Realty Executives Elite Chris Budz | Lockport IL Realtor
It’s always a futile task to set a budget for a renovation—or at the very least an ever-moving target—but if you’re planning to put your home on the market, you’ll have a way different set of calculations than a starry-eyed new homeowner.
Before you embark on a gut of your circa-1990 kitchen, consult with a Realtor and a general contractor about which renovations will yield the biggest return on investment. How much work you’ll need depends on your home’s value, your market, and the comps in your neighborhood.
Committed to doing some work? Start by thinking small. Minor cosmetic upgrades go a long way in getting more buyers through the door for a quicker sale—and time on market is key to determining what you’ll net at closing.
Where to start? Here are some suggested upgrades:
- NEVER spend more than you can recoup. This seems obvious, but you’ll be amazed how many people decide to throw vast amounts of money into a house that they will never again enter for the rest of their lives. Why spend $4,000 on new flooring if the resale value is less than that? Unless, of course, no one will even make an offer on your home without some cosmetic improvements.
Home MaintenanceStill, new kitchens and baths lose some of their glamour if there’s water in the basement when a Lockport potential buyer comes to look at your house, says Alfano. Every homeowner’s first priority should be “keeping the existing structure sound,” says Don Sever, a general contractor for 18 years and president of Sever Construction in Oakton, Va. “I’ve been in a lot of houses where people are spending thirty or forty thousand dollars to remodel the kitchen, but then you walk into the basement and there’s a musty smell because water is leaking through the foundation. To me, it’s more important to resolve those items first, and get the luxuries later.” Ron Phipps suggests thinking about it from a buyer’s perspective. “I was with someone recently who was going to spend money to remodel their bathroom. But the roof is two layers and 30 years old.” For a buyer, knowing the roof needs to be replaced is a much bigger issue than living with a functional, but dated, bathroom, Phipps points out. Most buyers have a limit on what they can spend for a house. If they know they don’t have to spend money on the upkeep of basic systems, then they’re more likely to buy the house and consider upgrading the kitchen or baths themselves. More than 70 percent of buyers who purchased existing homes knew what they were going to remodel before they even closed on the deal, according to HanleyWood’s Housing Continuum Study, conducted in 2002 in conjunction with Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. The same study showed that 30 to 40 percent of buyers of existing homes made home improvements within six months after purchase. The importance of different maintenance issues varies with geographical location, too. Roof replacement (average cost: $11,376) was very important to buyers in the east, according to Remodeling, where homeowners recouped an average 96.3 percent of the cost. In the Midwest, the average return for the same improvement was just 71.1 percent.
Average return at resale: 100 percent
The average Lockport IL homeowner spends about $3,502 for landscaping and $1,465 on a designer, according to the American Nursery Landscape Association. Not sure where to start? Local garden centers often offer free design services, or ask the neighbors what works for them. Sod costs about 30 to 35 cents a square foot, so a 5,000 sq. ft. yard would cost about $1,500 to sod. Budget for delivery fee if you buy less than 1,000 sq. ft. of sod. A splash of color at the front of the house is an eye-catching plus. For maximum impact, use one color and vary the height of plants. If your doorway is overwhelmed by greenery, get out the shears. Replace overgrown shrubbery with flowering foundation plants, mixing heights and colors for dramatic effect. A charming focal point like a walkway and fountain adds major value to your property. Roll a sealant on flagstones for a permanent wet look that enhances the color.
- Roof and sidingAdding a new roof and replacing your home’s unsightly vinyl siding will also yield a high ROI, Aubrey says. His assertion is backed by the Cost vs. Value Report, which found that homeowners recouped 72% and 80% of the cost, respectively, for those upgrades. Another benefit: When it comes time for inspection and appraisal, having those repairs done will not only increase the value of your home but also reduce the likelihood of being forced to make fixes or adjust pricing later in the process.
- Refurbish rather than replace. Like the previous cardinal rule, don’t give your home buyer with any actual new materials, if you can avoid it. Why hand over 1,200 square feet of Brazilian cherry when you can merely refurbish your existing floors?
Minor Kitchen Remodel
Average return at resale: 98.5 percent
A minor kitchen remodel averages $14,913 for $14,691 at resale, a recoup rate of 98.5 percent. Do a minor remodel when your kitchen needs a cosmetic update and not a drastically different floor plan. A $15,000 kitchen update covers 30 feet of re-facing for cabinets and drawers, a new wall oven, cooktop, sink and fixtures, laminate countertops and resilient flooring. Put recessed lights 3’ to 5’ apart on center and 18″ from cabinets to light the countertops. Running the lights between two joists is easier than running through the joists. If your home is worth more than $500,000, go with stone or trendy glass countertops. Cover old vinyl with floor leveler so the pattern doesn’t bleed through. You can’t put a second layer of vinyl on if the subfloor is below-grade concrete. Brighten up the kitchen by sanding and painting existing cabinets. It’s much less expensive than buying new ones. Add decorator detail without the cost by changing drapes and window molding.
Still need more tips and tricks? Look no further. Chris Budz of Realty Executives Elite can help you make good remodeling decisions to help you sell your Lockport Illinois home for more money and faster. Contact Lockport Illinois real estate agent Chris today!