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Selling Your Home? A Few Fixes Can Boost Value

With spring approaching, many families aren’t just looking forward to warmer weather and longer periods of daylight. They are ready to put their houses on the market.

Families might have growing kids and need more living space. Or perhaps the opposite: A couple’s kids may all be grown and it’s time for them to downsize.

Before homeowners contact their real estate agents, there are a few things they may want to consider doing that can quicken their home’s sale and command a better price.

Getting to the Bathroom and Kitchen
A remodel in either one of these two rooms could be the best investment homeowners make if a high return on investment is a priority.

HGTV wrote that, in some of the country’s bigger housing markets, a kitchen or bath remodel may allow homeowners to recoup 100 percent of the costs or more at the time of sale.

Architect Steve Straughan, a partner in the Los Angeles-based KAA Design Group, said kitchens and bathrooms are “where you can tell if money has been well spent or not. They’re the most expensive areas of the home in terms of construction. And they’re where people spend time in their homes.”

HGTV noted that features such as commercial-looking appliances, wood cabinets or stone floors are safe touches for kitchens. For bathrooms, some of the renovations do not have to be that complicated. Perhaps a new sink, a low-flow toilet or a liner to cover that 50s-era green bathtub may be enough.
For the more ambitious, HGTV said homeowners might consider removing the bathtub completely in favor of a walk-in shower because many would not get much use out of a tub.

Proper Maintenance
New cabinets or a new shower are surely to get a potential buyer’s attention. But a good way to turn them off is having remodeled kitchens or baths at the expense of basic maintenance. The new floor in the kitchen won’t matter much if the plumbing is decades old and needs to be replaced. Prospective buyers will notice the water damage in the corner of the ceiling and wonder why the leak in the ceiling hasn’t been fixed.

This Old House recommended some other basic fixes homeowners should check before delving into fancy remodeling projects, including:

  • Checking the furnace or air conditioning system for signs of malfunctioning
  • Inspecting windows for leaks or drafts
  • Replacing the gutters if they’re rusty or aren’t working properly

Just a small investment in some of these issues can yield big results. “Starting with a couple hundred dollars on a few things could increase the value of your house by a few thousand dollars,” said Jessica Gopalakrishnan of HomeGain, an online real estate marketing website. “People are surprised by that. It’s exciting. People think they have to put in a lot of money to see a big difference and they really don’t.”

The Front and the Exterior
Nothing creates a first impression like a home’s exterior. Some real estate experts say a potential buyer decides whether to buy within seconds of laying eyes on a property. Don’t let the front door or the exterior ruin your chances at a sale.

If your front door is natural wood, perhaps revarnishing or staining it would be a wise investment. Replace storm doors if necessary, or at least check the screens to make sure there are no breaks in them. If the doorbell is broken, either fix it or install a new one.

This Old House advised not to underestimate the value of a canopy for the front door, so owners have shelter from the rain when they are trying to find their keys.

If your house is in need of paint, make that a priority. If it is furnished with vinyl or aluminum siding, check for spots where the siding may be warped or faded.

Finally, clean up the landscaping if necessary. Weed your flower beds, trim bushes and hedges, and fill in bare spots in the lawn.

These kinds of projects get homes in their best possible shape for sale. Some of them don’t have to be elaborate or expensive. But buyers will appreciate the attention to detail.

Where to Put Items When Renovating
Some homeowners realize they need to make major changes to their homes if they are going to sell. If the roof has a leak, plumbing needs to be replaced, or if a family decides they want to rip everything out of their kitchen and start from scratch, they will need storage. Mobile Mini’s secure storage containers are an ideal solution for a major renovation project. Instead of moving furniture and other belongings into other rooms of the house, they can be moved into a Mobile Mini storage container. Each container comes with Mobile Mini’s patented Tri-Cam Locking System, so families are sure their items are safe and secure.