Monthly Archives: December 2007

Do All Improvements Add to the Bottom Line???

Do All Home Improvements Add to the Bottom Line?????
Just watching HGTV, TLC and a variety of other popular home renovation channels, one would think that any improvement made to their home will add value and put money in their pockets. Homeowners add personal improvements, and plenty of emotion with upgrades like a $10,000 sunroom, a $40,000 pool, paint the kitchen with $45 a gallon plum Ralph Lauren paint, etc, etc, thinking they will net all of the money spent when they sell. Not True!! Some improvements you make will only add to the enjoyment of your home, while some will add value- cash. Deciding what is most important and trying to fall right in the middle, is something homeowners should consider before making any drastic or costly changes. Even while renovating for comfort, homeowners should do so with selling in mind, because of today’s mobile society with job transfers and unforeseen downsizings. Well, you ask, what should I add??

What to Add, What Not to Add . . .
If you want to get a return on your investment dollars, it never fails to update kitchens, upgrade bathrooms, add an additional room or expand the family room. These renovations are attractive to buyers, and help the home show better and sell faster. Adding a deck, decreasing the room amount or size, finishing a basement, or installing a pool, are upgrades to think twice about. A pool more times than not, can kill a sale, especially if the buyer has small children, or if you live in an area where it is cold, windy or rainy most of the year. Also, most buyers just aren’t that interested in having a beautiful attic or finished basement. When deciding on what to upgrade to add value, keep the personal, emotional improvements to a minimum.

Do You Have The Nicest Home in the Neighborhood???
Nice HouseDid you make your home the nicest in the neighborhood, complete with marble floors, a stone pool, and a gold-plated fence? Ooops!! This is a mistake many homeowners make, thinking having the best home with the most upgrades will yield them the most money. Not true! When realtors and appraisers are assessing the value of your home, they do what is called a competitive analysis of the homes in your area, that are similar in size and year built. Next, taking an average sales price per square footage, then total average sales price for your area. If you live in a modest neighborhood and the comparable homes in that area have been yielding an average sales price( closed price, not listed) of $100k, it is unlikely that you will be able to yield and extra $100k for the upgrades that you have added to your home. It’s ok to be better, but don’t price yourself out of the market!!

So . . .What are Buyers Looking For????
 As a Realtor, I have the opportunity to learn and work both sides of the fence with buyers and sellers, both with their own interests, desires, and agendas. With the competition of your neighbors homes also on the market and nearby builders offering new appliances and granite countertops in their standard packages, a seller is left wondering what to add to set their home apart. Kitchen. Granite, Granite, Granite countertops. If you cannot afford granite, try Corian countertops. Buyers love quality in the kitchen, and love the extra storage space of 40 inch cabinets. Adding a dual drawer dishwasher and a smooth top stove will catch buyers’ attention. Tile or granite backsplashes and an open floorplan will complete your kitchen. Bathroom: Forget about adding a whirlpool tub, most don’t have the time to soak. Add an oversized, standup shower, completely tiled with granite or travertine, multiple shower heads, a built-in seat, and shampoo compartments. Dual sinks are also a favorite, most families have 2 working adults who want to get ready at the same time in the mornings. Extra Bedroom or Extended Family Room: More Space!!! This gives the buyer more options in several ways. The extra bedroom can be used as an office, home gym or storage. Also, adding another bedroom may set your home apart from the smaller homes in neighborhood, especially to a growing family. Lastly, if your home is outdated having only 2 bedrooms, one bathroom or a one car garage, adding another bedroom, creating a 2 car garage or even a half bathroom will definitely add value.

What’s the Bottom Line???
When you give your sweat equity, gain tired muscles and sacrifice all your weekends to improving your home, it can get kind of emotional when the time comes to sell. Don’t get too attached to your personal likes, and make changes to best present your home to a potential buyer. Homeowners, do keep in mind that every improvement does not add value, nor do most improvements add dollar for dollar value. Remember, some of the value you receive from an improvement or upgrade, will not be in the form of a financial gain, but value in the comfort it gave your family. Lastly, if money’s tight and only one improvement can be made, put every dime into that kitchen and make it pop!!