Ten Tips: How to Fix up a Home

Real Estate Agent with Mason Real Estate CA BRE 01444168

Ten Tips:  How to Fix up a Home
By John Occhi, Hemet CA REALTOR

If you own residential property that you either want to rent or sell, you should be prepared to fix the place up a bit in order to attract the best renters or buyers for your Hemet CA Real Estate.

Yes, we know that fresh paint and new carpet are almost always required to rehab any property and these two expenses often cost thousands of dollars.  In order to maximize the return on this investment there are a number of other projects that should be considered - and the good news is that all of these are very inexpensive.

So, if you own Real Estate in Hemet CA, or anywhere else in Riverside County the Inland Empire  - or heck, anywhere - these tips should help you receive the highest return on your investment (ROI).

One last note before I serve the meat and potatoes - these tips are not just for homeowners looking to sell their Hemet home.  No -if you own rental property in Hemet CA and you want to attract a quality renter for your home for rent apply these simpe techniques to separate yourself from your competition.  Lastly, if you are an investor looking to capitalize on today's hot investor market consider what a difference these tips might make in adding valuable equity to the property once you have bought your investment property.

  1. New Electrical Switch Plates
    It amazes me as a Hemet Realtor, how often I'll preview a home that has just been freshly painted just before being put on the market only to observe the old nasty switch plates!  Believe it or not, but many times I'll even see where they cracked them re-installing them after the paint.  These are so inexpensive - you can pick up the basics for about $.50 each - or less on eBay.  Go ahead and spend $4 or $5 each on nice ones in the visible living spaces of the front entry, living room, dining room, family room and kitchen.

  2. New Interior Doors
    There are some funky doors hanging in some of the homes in Hemet.  Can you believe that people patch a door and paint over it.  Tacky.  Then there are the old brown doors.  Yes, you can paint over the dark colors (about 3 coats of paint) - but why when you can get a brand new white door starting around $15.  Then you can be a big spender and really move into the 21st century with raised panel doors for less than $30 each at Lowes.   If nothing else, consider changing the downstairs doors.

  3. New Door Handles
    So, if you spend a few dollars on the doors you might as well replace the handles.  Inexpensive brass handles can be found at Lowes for about $8.50 each.  This is especially helpful if the old ones are painted around the edges.  You can even step up and install the Euro-Style S-Lever for about $12.50 each.  Again, this is such a minor expense that can have a great impact on separating your Hemet CA Real Estate from every other home for sale in Hemet CA.

  4. Paint, Replace of Add Trim
    Perhaps the entire home does not need to be repainted but the molding looks off.  The standard in new home construction today is an off-white wall with a bright white trim.  If you are going to go ahead and re-paint your existing trim, use a semi-gloss bright white on all of the trim.  Whatever you do - DO NOT STOP the trim partially in ANY ROOM.  If the trim is worn on the floor - consider replacing it.  I found a great website that you can order foam crown molding very inexpensively - as low as around $50 for a 16' X 16' room and they have some easy to follow tutorials on installing it right the first time.

  5. First Impression - A New Front Door
    Yes, the first impression is from the curb and takes in many aspects, including the exterior condition of the home, the landscape and the front door.  However, the front door is the threshold from the exterior to the interior and will be just as visible from the inside as the outside - so if you have a shabby door - replace it.  If you have a nice heavy old wood door - then consider painting it a bold contrasting color.  There are many great door resources - perhaps on of the best made doors today is through Pella - you can find more out about them here.

  6. The Front Entry
    Once passing the threshold of the front door, more often than not you find yourself in the entry.  Many older homes in Hemet CA open right into the living room.  More often than not, the entry is an extension of the living room carpet.  Perhaps there may be a small area of linoleum.  By 21st century real estate standards in Riverside County and the rest of southern California this is a must go item.  The standard today is to replace or define the entry with a nice tile.  A typical 8' X 8' area should not cost more that $100 to $125 in materials.  I would recommend using a minimum of a 12" tile - depending on how large the overall room is, you should consider moving up to a 16" or even 18" tile.

  7. The Bathrooms
    It really is amazing how many bathrooms just are not up to standards.  Especially in the older Hemet homes for sale, old tubs and sinks are often pitted and just look funky - a real turn off to many women.  It is not a difficult process and the supplies can all be bought online inexpensively - or just do a Google search (just add your city) to find a company near you to restore the tub and such.  One Last note on the Bathroom - put in a new clean shower curtain and rod.  It may be the best $40 you can spend.  Remember most real estate purchasing decisions are made be women  - so do yourself the favor and appeal to them.

  8. The Kitchen
    Like the bathroom - it is one of the most important highlights (or lowlights) of the Hemet CA real estate.  As a Hemet Realtor I am always pleased to see that attention has been given to this critical center of the home.  New granite countertops, tile floor and new cabinets are very expensive and very time consuming, as far as do-it-yourself projects are concerned.  Perhaps the least expensive modification you can make on old kitchen cabinets is a fresh coat of paint and even go ahead and add some new updated drawer and cabinet pulls.

    The other inexpensive change you can make to a kitchen that can make all the difference in the world is to replace the faucet.  I would recommend one that has a flexible spray.  Overstock.Com is a great resource for this type of item and you can often find faucets with a retail price of $200 or more for less than $100.

  9. Dress Up the Exterior
    Many homes for sale in Hemet CA have ugly aluminum windows.  One of the best ways to cover this eyesore is with some inexpensive exterior window shutters.  As I mentioned earlier when I was talking about the front door - the exterior of your Hemet Home for sale is critical if you art going to command top dollar - in any market.  Make sure you use a contrasting color on the trim - if your home is a light color, use a dark green or brown.  If the exterior is a dark color then offset it with a bright white or other contrasting color.  Often the exterior of the home does not need fresh paint, however give careful consideration to the fascia and the rest of the trim.

    The exterior includes your landscape.  Do whatever you can to ensure your grass is as green as the neighbors.  Nothing goes further than a couple of flats of seasonal flowering plants strategically placed in a planter next to the home, along walkways and around larger trees.

  10. Mailbox and Other Exterior Accessories
    Try separating your Hemet home for sale from every other piece of real estate on the block.  Do away with the plain ugly black mailbox everyone else has and add a nice new updated mailbox.  Perhaps put it on a post.  The same goes with the address numbers - step up and do something special and unique.  Why not really go all out and add a weathervane.  A couple of hundred dollars spent on exterior designer details will be noticed and can make all the difference in the world.

I hope that you have found this article helpful.  It is roughly the same advise I offer a client who is looking to sell their Hemet Real Estate.  Not everyone has the time or skills necessary to do this work themselves.  In this case, I often recommend a contractor to come in and do a professional job in a defined time period.

The links that I have provided are just random links that I researched on Google as I wrote this article.  Other than Lowes, Home Depot and Overstock - I have never used any of their services or bought their products.  Neither do I profit in any way from these resources nor do I endorse them - again, they are provided as a convenience to you as a result of my online research.

I also give the same basic advice to those who want to buy Hemet CA real estate.  When I take a prospective home buyer through a home, I will often point out many of these quick and inexpensive fixes that they can easily do to enhance the value of the house and make it into their home.  It just amazes me though, how a home seller can avoid so many little obvious areas and yet think their home is worth more than any other in Hemet CA.

Likewise, when I am looking at a home as an investment for either myself, my partners or my clients I will pencil out the number for these projects as they apply to the particular project in an attempt to see how much sense the investment actually makes.

Now have a Blessed Day,

John Occhi, Hemet REALTOR
Mission Grove Realty

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Until Next Time, Have a Blessed Day,

John Occhi, ePRO, REALTOR®
DRE Lic No: 01444168

ePro,John Occhi,www.johnocchi.com,realtor      Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist Logo Awarded to John OcchiFive Star Logo,Certification,REO,Five Star Institute     

Excellence in Real Estate,Team Log,John Occhi,www.johnocchi.com,hemet,san jacinto,CA  

This blog and the contents written here is the intellectual property of John Occhi, Temecula - Murrieta, CA REALTOR® in the South West Riverside County region of the Inland Empire of Southern California.  The views and opinions expressed are just that - views and opinions of John Occhi and those who comment.  Please note that I am not an attorney or a tax professional and any time I discuss either topic, I suggest you consult with the proper professional for relevant assistance. 

I am proud to be a full time REALTOR® who is proud to be a contributing member of the ActiveRain community.

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Frank Rubi
Frank Rubi Real Estate, LLC - Metairie, LA
John the switch plates are a big one. To do one is about $1. The average house at least in my area uses about 40-50 of them. Thats $50 for an update worth at least in my opinion $1000. Great Post.
Jun 09, 2007 01:19 PM #1
John Occhi
Mason Real Estate - Temecula, CA
SRES,CPRES.ePRO - Temecula-Murrieta CA Real Estate

Thanks Frank,

Isn't it amazing how people just don't want to spend a few extra dollars and yet still insist their home is worth top dollar.

Now have a Blessed Day,

John Occhi, Hemet CA REALTOR

Jun 09, 2007 01:23 PM #2
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel
Good tips. Thanks for the post.
Jun 10, 2007 02:42 AM #3
John Occhi
Mason Real Estate - Temecula, CA
SRES,CPRES.ePRO - Temecula-Murrieta CA Real Estate

Gita, glad you enjoyed the article

Now Have a Blessed Day,

John Occhi, Hemet CA REALTOR

Jun 10, 2007 02:54 AM #4
Maureen Maureen
Orangeburg, NY
John - Great tips for homeowners.  I hope you make this part of your listing package.  You should include this in Stage if Forward. 
Jun 10, 2007 04:01 AM #5
Sandra Cummings
William Raveis Real Estate - Guilford, CT
Real Estate Agent, Guilford Connecticut


Great tips - do you know of anyone who has tried the do it yourself sink and bath update? And how did it come out?



Jun 10, 2007 04:17 AM #6
John Occhi
Mason Real Estate - Temecula, CA
SRES,CPRES.ePRO - Temecula-Murrieta CA Real Estate

Maureen - Thanks for the idea - I'll add join and add that Group right now and add this article

Sandra - I do know someone who has done this - we have a lot of old homes here in Hemet.  The project turned out real nice.  However, the person who did this is a General Contractor, so he may have an edge - although he has only done this two or three times in his life and he says the first one came out just as nice as the one I just saw him get done for a listing of mine that sold in 17 days.

Now Have a Blessed Day,

John Occhi, Hemet CA REALTOR

Jun 10, 2007 05:44 AM #7
Dalp Pearson
Dalp,Inc. - Los Angeles, CA


These are reallly great common sense tips... It's amazing that so many people refuse/avoid doing them... I don't understand that

Jan 28, 2008 05:02 AM #8
Charity Lane
O'Brien Realty - Prince Frederick, MD
Great tips. The front door is such a big thing to me. It is the first thing that the buyers see and touch and you want it to be memorable - and only in a good way!
Jan 28, 2008 05:14 AM #9
Rick Rosen
Great times.  I liked the mailbox site you linked to.  www.mailboxnet.com . It's the small details that make all the difference.  Thanks...
Feb 26, 2008 12:02 PM #10
Winston Westbrook
Westbrook National Real Estate Co - Victorville, CA

Good post John. Sure will make notes of the tips

Feb 17, 2009 06:41 PM #12
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SRES,CPRES.ePRO - Temecula-Murrieta CA Real Estate
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