Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Best Projects for Resale

Look around your house.  Do you see any 8x8 floor tile?  How about shiny white 4x4 tile?  Do your neutrals look a bit pink?  *Sigh.*  What were those builders thinking twenty years ago?!  Before you put your house on the market, it's time for a little facelift!

A few years ago, the housing market was booming.  Houses sold just because they were on the market, with little regard to what had to go into the house for improvements.  Today, buyers are looking for customization, high style, and a minimal move-in "must do" list when they're searching for a new place to call home.  In this market, sellers must make improvements at the front end in order to sell their homes for what they deserve!  A bit of a paradigm exists here, though, because sellers don't want to invest in a property they are trying to get rid of.  Take this bit of advice from a seasoned professional: spend a little to make a lot.  So, where's a homeowner to spend?  Here are my top five projects for resale:

1. Bathroom Remodel.  Updating your bathrooms (especially your main level bath and master bath) is the best and most profitable improvement you can make on your home.  If you put $15,000 into two or three of the bathrooms in your home, you'll be looking at a return of 130%.  That's a gain of about $5,000!  Focus on updating your faucets and upgrading your counter surface.  In a master bath, upgrade to a double sink kitchen counter height vanity.  There are cost effective ways to do this!  Let me help you update your bathrooms with remnant granite, stock tile, and a few accents that really make your home look custom.  You don't have to spend a whole lot to make a world of difference!
2. Basement Refinish/Remodel.  Especially in this area of the country, finishing your basement, or updating the existing finishes, is a fantastic way to invest your money.  Investments in your basement return at 108% when your home sells.  Recently, I helped a couple do flooring for their entire basement (1,000 square feet) for less than $3,000--including installation.  When I did my final walk through, I would have never known how budget concious the client was.  Let me help you do the same!
3. Kitchen Remodel.  Kitchen's used to be king for resale investments, but today they rank third!  Still, the kitchen is a worthy place to make some improvements.  For starters, update your counter surface, sink, and faucet.  Updating the backsplash doesn't have to be a tremendous investment to really pull your look together.  Removing some of your upper cabinets to open up the space and adding an island or peninsula (if space allows) are other great ways to bring your kitchen up to date.  Remove bulky or outdated light fixtures and opt for recessed can lighting.
4. Exterior Paint Scheme.  Before a buyer ever sets foot in your home, they see the exterior and make a judgement call.  Is your exterior paint scheme scaring away buyers?  Updating your exterior paint scheme is a great way to give your home an inviting look and welcome them to take a look inside--or make an offer!  If you can't afford to paint the whole house, maybe updating your trim paint and front door color will be enough to sell the home.  Let me help you pick a paint scheme!
5. General Improvements.  While the four areas above are the most worthy investments for resale, making a few general improvements never hurts!  Here's a few ways to improve:
·         Add crown mouldings in living room
·         Update fireplace and mantel
·         Update ceiling mounted lighting fixtures
·         Remove popcorn ceilings
·         Remove wallpaper
·         Update living room flooring
·         Hardwood in Master Suite if possible
·         Go for overall likeability
·         Float furniture in the room

Once you've got your home improvements done, a great realtor will help you sell your home in no time--even in this market!

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