Thursday, August 20, 2015

Reno? Oh NO!

Everyone knows that renovations are a great way to add value to a property. But did you know that there are some renovations that will actually devalue your house?

A Change Is Sometimes NOT as Good as a Rest

Even if you think what you are planning is to you the most beautiful thing in the world, like styling after that beautiful little Mediterranean stucco house you stayed in on your memorable second honeymoon to Greece, it may not be right for your neighborhood. Your “upgrade” may end up devaluing your property – and perhaps all the houses on the street!

A friend of mine moved into a neighbor hood with lovely Victorian row houses. They were not all in great condition. 

Most of the owners were painstakingly restoring them to resemble the famous “Painted Ladies” of San Francisco. Neighbors coordinated colors, shared the name of good contractors, collaborated on projects to get consistency (and better deals). The street was transforming into something notable and beautiful.

The last time I visited, Darth Vader had moved into the neighborhood! One of the houses was just bizarre!  EVERY exterior surface was covered with black aluminum siding, or black paint and there were giant antlers over the front door! I wish I would have taken a picture.

Actually, you know what? 

I Googled it for you! 

This is an older picture, (Google needs to pass by again!) so the bricks and stone aren’t black, and there are no animal bones on display. 

But I think you get the idea.

Pool Your Money

Some home owners mistakenly believe that adding a swimming pool will turn their suburban home into a luxury estate. 

While a pool is almost expected in certain southern neighborhoods, your geographic location should dictate whether this is a wise consideration for the sale of your property. 

Chances are that most buyers will not be impressed. 

They require a lot of maintenance, eat up yard space and are a danger to small children. Almost certainly, they will not increase the value of the property by the amount of the cost.

If you are selling without a pool, let the new owner decide if they will take the project on.

Personal Preference

Everyone has heard that the best color to paint a house for sale is beige. Most people find it inoffensive. 

Even if they have plans to paint another color, most people can live with beige for a while.

Not only is it important to have a neutral paint job, it is important that the job be well done. With all the modern tools available, it is generally unacceptable to get paint on windows, trim or floors. 

Any change in color should be crisp and clean!

Another thing to avoid is fashion trends. It may be all the rage right now, but what will a buyer think next spring if your house doesn’t sell this fall? Do your best to be modern, but stay on the conservative side. Remember the 1990’s when faux finishes were all the rage? 

Well, try explaining this kitchen to your buyers!

Luxury Limits

It’s tempting to follow the advice interior design magazines. The images they share are beautiful, dramatic and often extravagant. 

It is important to remember that they are selling sensation and seduction, not necessarily practicality. No doubt there are suppliers are sponsoring the photo shoots.

While this chandelier is a beautiful conversation piece and is bold and fashionable luxury, try having a conversation with the person dining across the table!

Save bold statements for your next place and keep the house you are selling as neutral as possible!

It is also worth avoiding any materials that may have a limited popularity time. This is particularly true for wall tiles and some floor treatments. It is important to remember that renovation stores make sales by changing inventory and coming up with new materials. You can never really know which trends will have staying power.

Avoid custom finishes, too.

While you may think it is clever to use all your old pennies on the floor, a buyer may be seeing dollar signs when thinking of how they are going to have to remove it!

Focused Upgrades

It’s tempting to change just one area, or room in a house. This is particularly true if one area has unusual wear and tear. If you have some kitchen cabinets that need changing, it is probably wise to redo the whole kitchen.

If the rest of your house is in great condition, this may not be a bad idea. However, if the whole house needs work, you may be better off spending the money in a way that will give a better overall impression. Consider spending that kitchen budget on repainting the whole house or refinishing scuffed floors. A new kitchen in an otherwise old house will not add value. If the whole house needs updating, the new owner may be thinking of moving walls in the process and may just demolish that kitchen!

Another variation of this is to change the character of only one item. 

This ultra modern staircase looks a little odd next to the traditional wainscoting and door of this house. 

Chances are if someone is looking to buy in a historic home neighborhood, they are looking for historic characteristics inside and out. 

Here to, as with the pool, let the buyer decide to add modern elements to a traditional home, if that is their taste.

Permit Protection

We took a look at this in last week’s article, but it is worth repeating. Un-permitted work is not about you winning against the municipality, or you saving the cost of a permit. It is you working against yourself. It brings about all sorts of questions about professionalism and working to code.

If the un-permitted work you performed didn’t void your home warranty or cause issues with your insurance coverage, there may be trouble if you try to sell. Lenders and appraisers may lower the value of a property with un-permitted renovations.

Home inspectors have access to all sorts of resources and if it is found that you have un-permitted work, it will create issues for you and may cause your buyer to walk away from the sale. 

If you can't bear the thought of going through a construction project, or you have come to the realization that it is time to move right now to have a better life, but your house isn’t prepared, we can help. 

If you are juggling too many responsibilities to sell your house yourself this summer, then there are people who specialize in the sale of properties "as is" - usually within a week to resolve the situation quickly. 

Contact us for details.

Next time we will look at how to sell your house when you have kids.

So thanks for reading my post. I'm so glad you're here! 

And I really look forward to getting into more great stuff in future posts -- so that you can 
Turn Your House To $OLD!

Feel free to ask me any questions through the contact info below. I would be very happy to help.

Linda  623-335-2662

Article Sources:

Lynda Bathory