Get the Most Out of Your Home Improvement

Home TheaterThinking about putting in that pool? Or how about a pond with a waterfall?  Or how about adding a brand new home theater equipped with leveled seating and sofas? Think these things will help you resale your house or earn their money back?

Unfortunately they don’t.

Most homeowners believe that any addition or modification or major feature is going to help improve their ability to sell their house, or at least make the money back that they put in to it.

This is not the case with all remodels and additions.  If you are planning on selling your home in the future do not go over and beyond what is necessary to help resell your home.  Otherwise you are just wasting money on someone else’s place.

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your remodels, additions and upgrades.

  • Bedrooms – If you notice you will see the number of bedrooms listed on every single real estate flier, usually as one of the first bullet points.  This is because homes with more bedrooms have a higher perceived value.  Remember a bedroom needs a window and closet to “officially” be considered a bedroom, but that is for legal and official reasons.  Homeowners make not care if there is a closet.
  • Bathrooms – Bathrooms are important especially if you have the ability to ad a full or even a half bath.  Do not overdo it though.  You do not need to spend a boat load of money making your bathrooms nice for future buyers.
  • Inexpensive Exterior Jobs – Jobs like painting, fixing siding, gutters, exterior doors, re staining the deck and minor landscaping jobs are all hugely important.  All of these minor upgrades can be inexpensive but are hugely important because the exterior is the “first impression” of the house.  When a prospective buyer pulls in the drive way they are already starting to make judgments and form opinions.  You want those first opinions to be good.

Here is a quick personal tip for you. – Even if you do not plan on selling the home for a few years do some of the improvements now so you can enjoy them before you have to sell.

A few remodels that do not return their money like you think they might.

  • Cabinets – Unless they are in real bad shape new cabinets usually do not get a full return on their money.
  • Counter tops – Upgrading those counter tops to granite is going to cost you a pretty penny, but not affect the ability to sell your home enough to make it worth the investment.
  • Entertainment Centers and Home Theaters – Although these are fun additions they are far to high a price tag to pay to recoup the value.  And besides most families would rather have anther bedroom than an extra room dedicated to a TV.  We have the living room for that, right?

$6,500 Home Tax Credit Sound Good? Not so fast…

How great does a $6,500 Home Tax Credit Sound?

Great enough to go out and buy a new house?  Not so fast…

Like pretty much everything in life there are a few catches to the tax credit. And not everyone is going to qualify.

In order to be sure you qualify to take advantage of the credit has a 4 question check list.  Before you decide make sure you can answer yes to these 4 questions on $6,500 home tax credit.

  • Are you already in the market?

“It’s a benefit if you need or want to move,” was a statement made by Dorcas Helfant-Browning, a former president of the NAR (National Association of Realtors).

  • Do local market conditions look favorable?

Helfant-Browning said, “Anybody contemplating doing this must feel strongly that the homes in their area have bottomed or are very close to bottoming,”

  • Can you sell your home in time?

Check on the average length of time a home is on the market in your area. This credit is only good until April 2009. If your average time on the market is 90-120 days from today you should be OK.

  • Can you close the expense gap?

“If you are upgrading, you need to make sure you have enough equity and available cash to cover the down payment.”

Remember that sometimes you are already in the best situation for your needs. Do not consider moving or purchasing a home just because this credit is being offered. Be sure to take into account all aspects of your situation before moving forward.

And remember it is always a great idea to meet with a Real Estate Professional who can lay out all your options for you.

If you are ready to move forward you can use our mortgage calculator or check out our mortgage rates to help you.