It’s no secret that quick fixes prior to putting a house on sale boosts its value. But one cannot go crazy and spend a fortune on the remodeling or the spiralling costs could nullify any price boosts.
Of all the remodeling and quick fixes, some are of little to no importance for prospective buyers and should be avoided. At the same time, some quick fixes do have that magic effect where a little bit of intelligent outlay could add those extra zeroes to your property’s worth.
Let’s analyse below some ideas which remodeling experts feel are worth spending your hard-earned money on and some ideas should be avoided, if not scrapped altogether.
Remodels to Avoid
Luxury items such as a new basketball court, wine cellar, mini theatre or sauna room sound great, but there is little evidence that such expenditure is directly proportional to the property value.
The exceptions of course are upscale posh areas, but don’t expect a regular, run-of-the-mill buyer to be too willing to shell out extra for such extravagance.
Moreover, since electronics have a very brief life and go outdated soon, investing heavily on rooms such as mini theatres and game rooms are considered ill-advised moves.
Excessive renovations beyond standard norms
Keep in mind that your house is not a capital market where the more you invest will, at least in theory, earn you greater rewards. The upper limit of your house’s price has a cap, which cannot be raised beyond a certain point no matter how lavish and expensive your renovations are.
A general rule should be to focus on renovations that are a norm in the neighbourhood the house is located in. Go beyond what is the norm for that community and it is unlikely that you’d be able to recuperate most of your expenditure. With that in mind, it is recommended that neither of the remodelings should be worth more than one-fifth of the house’s sale value.
On average, the construction of a swimming pool sets house owners back some $39,000 — a huge financial dent but one that is not known to persuade buyers to cough up more cash. In fact, every realtor/contractor worth their salt knows that it is almost always a bad idea to spend on a swimming pool prior to selling.
From a buyer’s point of view too, there is every reason to stay clear of pools as not only do they carry a maintenance cost of up to $2,000 per annum, they are a major safety hazard for young families with children, not to mention the additional insurance premiums
Installing a New roof
Another mistake that sellers often make is installing new, expensive roofs with the hope that it would fetch them a better, higher price. What they’re forgetting is that though the roof is a basic component of a house, its sole purpose is to cover and protect the premises. That’s about it. Hence, buyers don’t expect miracles beyond this standard function from the house’s roof.
This doesn’t mean that a leaking roof isn’t a major turn-off; it definitely is. In fact, if left unattended, a leaking roof can trigger a plethora of new problems such as seepage, flooded basement, floor decomposition, etc.
Having said that, a leaking roof is nothing that can’t be repaired. The only time a roof should be replaced is when it’s extremely shabby and can’t be mended at all. Even then you shouldn’t blow a big chunk of your remodeling budget on it. Ask folks who’ve spent thousands on new metallic roofs and they’d tell you that neither them nor their buyers felt an iota difference. So if you really have to replace the roof, opt for the regular shingles one and avoid going metallic.
Of course, the equation changes completely in areas where it makes sense to have a metallic roof. For instance, in places where it often snows or there is a genuine chance of wildfires, metal roof does tempt the buyer to splash more cash.
Remodels with good returns
They say the first impression is the last impression, and nothing makes quite the impression as the front door of your home. It is the first thing on your property that interested parties lay their eyes on. When on a tight budget, a low-cost remedy such as putting a new coat of paint is the way to go.
However, in case replacement is an option then getting a steel door is worth considering. With a base price somewhere around the $600 mark, steel doors are a shrewd investment, and studies have shown that the simple addition of a front steel door fetches 129 per cent of the entire remodeling cost.
The affordability, as compared to conventional doors, is a definite plus, but so is the increased sense of security that comes with a steely entrance.
Another house feature that quickly captures the imagination of potential buyers is the siding. Like the entrance door, it is among the first few things you set your sight on. Hence, getting new siding improves curb appeal, and as per the National Association of Realtors, helps sellers recoup approximately 80 per cent of the cost incurred.
Talking about cost, a new siding doesn’t require a massive outlay either. A $9,500 budget is usually enough to get the entire siding renewed — practically peanuts when compared to the freshness it adds to the house’s overall appeal.
With the cost of installing solar panels becoming more and more affordable, it makes sense now more than ever to equip your house with it. Research has shown that rooftop solar system’s energy savings are so remarkable that they pay off their own cost in less than eight years. From that point on, those panels turn into money-saving machines, and tempt buyers into paying as much as $4 per installed watt, claims a Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory study.
In this day and age, high broadband speed is a basic necessity of life, so much so that houses with high-speed internet fetch 3 per cent higher prices, as per recent studies.
Sellers can make sure that their house has all the prerequisites for broadband connectivity by contacting their local service provider and getting the wiring done. Remember, cable-hiding baseboards and wall ports are a major pull for tech enthusiasts.
The importance of a well landscaped yard cannot be discounted when the goal is to boost the house’s curb appeal. What you have to do is simply add a sod, take good care of plants, trees and garden, and the entire place will generate an idyllic vibe that is known to fetch double the price of its cost at the time of resale.
But again, an attractive yard is one thing and a superfluous one, full of exotic plants, fancy fencing and expensive garden ornaments is totally another. It isn’t a one-time cost either as maintaining such scale of greenery requires constant professional help — a possible deterrence for interested buyers.
Don’t Overlook Small Home Repairs
While major remodeling or building of new luxury rooms sound amazing, such plans should not be made when there are bigger, more basic problems in the house that need addressing. A buyer wouldn’t care for a new kitchen or a lush green garden when the foundation is uneven or the plumbing has a major leakage.
Or when the paint is clearly peeling, it makes little sense to prioritise luxury projects over a simple paint job. Small repairs give the place an immediate lift at a nominal cost. They may not make your house any fancier, but their relatively modest cost is great value for money.