Saturday, January 24, 2015

Home renovation mistakes that can cost you - By Carrie Colby

Part of the fun and satisfaction of owning a home comes from renovations – it’s your house, and you can make it exactly like you want it. Unfortunately, some homeowners get caught up in renovating their homes and fail to take into account what those changes will do to the resale value of the property. You have every right to turn your house into an ideal dwelling for yourself, but you should keep a few things in mind if you ever plan on selling the house in the future. If you plan on selling in the near future it’s important to understand what home improvements have some of the lowest return on investment.

Before you dish out any money on a renovation with an expectation that it will add value to your home, pause for a moment and consider the long-term implications. You may be thinking to yourself that the purpose behind making these changes to your home has nothing to do with re-sale value and everything to do with personal enjoyment. While that of course is perfectly acceptable (after all it’s your home), just don’t forget this when it comes time to sell your place.

There are many home owners who incorrectly believe that every home improvement they make to their property comes back to them in the form of increased value. This is not the case and in fact there are things you can spend money on that not only don’t add value, but can actually make your place more difficult to sell.

The homes in the surrounding area have a lot to do with the market value of your property. This remains true no matter how much you invest in your house. It is understandable that you want to make your home as nice as you can, but you risk possible resale problems when you upgrade too extravagantly. You may still be able to sell the house, but you may not get your money back if the renovations are too far beyond the standard for your area.

Do it yourself projects can be fun and rewarding, but they can also affect the value of your home negatively. Crooked tiles in the bathroom and unreliable wiring in the finished basement are not selling points, even if they were learning experiences for you. Most of the time it pays to bring in a professional to do your renovations. This way the additions you make to your home will actually add value.

Don’t think this matters and nobody will notice? This is one of the first things a good home inspector will look for. Most home inspectors will immediately be able to distinguish do it yourself work from that of a professional. It is an obvious mistake to make home improvements you are not qualified to do.
There are classic choices and there are trendy choices. For people interested in selling their homes, classic is usually the safer bet – at least if you want to get back the money you spent on the improvements. Avoid the styles of the moment if you want to add lasting value to your home.

Choose a neutral paint color. It is your home and you can paint it whatever color you like. However, to get the best price on your home you should have a fallback paint plan before you put it up on the market. Lighter, more neutral colors – think off white – are much more appealing to potential buyers than anything else out there.

Your child’s room may be bright purple and your game room may be lime green, but you should be ready to change them back before you begin the sale process. If you can’t stand the thought of any kind of off white then choose colors that are “earth tones.” A large percentage of buyers are attracted to shades of brown. Use these colors to spruce up your home and you will be happy with the results they bring.

If you have the attitude that it is just paint and any buyer can just look past my colors then you don’t understand the psychology of selling. Buyers can not visualize and can not look past a weird paint color. For those that can they just don’t understand how this could stop a sale, it can, and it does.

Carrie Colby
Premier Properties

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