I recently spoke with one of my realtors, Janice Manzi, at Elfant Wissahickon. We were discussing our shared experiences with home renovations, and buying and selling homes.
Janice shared with me that home sellers are often told by their realtors to spend at least 5% of the home’s value on fix-up items in order to attract a buyer in this tough market. She explained: “So they’ll spend 5% to sell the house, but they spent how many years living there suffering with it? Why not invest 10% in improvements, instead, and just enjoy living there?” Or, as the teenaged son of one of her home sellers put it, “I lived with that crappy bathroom for 16 years, and NOW THAT WE’RE MOVING you’re going to fix it!?”
We’re seeing a lot of this in the home-improvement industry. People with home equity are putting some of that money back into their homes so they can enjoy them now, and then selling them more easily when they are ready or when the market is better. The good news is we can help with this process.
Begin by taking an honest look at your home, or ask a trusted friend to help you envision your home from the eyes of a potential home buyer:
What looks outdated?
What is hard to keep clean or keep looking good?
What looks cheap or worn?
What are the annoying daily work arounds that impact your family’s enjoyment of your home?
What deferred maintenance is there?
What are the “should do” items?
What are the “wish list” items?
A few general rules of thumb:
If your home was built in the 1920s or earlier, you probably don’t have enough bathrooms or a large enough family space for modern living.
If your home was built in the 1950s or 1960s, the bathrooms are probably beginning to fail, and the electrical work in those rooms is no longer to code.
It’s rare to see a kitchen older than 20 years that is still looking good. Only higher end cabinet lines and high-quality products and appliances last longer than that.
If a kitchen or bathroom is from the 1980s, it’s usually in bad shape when we see it. That’s because so many really cheap products and services hit the market, and construction became a disposable commodity during that time. (That shortsighted spending keeps us pretty busy!)
We offer an extensive selection of high-quality, long-lasting solutions for your home’s needs. Our projects range from MiniMakeOvers™ to large-scale additions, kitchens, bathrooms, suites and whole-house makeovers. Don’t miss our value-priced Cafe Series™ kitchen and Rejuvenation Series™ bathroom project lines.