Posts Tagged ‘ home improvements ’

How to Increase Your Home Value … On a Budget

Written by Marcy Tate

Learning about how to increase your home’s value on a budget isn’t rocket science. However, if you aren’t aware of some of the basic tips and insider tricks, then you can make costly home improvements that won’t add up to value-added improvements.

istock_000010528981xsmallThe expression, “don’t judge a book by its cover” definitely doesn’t apply to houses. First impressions are extremely important; driving up to a home with an old, broken-down car in the driveway or out-of-control shrubbery can easily turn potential buyers away.

The rule of thumb for increasing your home’s value is to spend money on things a buyer can see.

For example, unless you are planning on living in your home for more than a decade, don’t install a new tankless water heater. This type of upgrade will take several years to see a return on and cost several thousands of dollars to install. Instead, focus on items such as a new garage door, landscaping or a new stainless steel kitchen sink.

Avoid the common mistake of over-improving. Consider what is the norm in your neighborhood. Do you live in a high-end neighborhood? Are home seekers looking for high-end appliances in homes in your area? Don’t bother installing fancy features in your home if it’s not what’s going on in the house next door. It won’t help increase the value enough to make it worth it.

Fix up the Exterior First, Then the Interior

Curb appeal matters and fixing up the exterior will instantly increase your curb appeal and your home’s value.

1. Clear up Clutter – Unnecessary objects around your yard should be removed. A downed gutter or downspout, old bikes, recycling bins and trash cans should all be arranged nicely in your back yard.

2. Landscaping – Spend time pruning your hedges, trees and shrubs. Low-maintenance landscaping can add real value. Lay down some mulch, plant a few native plants or hang some flower baskets on your porch. These budgeted landscaping ideas will save you money now and add value when you sell. Continue reading this post


Posted by: Jessica Gopalakrishnan on March 13th, 2010 under Guest Bloggers, Home Improvement


HomeGain 2009 Top 12 Home Improvements Survey Results

Due to popular demand from the real estate community, regularly conducts its nationwide home improvement and home staging Home Sale Maximizer™ survey. Past findings from the survey have been a guide for thousands of home sellers in preparing their home for sale.image_cropped_hsmwoman

HomeGain recently conducted a new survey of top 12 low cost*, do-it-yourself (DIY) home improvements for people getting their home ready to sell.  Nearly 1,000 REALTORS® responded to the survey.

The top five nationwide home improvements that Realtors recommend to home sellers, based on average cost and return on investment (ROI) to sellers, are:

  1. Cleaning and de-cluttering ($200 cost / $1,700 price increase / 872% ROI / 98% recommended)
  2. Home staging ($300 cost / $1,780 price increase / 586% ROI / 82% recommended)
  3. Lightening and brightening ($230 cost / $1,300 price increase / 572% ROI / 95% recommended)
  4. Landscaping ($320 cost / $1,500 price increase / 473% ROI / 94% recommended)
  5. Repair Plumbing ($385 cost / $1,250 price increase / 327% ROI / 88% recommended)

Costs are averages and rounded up. For ranges of values, see chart 1 below. For actual price increase, see chart 2 below.


Cleaning and de-cluttering continues to  rank as the top suggested home improvement (since the survey was originally conducted in 2003). This low cost home improvement is recommended by 98% of Realtors and costs less than $200 but has a returning value of nearly $1,700 to the home’s sale price, or an 872% return (ROI).

“Inexpensive cosmetic home improvements and basic improvements greatly enhance the value of the home,” stated Carol Wilson of Carpenter Real Estate in Indianapolis, IN (AgentEvaluator member since 1999). Continue reading this post


Posted by: Jessica Gopalakrishnan on November 4th, 2009 under Home Improvement, Home Improvement Surveys, HomeGain Surveys


Sound Advice and a Touch of Paint Equals A Sold Home

As a REALTOR®, communicating on a regular basis with the seller is a crucial component of the listing’s success. And, as I have so often found from experience, sellers who have mentally made the transition from “homeowner to home seller” have a much easier time accepting advice and feedback from their real estate agent realizing it as a means to an end: the sale of their home.

Such was the case for one of my listings (before and after pictures, below), a truly beautiful single family home that I sold back in early February, recently featured in the May, 2009 edition of “Best Room Makeovers”.

Painted in a South-West Adobe orange color motif, many buyers just found the family room too loud for their tastes.

The seller originally gave me resistance about changing the color, but after reading the feedback I was sending him from buyers, he finally realized the family room needed to be re-painted. Continue reading this post


Posted by: John Badalamenti on May 13th, 2009 under Home Improvement, Home Staging


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