready to pick the one you feel most comfortable with and begin the design phase of your project.

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Stand Up for Veterans Event

We want to thank everyone who volunteered and donated for the Stand Up for Veterans Event in Santa Ana last week, it was a tremendous success as we were able to meet and help many homeless Veterans throughout the day. A special thanks to Tom Gertsen for filming this video which encapsulates the day, and Jon Holcomb for organizing the event…we are truly grateful for everyone's hard work. THANK YOU!

 

 

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Tom Schulze – ListWell Realty

Tom Schulze – ListWell Realty has quite literally brought a new value proposition to Orange County home sellers and buyers. When you sell your home with Tom he can save you thousands of dollars on commission fees compared to the conventional 5-6% fee structure of other real estate companies by charging a flat fee while still giving excellent service and using the latest technology in our industry today.

When you buy a home from ListWell, the commission received from the seller is shared with the buyer. These checks are often thousands of dollars for a typical OC home purchase!

This common sense approach to real estate commissions has saved ListWell clients HUGE money. The ListWell fee structure offers a better option for sellers (as well as buyers) to reach the goal of maximizing net profit on the sale (or purchase) of their largest asset, which is why Tom is so proud of what he does.

Tom is a 20 year resident of Southern California and a 30 year veteran when it comes to customer service and real estate. Having served as a Director for the Orange County Board of Realtors for 5 years and as Manager for one of the largest privately held real estate companies in Orange County he grew his office to "number one" before leaving to start his own company.

Tom has also trained hundreds of real estate agents on property marketing, evaluation of value, transaction management, negotiation, escrow and the closing process. Literally overseeing the sale of thousands of homes in Orange County and sold over 100 homes personally.

The bottom line is,Tom Schulze knows real estate and the ListWell common sense commission programs give you a better option than paying large commission fees when you don't have to.

Choose well, choose Tom at ListWell, you and your bank account will be very happy you did!

Visit the ListWell Website

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Kitchen Remodel Survival – Part 3

The decision to remodel your kitchen (or ANY room) is an exciting one, but it is usually made with at least a little hesitancy. There are many unknowns when first beginning your project – you have to determine an appropriate budget, find the right contractor, plan for the disruptions, and more. Many homeowners feel justifiably overwhelmed by the prospects of a remodeling project and aren't sure where to turn to get answers to their questions. To help you with this process, we have complied a series of blog posts, this one is titled Kitchen Remodel Survival – Part 3.

Establish your Budget

Industry studies suggest that a typical kitchen remodeling project should be between 10% and 20% of your home's current market value. As a rule, well planned projects in this price range can return up to 90% of the project cost when you decide to sell your home. For a home valued at $200,000, a good starting point for your budget would be $20,000 to $40,000 for a complete renovation, including:

  • New cabinetry and countertops (About 50% of your total budget)
  • New flooring (10%)
  • New appliances (10%)
  • New sink, faucet, and disposal (5%)
  • Labor for removal and installation (25%)

As you begin thinking about your budget, use the 10% to 20% rule as a starting point to clearly set the maximum you are willing to spend on your project. Then begin looking at the value of homes in your neighborhood and try to talk with friends that may have recently completed a remodeling project. Care must be taken not to price your home well out of the market by investing much more in your new kitchen than you can hope to get back if you were to sell.

This should allow you to come up with an initial budget that is somewhat less than your maximum. For example, the budget range for your $200,000 home would be $20,000 to $40,000, and you decide that $30,000 is your personal maximum. After talking with friends and considering neighboring home values, you could potentially set your initial budget at $25,000 for your project.

Keep in mind that these estimates represent national averages and prices will vary by region of the country.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Building Trades Network – Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q. What makes Building Trades Network different from other network groups?

A.    We are professionals who only work in the housing industry. Other network groups often have  multiple level marketing businesses that try to sell directly to it’s members. We believe when we grow our relationships though weekly meetings, events, mixers and our non-profit work we are actually building trust and better understanding of each member. We really get to know their business ethics, knowledge, experience and specialties making it far easier to refer to them to other contractors, trades people, clients, family, neighbors and friends.

 

Q. What is the non-profit side of Building Trades Network?

A.    We are a non-profit organization registered as “Building Trades Network Outreach Foundation” and we have worked very closely with different veteran groups for the past several years including “Furnishing Hope” for our returning wounded warriors, we also help at large events that offer care and education to homeless vets, we have given clothing, food, blankets and Christmas gifts to the homeless in our areas, we have contributed thousands of pounds of food tooth Orange County Food Bank and we are now heavily involved with Mercy House who is a wonderful organization helping mothers and children giving them a safe and clean place to live as they transition to permanent housing.

 

Q. I see there are three chapters, Can I go to all three meeting to meet more members?

A.    Yes. We encourage our members to meet every member in the organization to get the maximum value out of their membership. The more people you meet, the more opportunities for long term business relationships that add up big to your bottom line.

 

Q. What does it cost to join?

A. We have a $500 fee to join BTN and there is a small monthly chapter fee of around $20 a month to pay for the meeting room and coffee. We don’t believe in serving breakfast at our 7am meetings. It costs members more money, it takes more time, and frankly, it detracts from what we are trying to accomplish as a group. Get in and get out and get on with your busy day.

 

Q.  What are the goals of BTN as an organization?

A.    The founders had a vision. To bring together professionals in the housing industry who are like minded, licensed and bonded, are character first people who are looking to grow their business through networking with people they like and feel comfortable referring all with giving back to the community as our common passion.

 

Q. How do I join Building Trades Network?

A. Contact us for an application and attend a meeting, pretty simple. You will be happy you did!

 

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