Selling your house….Someday? Improvements to make and enjoy now

Many times homeowners will live uncomfortably with the quirks of their house, then literally pull out the kitchen sink and remodel/repair everything only when they are ready to sell.  This pattern of “decorate and depart” remains constant – at least until the last quarter of 2008, when the housing market softened.

Today there is a positive trend that finds homeowners investing money into improvements and replacement projects with the intention of remaining in the home to enjoy the new upgrades. When the market picks up and the time for them comes to sell — these improvements will add value to the home and the owners will actually be able to use and enjoy the improvements in the meantime.

Sizing up the job: 

Curb appeal is not an option; it is a necessity. Realtors and buyers rarely, if ever, stop to view a poorly maintained home. I recommend looking at your home as a Realtor or a potential buyer would. Start upgrades on the exterior of the home – roof, gutters, fascia boards, front door, garage doors, driveway. fix any existing or potential problems with the above items; they are essential to achieving curb appeal.

Kitchen remodels, bath remodels and deck additions typically give the highest return on investment (ROI). In regions where there is a high premium on outdoor activity and favorable weather, a deck is a wonderful feature. The addition of a deck increases the usable outdoor living space and can be relatively inexpensive to build. Surprisingly, the addition of a deck has an 82 to 100 percent ROI depending on the region where the home is located.

The following are top upgrades that give the greatest ROI and enjoyment/use factor for the homeowner. But remember, improvements don’t have don’t have to be major projects. My rule is: if you can see, sit or stand on it, it qualifies as a worthwhile project.

Upgrade and update:

Painting is an inexpensive way to give a room a complete face lift. However, the lack of surface preparation is the most common mistake encountered. The taping, caulking and sanding is just as important as selecting a great paint color. It’s obvious when a room was painted without the proper prep work. The lines are wavy, not crisp, the finish is usually wrong and there is often shine-through of the previous paint color. A bad paint job is noticeably; if the walls require extensive prep work, hire a professional.

Updated appliances and fixtures bring a fresh, clean look to a home, They are energy efficient and modernize a kitchen, bath and bedroom areas instantly. In addition to new appliances, simple upgrades such as replacing worn-out barstools and installing new lighting will spice up a kitchen.

Updating a bath can be as simple as installing a low-flow toilet and showerhead, hanging a new shower curtain and replacing the vanity. Kitchens, baths and bedrooms are high-traffic areas that should look good, be comfortable and be user-friendly.

Windows are the eyes to a home. I recommend thermal pane, double-hung replacement windows. In addition to increasing home value, these window are easy to clean, come in a variety of styles and can make a tremendous difference in heating and electric bills. Energy efficiency is an important selling point. this s an upgrade that actually pays for itself.

Easy dress-ups:

When choosing the decor for a space, consider accessorizing with colorful accent pillows, area rugs, window fashions and, believe it or not, wallpaper is back in style! Accessories can range from a flower vase to accent furniture to a chaise lounge.

When staging an area, consider the amount of natural light as a guide for your color palette. For rooms with little natural light and dark flooring, select lighter furniture and window coverings to open up the space. Each furniture piece should accent the room without overpowering it. Furniture is an accessory, but a large one. Select the largest piece(s) first and build the look and feel of the room around those one or two core pieces. A sectional couch, a chair in a fun color, a beautiful set of floor lamps all arranged correctly can complete a room perfectly.

Create an atmosphere for outdoor spaces too. Remember, the purpose of patio furniture is to enhance outdoor living spaces and make them fun and functional. A bistro-style table with seating for two is perfect for a small space. Larger areas ideally should have patio furniture with seating for at least six. Summer is about bright colors and fun accessories, so make a splash with touches of bold color.

The Tri-Cities real estate market is strong and fortunately, homeowners don’t have to wait to make upgrades and begin enjoying their spaces. Homes here in Kennewick, Richland, Pasco and West Richland are selling, and with the right improvements, furniture and staging, your home can be designed to sell!

Source: The Costco Connection, by Tonya M. Williams


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