7 Tips to Boost Your Home’s Value NOW!

A valuable report,

Presented by Mary St George Lakefront Property Specialist in the Finger Lakes Remodeling projects can be fun if you like fixing and building things, and this do-it-yourself inclination can prove invaluable when you’re planning on selling it. Whether or not you are leaving your home, it makes financial sense to renovate it. The value of your home will rise after improving visual appeal and energy efficiency. In previous real estate markets, investing thousands of dollars on renovation paid back. In 2006, the return on your investment was about 76 percent. Today, it is closer to 67 percent. This doesn’t mean, however, that you should consider renovation a thing of the past. It simply means that you have to either spend more sweat equity or find help at a discount.  Here, then, are seven steps you can take to boost your home’s value before you put it out on the market.  Step One: Improve Your Kitchen’s Efficiency Still using boring white or bisque colored appliances from the 80’s? Replace them with something more modern, especially Energy Star rated appliances. Their stainless steel look and electric bill savings make them appealing to home buyers. Using compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs instead of standard incandescent light bulbs, you’ll only use 25 percent of the electricity. CFL light bulbs use less wattage to produce the same glow and they can last 7 years or more. Add granite tiles to your counter tops. They are relatively cheap to install and give an attractive look to your kitchen. Change panels to raised-wood cabinet doors and drawers. Install a new faucet and sink. Improve flooring. Replace wall coverings. Research shows kitchen renovation costs are recovered by more than 75 percent, sometimes up to 100 percent.

 Step Two: Rip Out Your Old Carpets  Often when buyers walk into a home that they’re thinking of buying, they find fault with the carpet. Besides the popular appeal of hardwood floors, carpets are notorious for displaying stains left by coffee spills and odors left by pets. In addition, dirt embedded in carpets can agitate asthma and allergies. A hardwood floor not only looks appealing but it does away with all the musty problems of old carpeting.  If you’ve got hardwood floors underneath your carpets, by ripping out the old carpet and buffing the floor, you can do this in a short time and with less expense. Adding an area rug can add even more aesthetic appeal, adding to the look and feel of your home. Step Three: Paint Your Walls New paint in a house immediately radiates a new ambiance. Depending on the house, colors can be bold: for example, a bright red for the dining room and a pleasant yellow in the kitchen can give your house a cheerful look. Alternatively, if you’re not sure about the best colors for your rooms or are uncertain about your home décor savvy, use neutral colors.   Step Four: Embellish Your Bathrooms Besides kitchens, buyers closely examine bathrooms. Sometimes homes are sold just because the bathrooms have an aesthetic look. Changing faucets, retiling the walls and floors, installing new toilets, and replacing a vanity sink for a double sink model can dramatically increase the visual appeal of your bathrooms. Again, like kitchens, you can recuperate from 75 to 100 percent of your costs.  Step Five: Improve Your Outdoor “Look And Feel” You can do a number of things to improve the outward look of your house, including pressure washing dusty, blackened walls, decks and docks, adding colorful flowers and attractive bushes to your yard, trimming the lawn, and pulling up those weeds. With lakefront homes, all sides of the home lend themselves to first impressions.  How does your property look from the lake?  Are seating areas well defined?  How does the beach area look, is it full of weeds and debris?  A cute little shed would be ideal to store all of those boating items and keep them out of site. Well thought out landscaping will undoubtedly boost the perceived value of your home. The right plants in the right places, the right mature trees blowing in the wind, all go to create a pleasing appearance, a rustic appeal for urban dwellers. It’s estimated that a wonderful garden can increase a home’s value by as much as ten percent.      Step Six: Complete All Your Minor Repairs Remember all those things that you intended to do around the house but never found the time to do them? Well, now is the time. What bothers you about the house will also bother the discerning buyer. A few simple repairs can make the difference between changing the impression of a neglected home to the impression of a well-loved and carefully-maintained home. If you have a great dock, make sure it still looks great. Here are a few suggestions: 1. Replace siding using popular materials like fiber, cement, foam, and vinyl. 2. Windows and doors. If your windows and doors look weather beaten, consider refreshing outmoded styles with something modern. In addition, you’ll improve the energy rating of your home once you get rid of warped windows and doors that let the cold in.  3. Make your home eco-friendly. There are many ways to do it: insulation, weather-stripping, caulking, and adding energy efficient appliances as mentioned above, to name a few. Savvy buyers appreciate “green friendly” homes.  4. Miscellaneous stuff. Make a list of all the things in your home that need repainting, dressing up, repairing, installing, upgrading, updating, and modernizing. Look over your walls, decks, fixtures, appliances, hardware, mantels, and wall coverings for what needs repairing.  Step Seven: Add A New Room (optional) While the first six steps will impressively renovate your home–you may not even want to leave after you’re done!–here is the seventh step you can take that will complete your quest for excellence. This, of course, is an optional step, not necessary at all, but if you do it– it will make a huge difference. Consider adding an extra room, something that adds an extra functionality to your home, like dens, playrooms, and guest rooms. You don’t need to extend an existing space in the house to add a room!  You can simply divide a large room with some creative dry walling and framing. Dry walling can be done for as little as $250 a room.    In Closing: Here’s something to bear in mind: in any real estate market, whether the economy is booming or busting, some people do well. What makes the difference? Why do some people find that they simply can’t sell their homes? Why do others compromise and sell well below market value? And why do some sell at a great price, regardless of the state of the economy? The reason is simple–those who sell their homes at a great price aren’t waiting for things to get better. Instead, they are making everything in their homes better. When buyers walk in, they are blown away and can’t wait to sign the papers. Ultimately, renovating a home, like building a great life, has to do with your commitment to do more than the average person! 

Mary St George has been a Realtor® in the Finger Lakes Area since 2005. She takes pride in delivering valuable information to great neighbors like you.  If there is a topic you would like to see discussed in a future report, or if you have any questions about lake front real estate, please contact Mary at 315-719-8377 or [email protected].  You can also visit www.thechaironthelake.com for more great information!

Some Information supplied by Coach Jig  

  1. Sink Faucets

    Although this is a brief summary at best, it does help to illustrate the principles of home evaluation. Sink Faucets

  2. MarkSpizer

    great post as usual!

  3. Mary

    So many times it is just the little things that sell a home. If your list looks overwhelming, then make it a goal to address at least one thing everyday. It may mean spackling holes one day, repainting the next, changing out a light fixture, or cabinet hardware on another day. As you accomplish various tasks, the house starts to boast a new image and you actually start to feel good about the changes. Clients should not take any of this personally, because a majority of us are in this category. We become familiar with our surroundings and neglect to refresh and renew.
    Start your New Year with a new view of where you live.

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Mary St. George