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Old 05-07-2014, 06:55 AM  
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A friend spent a 100k to get top dollar for his parents house just to see it torn down for a monster house to be built.

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Old 05-08-2014, 01:53 PM  
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Generally people spend as little as possible and only on what is needed.

Example you buy a house for 200k, you upgrade the heating and cooling, new deck, painting etc. It may cost you a 20k with a contractor but you house may still only be worth 200k or maybe just 205k now. Assuming the market stays they same.

Everything needs to be maintained. If you think of everything that needs to work properly in a house, it can be a full time job. If you buy a house at low price and do all the work your self you will make money but probably get paid less if you just found a renovation job.

Other than that if you have architectural and design skills you could have a lot with creative ideas. Keep in mind a lot of people have engineering degrees, architecture degrees and design degrees and they still don't know anything.

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Old 05-08-2014, 03:29 PM  
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How your house looks invites buyer interes and speeds the sale process. Overdoing the fix-it's is a money loser ... So, be smart about what you do. Think of it as a part of "house staging" which goes deeper. There is also a tax difference between a repair and a "betterment." The latter is included in the basis of the house ... thus reducing your tax liability ... just don't get carried away.

Start buy doing some tours of competing houses for sale. Carefully note the upgrades, deficiencies, significant add-ons ... This is your competition if you want top dollar. How does your house measure up to the competition? Consider their asking price ... do you have the dog on the block which could be made competitive at a much higher opening bid?

Lets start with repairs ... Problems with the house which would diminish the buyer appeal should be fixed. Drywall cracks due to typical sagging? Fix. Broken/cracked driveway or walkway? Fix ... but unless the area supports it, upgrading to interlocking pavers might not be recoverable. Plumbing leaks? Fix, particularly the main, the pressure regulator, run-on toilets, dripping showers ... Check garbage disposal for leaks/functionality ... same goes for dishwasher. Change out faucets? Probably not, unlesss yours are rusted and pitted. Eradicate any surface mold with careful use of bleach or special purpose remover BEFORE the real estate agent does his initial assessment. If he sees "MOLD" he may require you to disclose what is not truly a problem.

Dated electrical fixtures? Leave, unless all the competing houses have all dumped the 1980's brass fixtures ... Replace with LED bulbs? No, you will get zero payback for "green." Add security lighting outside? Maybe ... depends on the competition and how handy you are at adding such fixtures.

Carpet/flooring? Expensive items which may or may not get any return but could speed the sale (possibly bidding war). You have to compare your place against the other housese for sale. Laminate is popular now and easy to install. However, most will tell you you cannot get your money back, even if you DIY.

Interior paint? Invest in neutral colors, removing your custom lime green touches or left overs from the "Southwest Look." Make sure all traces of grease, grime and wear are covered. Pay attention to window sills ... use semi-gloss, not flat paint. Check for mildew or mold in the windows ... wipe it out!

Exterior? Investing in a major landscaping overhaul is a loser. However, a serious cleanup, hedge trim, lawn rejuvenation, and spot color planting for the Spring is a good idea.

BEST OF LUCK ... and bring your before-and-after pics back to this site ... we love to make fun of newbies!
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Old 05-09-2014, 08:56 PM  
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Just me, but if I were selling, I would keep my improvements visual and cheap. All inside walls painted. All floors cleaned or refinished. Yes, patch the sidewalk. Even a meager kitchen, if clean, will make a good impression.

The last time we sold, we painted all walls, painted the eaves. I refinished the wood floors myself, painted the basement walls, floors, and steps. I put a new inexpensive sink and counter top on our small kitchen sink counter. I doubt we put more than $500 into it all. It looked clean as a whistle, even if it was not much of a house. The house sold in a week after being shown twice.
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