REAL ESTATE WATCH
by AL REX, CPA & Realtor
Remodeling your home can be fun and exciting. If you’re going to invest the time, consider these areas to add value:
Kitchen – New appliances, counter tops and cabinets all add significant value to a home. Stainless steel appliances are still the rage, and quartz counter tops have gained significant favor, although any stone counters with a designer backsplash will work. Totally new cabinets are popular among home buyers, but don’t count out a simple cabinet reface. For those who are budget conscious, a cherry or white lacquer paint over existing cabinets and new knobs will also enhance the look of a kitchen.
Bathroom – Upgrades to the bathrooms could include counter tops and cabinets, similar to kitchen upgrades. Another option are larger stone tiles with rounded edges, which can bring as much value as pure stone counter tops. If your shower/bath area looks dated, replace it with stone tiles and a frameless glass door or enclosure. If you can’t do a complete remodel, your bathroom will look up-to-date by just matching new faucets, light fixtures and towel bars.
Flooring – Hardwood flooring is “all the rage” these days and enhances any carpet and tile. Wide plank flooring, with the “hand hewn” rustic look is the most popular, but any wood look will add significant value to your home. Tumbled travertine stone flooring is also popular, and a new item is tile planks that look like wood, but wear so much better. Putting in new carpet? Spend a few dollars more on upgrading your pad and it will feel like you’re walking on pillows.
Paint – Earth tone colors have been popular for the last fifteen years and still remain the norm. If you’re going to enhance with a strong or bright color, try to keep it in the bathrooms or only in one bedroom. Now this doesn’t mean that you can’t paint your kitchen bright red and your family room optic blue, but when it comes time to sell, your realtor will be advising you to re-paint those rooms or it will impair your ability to sell.
Exterior – A fresh coat of exterior paint will add a “wow” factor to your home’s curb appeal! Colorful flowers, bushes and fresh mulch in the front will enhance the beauty of your home. Exterior hardscape to the back of the home will add value – but only about 30 to 50% of their cost. So if you want to put in that pool, do it to enjoy it and not to add value.