REMODELING DECISIONS ARE KEY TO HOME PRICES
By Rick Thurtle:
One way for homeowners to increase the value of their house is by remodeling existing rooms or adding on to its current floor plan. Many choose to finish basements into recreation rooms and studies while others add new appliances, fixtures and cabinets to enliven rooms and make their home more attractive to future buyers.
Deciding when to stop sinking money into a home and buy a bigger place is a big decision homeowners are faced with. It is important to know how much rehab is too much when it comes time to recovering remodeling costs through a home sale.
One example, if you've just spent $1,000 remodeling your living room and didn't expand your small bathroom, the chances of increasing the number of interested buyers are slim. Here are some basic tips to help you get the most in return for your remodel dollar.
First, always protect the character of your home. Nothing sticks out more than a new addition that is in a completely different architectural style. Be consistent. Recognize your home's character and stay within its framework. The most financially rewarding areas to upgrade are usually the kitchen and bathroom. Newly re-done kitchens and cabinets can attract more buyers and may command a slightly higher price for the home than a comparable one on the market.
Enlarged bathrooms are the most popular attraction for many new home buyers, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association. Today, the most popular additions for younger buyers are sunken whirlpool baths and showers. But be sure to install modest, solid amenities. It's easy to quickly over-spend on bathroom fixtures. Buyers are, for the most part, more interested in above-ground living space. Swimming pools can be a poor investment if installed for the sole purpose of increasing a home's value. It's rare that a pool's cost will be recovered in a home sale. It can also be a negative feature for potential buyers with very young children.
Replacing worn carpeting, tiles and wood floors can give your home an immediate advantage over similar properties in the area. Updating paint colors in all areas of your home can also prove beneficial. However, it's recommended that you use neutral colors, such as gray, beige and off-white when adding new floor and wall coverings. Fewer buyers will then turn away because of differing tastes.
Stay simple with your remodeling and look at your home as though you were the buyer. Chances are that if you find the upstairs bedroom could be brightened by a larger window, potential buyers will probably feel the same. Don't over do it. Concentrate on improving two or three deficiencies in your home. More than likely, the time and money you spend adding quality to your home will be rewarded with greater profit at selling time.