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14 Property Tips To Do And Avoid That All Homeowners Should Be Aware Of
So you finally got that perfect house and now its time to make it your home! Many homeowners spend a great deal of time, effort and money to make their new house a home with their own personal touches. While enhancing your home is a great choice to increase the value and enjoyment of your home be aware that the next buyer may not appreciate them as much as you do. Some homeowners think that when its time to sell they will get every penny back from upgrades and remodeling, but a buyer might just see the improvements as things they have to fix to make the home fit their style.
Here is a list of 15 do's and dont's to keep in mind when upgrading your home.
1. Don't over-customize.
When picking paint colors, wallpaper, countertops, or tile remember what is hot now may not be the preferred style when you decide its time to sell. When we sold our home this spring we were tasked with removing 9 rooms of wallpaper the previous owner had picked out. It probably fit their style very well but when the home was bought by us it was the first thing we saw that needed to be fixed when we moved in. When we finally got it all off the walls we picked a neutral color that would allow a buyer to envision themselves living in the home without thinking that the first thing they would need to do was to paint over a paint color they did not feel suited their style.
2. Be aware of the costs.
I have known several people who have made beautiful additions and upgrades to their homes only to be surprised when it comes time to sell and they find out that they over improved their homes. Before you take on a big project feel free to give me a call so we can discuss your return on investment for the project you are thinking about. Some changes can hurt your homes resell value drastically. Your home might just be your largest asset and there is nothing wrong with getting a professional opinion before starting a project it could save you tens of thousands of dollars in value.
3. Make changes with the next buyer in mind.
Preventative maintenance and upkeep you do throughout the years can save you tons of money when it comes time to sell. Having your HVAC serviced every year, roof maintenance, making sure your gutters, downspouts and the grading around your home are keeping water away from your foundation and basement. The cost of keeping your home in tiptop shape over the years of ownership will be less of a strain on your wallet than having to do a laundry list of repairs when it comes time to sell.
4. Use neutral, classic designs
Upgrades should be for the purpose you are creating for the property. If you are going to sell it, keep it to neutral, classic designs rather than trendy designs. Trends typically last two to four years. Keep that time frame in mind when making upgrades.
5. keep documentation of all upgrades.
When it is time to sell having documentation of when the water heater, dishwasher, or other appliance was upgraded can provide peace of mind to the next buyer as they will know that the will not have to replace expensive items soon after purchasing your home. Receipts and permits for larger projects will let the new buyers know you went about remodeling your home the proper way and that the work was done up to code and by a licensed professional.
6. renovate to fit your neighborhood.
When renovating a property, you need to keep in mind what fits in the neighborhood. You might love your 2,000-square-foot addition, but if your home is overbuilt, it might be hard to sell. Appliances, paint color and landscaping can all impact resale value. If you do want to build to your specific tastes, just recognize that you might have to "remodel your remodel" prior to listing it.
7. Know who would be likely to buy your home.
Get a subscription to an interior design magazine or visit the home show in your area to stay on top of current trends. Buyers like unique homes and design but make sure you don't go overboard and attempt to incorporate multiple unique features into your home. Think of who would be the likely buyer for your home and make changes with that demographic in mind.
8. Don't over improve your home yourself.
Some projects can be handled by a homeowner on the weekends but it is always best to involve a professional. If you are thinking of making an upgrade or change to your home give me a call for an outside opinion on the work you are thinking of. I can also recommend a contractor that can assist you with the project or do it for you.
9. Do regular inspections.
I'm a bit surprised this isn't a more common practice, but I always encourage my clients to do a property inspection every three to five years, depending on the age of the home. In our area, it's common to do inspections before selling your home. But by doing inspections every few years, you can stay on top of ongoing maintenance of your home and any potential repairs needed. If you need a recommendation for a home inspector I can suggest a few different companies.
10. Stay within the 10% buffer
Unless you plan on living in your home until you pass away, it is a good rule of thumb to keep upgrades at 10% of the purchase price you paid for your home. Styles and trends change over time and it is a good idea to keep your home current. If you tackle projects over the years you own your home it will mean a quicker sale and higher price when it comes time to sell.
11. Clean house.
Modern life can lead to a cluttered home. With the ease of buying items for our homes, lives, and family, we can sometimes become overcome with clutter. When we recently moved I was amazed at the number of items we had in storage around the house. The basement and closets were full of thing that we no longer used or needed, this lead to many trips to donate items and even more trash bags full of junk that for some reason we had chosen to store as opposed to getting rid of them when they no longer had a purpose in our lives. It is a good idea to have a couple of time a year where you go through boxes and closets to minimize unwanted stuff. I have had a few clients that were also amazed at the amount of stuff they had to sell, donate, or throw away when they got ready to sell.
12. Improve the appearance of your home first.
Don't spend your upgrade dollars on items and projects that are not seen. Wiring your home with subwoofers and speakers or adding a laundry shoot might make your home more enjoyable while you are living there but don't offer a good return on your investment. Instead invest in visible improvements like kitchen and bathroom upgrades, new windows, new tile and new flooring.
13. Do it now!
So many projects get put off for a better time, then when its time to sell you are stuck with years of deferred projects. Don't wait to get started, remember the best way to eat an elephant is bite by bite.
14. Call me
I would love to take the time to sit down with you and assess what projects are the most important to get started on right away and help with a plan of action for your home whether you are selling next week or next decade.
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