Brought to you by
5 Star Realty of the Flathead Valley
If you're looking to improve the appearance
of your home for resale, or you just want an
updated look for your own enjoyment, there are a
few things you must consider before beginning
any costly project.
Sure, you can spend a lot on something purely
for the personal pleasure of having it - like
that outdoor Jacuzzi under the attached gazebo -
or you can go the practical route and make an
improvement that will increase your home's
market value, such as installing
energy-efficient air-conditioning or repairing
those shabby shingles. Be forewarned, however,
and don't expect to recoup your costs on both
counts. Many real-estate brokers agree that just
because you put $25,000 worth of 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 "big picture" housing market, the value of
the 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 is
Below are some examples of a few improvements
that usually pay off - and some that rarely make
a difference (no matter how much you paid for
them) when it comes time to sell your home.
If you're planning to sell your home in a year
or two, a fresh coat of a neutral-toned paint
could make the sale easier. A professional
exterior paint job may also recoup close to 75%
of its cost. Let's face it - we all like things
With just a few basic improvements, your kitchen
can practically pay you back with interest! New
paint, wallpaper and flooring are always
appreciated; plus, you might even consider
sanding, staining or painting worn-looking
cabinets. Replacing old cabinet hardware is a
low-cost improvement that makes a big difference
in appearance. According to Remodeling magazine,
the average spent on major kitchen-remodeling is
around $39,000; refinishing an outdated one
averaged $15,000. The full kitchen remodeling
recouped 80% of its cost, the more moderate
remodeling was valued at 87%.
Generally speaking, increasing the functional
space of your home holds its value longer than
remodeling just to make a 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 costs
around $30,000 and returns about 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.
You usually can't go wrong by adding an extra
bathroom. At an average cost of $14,200, a new
full bath can recoup 81% of its total cost!
Adding a deck is a very cost-efficient way to
add square footage to your house. Decks cost
around $6,000 and generally recoup 75% of their
value. Compared to other outdoor improvements
(except painting), that's an excellent return.
Your utility bill savings may make up for the
iffy resale value, however, a good set of
standard windows should get you around 68% back.
If you start getting too fancy with custom
shapes and sizes, though, don't expect to get as
much in return.
In a word - don't! Unless you're putting it in
for you and your family to enjoy, it's commonly
agreed that a swimming pool has no resale value
at all. Reason #1? Sure, they sound nice, but
pools are very expensive to maintain. Running a
close second is the fear of pool accidents -
that's something nobody wants to experience.
Another nicety, but who's going to spend all
that time - and money? If the potential buyer is
not horticulturally inclined, chances are your
floral handiwork won't add to the offering
price. The same can be said for expensive fences
and stone walls - they look nice, but buyers
don't pay up for them.
Basic Is Better
It may not sound very exciting, but it's the
basic improvements you make to your home that
may have the greatest return on its value: a
beautiful new bathroom won't make up for a leaky
roof. So if you're thinking of selling your
house in the next year or so, be sure to address
any problems the home may have before you, say,
install those sunken gardens you've always
Selling it or Smelling It?
Pet odors can be a problem when you're in the
process of selling your home. If your house
has an odor problem, you should remove any
offending furniture or carpets or hire a
professional to clean them. Be sure to check the
cat box frequently and keep the litter fresh.
Since some people have allergies or fears of
certain animals, it's a good idea to put dogs or
cats outside or confine your pets to one area
when your house is being shown. It's hard for
buyers to fully appreciate your home through
itchy, watery eyes or in between sneezes!
Even if the house is exactly what they want,
your chances of selling it are less if the scent
of Spot lingers in their memory.
The Trivia Block
Which former Dallas Cowboys quarterback is
now working in Real Estate?
Roger Staubach began selling real estate in
1970, and began his own company in 1977. You can
even check him out on www.staubach.com.
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