Curb Appeal

Curb AppealDollar for dollar, no improvement has more impact on the future sales price of your home than dollars spent enhancing its exterior, also known as Curb Appeal. You’ve seen it on all the TV “fixer upper” shows, curb appeal is what brings attention to your home and many times can help raise its value!

Luckily for you, it’s also one of the easiest places to make a swift impact. A coat of paint, some landscaping improvements, shutters and planter boxes, neighborhood-appropriate fencing, and a decent lawn guy are all affordable fixes that will do wonders for the foot traffic you get when your home is on the market. And we all know once a prospective buyer is in the door, anything can and usually does happen. That doesn’t mean interior improvements and amenities don’t matter, because they do, but creating a wow factor before a prospective buyer steps out of his or her car is the biggest bang for your buck you can buy.

Is It Worth It to Improve Your Home or Move On?

Homeowners are faced with numerous decisions throughout the years when it comes to their homes and how to manage them. A home is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, so decision-making shouldn’t be taken lightly. A difficult decision homeowners face is whether to move to a different property or simply improve their current one. improve you home or move on
The answer is never black or white, but we’ve listed the variables that need to be weighed carefully. Your personal finances and the status of local markets are just two issues you will have to consider. Also, think about which improvements give you the most bang for your buck.

Before taking the leap either way, here are some factors to consider:

Thoughts on Selling

  • Current market conditions. Is your area flooded with homes for sale? What is the transaction time from listing to closing?  Is the market lopsided with more sellers than buyers?
  • Local factors. Are there new jobs coming to your city or are companies moving away and jobs decreasing? Will there be an influx of new residents or is everyone trying to sell quickly? Will new jobs bring higher incomes or is downsizing a problem?
  • Your home value. What is your home’s worth? Can you extract from it what you paid or will you sell at a loss? What is the lowest offer you can accept? Will you be able to offer any help with the closing costs?
  • Personal logistics. Can you afford to move to a new house while paying the mortgage and other costs on the first, or do you have to sell first and then move? How long can you continue to pay the mortgage, taxes and insurance on this property?

Insights into Renovation

  • Current market conditions. Will increasing your home’s size or features price you out of the area? Sometimes putting in high-end finishes can make your home worth more than what it will appraise for.
  • Local factors: Are buyers looking for homes similar to an upgraded version of yours in that area? Don’t create a forever home when buyers move to your area for a starter home. It will be hard to make a profit this way.
  • Your home value. You can quickly put in too many renovations and create a home that is worth more than what the area dictates. Take that into consideration when planning your remodel.
  • Personal logistics. If you ever plan to sell, these are things to consider. However, if you feel that you’ll stay in your home for years to come, improving your property might be a wise move.

There’s not a magic formula to determine the right steps for every homeowner, but using a local real estate professional can be a great start. They know the markets and can explain the best options for you.

Is This Your Situation: Should I Buy a Home That Needs Repairs?

If you’ve found your dream home − in the area you want, with a big kitchen, three bedrooms and more − is it worth it to buy if the home needs a little TLC? The answer differs depending on the type of repairs, the neighborhood and more. Keep reading to find out if putting an offer on a home that needs repairs is the right move for you.home improvement

Are the repairs just cosmetic?

Don’t get confused between a fixer-upper and a house that just needs some minor, mainly cosmetic, repairs. A fixer-upper usually has a very cheap purchase price because the new owners will have to put in so much elbow grease to get it to livable condition. However, cosmetic repairs are another ball game. These are small tasks like painting, changing the carpeting or installing new cabinetry. If the home you’re interested in only needs cosmetic repairs, it may be worth the money because you’ll get to customize the home a little bit, and the seller might be offering a discount because the house needs a little TLC.

Check the inspection report

Get an inspection report before you buy. Maybe the seller told you that all the house needs is a fresh coat of paint and a little landscaping; but the inspection report could alert you to bigger problems that the seller either doesn’t know about or hasn’t disclosed. If the inspection report mentions foundation issues or that a new HVAC system is needed, this is not the kind of project you want to get into if you’re not prepared.

Will you get good ROI after the repairs are complete?

What kind of neighborhood is the home in? If it’s in a decent neighborhood, close to schools and parks, or if the neighborhood is up and coming, it might be worth buying a home in the area because the value will increase over time. It’s worth it to take on some minor home repair projects for a house in a desirable neighborhood.

Do you have the time to devote to this project?

If you weren’t previously planning on purchasing a home that needs minor repairs, make sure you have the time and patience to put up with the items that need updating. If you have a busy job or kids with demanding schedules, moving into a home that isn’t move-in ready could be stressful. Also, be prepared for loud noises and a little debris if you hire workers or plan to do repairs yourself.

Are you getting a deal on the home?

One of the most important factors is the type of deal you’re getting on the home. If it’s not move-in ready, what’s the incentive to do the repairs and updates yourself? If the seller isn’t offering an allowance for you to do the repairs or isn’t selling slightly below market to incentivize buyers, what’s the point?

Look into a 203 (k) loan 

If you find a home that you’re serious about but that requires minor or major repairs, look into financing through HUD’s 203 (k) loan. This type of financing allows you to finance the purchase of the home and the necessary improvements without having to seek multiple loans. Visit HUD.gov to learn more.

If you’re on the fence about making an offer on a house, call us today and we’ll help you decide if a home that needs repairs is the right option for you. Or if you have other questions about the home-buying process, we’re here to guide you!