Valuable upgrades for selling your home
Every now and then, usually during the summer doldrums, I like to remind homeowners to take at look at their homes with an eye to making some improvements that can add value. Obviously, this is especially important if you're planning to place your property on the market soon, but valuable improvements become even more important in a real estate market flooded with inventory and nervous buyers.
You've heard it before and you'll hear it again, kitchens, kitchens kitchens. Kitchen consistently come in number one as the most important room in the house to renovate. Typically, a renovated kitchen will add 10 to 20 percent to the value of a house. Some of the buyer hot buttons are kitchen island with sink and seating, large pantry, high end appliances, countertops, and double ovens. Secondly, dishwashers have also turned into a hot button item, especially since most Floridians find themselves frequently entertaining out of town guests.
Upgraded bathrooms also add significant value and additional bathrooms, if you happen to be short on them, even more. The latest necessity in bathrooms is plasma TVs and low-flow toilets.
We're in Florida and outdoor living is what it's all about. Extending the home's footprint with the installation of porches and decks for year 'round outdoor living is a great investment. And while we're outdoors most single home buyers in Florida want their own pool, estimated to increase your home's value 4 to 6 percent.
Fitting right in with all this outdoor living is outdoor cooking. Outdoor kitchens, fire pits, pizza ovens, built in grills and bars make for very popular and valuable renovations.
If you can find the space in your beach house, try to carve out an office. It's the rare professional these days that leaves his/her work at the office. Almost everyone does some work from home and providing that space is becoming more of a necessity than a luxury.
If major renovations aren't on your radar or in your bank account, some smaller upgrades can make major differences. Add closet space and other types of built-in storage. Take a look at your floors. Can the hardwood be restored or does the 1950s tile need to go? Whatever you decide, make sure the materials are low-maintenance like stone, tile or laminates.
Open floor plans continue to be the style of choice among Island buyers. Sometimes this can be economically achieved with a simple redesign of the space or removal of a non-bearing wall to open up existing areas. And if your washer and dryer are still in the garage or carport accumulating rust, bring them inside and get new ones.
Finally you never get a chance to make a first impression, so spruce up the landscaping, paint the front door, scrape the peeling trim paint and wash the windows so everyone can see your great view.
I recently visited the Ca d'Zan Mansion in Sarasota, John and Mable Ringling's winter estate. Mable was given virtually a blank check to do what she wanted with the construction of the home, and her unique and lasting taste is still evident throughout. You may not have a blank check, but whether you're upgrading a 1,000-square-foot condo or a 3,000-square-foot Gulffront home, be smart about your choices. Take a tip from Mable – quality endures.