Posts Tagged ‘Adding Value to Your Home’

To List or Not to List: 7 Strategies To Help With That Decision

Saturday, January 30th, 2016
To list or not to list

To list or not to list? Together we can help you decide.

To list or not to list? Should you or shouldn’t you? When a new year arrives, the desire for change usually does, too: health, finances, job, home, education, etc. If you’re wondering whether or not you should take on a change of address in Brooklyn this year, here are 7 strategies to help with that decision:

1. Examine the elements of your home to help you decide to list or not to list

Think about the traffic pattern, how dark your home might be and if you could use a mud room that isn’t there, for example. Now, answer these questions:

  • What really bothers you about your home?
  • What’s missing?

Often the perfect changes can be made without adding a single square foot. Simply taking down a wall or partial wall, removing or changing doors and adding or enlarging windows, can convince you not to list. Eliminating an unproductive traffic pattern, brightening up your home or adding a missing feature can increase your home’s value as well. In his book Staying Put: Remodel Your House to Get the Home You Want (Taunton Press, 2011) architect Duo Dickinson “offers guidance on looking before you leap, ways to avoid pitfalls (and money pits), strategies for staying green or going geriatric, and moves you can make so you don’t have to move out.”

2. Study the land your home is sitting on

The landscape, condition and size of the property can’t be ignored. It’s a good decision to list if the land your home is sitting on:

  • property too small for your gardening passion
  • needs more yard for your growing family and summer entertainment (i.e. barbecues, pool, backyard get-togethers …)
  • lack of parking on or around your property

Remodeling can’t fix those issues!

3. Discuss and weigh your neighborhood’s plusses

Remodeling to fix your home’s issues might outweigh the option to list your Brooklyn home if your neighborhood offers:

  • Shopping for every budget
  • Excellent schools
  • Safety and family entertainment
  • Beautiful parks and walkability
  • Special memories (ie: your kids grew up in that house, your daughter got married in the backyard of that house)

4. Think about how long you plan to stay put

If you plan to stay put for at least 5 to 10 years, adding on or finishing a basement, may be worth the time, effort and expense. It will increase your home’s resale value, too. But if empty nesters needing to downsize are more likely to buy in your neighborhood, adding on or finishing your basement probably won’t help you sell in the future.

This is where a good financial planner and a mortgage lender can help. A good financial planner will help you gauge your home’s value in relationship to your assets and the needs of your family. A mortgage lender will discuss the costs of a new mortgage and whether or not you need one.

5. Get estimates from contractors, designers, architects or structural engineers

It’s worth paying to get multiple bids from remodeling professionals. Some even offer free estimates! They will:

  • Listen to what you want
  • Appraise your home’s present condition
  • Point out things you may not have seen or thought about
  • Estimate what remodeling could cost realistically

If your house is over 30-years-old and hasn’t been updated, the wiring, plumbing, HVAC system, roof and insulation may need attention. Whether you decide to list or not to list, these things will need to be updated.

6. Compare the resale price and remodeling costs of your home with other homes in your neighborhood

Yes, remodeling isn’t solely done for resale value, and it shouldn’t be. You should consider how much enjoyment adding on or remodeling will give you and your family, but don’t overbuild for your neighborhood. Think of it a little like this: If you live in a neighborhood full of “Volkwagen Bugs,” don’t try to renovate your VW into a “Cadillac.” Changes made to your home will affect its resale value in comparison to other homes in the area. This must be considered. Most people would rather buy a decent home in a great neighborhood than pay for a nicer house in a not-so-great neighborhood. Rismedia.com shares the following great informationThe 2016 Cost vs. Value Report compares, across 100 markets, the average cost of 30 popular remodeling projects with their average value at resale one year later. Average resale value is calculated based on estimates provided by real estate professionals. View the full report, including project descriptions and city-level data, here.

Something else to note here: Improvements can affect the value of your home when it comes to taxes. Depending on whether you are knocking down a wall or adding on to your home, your real estate taxes will or will not change. Look into this before you decide to list or not to list.

7. Walk through homes that are available in your price range in neighborhoods you like

You may find a home with a better floor plan. You may discover one with the just the right number of bedrooms and bathrooms, a great kitchen and a great yard, too. It may need some paint, new carpet or a renovated master bathroom, but compared to the costs of remodeling your current home, you should list.

Sometimes it makes better financial sense to list. Sometimes it makes better financial sense not to list. Before deciding to list or not to list, consider the cost and time of remodeling your home and all the facts.

Get estimates. Talk with a financial advisor and mortgage lender. Call me, Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate at  (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or send your questions to [email protected]. I’ll provide you with comps for your neighborhood. Together we can help you decide to list or not to list.

 

10 Smart Home Improvement Projects For Your Brooklyn Home

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015
home improvement projects

Smart home improvement projects that will add value to your home

You’ve decided. It’s a great time to sell, and you’re going to list your Brooklyn home. You know your home could use a few upgrades, but which home improvement projects will add value to your Brooklyn home? Which home improvement projects will make your home appealing to buyers? Be a smart seller. Use one or all 10 of these home improvement projects to add value and appeal to your home. Best Home Improvements

Home Improvement Projects #1 – Create Open Space In Your Home

Create spaciousness and a sense of flow in your home. Homebuyers respond well to open floor plans. So go ahead. Take down that non-structural wall between the kitchen and the living room. Create a big space that allows people to be together.

Links to help you get it done

Home Improvement Projects #2 – Landscape Your Yard

Landscaping could make a significant difference in the price of your home. It is one of the top three smart home improvements that bring the biggest return on investment. It could very well be the most important home improvement investment a seller can make. According to a survey conducted by HomeGain, an investment in landscaping can bring a return of four times what you investment in it originally.

Links to help you get it done

Home Improvement Projects #3 – Let The Sun Shine Into Your Home

Enhance your home’s appeal to buyers with light and lots of it.

  • Create moods with dimmer switches
  • Add warmth to empty spaces with soft lighting
  • Make small spaces appear larger with high wattage bulbs
  • Fix broken panes
  • Make certain each window opens and closes
  • Add motion-sensor lights that turn themselves off

Links to help you get it done

Home Improvement Projects #4 – Address Home Repairs and Maintenance Now

  • How’s the insulation in the attic?
  • Does your home need plumbing leaks repaired?
  • Are the rain gutters rusty and bent?
  • Have you had the furnace and septic system inspected lately?
  • Do your windows need to be replaced or repaired for leaks?
  • What kind of shape are your storm doors in? Do you even have storm doors?
  • Has the flower garden been weeded?

Investing in home repairs and maintenance is smart, because it could be crucial to the sale of your home. Homes that get buyer attention are in tip top shape. Address basic home repairs and maintenance now before investing in that kitchen upgrade. These simple home improvement projects don’t cost much, but they add a lot of value. Two or three hundred dollars invested here could add a few thousand dollars’ worth of value to your home.

Links to help you get it done

Home Improvement Projects #5 – Go Green To Save Green

Buyers ask about the cost of utilities. If you’ve invested in and taken care of the home repairs and maintenance in #4, it’s time to think about investing in green efficiency. It’s been reported that energy savings add twenty times their yearly savings to the value of your home. For example, investing in new heating or air conditioning systems can save up to 30 and 40% of what your old systems are costing each month. You could invest around $7,000 in a solar-powered water heater, get back $2,100 in green tax credits and save as much as 80% on your water-heating bills!

Links to help you get it done

Home Improvement Projects #6 – Welcome People To Your Home With Impressive Curb Appeal

There’s power in your front door, and you have eight seconds to use it. You’ve got eight seconds to impress potential buyers with the curb appeal of your front door or porch. Make sure your porch has an awning or overhang to protect you from the weather while you’re fumbling for the key to your front door. Then, step back onto the sidewalk in front of your house and look at your front door through a buyer’s eyes. Or take a picture of the front of your house. See anything that needs to be repaired or enhanced? What would it look like with a flower box or two?

But don’t forget about the curb appeal of your back yard. A deck, even a small one, will add value to your home in the buyer’s eyes. You’ll get back dollar for dollar with the deck you put in as long as the right material is used.

Links to help you get it done

Home Improvement Projects #7 – Spend Some Money On Your Floors

It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, but 94% of real estate pros recommend spending some money on flooring. To give you an idea, investing an average of $600 to $900 on flooring could bring an estimated $2,000 in value to your home.

Fix those creaking boards, too. Well-placed nails, repairing broken tile, patching damaged floor boards and getting rid of wall-to-wall carpeting doesn’t cost much for the huge impact it can make on potential buyers.

FYI, homes with a mixture of flooring – carpet, tile and hardwood, are appealing to today’s home buyer. Waterproof flooring at each entrance is smart flooring upgrade.

Links to help you get it done

Home Improvement Projects #8 – Spiffy Up The Kitchen And The Bathroom

Adding value to your home is a sure bet when you spiffy up the kitchen and bath. Ask any broker. They’ll tell you the condition of the kitchen is tops with buyers. The condition of the bathroom is a close second.

Most kitchen and bath upgrades are costly. You may not want to invest as much as an upgrade could take since you want to list your home right away. However, some bathroom upgrades may only cost about $500 to take a bathroom from “ugh” to “AWESOME!” Consider these spiffy upgrades:

  • Replace clear glass with frosted glass
  • Clean the grout
  • Remove rust stains
  • Apply fresh caulk
  • Update doorknobs and cabinet pulls
  • Replace faucets
  • Install a low-flush toilet
  • Buy a new toilet seat

Links to help you get it done

Home Improvement Projects #9 – Paint Neutral Colors On Your Walls

Since you’re listing your home, walk through your home and look for chipped paint. If you find any chips, pull out the plaster and paint and take care of it now. If more than touch ups are needed, go with neutral paint colors on your walls. Potential buyers want to see themselves in your home. Neutral paint on those walls will help them be able to do this a little easier.

Links to help you get it done

Home Improvement Projects #10 – Fix It Or Remove It From Your Home

If anything causes a potential buyer to ask, “What’s that,” fix it or remove it, and do so before they ask. Things like 1980’s wallpaper, a broken front step, a cracked threshold, pink and grey vinyl flooring are huge deterrents to potential home buyers. If you need help, ask a friend for their impartial advice on what needs to be fixed or removed. Then, get it fixed or removed pronto.

Links to help you get it done

Bonus – Get The Help Of A Trusted Professional

Get the help of real estate agent Charles D’Alessandro. It’s a sellers’ market, but you need his experience to get your home sold quickly. He is active in the Brooklyn real estate market and has handled many transactions. He is familiar with terms and conditions of individual home sales beyond the prices published for those home sales. He knows how to market Brooklyn homes, negotiate and close transactions. He can provide all the assistance you need in listing your home and for the best price. Call him today.

Links to help you get your home sold

  • Contact Charles Through His Website
  • Call Him At The Office: (718) 253-9700 ext. 206
  • Email Him At: [email protected]

Source:

http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20247552,00.html