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2011-01-17 23:48:36
Identify home renovations that retain value

Identify home renovations that retain value (edit/delete)

How do I know which home renovations will retain value?

You have your plans in place and your estimates lined up, but before you begin demolishing that workout room to add a single-lane bowling alley to your SLC home's lower level, there's one additional professional you may want to consult -- a realtor.

'People don't often think about talking with a realtor when they're doing a home remodeling project, but these professionals see hundreds of homes and they see them with buyers. They have insights into what buyers in a particular price range want, what they get excited about and what they are not so excited about,' explains Stephanie Singer, a spokesperson for the National Association of Realtors with expertise in consumer trends.

While resale value may not be your primary concern when you are contemplating a home renovation project, it is something that you might want to at least consider. 'According to the information we have, about six years is the median time people spend in a home. So if you plan on staying in your home for the average length of time, you should keep resale in mind,' she says.

One way to do that is to follow a simple, common sense approach. One of the most important things we tell our clients is that you want to be careful not to over-improve your home relative to the surrounding neighborhood. You need to know what the norm is in your neighborhood and what buyers in that neighborhood are looking for. If you want to put in a Viking range in an area where most of the kitchens are more modest, you might not be able to recoup the cost.

While peeking in your neighbors' windows is never a good idea, there are some simple, legal ways to achieve the same result. Go to open houses in your area. That will give you a good sense of what's going on in the market. For information about amenities common in homes in your area, so you can see if what you are planning is in line, feel free to contact the Linda Secrist team. For example, you can see if you have a two-bathroom home in an area where most homes have three baths.

While how much is too much to spend on a renovation project is a personal decision based on your particular situation, there are some tried and true projects. Year after year, kitchen and bath renovations typically return a very strong percentage of your initial investment, particularly if they are not overdone. Other things that also return well are replacing windows and updating the exterior -- particularly the siding and paint. Both of those really speak to curb appeal and creating a good first impression.

Be very careful about personal preferences.  For example, an indoor swimming pool right off the formal entry, although might work for your family, may not be beneficial for a potential buyer down the road and, in the end, actually hurts the value of your home.  Feel free to contact us for questions regarding your remodel and renovation projects.

Linda Secrist - Linda Secrist & Associates - Everything they touch turns to SOLD!

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