Are you thinking about making some improvements to your home, but you’re not sure which ones will have the highest return on investment when you sell? Real estate expert Monte Mohr, of The Mohr Group, has some tips on how to choose the most cost effective home improvements.
The following are questions asked by local residents:
“We are thinking of remodeling our kitchen before we put our Franklin, Tennessee home back on the market. The contractor says we’ll get the $20,000 of cost back out when we sell. We watch you all the time on Channel 4, do you agree?”
This is a common question because a lot of people want to do some sort of kitchen project before they sell. First of all, I don’t recommend putting a lot of money into a home that you are about to sell because it’s really hard to recoup those dollars. I understand why the contractor is saying you can get the money back – he’s trying to make a sale. In all sincerity, the cost of the remodel job depends on the price of the house. If the house is valued at over $350,000 you will probably get the bulk of that cost back, but if it’s under $200,000 don’t spend the money; it’s too big of an expense. If you spend that kind of money on a house that’s valued under $350,000 you need to write off that expense as an investment in your own “personal enjoyment.”
“My husband is finishing off our basement and adding a bedroom, bathroom, and living area. This project will effectively double the size of our home. Will it double the value we get when we sell?”
This is a really great question, and the logic makes sense but remember, when compared to above ground square footage, basement square footage is only considered to be valued at 40 cents on the dollar. And when finishing a basement, it’s also important to remember that the ceilings need to average at least 7 feet high, and to count the bedroom it must have a closet and a window for safety. You will certainly increase the value of your property, but you will not get equal value for the square footage of a basement.
“We are thinking of adding a sun room to the back of our Brentwood TN home. Can we include this square footage in the total square footage of our home when we sell? And, can we expect to get our money back for this kind of improvement?”
This is another pertinent question and to be honest, I do not think you can get your money back out of that kind of investment. I do think you’ll see an increase in the value of the property because you can count the square footage as long as it is heated and air conditioned. This is another case where you have to remember and embrace the term “personal enjoyment” because it certainly adds a great dimension to living in your home, but you’re not necessarily going to get that investment back.
“We just spent over $10,000 on landscaping because my brother-in-law said it will help our home sell. We have been watching you for years on Channel 4. Do you agree that this will help?”
Yes, the added curb appeal will help any Nashville home sell more quickly, but I wouldn’t have spent 10,000 dollars because you’re not going to get those dollars back. Yes, it will help the home sell, or increase the salability of the home, but this type of investment does not add value. In other words, if someone is looking at two homes and one is similar to yours, they will probably choose your home because of that improvement, but you’re not going to get $10,000 more in your asking price because of the project.
“What kind of improvements actually help a home sell?”
I’ve always recommended lightening, brightening, de-cluttering, and sprucing up the home to improve curb appeal. But when it comes down to additional improvements beyond those things, the next best thing you can do is apply a fresh coat of neutral colored paint. After that would be flooring because new flooring always improves the appearance of a home. But if your home is valued over $150,000-$200,000 I would recommend staying away from laminate flooring. Although laminate flooring has become quite popular among home owners in Franklin TN Subdivisions, from a buyer’s standpoint neutral carpeting is more appealing.
Happy Customers of the Week
Cherry and Gerald from Franklin are really great people; I love this couple! They are Channel 4 viewers who saw my offer to sell a home for free. Like so many other “baby boomers” they are tired of climbing stairs, so they wanted to sell their two-story home. They listed with me and within a week and a half we got 98% of their asking price and they saved $8,800 with my We Sell Homes For Free program. They are one happy couple!
If you need help buying or selling your home call The Mohr Group at (615) 376-4500 or you can reach Monte directly by calling (615) 300-8393.