Repairs and Renovation Tips

Increase Your Resale Value

Is it time to sell your house? Repairs and Renovations can make the difference between "FOR SALE" and "SOLD." Before you start renovations, you need to make sure you're investing in upgrades for which you’ll see the best return. Cosmetic changes do not have to be expensive. Remember to pay attention to the basics. Anything that says "This house has been carefully maintained" will help you get the price you want. Below are some tips that can help you identify the home improvements likely to pay you back.

•The Kitchen Renovation

The kitchen is the most frequently used room in the house and it can make or break a potential sale. If your kitchen does not have the wow factor, consider renovating it to appeal to buyers. Keep in mind, full kitchen renovations can get expensive, so don’t over-upgrade right before selling. You want the money you spend in this space to find its way back into your wallet. To keep costs down, consider giving your kitchen a facelift. You can replace the door fronts, stain or paint your cabinets. Replace cabinet hardware and upgrade your old appliances to energy efficient models. Replace any damaged or loose tiles on countertops and walls. Clean tile grout and use a grout paint pen for a fresh look. If the kitchen floor is badly worn, replace it with new flooring. Repair chips in sink, fix the dripping faucet, and re-caulk, if necessary. If your budget won’t allow for new appliances, consider having your appliances professionally refinished. This will make appliances look new at a fraction of the cost of actually replacing them.  These small changes will give your old kitchen a like-new appearance to help it sell.

• The Small Projects

Small, low-cost improvement projects can change the face of your home more significantly than you might think. A fresh coat of paint will transform any room. Adding new plants to the front yard highly enhances curb appeal. Additionally, minor flaws in your home detract from your home value. Have all small repairs fixed. Repair all holes in walls. Check the ceiling for water stains, cracks or peeling; fix the source of the leak, repair the ceiling and paint (the purchase contract will require this to be done). Make sure all windows open and close easily. Replace any cracked or broken window glass. Replace torn window screens. Repair loose door knobs and oil squeaky doors. Fix any doors and sliding glass doors that stick. Make sure closet doors are on track. If needed, have your carpets stretched. Make sure all light switches and outlets work. Replace your heating and air conditioning filters with new ones.

There are several little things that need to be done before your home is ready to sell. Think about when it comes time for you to sell your car and you want to get the highest price possible, it’s wise to have it detailed to look its shiny best. The same concept applies to selling your home. Buyers pay a premium for homes that are in move-in condition.

•The Big Repairs

Buyers are looking for their new home, not their next repair project. A house that needs too much work might not receive any offers, even if listed at a lower price. Expensive repairs such as a sagging roof or leaky plumbing should take priority. Once the big problems are resolved, it’s amazing what a good cleaning, a fresh coat of paint, and adequate lighting can do to increase the sale-ability of your property.

•The Bathroom

The bathroom has become an important selling feature in today’s market. It’s a room that has moved from utilitarian to the exciting. There are many ways you can improve deficiencies and create interest through various levels of enhancement. Replace an old toilet seat with a new one. Replace an old light fixture and old towel rack with a stylish new one. Refinish an old porcelain tub using a porcelain finishing service. Consider putting an ornate wood frame around your vanity mirror. Remove any stains from toilets, sinks, bathtubs and showers. If the sinks, bathtubs or showers drain too slowly, unclog them. Repair caulking in bathtubs and showers, if needed. Repair dripping faucets that can discolor sinks and suggest faulty plumbing.

•The Garage

A well-organized garage says a lot for your house. Clean up any oil stains from your car. If your garage floor has seen better days, consider painting it with epoxy to give it a fresh new look. Make sure your garage door opener is in good working condition.

•The Neutral Wall Color

Appeal to the largest number of potential buyers. Hold-off on painting any of your rooms a bold color. Although, you might love the shade of red for your dining room, don’t do it! The better choice is painting the walls an earth tone color. Not only do neutral colors help buyers visualize themselves permanently living in a home, but subdued tones are easier to paint over.

•The DIY Project

Know your limitations and avoid having to pay a contractor to fix your mistakes. If you're not 100% sure you can handle a project, seek a helping hand. Watch a YouTube video, check-out or ask a friend who has done the same project before. If you’re still not sure you can handle the project, hire a reputable, licensed professional to do the job for you. This will most likely save you time, money, and heartache in the long run. As always, hire only licensed contractors for any home improvement project you decide not to do yourself.

•The Cost of Going Overboard

Don't get caught in the home improvement trap of shelling out remodeling dollars you won't make back upon resale. If you’re considering a particular renovation project and you’re not certain if you’re spending wisely, ask a real estate professional for advice on whether or not you should pursue the project.

•The Current Market Trends

Get informed! Market trends can give you good information as to what buyers are responding to. This will help you decide which remodeling project you should take on. For example, data suggests that homebuyers are hot on modern bathrooms, but lukewarm on home theaters. Also, trending are open floor plans and water-conserving landscaping.

Before you start on any renovation projects, it’s a good idea to check out other homes in your neighborhood that have recently sold. Pay special attention to those features that the buyers found most appealing. Knowing the details of how other sellers have been successful will help you determine which areas of your home deserve a renovation.