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Reconsider Doing These Updates If You Plan To Sell

When you are starting to think about selling your home, if you're like most people, you're going to walk around and look at things that might need some attention. You may even decide that you want to invest a little money into improvements to make your home worth more and more enticing to propective home buyers.

That's a perfectly reasonable thought, really.

Personally, before I was in the real estate business and my wife and I were looking to buy our first home, she went in looking at things like space for the kids and to entertain and how functional the kitchen was. I went in asking what I was going to have to pump into the house to fix or update things after we bought it!

The reality is, if you want to put your house on the market, you're most likely going to have to update your hot water heater if it was installed when Ronald Reagan was President! But what about the things that provide 'glitz' and 'glamor' that might seem like they'd bring a great return, like putting in that mother-in-law suiete?

Well... lets run through three common updates and improvements that people preparing to seel are often tempted with, and see how well they provide a return on your investment:

 Finished basements

Finished basements can be a great for extra space, guest rooms, home offices, entertaining, and much more. However they aren't always a great return on investment if you're just planning to finish to sell. If you’re planning on living in your house for a while, then it could be a practical addition to your living space. And yes, buyers love them.
Unfortunately, they aren’t always willing to pay for them. 
If you can DYI a finished basement, chances are you may recoup a good portion of your money. But a full-scale contractor renovation could take more time and money than you can recoup when you sell the home. Zillow Talk estimates that a basement renovation returns only $0.48 per every $1 spent.

Some buyers also love the mere potential of a finished basement in their future, being able to turn their new home into 'their space' by finishing it as they desire, so if you don’t think you’ll be needing the extra space soon, keep the basement unfinished and advertise the potential when you sell. 

Swimming pools

Almost everyone dreams of spending a lazy Saturday afternoon drifting around in their own private pool. Who wouldn’t want this type of luxury?
That's what I thought when my wife and I bought our home in Northern Kentucky. I saw days of family fun. She saw work and emergenciy room visits. She was more right that I was! Thankfully, it wasn't an emergency room, just a trip to Verizon for a new phone. But Oh. My. Goodness. Pools are work! Expensive work at that!
We ended up taking our pool out when we remodeled part of our home, because of the safety issues of having young children, and because of the costs of upkeep! Two years later, I don't miss it one bit.
Pools seem like a glamorous perk, and a sure bet for increasing the value of your home, but the truth is they aren’t always worth the investment when it comes to selling. Swimming pools are very expensive to install — about $30,000 at the bottom end — and only recoup about $10,000 to $20,000 in home value.
Take climate into account, too: A pool in the year-round warm weather of Florida where my wifes Aunt lives is worth more than a few months of bliss and work here in Northern Kentucky.
Some home buyers also see pools as a liability, like my wife and I did — a major expense in upkeep, and also an additional cost on your homeowners policy.
If you're sticking around for 5-10 years and want to enjoy a pool, go for it. But if you think putting one in will make your home more valuable and easier to sell, save your money!

Major kitchen remodel

Many homeowners consider a major kitchen remodel at some point. My wife has been since the day we moved into our home! It can be so tempting to entirely redo your kitchen in hopes of getting a higher selling price sometime down the line. However, a major kitchen remodel is expensive — the national average is nearly $60,000.
More importantly, according to Zillow Talk, a kitchen remodel only brings you back around a $0.50 return for every $1 spent, which is pretty low for such a high financial output. If you’re planning on selling in the next couple of years, you may want to leave the full-scale remodel to the new owners.
Minor kitchen updates, on the other hand, can be worth your time and money. But if you are going to look to sell soon, remodel the aspects of your kitchen that you use the most, such as replacing the faucet or putting in a new dishwasher. Leave the new granite countertops and Amish cubboards for the person who buys your home!

Makinging improvements and updates to your home as you prepare to put it on the market can be a sound idea. Just don't get sucked into making expensive updates that won't help bring you a good return for the money you're spending! 

Talk to your real estate professional to get some ideas, or get in touch with me for more more help by leaving a comment, or sending me a message at: 


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