I was just reading an article this morning on MSNBC – Life Inc. CLICK HERE FOR THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE. My biggest concern and question is when Pro’s offer insight to how much return on investment you get for your remodel job. This varies greatly and can be very misleading. It also depends so much on what you are starting with. But the article had a great synopsis: “You want your house to be as good or slightly better than your neighbors’ houses. But don’t go overboard, the most expensive house on the block is often the hardest to sell. In this market, a house that appears to be neglected is even worse.”
Here was the rundown and my comments.
1. Paint the place – I agree, this is the best return on investment. Neutralize colors! You never know exactly what color the buyers are going to want to paint, but if you have offensive colors it is much worse than having a neutral canvas to start with.
2. Use landscaping to boost curb appeal – I agree with this too! The author claims a return of 7 – 14% ROI on well-landscaped homes. I don’t have any evidence of this in Helena, MT. But, in general, this is accurate. Just keep it simple, weed flower beds, mow the lawn, fertilize, and put in new mulch or rock. Any of these will help immensely.
3. Spruce up the kitchen – BE CAREFUL HERE HELENAN’S. It is NOT my advise to rip out cabinets and counter tops if there is nothing wrong with yours. The kitchen is the single-most expensive room in the house to remodel! I do NOT feel it is as important for every buyer to have granite counter tops. Now, at some price ranges this may be more of an expectation than others, obviously. But, I have sold several high end homes with nice formica counter tops. Give us a call and we’d be happy to come by and check out what you have. Our advise is only worth the experiences we have, but I’d hate to jump on the granite bandwagon and have someone write a big check and not get that money back out when they sell. If your kitchen is offensive – old, dated, & worn out – fix it up! That will be necessary.
4. Bathroom Makeover – In my opinion, I’d paint the bathroom, re-caulk everything, clean the heck out of it and call it good. Now, if you live in a 1950′s home and have the matching pink bathtub, sink, & toilet – you may want to consider getting a bid to replace with more neutral colors. I do NOT believe you will get 100% ROI but this will help your home sale. I have never done this, but the author talks about having your tub “re-glazed” this would be worth checking into with a plumber to see if it is possible, here in Helena, MT. The bathroom is the second most expensive room in the house to remodel.
5. Clean and Replace Carpets – This would be my number 2! I think if your carpets are dirty – clean them! Cleanliness is key when selling your home. If your carpets are worn or old and dated – get a bid to replace those old carpets. Keep all carpets in the house in the same color family. I do hear complaints from buyers when Roy’s room has blue carpet and Jills’ room has pink carpet. Neutralize! Start with the first room buyers are going to see first. If they walk into your living room first, make a big impression there. This is money best spent, in my opinion. First impressions are Lasting!
Call Bruce or Ryan Swinney and invite us over if you are thinking about selling. We’d love to do a walk through and help customize a list of items to repair / replace and give you our two cents worth on the subject. We also have Kathy Swinney in our office – Kathy is a decorating Guru! She can decorate on a dime better than any person I have seen.