August 2018 -Remodeling Projects That Deliver A High Return

Remodeling your home can be a great way to increase its value and ensure you get a good return when it comes time to sell. But, before you go tearing out your floors or adding another bedroom, take note: Not all projects are created equal. In fact, according to recent data from Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs. Value report, there’s a pretty big discrepancy between which projects deliver high returns and those that don’t.
 
Want to make sure your remodels are worth the effort? Here are some top options:

  • Get a new garage door. It seems simple, but replacing your garage door is the most value-adding project you can take on. On average, it delivers returns of more than 98 percent upon resale.
  • Focus on curb appeal. Upgrades to exterior areas saw serious growth over the last year. Wood deck additions increased over 18 percent in value, while stone veneer installation value was up almost 14 percent. 
  • Replace your entry door. Don’t bother sprucing up old doors. Replacing them with steel models can deliver a whopping 91 percent return on investment. And, at an average cost of $1,471, they’re one of the most affordable updates for your home.
  • Upgrade your kitchen. Minor kitchen remodels continue to be a top value-adding project. This year, the average small remodel adds about $17,193 to your home’s value and recoups more than 81 percent of your costs.

You might want to rule out projects like master suite additions and major kitchen remodels — they’re notorious for low returns. If you’re looking to boost your home’s value and increase its marketability, focus your efforts on projects that improve aesthetics and add ease and convenience instead. 

Want a second opinion before embarking on a remodeling project? We’d be happy to sit down with you and listen to your ideas for improving your home. We’ll tell you whether we think you’re on the right track or if we think you might be wasting your money.

Your Realtors,

Robert & Jani

 

How to Deal with a Low-Ball Offer

If you take care to price your home correctly – that is, at a price that is in line with what similar properties in the area have sold for recently – then you have a good chance of selling it at or near your asking price.
That doesn’t mean you won’t get a low-ball offer. You might. So, what do you do when that happens?

First, understand that the buyer may not necessarily be trying to steal away your home at a bargain-basement price. He might simply be mistaken about its true market value. Of course, he might also be coming in at a low price in the hopes he’ll get lucky.

You will never actually know the buyer’s motives. So, it would be a mistake to get angry or dismiss the offer out-of-hand. That low-ball offer might end up being the beginning of a negotiation that results in the sale of your home at a good price.

Your first step is to work with me to determine:

  • Whether the buyer is serious.
  • Whether the buyer is qualified. (For example, does he have a pre-approved mortgage?)
  • How amenable the buyer is to a counter-offer that reflects the true market value of your home.
  • What that counter-offer should be.

This isn’t an easy process. It takes the knowledge and experience of a professional real estate agent like me to get it right.

How to Decide If You Should Replace Your Windows

One of the most prominent features of any home is the windows. If they are well maintained, they will have a positive impact on the impression potential buyers have of your property. Of course, the opposite occurs when your windows look old and worn.
So, does that mean you should replace your windows?

That depends on a number of factors. Window replacement can be an expensive renovation. Here are a few things to consider before making your decision.

  • Do you see water infiltration or mildew on the interior sides of any of the window sills? This means that moisture is creeping in from the outside, and you need to get those windows repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
  • If your windows are double-paned – (two panes of glass) – check for any signs of moisture in between the glass panes. Moisture indicates that the thermal seal is broken and, at a minimum, the glass will need to be replaced.
  • Take a look at your windows from the outside. Is the trim rotted or cracked anywhere? Are there dark spots or any signs of rotting on the wood frames? Repairs or replacement may be required.
  • Check the operation of your windows. Do they open and close easily? Some windows, such as those in bedrooms, are often designed to be big enough to use as an exit in case of a fire. It’s important to make sure those work properly.
  • Finally, are you happy with how your windows look? Do you feel that your property will look significantly better with new windows?

Although they are expensive, replacing windows can have a lot of advantages. Depending on the efficiency of your current windows, replacing them could cut your energy costs by 10-20%. In addition, new windows block out more exterior noise, making your home quieter.

Want more tips on increasing the value, and enjoyment, of your property? Call me today.

Eco-friendly Choices for Household Floors

Choosing new or replacement eco-friendly flooring is one of the emerging trends among house and condo owners. Eco-friendly flooring is generally identified as being made from and with more sustainable resources; materials that don’t deplete or permanently damage the environment (such as toxic laminates); or, material that is easy to reuse or recycle after its intended purpose. Here are some examples:
Renewable/Sustainable: Bamboo and cork are popular natural resources that renew relatively quickly. It should be noted that traditional woods are also renewable, as long as they are managed through sustainable practices. Before you buy natural flooring products, ask if the harvesting methods are verified through an accredited authority.

Repurposed/Reclaimed: Flooring made from old building structures (e.g. posts, beams, walls and planks) is a viable alternative option to grown and harvested resources. Likewise, recycled glass, plastic and rubber provide ample raw materials for creative flooring effects. Using them also reduces landfill. These products can be found through decorative flooring dealers.

Reusable/Recyclable: When purchasing any product, whether natural, synthetic and/or manufactured, it is important to know that the product can be easily recycled when it is beyond its usefulness, without causing environmental detriment in a landfill.

Notable, Quotable, Quotes!

“Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.”
John Wooden

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.”
John D. Rockefeller

“Be as smart as you can, but remember that it is always better to be wise than to be smart.”
Alan Alda

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