Posted by: Keith Robinson Real Estate | December 21, 2010

What Projects Should You Be Considering for Your Home?

There are a lot of questions about real estate in today’s market.  As a Realtor, I hear one question a lot.  “What can I do to fix up my house without over doing it?”  In other words, how do I get the best bang for my buck?  There is great information out there about what projects have the best “pay off” in terms of increasing the value of your home.  The real tricky part is that each home is different. 

It is impossible to give a blanket answer to the question, “how is the real estate market?”  It’s like asking what is the national weather forecast for today?  The question just doesn’t make any sense.  The same principle applies when we talk about getting the best bang for your buck with home improvements.  There are just too many variables.  Your home may be very different than a friend’s home, so there is no magic answer.  However, there are some questions to consider when thinking about a home remodel project:

  1.  How long do you plan to live in the home?  If you plan to sell the home within a year and you are “prepping” it to sell, the projects may be different than if you are doing it for your own enjoyment.

  2.  How much equity do you have in your home?  When you consider the current market value of your home and subtract what you owe on your mortgage, what is that amount?  It is good to know if you owe more on your home than it is worth in today’s market before you spend money on improvements that may not yield much when it comes time to sell.

  3.  What is the condition of the systems of your home?  How old is your furnace, windows, water heater, AC, roof, siding, etc.? 

There are other questions to consider before making the plunge.  The value of your home relative to the neighborhood is a big factor to take into consideration.  It is very important to understand at what point your remodel project turns from an investment in your future to consumer spending; and each neighborhood is different.  Another important thing to consider is what updates are needed that are more functional than cosmetic?  (Question #3 above.)  I find that when people are thinking of updating their home they want to “see” some upgrades or improvements for their money.  It is not always fun to spend a bunch of money on your home and not really see much to show for it because you spent the money on the systems of your home.  However, spending your money on those items may be your best investment.

I’ve attached a link to the leading source of information on this subject for our area.  Remember, each home is different so please do your own research before diving into a big project.  Check out the numbers here.

There is an article that goes along with these numbers that you may also find interesting.  Cost vs. Value: Help Clients Stretch Their Remodeling Dollars.

Do you need the names of some trusted contractors?  Would you like to know where your home value stands now?  Would you like to have some suggestions on home projects that make sense for your home?  If so, please call or email and we can answer those questions together.

I hope you find this useful information.  If there is anything more I can do to help please let me know.




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