What Improvements Make The Most Impact For The Least Investment?
This is a great question and one of the most common I get. My list is short because the go-to improvements are pretty definitive.
In a smaller house, adding square footage is always first on the list. An addition is usually too expensive for a list of this kind, but finishing existing space is a great idea.
A basement with a reasonably high ceiling, a breezeway, garage or attic space that can be finished all should be. Sometimes this includes adding a window or bumping up an area of roof -- go for it. Upping square footage will increase the value of a smaller home every time.
The kitchen is always second. If the kitchen has a good flow, make sure appliances are in-style (stainless steel most frequently), and make sure the cupboards are bright and functional. Replace dated hardware with well made bright pulls and knobs that have clean lines.
Wall colors should be fresh; a backsplash adds texture and craftsmanship. Buyers will almost always comment negatively on counters that are not stone or equivalent.
Outside of the kitchen, remember that people who are oriented toward home buying love a private retreat. That means making the master bedroom stand out; it's where the person plunking down the cash is going to escape.
If it's not big, make it bigger. If it doesn't have its own bath, give it one. If it is big and has a bath, but doesn't stand out compared to the overall level of the house, give it a luxurious detail -- either architecturally or functionally. It could be a sitting area, a sitting area, in closet or a cathedral ceiling. I once had a buyer pick a whole house simply because they were awed by the master bedroom.
If you're still looking for that improvement idea, remember that the first impression comes from entering and exiting the house. Have a great foyer in the formal entrance. Have a great mudroom in the family entrance.
Mark Gilrain, Halstead Property, (917) 287-2451 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, August 23, 2015