I recently went to lunch with a friend who is a former client. He asked me what home remodeling projects and upgrades he should do to his Chandler home. Of course the answer to this is, depends…
I asked him when he planned on selling. His answer was, not any time in the foreseeable future. Turns out he has some time off this summer and wants to spend it working on and upgrading his home.
The answer I gave to this past client is completely different than the answer I would have gave him if he said he was selling this summer. For someone who is not looking to sell, the answer is, whatever you want that will make your life more enjoyable.
Our home should make us happy. If we have issues around the house like an outdated bathroom that has all sorts of plumbing issues, or cabinets in the kitchen that don’t close, or windows that rattle in the slightest of breeze, all of these are fixes that could enhance the enjoyment you get out of your home.
Upgrades if you are selling
The answer to the question if you are fixing to sell, depends on the cost vs the return of the item.
The National Association of Realtors puts out an annual Cost vs Value comparison of projects. You can find a copy of the 2013-2014 report here.
One thing I always notice in these reports is the cost of the projects.
Notice the costs of a of vinyl window replacements at $13,385. That brings a return of $10,252. My parents just had their Gilbert home redone with new windows and the actual costs for them was closer to $6500. And if they had went with white or beige vinyl, it would have been closer to $5500.
Also NAR has listed a ‘minor kitchen remodel.’ They have the cost as just shy of $19k with a return of $15,500. So obviously it is going to depend on how much your remodel costs. Now if you could do that same remodel for say under $12,000, and it helps sell your house for $15,500 more, and also quicker, wouldn’t that change things?
Much of the costs in a remodel is the labor. As much as half or more of the costs to remodel the kitchen or remodel a bathroom is going to be for the labor. So if you are a do-it-yourselfer, who does good work, many of the projects you can do with remodels will bring either a positive return or at least a break even, but help sell your house quicker.
Of course if you think your can remodel a house like Bob Villa, when in fact it looks more like the 3-Stooges got a hold of the place, maybe it is better to just take a pass on the project.
Without a doubt the kitchen and bathrooms are the rooms you want to do work in if you are trying to sell a home. Sometimes even a small change like adding a backsplash and a few new lights can go a long ways.
Another place you can make a huge difference for not to much money is the paint on the outside of the house. Everyone knows a fresh coat of paint on the inside can make a house feel a lot fresher, but a fresh coat on the outside will make a great first impression.
A great resource to use on remodeling ideas is Houzz.com. On Houzz you can search for inspirations such as “white kitchen” and save them to your ideas notebook for later.
The worst home improvement project
There is one home improvement project you should never even consider unless you are planning on staying in the house a long time, and that is a pool. We have a pool. We love our pool, but installing a pool is much like buying a new car, one of the worst investments you can make.
You can easily spend $35,000 on a new pool, and it may, in best case scenario add about $15,000 to the value of your home. But if you are adding the pool so your family can enjoy it in the summer months, then that of course is a different thing.
Do you have any questions about things you should to do sell your home and get more value? If so give us a call or leave a message below and we will be glad to help.