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Best Home Improvements for the Money

by Tami Rapaport’s Team

Are you planning to sell your home, but you don’t know which upgrades will bring top dollar? To help with this decision, do some research, have a heart-to-heart with your realtor and, most importantly, think like a buyer. In some cases, major home improvements do not generate sufficient return to cover the investment. And upgrading too many things might be a bad idea if your individual taste doesn’t match the buyer’s. But be sure to repair that leaky pipe, patch the walls, and remove the oil spill in the garage.

Kitchen Upgrade

According to the DIY Network, “Kitchen is King”. Prospective buyers often want to see the kitchen before anything else. Workspace and appliances can be critical as the kitchen often serves as a gathering space, as well as a creating space. Upgrades to outdated kitchens usually return more than 100% of the cost. Just as likely, a tired kitchen can be the difference between a sale and no sale.

Bathrooms and Showers

Bathrooms are next in the hierarchy of improvements. Minor make-overs such as counters and fixtures, mirrors, toilets and perhaps a glass shower enclosure to replace a ratty old shower curtain can make the room more inviting. Experts say that a prudent bathroom remodel should also pay off. Frontdoor.com estimates a 102% return.

Front Yard and Entry

Curb appeal is critical. Landscaping the lawn and entry by adding shrubs and flowers for color and balance to the front of the home should also bring more at closing.

Siding Replacement

Depending on the degree of unsightliness of your current siding, replacement may be important. One less expense for a future owner could yield financial benefit at closing.

Front Door

Both Forbes and DIY Network include replacing or repainting the front door in their lists of ten important considerations. The front door conveys an important impression before entering and should be as pristine as possible.

Remove Dated Materials

Eliminate wood paneling and elements that might make the interior seem dated. Freshening up a room can move the home faster and will be worth the investment.

Finished Attic and Basement/Replacement Windows

Think twice before making major renovations simply to sell sooner. These may not pay off at closing. FIY estimates that some major remodels only bring about 80% to 90% of the cost. Often buyers expect to make those major changes themselves later depending on their needs and budget.

Top Things to look for in a home

by Tami Rapaport’s Team

Top Things To Look For In A Home

As first-time home buyers, you may be a little overwhelmed by the numerous decisions you will be facing. There are quite a few, but focusing on the most important choices will help you put everything else into perspective. Relax, take your time, and utilize the following guidelines when considering a home purchase.

Outside

Start with the neighborhood. Realistically, can you see yourself living there? While it's relatively easy to gain information on shopping centers, school systems, and crime rates, the bottom line should always come down to whether or not you feel comfortable. After that, it's all about the house. Scope out the exterior, and consider the condition of things like the roof, soffit, siding, rain gutters, the foundation, and the driveway. These are things that can be costly if repairs are needed. Pointers: Watch out for dips in the roof, or shingles that look worn and discolored, as well as loose soffit, peeling paint, or dry rot anywhere on the house.

Inside

If the outside of a home is in good condition, chances are the interior will be as well. Look for upgrades, especially in the kitchen and bathroom, as well as the floors throughout. Does the home come with updated appliances? Are the cabinets and counters appealing? Remember, if a house has been staged, it's wise to picture what it looks like without all the fluff. Make sure to note the condition of major appliances--furnace, water heater, HVAC. If the house has a basement, it's crucial to make sure it's dry, and there are no signs of water damage. Look for basements that have been sealed and finished. Note the condition of a home's ceilings; look for tell-tale signs of water damage.

Forewarned is forearmed. Any home on the market should be structurally sound, both integrally and cosmetically, and any mechanical components should be in good shape. Buying a home needn't be bewildering, dark, nor scary; bearing in mind the most important considerations will keep the pathway to making a savvy purchase well lit. Happy hunting.

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Tami Rapaport
Tami Rapaport
130 Dean Drive
Tenafly NJ 07670
201-227-2045