The Best Way to Remodel your House

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Last week, I told you about the importance of making a great first impression when selling your house. This week I will help you figure out the best places to focus your money when remodeling your house for sale.

Before you do anything else, you need to budget your money. Be realistic in how much money and time you have for remodeling. It is common for people to underestimate their budget by 20-30%. Once you do this you can focus on what areas need remodeling and those that don’t. Not everything that you remodel will yield the same return so your time and bank account should focus on certain areas more than others. It is highly unlikely that you will receive 100% return while it is more realistic to expect a 60% return on your upgrades. Every year remodeling issues a Cost vs. Value Report which “compares the average cost for 30 popular remodeling projects with the value those projects retain at resale in 100 U.S. markets”

Focus on upkeep rather than expensive upgrade, it is actually the small projects which cost less that carry the best returns. Key areas to focus on are the bathrooms, kitchen, and front of your house. Something as simple as replacing the toilet or lighting in the kitchen can make a huge difference. Even a fresh coat a paint can transform a room. Many people make the common mistake of adding completely new features but for the most part (pending a destroyed roof) it is better to focus on fixing up with is already there rather than focusing on adding new rooms or big remodeling projects. It is also better to focus on what is visible. For example, as long as the heater is in working condition leave it alone and focus your costs elsewhere. The idea of selling your house is making it the most presentable as it can be. If you need some ideas here are what you should focus on:

Kitchen.Beforeafter.jpg

Kitchen:

  • Cabinet Doors
  • Sinks
  • Hardware
  • Appliances
  • Faucets
  • Countertops
  • Paint

bathroom.JPG

Bathroom:

  • New Floors
  • New Toilet
  • Paint the Walls
  • Replace the sink
  • Replace the Faucet
  • Replace the vanity

front yard.jpg

Front:

  • New front door
  • Add some potted plants
  • Replace the garage door
  • Focus on landscape
  • New mailbox
  • Paint the exterior

According to US News the renovations that yield that largest returns come from replacing the entry door (96.6%), adding a wood deck (87.4%), converting the attic into a bedroom (84.3%), replacing the garage door (83.7%), and doing a minor kitchen remodel (82.7%). They also report the the worst returns come from remodeling a home office (48.9%), remodeling a sunroom (51.7%), adding on a bathroom (60.1%), getting a backup power generator (67.5%), and adding a master suite (67.5%).

While it is great if you can fix some of the projects on your own also be realistic with your own abilities. Do not take on large tasks with the idea of saving money, these tasks require experience to look great. Save yourself the stress, time, and money and recognize when a project is beyond your abilities.Lastly, remember to be realistic with your time, the costs and the actual payout of the project. Keeping all these aspects in mind you will be well on your way to fixing up your house for sale and ready to soak up the San Diego sunshine.