The clock starts running on a new home when the Mountain Home, Idaho Building Department signs the building permit. Advances in building science and changing economic conditions work together to cause our homes to rapidly become something less than "state of the art" and worth less than the "next new thing". This is true of every home in the community, but 30+ year old homes need special attention to ensure that value lost by obsolescence doesn't negate value gained through other factors.
It's important to recognize that older homes, in particular, are competing not only with other homes for sale but also with the options of renting in town or living on base.
In Part I of this post we'll look at the "bigger ticket" items to consider and budget for.
My Three Recommended (Major) Upgrades to the Older Home
- The Clear Winner - Energy costs aren't going anywhere but up and installing double pane windows is often a cost effective and visually appealing upgrade. Buyers using VA financing can usually include the cost of new windows and other energy efficiency items in their loans but there's a trick to buying windows so contact me first.
- Leave the Gravel in the Road - Gravel roofs are messy, trouble prone and singularly unattractive. If you currently own a home with this roofing system and it's time for significant repairs, spending the extra money for shingles may be a smart choice. The current cost of replacing a gravel roof with shingles is about $3.50-4.00 a square foot but shingles require less maintenance and have far greater appeal to buyers.
- Don't Be Short Circuited - Fused, 60 amp electrical systems are antiquated, possibly dangerous and usually uninsurable - fused, 100 amps systems are only slightly better. Even the smallest of homes should include minimum 125-150 amp service with circuit breakers. Although not as costly as new windows or roofing, upgrading the service may require other code updates so be sure to talk to an electrician first.
Buyers Beware - If you're buying a home with seriously obsolete components (e.g. single pane windows) BE SURE that this is reflected in what you offer. Ask to see sales information about homes with and without the upgraded items. But then again, that's what a good real agent is for.
Jan DeGiorgio - Associate Broker
Century 21 Southern Idaho Realty
Mountain Home, ID