Friday, February 26, 2016

Spend tax money on your home investment - By Cari Turnbull

It’s tax season and for many that means you’re about to receive a little extra cash. A great place to spend that money is on your home. Whether you’re thinking of selling or just want to spruce things up, I have some ideas to help maximize your investment. 
Homes that have been updated both cosmetically and structurally yield a much higher price tag and attract more buyers. When doing structural repairs, you also reduce the risk of a buyer discovering material defects or systems at the end of life and nickeling and diming you once under contract.
Some of the most important items to buyers are newer roofs, windows and heating systems. On average sellers are seeing an 80 to 90 percent return on investment on these items. Another item that provides one of the highest ROI is siding. If you have wood siding in need of repair, you may consider having vinyl installed. Most buyers prefer vinyl siding over wood simply because it is easy to maintain. As the saying goes “vinyl is final”.  If you want to stay with the wood siding, you should have it all freshly painted and any rotten boards replaced, also make sure there is no flaking or peeling. With certain types of financing programs an appraiser will not pass the home if there is flaking or peeling paint present. 

If your home is structurally sound and all major systems are in good working order you should then look at cosmetic updates. Kitchens and bathrooms are the two places that will yield you the highest returns. Buyers love solid surface counter tops such as granite or quartz, also replacing outdated brass knobs with brushed nickel or oil rubbed bronze is an inexpensive update that goes a long way. 
Replacing older flooring is another good idea, hardwood and tile are buyer favorites. If you’re on a budget, go with a high quality Pergo flooring. 

With all updates you should go with neutral colors that will appeal to a large range or people. If you’re wondering which updates are best for your home, you should consult with a local realtor prior to making any decisions. 

Cari Turnbull is a Windham resident. She and her team represent buyers and sellers in the Greater Portland area. For all your real estate needs contact Cari at

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