Get Your Home Ready for a Spring Listing

Are you working to get your home ready for a spring listing?  If yes you may want to take a look at any deferred maintenance on your home.  Deferred maintenance is different from major capital improvements.

Contractors are slammed with work as homeowners have decided now is the time to invest in a new kitchen, a new bath or finish that basement space.  Spring always brings a new energy to the home renovation market but this spring seems to be packing an extra punch. These are improvements that – generally – increase the value of your home.  I call them capital improvements.  They do not increase the home dollar for dollar unless you make wise market-driven choices in the work that is done.  But, if you do choose wisely they can increase the value of your home above and beyond the cost of the improvements.  If you want to get an outside opinion about your planned renovation – give me a call.

Along with the major renovations comes the “second wave” of primary repairs and upgrades that every house is gonna need sooner or later.  New roofs, new HVAC and new water heaters are three of the biggest needs to keep a house up and running.  Based on the number of trucks and vans parked in my neighborhood recently (35-40-year-old homes) there seems to be a booming market for replacing these basics.  Another big item of this genre is painting.  Closely related are landscaping improvements – unless you go a bit overboard.  These renovations fall under the maintenance expense category.

Capital Improvements like the kitchen, bath and basement makeovers have the potential to increase the value of your home.  Maintenance expense improvements will give you a marketing advantage but they are NOT going to increase the value of your home dollar for dollar. If you spend $8,000 on a new roof you cannot add $8,000 to the value of your home and expect to sell it for that price.  But if you don’t maintain these items your home will decline in value!

I see a lot of homes where homeowners have “delayed maintenance” items.  It is not the end of the world by any means but it can create issues when you get ready to sell.  I have sold homes where the furnace barely worked, the roof was leaking and the water heater was 25 years old.  But the thing is – you will take a hit somewhere on what a buyer is willing to pay for a home where there is significant deferred maintenance. If you know you are going to sell your home, it is better to go ahead with a basic level repair and have the home move in ready for your buyer.

Example – do like new home builders and put in a new but basic HVAC system.  You don’t need whistles and bells and 25-year warranties.  You need an HVAC system a home buyer can count on to keep then warm and cool – and one that won’t bust their budget by going out unexpectantly.  You won’t find this system from companies that advertise on the radio.  Call me for suggestions.

How about a new roof?  Yes but again go for a basic roof (but in the right color group).  Same as above you don’t need the whistles and bells.  A contractor can put on most roofs for a fraction of the cost of a roofing company.  You can buy the materials direct on your credit card.  Call me for suggestions.

Water heaters should be replaced if they are older than 15 years.  My plumbers can make it very affordable when it is not a crisis.

Get your home ready for the spring home-selling market.