Investment in home improvements can produce great returns, if you put your dollars in the right place. How should homeowners invest to reap the highest returns? Start with projects that cost relatively less, as illustrated in this infographic.
To save both time and money, some people avoid getting building permits. But most cities require them. Besides ensuring safety during construction—housing inspectors sometimes stop by to check on the progress of projects at key points—they are also a source of revenue.
Cities charge a fee when a building permit is issued. Also, work done with a building permit can result in an increase in the homeowners’ property taxes because, in general, a home improvement increases the assessed value of the property.
Permits are usually required when any structural work is planned or the basic living space of a home is altered. They generally cover new construction, repairs, alterations, demolition, and additions to a structure. Some jurisdictions require the permit to be posted in a visible spot on the premises while the work is being done.
Besides structural changes, permits also may be needed to cover the installation of foundations for tanks and equipment, as well as the construction or demolition of ducts, sprinkler systems or standpipe systems.
By law, all buildings must have a building permit and a certificate of occupancy before they can be used.
First-time homebuyers are shifting housing industry standards when it comes to home design preferences—and, according to the latest Home Design Trends Survey by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), one of the most significant changes is the end of the era of expansive property and square footage.
Small, simply, is the new big.
“With younger households that are increasingly entering the market looking for more affordable options, home sizes appear to have peaked for this economic cycle,” said Kermit Baker, chief economist of the AIA, in a statement on the survey.
Smaller homes are generally more affordable, which is key for many first-time homebuyers squeezed by high home prices and student debt. Small homes, however, are scarce in most housing markets.
Aside from less living space, the architecture professionals surveyed see the following trends taking shape:
- In-Home Accessibility
- Single-Floor Plans
- Open-Concept Layout
- Informal Spaces
Source: American Institute of Architects (AIA)
Here are some important questions to ask before converting your unfinished attic space into a usable room. Play video.
Don’t be your own roadblock to success! Avoid these common seller-mistakes to ensure that your home leaves a lasting impression on buyers, instead of sending them running for the hills.
1) Dirt: It’s A Don’t
Perhaps one of the biggest turn-offs in real estate, dirt gives the impression that your property is not well maintained. A dirty home is simply not aesthetically appealing and can often be the root cause of other turn-offs, such as bad odors. Keeping a clean, clutter-free home will show potential buyers that your property is a beautiful, healthy place where they can live comfortably without any foul surprises.
2) It’s Nothing Personal
While you may love looking at family photos, funky trinkets from travelling, or your colorful assortment of bath products, personal items such as these should be stored away during an open house. Showings are for buyers to see if they can see themselves living in your home, which is difficult to imagine when there are someone else’s belongings scattered throughout the house. If you’re serious about selling, pack away any items that send the message that this is your space.
3) Old News
Most often when people are looking for a new home they’re looking for just that: a NEW home! Having old, dated fixtures in your house tells prospective buyers that your property is stuck in the past, rather than prepared for the future. Make your property a place that anyone can move forward in.
4) Street Style
You may have spent so much time and effort making the inside of your home immaculate for a sale that you’ve completely forgotten that the outside is equally as important. Curb appeal is the very first impression that your home will have on buyers, and it’s essential that your property looks just as nice from the street as it does inside.
5) Snoopy Seller
You know your home better than anyone else, and you want to sell it to someone who genuinely cares about your property. While this statement may be true, it is counterproductive for you to participate in showings, pointing out all the great features of your home to interested buyers and grilling them on their intentions for when they purchase it. Give buyers space they need to see if your home is the right fit for them, and you’ll be selling it in no time.
Interested in receiving more advice on selling your home? Contact John Kavaller today–he’ll offer more ideas and information on how to market your property for sale.
If you’re looking to up-the-ante and introduce high-tech gadgets into your home, check out our top three smart-home suggestions:
- Robotic Vacuum Cleaner
Robotic vacuum cleaners are one of our favorite high-tech toys as they can alleviate a significant portion of the burden of your regular household chores. They’re even more beneficial considering the fact that they can also make your home much more comfortable to live in.
Food crumbs, pet fur, and dust bunnies are no match for an iRobot Roomba, which will soon become your own personal home-cleaning minion. Your house will feel cleaner and look more pristine, and you won’t even have to lift a finger!
Bonus: these things have serious entertainment value. Google “shark cat” if you don’t believe us.
- Smart Thermostat
This high-tech addition is a fantastic way to boost comfort within your home while also controlling household expenses. When you invest in a smart thermostat, a small sensor will be able to detect the temperature in each room of your home, adjusting the heat flow accordingly.
With no more uneven heating throughout your house; the chilly den that you dread working in will now become a useable space! On the flip side, your thermostat will no longer be blowing heat into rooms that have already hit your desired temperature. Now that’s what we call a ‘smart’ home upgrade.
Bonus: smart thermostats work for air conditioning as well, meaning that they can help ensure your stuffy guest room is as cool and comfortable as the rest of the house.
- Sleep IQ Bed
You’ve likely heard of sleep number beds, whose firmness is independently adjustable on each side of the mattress, but have you heard of their newest add on, the Sleep IQ?
Sleep IQ beds monitor your sleep by tracking a number of factors such as your heart rate, breathing patterns, and movement throughout the night. Based on these stats, the bed will recommend ways you can improve your overall sleep quality, and ultimately your overall health.
From real estate agents to home buyers, there are so many tips out there on how to sell your home that it can be overwhelming to determine which tricks will boost your success rate and make the sale. If you’re looking for a few sure-fire hacks for getting your home off the market quickly, the following may do a lot of the hard work for you so that selling won’t remain a worry for long.
Stick To A Neutral Palette
Neutral colors like white and grey may seem like a boring approach to design, but they’re actually a great way to grab a potential buyer’s attention. While an especially bold color like red or dark blue can distract the viewer, neutral tones will not jar the eye and will enable the viewer to see the features that your home truly offers. Instead of a space they can’t see for the color, they’ll be able to pay attention to the details that really matter.
Discard The Oversized Items
Most of us have an old, bulky piece of furniture that we still haven’t bothered to get rid of, but when preparing your home for viewings you may want to finally let go of this ostentatious piece. A bulky furniture item will make an undersized space look even smaller, whereas – in a large, sprawling space – it will swallow the size of the room. Instead of a large-scale item, stick to classy, medium-sized pieces that will effectively complement each other.
Keep Personal Items To A Minimum
It may seem like personalizing your home, from pictures all over the fridge to movie posters, will add to its appeal, but it can actually take away from the impression that potential buyers will get. While a home that has a few personal touches here and there can make it more memorable, too many of these little details may actually make the viewer feel out of place. Since the end goal is an offer on your home, enabling potential buyers to imagine themselves in your space is key.
There are an endless amount of tricks involved in a successful home sale, but there are a few little hacks you can do that may work wonders on the minds of potential buyers. If you’re almost ready to put your home on the market and are considering your options for selling, you may want to contact one of our real estate professionals for more information.
The idea of impressing potential buyers can be a matter rife with stress, but there are a few things you can do before a viewing to ensure your home is seen in the best light. If you’ve recently put your house on the market and you’re looking for some fast and easy fix-ups, here are a handful of ways you can be sure to create a positive first impression.
It’s All About the Smell
It may seem like purchasing a home is all about appearance, but you shouldn’t underestimate the power of scent when it comes to the overall impact of your home viewing. Instead of leaving this invisible factor up to chance, consider giving the house a quick spray with a pleasant scent or even baking something that will be sure to remind potential buyers of the familiar comforts of home.
Take Away the Family Portraits
While it won’t be necessary to clear away everything of personal value, a large number of photographs in the home can actually remind potential homebuyers that it’s not their home and may make them feel like they’re a visitor in a place they want to live. By removing the photos that adorn the fridge and the side tables, you can eliminate distractions for potential homebuyers and keep them focused on what the home might come to mean for them.
Clear Away Any Clutter
This might seem like the most common sense of points, but it’s very important that your house is clean so that viewers can see your home in its best light and will easily be able to imagine themselves living in it. While it’s important for giving your house the best possible presentation, it will also make your house look more spacious than it would with a lot of unkempt clutter.
Highlight Your Favorite Features
With potential homebuyers viewing a lot of different houses, having a few key features in your home that will help it stand out from the pack can be a definite benefit. Whether you have a fabulous Jacuzzi in the master bathroom or unique kitchen tiles that you installed yourself, ensuring that these features are noticed – – and even accentuated – may help your home stick in the mind of its viewers.
Showing your home can be a stressful matter, but a few quick tips can ensure success with potential buyers. If you’re curious about other ways to impress viewers of your home, you may want to contact John for some valuable insights.
There are numerous steps that must be taken to properly stage a home, and some sellers can easily become overwhelmed by all of the tips and steps they have been told to follow. It may be acceptable to skip over some of the steps to save time or money when staging a home, but there are some mistakes that homeowners can make that can have negative results.
Leaving Personal Hygiene Items Out
A common staging tip relates to storing all personal items out of site, and the reason for this is so that home buyers can see themselves living in the home as opposed to feeling as though they are in someone else’s home. However, some homeowners will leave personal hygiene items out, such as a razor, shampoo, a toothbrush and other items. These are highly personal items that can easily make a home buyer feel uncomfortable walking through the home.
Allowing Controversial Items To Be Seen
In addition, some homeowners will leave controversial items out, and these can distract a buyer, annoy them or even infuriate them if the items are controversial enough. Home buyers should feel welcome in a home and should leave without any negative feelings. Everything from posters to refrigerator magnets that may be even slightly tainted with controversy should be removed.
Leaving Valuable Items In Plain Sight
For homeowners who have some valuable possessions, it may be best to store these away or even to remove them entirely from the home. Keep in mind that buyers will be negotiating with sellers at least once and often several times during the process, and the last thing a seller wants is for the buyer to have the impression that the seller can afford to make concessions and to negotiate more freely.
Keeping Closets And Cabinets Cluttered
Closets and cabinets are common storage areas that are used to hide much of the clutter that most people keep on dressers, counters and shelves when staging a home, but storing items in these areas can backfire. Buyers will open closets and cabinets to inspect storage space, and a home can appear to be lacking in storage space when these areas are cluttered.
Properly staging a home is an important step to take to prepare a home for sale. I can provide you with additional staging tips customized to your home. Consider setting up a consultation with me to discuss ideas before listing your home on the market.
Curb appeal is important in the home sales process, and this is because it will impact the overall first impression that potential home buyers have about the property. Some homeowner can easily spend a small fortune and a considerable amount of time improving curb appeal, but others may be looking for faster and easier results. The good news is that boosting curb appeal is easy and affordable to do when these three tips are followed.
Spruce Up The Front Door
The front door and patio area are focal points for those driving by the home, and this area receives even more scrutiny by those home buyers who walk up to the home to take a tour of the interior. Re-staining or re-painting the front door can be highly beneficial to dressing up the look of this focal area, and this can give the impression that the home is well-maintained and stylish. In addition, consider replacing the front door mat and hardware on the door for improved results and added aesthetic appeal.
Power Wash The Exterior Of The Home
Beautification efforts for the front of the home would not be complete without spending time cleaning up the space, and one of the best ways to clean the exterior of a property thoroughly is by power washing it. Power washing the exterior may include cleaning the exterior siding material of the home, the patio, the driveway, the sidewalk and even the fencing. This can give the entire area a fresher and more appealing look.
Add Color To The Flower Beds
Some homeowners may not have funds or time available to fully revamp the landscaping, but showing the flower beds some attention can pay off. After weeding the flower beds, add some fresh, brightly colored blooms to the area to dress up curb appeal. Homeowners can finish off the look by spreading a new layer of mulch across the flower beds after the flowers have been planted.
Curb appeal is vital to selling a home quickly and for top dollar. Enhancing curb appeal can cost a small fortune and could take weeks to do, but even these small and affordable efforts can give homeowners great results with minimal time and money required. Homeowners who are thinking about selling their property soon can contact a trusted real estate professional for personal assistance with their staging and home improvement efforts.