Thursday, March 1, 2012

Home Improvement Tips for Later Resale

Home Improvements That Pay Off
photo by Renee V.

Some home renovations simply don't pay off when it is time to sell, so it makes sense to avoid them and invest in others. The location of a home will always be the primary determinant of price, but homeowners can increase it with curb appeal and specific upgrades.

Home Improvements Not Worth the Cost

Wall-to-wall carpeting will not add value to a home because floor covering is a personal choice, and many buyers prefer to choose their own carpet. Hardwood floors and porcelain tile are today's hottest trends, and neutral colors will please a greater range of buyers. If a homeowner doesn't intend to live in his house for the long-term, he may want to forgo turning a bedroom into an office. The square footage of his house will be the same, but a three-bedroom house would list for a lower price than a four-bedroom.

For expensive surfaces in a home, such as granite, stay away from gaudy colors and patterns as they detract most buyers. An investor in a foreclosure in Sunol, California had chosen pink granite when he renovated the kitchen, a pretty expensive undertaking. However, the buyer replaced it as soon as his family moved in. Black granites are very popular, and a better choice.

For the exterior, concrete patios are expensive to lay, often crack, and add nothing to the price of a home. And although sports enthusiasts may want to install a pool, tennis or basketball court, these amenities take up large amounts of the yard, and the pool is high maintenance. Most buyers prefer green grass.
$25 - External iPhone 4/4S Battery Case with Free Shipping ($99 value)

Best Home Improvements

Replacing leaky windows with energy efficient, dual paned ones is one of the best improvements a homeowner can make. Roughly eighty percent of the cost will be returned at the time of sale and for kitchen and bathroom remodels, the return is just as high. Replacing exterior siding will make a house look new, and even adding a deck will seem to give the house more square footage with an outdoor room.

Beyond floor space, well thought out landscaping gives great curb appeal, and low maintenance native plants are the most economical to buy. A few well placed flowers, fruit or ornamental trees, and especially vines draping over fences will brighten a home.

One family with two small children decided they could not purchase a house without a family room in addition to a living room, but the house they chose was only 1,187 square feet and had no family room. What made them change their minds? The seller had artfully landscaped his backyard with a flagstone patio, deck and arbor supporting grape vines and wisteria, creating an outdoor room the buyers were happy to have instead of the family room.

Although location is essential, targeted home remodeling will later help sell a home, even those that are distressed properties.


"Home Upgrades That Don't Pay Off," October 2010, Dave & Carol Nishihara, Nishihara's Real Estate Update, Volume XVII, Issue IX

"Five Home Renovations That Pay Off," October 15, 2009, Joanne Cleaver,

"6 Home Renovations With Major Payoffs," March 28, 2008, Sonya Stinson,

No comments:

Post a Comment