So you have that investment home that you plan on putting on the market in the next two years. You have some ideas that you think would make the home more desirable for prospective buyers. After all, Sally Sue, your best friend, has confirmed that these improvements would make the house much more valuable. After all, Sally Sue must know what improvements the market forces are pushing!
A word of caution: make sure that the market will confirm your beliefs before you open up your checkbook. Better to be safe than sorry, as the old adage goes. The truth is there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to improving your home’s appeal as you put it on the market. Tastes, desires, needs, trends and much more change constantly. What’s hot in real estate this hour may not be the greatest thing the next hour.
Here’s another word of wisdom as you determine whether your fixer upper is worth the fixing for the sake of resale. Each and every decision must be made on its own merits and with the consideration of all the facts in the present market. The best thing to do is to take out pen and paper or your electron device of choice and list these facts. List them in simple statements, three to five word sentences so that you can look at your entire list easily.
Also as you consider these improvements and all the costs (on every level and not just the financial level), look at the other houses in your market area to see if there are other homes that offer the same amenities. Then find out if these same homes moving and at what prices?
The bottom line is that the present market is a buyer’s market which means there are a lot of homes and prices are low so in most cases it is best to make low-cost improvements and take your lumps. Either way, refer to the main question, which is also the topic of this blog: to improve or not to improve? This may be the toughest question you will make. So make it wisely.