Greenbrier Valley Real Estate Blog
Sunday, February 18 2018
Simple Home Improvements to Increase the Value of your Home
Simple home improvement tips that will make your home more beautiful and will increase its real estate value at the same time.
More and more homeowners are tackling home improvement projects to renovate and remodel their existing homes. Many people simply enjoy the challenge of working on their own homes to make them more beautiful and comfortable. Homeowners often cast a keen eye on the value of their real estate as well, realizing that making certain improvements can boost the price tag of a house when it’s time to sell. The specific market value of a property is an important factor when determining how much value a project will add to a residence. Many home improvement projects are simple in nature, and they don’t involve significant expenditures. These renovations can often have a positive impact on the value of a home.
Explore data that includes the job cost, resale value, and return on investment for common home improvement projects such as siding replacement, window replacement, kitchen remodeling, basement remodeling, bathroom additions, updates to landscaping, and garage additions.
No-regrets remodeling involves making improvements to a house without making expensive or dangerous mistakes. Remodeling should enhance efficiency and comfort while adding value to the house.
An environmentally conscious remodeling project can lower utility expenses, reduce maintenance, and enhance the sustainability of a home. Lowering the impact a structure has on the environment can be an effective way to enhance home value.
Bathroom and kitchen remodeling generally top the list of the most lucrative home improvement projects that will enable homeowners to recoup their investments.
Performing minor repairs to the kitchen with improvements like replacing fixtures, painting walls, and replacing appliances will cost between $8,000 and $9,000. Consumers can expect to recoup about 88 percent of this expenditure.
The homeowner who performs the work involved with a home improvement project themselves can recoup even more money due to the savings in labor costs.
Adding manufactured stone to either the exterior or interior of a home can boost a home’s appearance and popularity. This home improvement project may be an effective way to raise real estate value.
Predicting future home values is speculative. Therefore, homeowners seeking to increase the value of their house with home improvement projects must gather data and plan carefully to ensure the desired results.
Increasing living space by adding a bedroom and updating amenities in kitchens and bathrooms are two of the most effective ways for homeowners to increase the value of their homes.
Adding a deck is an effective way to increase home value. Homeowners often recoup the value of their investment by as much as 110 percent.
Remodeling a bathroom makes this space more enjoyable for a homeowner. Consumers undertaking this type of project will also increase the future resale value of a home significantly.
Installing solar panels makes a house more environmentally sustainable. This improvement also enhances the value of a home.
Wednesday, February 07 2018
What you really need to know about buying — from the people who house hunt for a living.
Take the long view when you’re buying, says Chicago agent Pekarsky. He plans to start a family in a few years, so he set his sights on a single-family with plenty of bedrooms.
One house you’re looking at has the wraparound porch you’ve fantasized about, but it’s on a high-traffic street. The condo you like has a doorman in the lobby (you can order online now!), but it has no dedicated parking. What to choose?
It’s not every day that you buy a home and make decisions about the next three, five, or 10 years of your life. Since you can’t exactly take a home on a test drive, how do you decide? That got us to thinking about real estate pros. When they’ve seen practically everything on the market, how do they choose?
Four pros who’ve seen it all share their advice and their stories of hunting for just the right home.
Compromise for Your Priorities
Veteran real estate agent Nancy Farkas knew exactly what she wanted in her home: ranch style, three bedrooms, high ceilings. But you know what she bought? A two-story Colonial.
For Farkas, an associate partner with C B Heritage REALTORS®, in Dayton, Ohio, the home’s location and price trumped style. “I had a dog I had to go home and walk at noon, and the house was close [to work] and the right price,” she says.
Her advice: Make sure your practical and functional priorities don’t get lost in all the home buying hoo-ha (sparkling granite counters, new hardwood floors, a steam shower!). Remember, you can always add the hoo-ha, but you can’t make a home fit all priorities, such as location and price.
Dig Into the Details (Dull, Yes, But Worth It!)
When Grigory Pekarsky, co-owner and managing broker with Vesta Preferred Real Estate in Chicago, was looking for his first home, one of his priorities was to minimize his maintenance costs. He made sure to find out if the house had a newer roof, good siding, and a newer furnace. But he recommends you go even deeper to uncover a home’s not-so-obvious maintenance costs:
Seek a House That Matches Your Lifestyle
Having lived the high-rise apartment life as a renter, Pekarsky knew a single-family home was just what he wanted. He was tired of living in a relatively small space with no yard. He wanted a house he could “grow into in the next three to five years.” That meant multiple bedrooms and bathrooms for the family he plans on having. So what he bought — a three-story, single-family with a finished attic bedroom (shown below) on Chicago’s North Side — suits his lifestyle perfectly.
In addition, “you get the biggest value from owning the land,” he says. “In a single-family [home], people aren’t telling you what to do with the investment.”
On the other hand, Matt Difanis wished he’d bought a condo when he bought his first home, a small bungalow ranch in a charming, historic neighborhood in Champaign, Ill. It was first-home love — until it rained.
“If I didn’t clean out the gutters before every rainstorm, the basement would leak,” says the broker-owner of RE/MAX Realty Associates in Champaign. He didn’t realize that taking care of a single-family home wouldn’t be his cup of tea. “I should have opted for a condo without gutters to clean and a lawn to mow,” he says.
Agent Amy Smythe Harris of Urban Provision REALTORS®, in Woodland, Texas, bought a home with a sizable downstairs suite her parents could use now (and she could use years from now). She says her millennial clients aren’t forward-thinking about their lifestyles. Some are childless and say they don’t care about schools, pools, and tennis courts. Then they become parents a few years later and have to move.
“Once they have kids, the first question [they] ask is about school districts, and the second is about where the parks and pools are,” she says.
The pros’ bottom-line advice: Think of your lifestyle preferences and how those might change in the next few years. After all, the typical homeowner lives in a house for a median of 10 years before selling, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® data shows.
Look at the House Through the Lens of Resale
All the real estate pros we talked to — no surprise here — emphasized resale. Take appraiser Michelle C. Bradley of Czekalski Real Estate Inc. in Natrona Heights, Pa. When she built her current home — a 2,200-square-foot ranch — she included a full, unfinished basement, even though she has no use for one and rarely ventures into it.
Why would she do that? Because basements are standard in her southwest Pennsylvania market. But Bradley’s not going to finish the basement until she’s ready to sell. That way, she avoids having to clean it and ensures she’ll install the most fashionable bathroom fixtures at sell time.
Her advice: “Don’t buy or build something unique that you can’t resell. If you’re not in an area with log homes, don’t choose a log home. If you’re not in an area with dome homes, don’t choose a dome home.”