Well that was a ride...
Since I only began my journey selling real estate 5 years ago, I have been in shock and confusion experiencing the market of the last 2 years. Seasoned agents just said "hold on, here we go". I understand the market is softening and prices will become more realistic. BUT again, we are in for a ride, unless you are the wizard with the magic globe and predict the future. Some people have decided to update their homes instead of simply moving to one that has it all. I thought an article discussing the best value would be appropriate.
How to Increase Your Home's Value
Before you begin any value-increasing projects, remember not to raise the value of your property too far above others in the neighborhood. People who want expensive homes shop exclusively in pricier neighborhoods. A good rule of thumb: keep the value of your property within 15 to 20 percent of your neighbors’. Unfortunately in Green Valley, AZ we have a mixed neighborhood just about everywhere. Most older population just upgrade as they want it and do not worry too much about the resale of their home. Leaving their heirs with the challenge to sell, hopefully using an honest and fair real estate agent who will help them receive the best price available in the current market.
Project (average cost recouped, national) according to Realtor Magazine:
Minor kitchen remodel (88%)
Bathroom remodel (85%)
Major kitchen remodel (81%)
Family room addition (80%)
Deck addition (77%)
Master suite (75%)
Attic bedroom (74%)
Siding replacement (73%)
Window replacement (69%)
Home office (55%)
Projects that may increase your home’s value include: Jacuzzi (4 jets or more); permanent hot tub; in-ground pool with nice deck area; security system; sprinkler system; substantial out buildings such as a two-car garage or finished workshop; and vaulted or trey ceilings. Think twice about the following projects however, as they may not add value to your house: above-ground pool; ceiling fans; garden pond; and light fixtures.
Some tips when attempting value-increasing remodeling:
Remodel with mass appeal in mind. Potential buyers are usually attracted more to neutral, mainstream design. But bringing the East coast decor to Southwest Arizona may not go over very well. I think everyone is over the grey floors and white cabinets.
Don’t go cheap when it comes to construction. Use durable, quality materials. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, honestly evaluate your ability to do it right. When using trades to help with upgrade please get a few bids and DO NOT PAY UPFRONT. If a contractor says they need money upfront, they need better business practice. I hear about so many Seniors being taken advantage of and loosing thousands of dollars because they paid the guy and he never returned. 1/3 at beginning of project, 1/3 in middle and 1/3 after it is complete and you have inspected all the work and are very satisfied, not just somewhat satisfied. If they have done something wrong make them do it again correctly.
Don’t remodel in a different style from the rest of the house. Additions and improvements that look “tacked on” may detract from a home’s appeal.
Turning a bedroom into a bathroom is a mistake – it reduces the number of bedrooms, a chief selling point.
Don’t do a $30,000 kitchen remodel in a $100,000 house – unless you plan to continue living there. It is a waste of money.
Make sure the outside of your home is spic-and-span. Clean out the gutters. Wash the windows and remove cobwebs and bugs. Trim the hedges, cut and edge the lawn, sweep the sidewalks and driveway. Plant some colorful flowers out front.
You may want to add to or improve your landscaping while you’re at it. According to a study conducted by Money Magazine, landscaping may be the best investment to improve a home's value. The study found that well-planned, attractive landscaping was estimated to have an actual recovery rate 100 to 200 percent higher than a kitchen or bathroom renovation.
Your home is where you live and spend a lot of time, so make it one you enjoy. Resale should not drive the design decision. In less you are that radical, free spirited hippie with all the latest of "off the grid" gadgets...then call me when you want to sell because this hippie may want to buy it.
I hope you have a wonderful rest of the season and please let me know if I can assist you with any change of home you may have.