Some ”improvements” can detract from the home resale value as much as others can add to it.
In one recent deal, according to a real-estate broker here, the home resale value was at least $5,000 less than it should have been because the walls were painted a bright orange and the floors were carpeted in the same wild color.
By: Phoenix Lee/
Most buyers prefer neutral colors and the home resale value may be affected by it, although they may change them once they move in.
This is an extreme example, but it illustrates the point that equal home improvements aren’t necessarily of equal value at resale time. And don’t expect to recoup your entire investment for each improvement. Some can bring a 100 percent return, while others will net no more than 50 cents of the dollar, or less, in the best of times.
According to real-estate brokers and appraisers, kitchen improvements bring the greatest return and improve the home resale value.
Additions like no-wax floors, modern appliances, pantry closets, and work islands all pay off in the long run, but only if they are properly installed. If they are poorly built do-it-yourself efforts using cheap materials that won’t hold up, they can actually stand in the way of selling your house.
A modernised bathroom also will add value to your house. Replacing a standard sink with a vanity not only increases storage space, it also puts the plumbing out of sight. Adding glass or plastic shower doors is a good idea, too, and so is replacing gaudy color schemes with neutral-tinted tiles.
Both kitchens and bathrooms can be over improved, however. Self-cleaning ovens are convenient, but they could turn off energy-conscious buyers. Washers and dryers are sometimes left in the house, so don’t expect to recoup your investment on them, either. And flashy bathroom fixtures may suit your life style, but not that of others.
Nothing can instantly transform a room like a new coat of paint. That’s especially true if you’re going from something dark and dingy (and scratched and dirty) to something light, bright, and white. Painting is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to change and improve a room’s appearance.
The rule of thumb in home improvements: Stick to the basics.
You won’t get all your money back with wall-to-wall carpeting either, unless it’s practically brand new. Wallpaper, on the other hand, is a relatively inexpensive improvement that increases value so long as you stay away from strong patterns and colors.
One of the worst home improvements you can make, from the standpoint of added resale value, is to install a swimming pool or other luxury item such as an elaborate patio. Many buyers see pools only as added work and expense, and perhaps a hazard if they have children.
When tackling a home-improvement project, it is usually best to leave the work to professionals, including, often, an architect or interior designer. A do-it-yourself job that is poorly done detracts from, rather than adds to, the value of the home.
There is no rule of thumb on how many improvements you should make to up the home resale value. But even if your pocketbook can handle a big job, you probably shouldn’t do more than one improvement at a time.
And you should always keep in mind that the changes must not only be compatible with the rest of the house, but they should fit in with the neighborhood too.
Cleaning up, finding the right real estate agent, and updating small things like light fixtures will help your home sell fast without expensive staging. The best, smartest thing a homeowner can do is find the right real estate agent for them. Step back and try to look at your home the way someone else would for the very first time.
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Knowing how to calculate the property valuation is of paramount importance to a home owner. It can help you determine whether you are overpaying for a home, or whether you have gotten yourself a real bargain. Paying the right price is just one way you can avoid overspending on your property.
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