Thanks to 24-hour cable channels that focus on home improvements, it should be no surprise that Americans reportedly spent $180 billion in upgrades on their homes in the last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
While there are plenty of upgrades that will make your home stand out and more appealing, it’s also important to know that some upgrades do not offer a good return on your investment. Some might even turn off potential buyers. If you plan on staying in your home for years to come, you should invest in upgrades that will add to your enjoyment, but if you are planning to sell soon, save your dollars in these areas:
POOL – You might be able to picture yourself lounging by your in-ground pool every warm day, but a potential buyer might actually consider it a money pit of maintenance or a safety hazard if they have kids.
According to Money.com, pools can be hit-or-miss when it comes to added value. You may see some return, but often it’s not enough to pay for the pool itself. If you’re looking to add a pool, don’t forget that you’ll need to operate and maintain the pool yourself, and this comes with a sizable extra cost. Your likelihood of recouping the money you spent on maintenance, in addition to the installation costs, is pretty low. But if the family is going to enjoy it and help maintain it … Just do it ….
BUILT- IN ELECTRONICS – Remember how record players were all the rage for listening to music? And then tape players? And then you had to convert to CDs? And then digital downloads?
Electronics are constantly changing formats and upgrading standards, so you don’t want to leave behind out-of-date electronics for a buyer to deal with. Instead, opt for electronics you can take with you and upgrade easily, and let the buyer choose his own giant movie screen. If it’s something you’re going to use and enjoy … do it, but don’t upgrade to try and sell.
EXTENSIVE LANDSCAPING – Curb appeal is a must for attracting buyers, but be careful not to overwhelm buyers with an extensive area of landscaping they will have to maintain.
You might have hours to spend in the yard each week, but not all buyers will want to spend their free time managing your gardens. Also, some people might not appreciate the value of certain plants, trees, and bushes if they are not familiar with gardening, so they probably won’t be willing to pay the price you think those things deserve.
OVER – IMPROVEMENTS – For this one, you will need to take into account the type of homes that are in your surrounding neighborhood. According to Anchorage-based Realtor Kevin Cross on BobVila.com, “Local culture, preferences, and market conditions dictate return on improvements. Sink your money into amenities that don’t reflect the norm for your immediate area and you won’t even gain a 5% premium over neighboring homes, regardless of what you spent.” So, if your neighbors all have high-end appliances, then buyers will be looking for the same in your home, but if that is not the norm in your projected price range, they may not be willing to pay the premium you paid.
Although many buyers want to see hardwoods, tile, and stone countertops, you don’t have to go overboard with those improvements. Pick styles that can go with a variety of preferences so buyers don’t walk in and start a tally of things they will have to fix if they chose your home.
I’d be happy to work with you to evaluate upgrades that will be a better return on your investment. You can read some of my thoughts on upgrades that count here too: Upgrades That Count and remember …
….”You’ve Got a Friend in Real Estate”
Jarod Tanksley 615.403.8265
Brentview Realty 615.373.2814