Smart Home Renovating in a Dicey Market

Smart Home Renovating in a Dicey Market


As of this publication, home values have not reached bottom in many markets. That means your home may still decline in price with some analysts now saying that the bottom may not be reached until 2013.

If you’re planning to stay in your home for many years, then today’s slumping values won’t have the same effect on you as they will on someone who needs to sell their home now. Give it five or 10 years or more and home values will be far brighter than they are today. The steep rise in prices are being followed by a steep price drop, a correction of historic proportions and likely personal consequences.

Renovation Projects

To get your home ready for the market now means one thing: you don’t want to take on any major renovation projects unless they’re absolutely necessary. That means if your roof leaks or your kitchen cabinets are falling off of their hinges, then repairs must be done. You might be better off doing repairs instead of making replacements, pricing your home accordingly to sell it faster.

Let’s take a look at some minor renovations you can make to maximize your short term benefits. These ideas are perfect for the person who must sell their home this year as well as the homeowner who isn’t ready to make a major investment, perhaps waiting to see where home values will be in a year or two.

Keep it small — Instead of replacing the kitchen, you may be able to get by with a basic touch up. This can include painting cabinet fronts, replacing the counter, putting down new flooring, painting the walls or putting up a new light fixture just may be enough to convince buyers that your home is a prize or you if you intend to stay put.

Shop the contractors — When the economy is in a slump, there is one big advantage for the homeowner: contractors are looking for work. Contractors who want jobs must compete with each other which means you are in the best bargaining position you’ve been in for many years. Negotiate your price to come up with the project offering the best bang for the buck. Your contractor may be willing to work with supplies you have on hand or agree to go to the remainder shop to find a deeply discounted counter, toilet, sink or other component.

Count the cost — Ploughing $5,000 in your home may be money that you’ll get back when you put your home on the market. But, there are some other points to consider: your job may not go far enough to recoup your investment; it may be better to simply adjust your home’s price downward; the inconvenience of having the work done could put a damper on everything else you’re trying to do in life — it just may not be worth the hassle.

Real Estate Agent

Your real estate agent can help you gauge if you should tackle a project now or leave it for the new owner. If your market is strong, then you have more options available to you. If the market is weak, you may have to invest several thousand dollars to get your home ready, selling it for a price lower than what you had expected.


HGTV: 10 Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home

Thrifty Fun; Decorating On a Shoestring Budget; Amy Allen Clark; Dec. 2004


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Categories: Home Renovation

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".