BEST HOME IMPROVEMENTS
If you’re looking to improve the appearance of your home for resale, or just want an updated look for your own enjoyment, there area a few things you must consider before beginning any costly project. Sure, you can spend a lot on something purely for there personal pleasure of having it – like that outdoor Jacuzzi under the attached gazebo – or you can go the practical route and make and improvement that will increase your home’s market value, such as installing energy efficient air-conditioning or repairing those shabby singles. Be forewarned, however, and don’t expect to recoup your costs on both counts. Many professional REALTORS® working with buyers today agree that just because you put $25,000 worth of home improvements into your home, doesn’t mean that your house is worth $25,000 more!
Exactly how much of your investment you’ll recoup depends on a number of factors, such as the current housing market, the value of homes in your neighborhood, when you plan to sell and the exact nature of the improvement. Also, consider that the longer you live in your home after a project is completed, the less likely you are to recoup its value. Just try to convince a potential buyer that Harvest Gold and Bright Lime Green are today’s cutting edge colors.
PAINTING - UP TO 95%
If you’re planning to sell your home soon, a fresh coat of neutral-toned paint will make the sale easier. Neutral toned paint includes most shades of white, lighter beige tones, very light green tones and possibly current color trends. Ask a professional in the paint department or an interior decorate. A professional exterior paint job may also recoup close to 95% of its cost and help you home sell faster. Let’s face it – we all like things fresh-looking. Painting the interior of the home with neutral colors is important too. It is hard to sell a home with red, blue and purple walls. Lighter colors make the home look bigger and more inviting compared to dark colors that portray the home as smaller and uninviting. You might consider hiring a professional painter to do the job for you if you are looking to resale your home. Keep in mind that professional painters are often busy and it could take 7 to 14 days to fit you in their schedule. If you are painting for your own personal satisfaction, remember to take your time, buy professional tools (brushes, pans, drop cloths , paint rollers, special corner painting brushes and masking tape). Mask off the entire area before painting. Professional painters often spend hours preparing the home before the first drop of paint hits the wall and you should do the same. A fresh coat of paint on the outside and inside of the home is one of your best investments a homeowner can make and will help you home sell faster.
KITCHEN - UP TO 87%
With just a few basic improvements, your kitchen can practically pay you back with interest! New paint, tile backslashes and flooring are always appreciated; plus, you might even consider sanding, staining or painting worn-looking cabinets. Replacing old cabinet hardware with more modern handles and knobs is a low cost improvement that makes a big difference in appearance. According to Remodeling Magazine, the average spend on major kitchen remodeling is around $39,000; refinishing an outdated on averaged $15,000. The full kitchen remodeling recouped 80% of its cost, the more moderate remodeling was valued at 87%. The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in a house so take your time when planning any improvements. Even people who do not cook on a regular basis, love to have the look of a beautiful gourmet kitchen for holiday gatherings and when family and friends come over for a visit. One of the most overlooked areas of kitchen improvement for people who do like to cook is the work flow of the kitchen. Any amateur chef wants to go from the refrigerator, to prepping area, to stove, to a serving area or station such as an island in the kitchen. The flow should be in a triangle, circle or oval pattern, not criss-crossed.
AREA CONVERSIONS - UP TO 73%
Generally speaking, increasing the functional apse of your home holds its value longer than remodeling just to make your house look better. It’s also much less expensive than adding an addition to your home. Converting attic space into a bedroom, for example, usually cost around $30,000 and returns 73% of its cost, according to Remodeling Magazine. Turning your basement into extra living space costs on average $40,000 with a recoup average of about 69% of your costs. Make sure you check with local home building regulations to see if you will need a permit. Also make sure you use a licensed contractor with a reputable reputation.
EXTRA BATHROOM - UP TO 81%
You usually can’t go wrong by adding an extra bathroom. At an average cost of $15,200, a new full bath can recoup 81% of it’s total cost. You will most likely need a general contractor and a licensed plumber to complete this remodel task. Check with local home building regulations for any permits required to complete the project.
EXTENDED COVERED PATIO / DECK - UP TO 75%
Adding an outdoor deck is a very cost-efficient way to add square footage to your house (keep in mind an appraiser will not count this outdoor square footage). Decks cost around $6,000 to $8,000 and generally recoup 75% of their value. You might also consider an extended covered patio that can be built for around the same price or double (depending on the size of the home) and also will recoup about the same percentage as an outdoor deck.
The latest trend is to add an OUTDOOR KITCHEN to the covered patio area complete with a dining table and chairs. A fire pit with surrounding seating area is also popular.
Be careful you don't spend too much money when investing in an outdoor living space as home appraisers will not consider this additional square footage or living space. An appraiser is also reluctant to give you much additional value for a deck, covered patio or outdoor living space unless they have several recently sold homes in the area that have the same features. As a general rule don't over build for the neighborhood.
NEW WINDOWS - UP TO 89%
Your utility bill savings may make up for the questionable resale value, however, a good set of standard windows should get you around 80 to 89% back depending on the quality of window installed. If you start getting too fancy with custom shapes and sizes, don’t expect to get as much in return. What type of windows should you have installed? Wood, Vinyl and Fiberglass are your three main choices. Be cautious when choosing Vinyl and makes sure it is a high quality vinyl with a good warranty. Wood window frames can be stained to match a decor and Fiberglass is a great alternative to Vinyl. Dual Pane vs. Triple Pane. Most modern Dual Pane windows are find for most homes. If you have a home next to a busy street where road noise could enter a home then go with the Triple Pane. Consider a high quality, high efficient window such as Pella.
SWIMMING POOL - UP TO 50%
Unless you are planning to use the swimming pool for your own enjoyment, don’t plan on recouping more than 25% to 50% of the cost. A home with a private pool in the Phoenix Area will usually help your home sell faster and for a little more money ($5,000 to $15,000 depending on location), but keep in mind there is a cost involved in maintaining the pool (extra electricity to run the pool pump, chemicals, etc…) and some buyers have a fear of swimming pools and therefore do not want them. Resurfacing a pool and keeping it well maintained will recoup up to 50% of your investment
LANDSCAPING AND GARDENS - ** CAUTION **
Keeping your yard, garden and landscaping looking picture perfect will help your home sell, but do not invest more than a few hundred dollars if possible, because you will not recoup any of your money. Appraisers almost always give no value to landscaping or a yard. They will give value to the size of the lot the home sits on, but not fancy landscaping, because without water, it dies and becomes worthless.
BASIC IMPROVEMENTS ARE THE BEST - UP TO 100%
It may not sound very exciting, but it’s the basic improvements you make to your home that may have the retest return on it’s value: a beautiful new bathroom won’t make up for a leaky roof. So if you’re thinking of selling your home in the next few months, be sure to address any little maintenance items your home made need (squeaky door, cracked floor tiles, leaky faucet, etc…) before you upgrade or install your beautiful backyard landscaping or swimming pool. Cleaning and basic improvements can recoup you up to 100% of your investment.
If you are considering selling your home soon... Your Agent Matters... DONALD KEYS has been a licensed REALTOR® Since 1997 and will sell your home for significantly more money... bottom line... than any other method. To discuss the sell of your home Call Donald Keys at (602) 750-1744.
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Donald Keys is a full-time professional REALTOR®