In my last blog post, I discussed how the Principle of Conformity is important when selecting improvements that will increase the value of your home, and why it is important to understand your real estate market area before making costly improvements. With the Principle of Conformity in mind, here is a list of improvements that usually provide a strong return on investment (ROI) for most properties around Portland, OR and most other areas.
1. Paint: Freshen up internal and external paint in areas that look worn or faded. Cover wild colors that might not be attractive to the majority of buyers. Ask your local paint store for help selecting the most popular neutral colors.
2. Catch up on maintenance: An annoying minor repair like a switch that does not work or a drafty window might cost very little to fix now, but during the home inspection phase of a sale, it might cost you precious time and negotiating advantage. Both can cost you thousands.
3. Renew fixtures: A new sink faucet, cabinet pulls, and/or switch plate covers can take years off the appearance of a dated kitchen or bath. Most buyers will accept a newer and lower priced fixture over older and worn higher priced fixture. There is a financial reason behind the old saying — “They don’t build them like they used to.”
4. Replace flooring: If the carpet or vinyl flooring is dated and/or worn, new flooring might not be too costly and can give a house that new smell and feel.
5. Mow the lawn and pull weeds: Small improvements to the landscape, especially in the front yard, can make the difference between your house being shown to a prospective buyer or passed over. A buyer, or even an appraiser (they’re both human), might mistake a messy yard for a house that is not well cared for.
6. Remove clutter: Clutter makes a house appear as though it is smaller, has insufficient storage, and it might be an indicator of needed maintenance. A professional appraiser should see past ordinary clutter but a buyer might not. Some clutter may affect value.
If you’re considering making costly improvements to your Portland area home and want to avoid spending money that will not be returned later, it is a good idea to consult with a real estate expert. Call us for a free consultation.
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