If you’re a homeowner considering a move, you may be wondering what’s next. Do I need to renovate the kitchen? Repaint the exterior? Replace the flooring? Before taking on a costly remodel, consider this: these measures don’t always recoup the highest percentages in return. Many sellers have much more success by investing in upgrades that boost their home’s value in the process. The best part? Both sides of the transaction profit.
Consumer Reports recommends completing these updates:
1. Paint key rooms.
In the grand scheme of things, painting is one of the least expensive ways to freshen up your home for sale, but it can cost up to $300 a room if you’re hiring a pro to do your entire home. Save big by painting just a few select areas: high-traffic rooms, like the kitchen and bathrooms, and rooms with brightly-painted walls. You can save even more by doing the project yourself – a gallon of paint averages about $30.
2. Spruce up the exterior.
Your home’s exterior is the first impression for many buyers online and in person. Aside from keeping up with maintenance like mowing the lawn and trimming shrubs, assess the outside of your home for any repair work – a fading front door, cracked siding or a loose step – that needs to be completed before selling. And don’t forget about the roof. If it needs to be replaced, choose an inexpensive but durable option, like standard, three-tab asphalt shingles. They cost approximately $75 per 100 square feet, including installation.
3. Upgrade the bathroom.
Bathrooms can become a point of contention for buyers if they’re not in tip-top shape. Rather than taking on an expensive renovation, make minor upgrades that have an impact. Caulk the tub, re-grout tile, and install new fixtures. Larger, less costly fixes are also a possibility if you know where to look – a new vanity, for instance, can cost less than $1,000 if you shop around.
4. Make kitchen repairs.
Buyers want to be wowed by the kitchen, but that doesn’t mean you have to fork over tens of thousands of dollars to make that happen. Focus on making repairs that cost well under $500, like tightening a leaky faucet or eliminating burn marks on countertops. For a cheap alternative to repainting your cabinets, consider updating your hardware in a modern finish.
5. Clean, clean, clean.
Even if the home has been renovated top to bottom, a messy appearance can be the ultimate deal breaker. Fortunately for sellers, de-cluttering and de-personalizing doesn’t have to cost a dime. A short list that will help buyers visualize living in the home:
– Vacuum, dust and wipe all surfaces regularly while your home is on the market.
– Pare down closets to the bare essentials.
– Replace family or otherwise personal photos with neutral wall art.
– Cut clutter in cabinets and on bookshelves.
– Keep counter and tabletops clear, especially during an open house.
If the project is overwhelming, consider hiring a professional cleaning service or organizer to cut through the chaos. A pro can cost anywhere from $600 to $2,500.
Source: Consumer Reports
The Lake Norman Homes Team
Southern Homes Elite
The number of first-time home buyers entering the housing market is at a 27-year low, according to the National Association of REALTORS®, but the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) took big steps this week to rectify that. Just last week, the FHA announced a 50 basis points reduction in mortgage premiums that, according to President Obama, will serve two important purposes: enticing new home buyers and encouraging existing borrowers to refinance at lower rates.
NAMB, The Association of Mortgage Professionals, led by CEO Don Frommeyer, has been pushing its Washington counterparts to make lower premiums a priority. “This is a great first step in helping to make homeownership more affordable for folks on Main Street,” says Frommeyer. “But there’s still plenty of work to be done.”
FHA borrowers will realize as much as $900 in savings annually on a $200,000 mortgage, which arguably will be filtered back into the economy to encourage ongoing recovery.
Frommeyer and the NAMB membership think this move makes sense from an industry perspective. Now, borrowers with better credit will consider FHA loans as opposed to mortgages financed solely through Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
“We support anything that makes homeownership more accessible and more affordable for millennials and first-time homebuyers,” says Frommeyer. “The market simply is not going to recover at the speed it should unless we continue taking steps to recruit this demographic. This is excellent news for the industry.”
For more information, visit www.namb.org.
The Lake Norman Homes Team
Southern Homes Elite