Adding Another Few Rooms May Not Increase Your Value
I've had several calls recently from homeowners planning to sell in the next three to five years. The question I'm often asked is "What should we do to our home in preparation for selling? I usually say that I need to see their home and do some research before giving a knee-jerk reply, but most often the best answer is "It depends on what the market will be like then, and what the buying trend for your particular area and lot size will be."
The current demand for most prime locations is one of three:
1. A well-proportioned, well-maintained home with an easy-to-access yard, a functional floor plan and good, natural lighting.
2. A small home or fixer-upper that has potential to add value.
3. A brand-new home or an almost-new home with open space, volume ceilings, and a flowing floor plan including an open kitchen/family room and a wonderful master suite with a huge adjoining bath and walk-in closet.
If you decide to remodel your home but, when finished, it still is not functional, open and consistently done to today's taste, you are wasting your money. No one is going to pay big bucks for a 10-year-old kitchen, a small master bath with a 10-year-old Jacuzzi tub, cabinetry from the '90s or old, aluminum slider windows and doors.
Do yourself a favor and speak with a knowledgeable Realtor before committing to a remodel for resale. Of course, if you plan to stay five to seven years and you need the extra space to live, by all means, do the remodel.
Remodeling is very tricky, and many homes are just not that conducive to a good remodel. Avoid adding random rooms with a step up or step down. Keep your ceilings high and your floor plan open to natural light. Galley kitchens and small bathrooms are not in demand.
Remember that the better the location, the more land value may exceed the value of an old home with lots of rooms.
Do your research before pulling the trigger. Your home might be a land value, even after investing $300,000 in a remodel.