It’s the ultimate question facing anyone who has ever considered a home renovation: How likely am I to get the money back when I sell my house? Just because a project is costly doesn’t mean it will pay back more. Often, minor enhancements can yield major dividends. A kitchen “face-lift” — painting, refinishing surfaces, and upgrading appliances — will return more than a full redesign. The design and product selection are key. But it’s important to have some idea of what your improvements might be worth. Consider the following guidelines and you’ll avoid unpleasant surprises when it comes time to put up that For Sale sign on the lawn:
Kitchens and Baths
A kitchen or bath remodel is a proven investment, often returning more than 100 percent of the cost. So exactly what should you improve when you redo your kitchen or bathroom? Think traditional: all-wood cabinets, commercial-look appliances, natural wood or stone floors, and stone countertops. Some clients will “forgo the tub to have a big walk-in shower” if they don’t have room for both. Most people don’t have time to take a bath. Two key points to consider, however: First, don’t spend money remodeling the bathroom if it’s the only one you’ve got. Your money is better spent adding a second bath. Second, if you’re not planning to move in the near future, spend your money remodeling in a way that you’ll most enjoy.
Still, new kitchens and baths lose some of their glamour if there’s water in the basement when a potential buyer comes to look at your house. Every homeowner’s first priority should be “keeping the existing structure sound.” I’ve seen houses where people are spending thirty or forty thousand dollars to remodel the kitchen, but then you walk into the basement and there’s a musty smell because water is leaking through the foundation. It’s more important to resolve those items first, and get the luxuries later.
No home-buyer wants to move into a house with dirty, worn-out carpet. If your budget allows for it, replace the existing carpet with a new, neutral carpet. Repaint the interior of your home, and keep it neural with soft earth tones. You may also want to consider touching up the paint on the outside of our home, which goes to the notion of curb appeal.
Even in thriving housing markets, the old saw holds true: “If people drive by your home and are not impressed they’re not going to walk inside.” If you’re going to spend money on a property, you should really work on making sure the curb appeal is strong. You really want to convey a sense of welcome. If all of your remodeling is on the inside but the outside of the house is challenging, you’ll never have a chance to even show the inside.
Bells and Whistles
For some homeowners, home improvement isn’t about return on investment; it’s simply about making dreams come true. For example, a home theater room with a 12-foot wide screen and an elaborate sound system. This is a big investment. Since most home theaters involve wiring speakers into walls and extensive built-in cabinetry, as well as soundproofing–it’s not something you can take with you if you move. Still, a home theater is likely to have broad appeal, so you may recoup some costs at resale, but is more looked at as a “luxury item” and is meant for your current enjoyment, not the return on that investment.
This Week’s Closings, Congratulations!
Ms. Kawana Smith
Ms. Marilyn Bolyard
Mr. Myles Morgan
Mr. Terry Hamm
Ms. Sara Yoon
Mr. Aaron Kia
Mr. and Mrs. Douglas Krauss
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Ray
Ms. Kimberly Smith
Mr. Matthew Browning
Mr. Tyler Kilmek and Ms. Blyssney Rudd
Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Berry
Mr. Logan Swanner
Ms. Shontel Davis
Mr. and Mrs. Taylor Hamilton
Mr. and Mrs. Brad Yeager
This Week’s New Listings For Sale: