One of the most persistent myths I’ve seen about home buying is the idea that home remodels and upgrades are always a value-added proposition. Regardless of what you may think, or may have heard, that Jacuzzi, or those skylights, may not be a one-way ticket to a higher home value.
There are a few reasons for this. First of all, you have to consider the shape your home is in before you’ve started all that work. If you’re doing work to something that’s been neglected for twenty years, you may be keeping the home from devaluing, but you aren’t necessarily adding to its value. Believe it or not, buyers expect that you’d keep your home in good condition. If you’re just now getting around to doing that, they’ll see a home that’s worth about the same as other, comparable homes on the market (versus having been worth much less if you’d continued to neglect it).
Second, tastes vary. If someone’s first thought on walking into a home is that they’re going to have to repaint, get rid of the “ugly” carpeting (on which you just spent a bundle), or knock down the walls between your just-built library and a guest room to make a new master suite, they see only inconvenience where you saw added value. New home owners like a blank canvas to work with, and they may well view your “improvements” as detrimental.
Third, as long as your home isn’t a hair’s breadth from being condemned by the authorities, there are times that it actually makes more sense to do less work. Consider the investment that goes into repairs and improvements. Just because you’ve put that money out doesn’t mean it will come back to you when your home sells, so you may, in some instances, be better off selling the home as-is and letting its new owner do the work themselves.
Thinking of taking on some small projects before you list your home? Let your next project be picking up the phone to call me at 201-930-8820 x212. We’ll talk over your situation and options, and I can help you make a decision that makes sense for your bottom line.