Cathy Lomasney's Blog
Rising home values are a key to making your home pay off in the long term. As your home values rise, your risk of staying in debt should you have to sell your house lowers. The chance to earn a profit off the sale of a house may be one of the main reasons why people buy houses instead of renting.
Easy ways to increase your house's value take into account popular house amenities and architectural designs. Some popular house amenities and designs are appreciated more by people living in certain regions of the country.
Popular house amenities and designs add value to a home
For example, people living in Arizona or other hot, dry climates out West might lean toward clay brick houses that are made with exterior colors that complement the earth's reddish brown hues. Americans living in cold, moist Northeastern climates might prefer houses with exterior vinyl siding, covered driveways and flat surfaces, the kind of surfaces that keep their vehicles from sliding on ice and snow.
Specific examples of popular house amenities include:
- Outdoor in ground swimming pools
- Indoor Olympic size swimming pools
- Two car covered garages with automatic garage door openers
- Open floor plans
- Newly installed roofs
- Original hardwood floors that are in great condition
- Lush front and back lawns
- Wrap around porches
- Cathedral ceilings
- Large open, walk-in closets
- Bedroom en suites that are large and spacious
- One level home designs
- Multi-level home designs
- Large bay windows
- Gorgeous natural outdoor views
Although they are not permanent, built-in house amenities, modern and reliable household products like a family size washer and dryer, stove, oven and dishwasher also add value to a house. Leaving these removable household products in your home can actually cause some house shoppers to get off the bench and put in a bid on your house.
Secret home value increasers can add a lot of value
Those are some of the more obvious ways to add value to your house. Secret home value increasers don't always cost. In fact, one of the greatest home value increasers is free. It's the history that comes with the house.
Celebrity homes and houses that were once owned by historic figures like popular politicians, business leaders and social and civil rights leaders can pull in thousands, sometimes millions more than houses that don't have this type of rich history. If you buy a house that's rich with history, you can make this a huge selling point should you decide to part with the house.
Of course, you could also achieve your own greatness and add rich history to your house all on your own. Incorporate popular house amenities and rich history in a house and you might be shocked at how much you can command on price when you go to sell the house.
Additional secret home value increasers are mother-in-law suites, a finished basement, a finished attic and a full-size gym. A full-size gym may add even more value to a house as Americans focus on becoming more physically fit.
Location is another secret home value increaser that you should pay attention to. A house that's tucked away in a secluded area surrounded by trees and colorful foliage will attract some home buyers. Other home shoppers want to be near shops,entertainment and bustling businesses, social and nightlife.
Putting your home on the market is not for the faint-hearted! As many people discover along the way, the road to selling a home can be rather bumpy -- especially if you attempt to sell it on your own.
Fortunately, there are several things you can do, right away, to make the journey shorter, smoother, and more rewarding. Here are three strategies that will greatly increase your chances of success.
Find a seasoned real estate agent. An experienced real estate agent will not only help you navigate state and federal regulations, negotiate with buyers, and get a handle on paperwork, but they'll also schedule showings of your home and provide continuous marketing help.
Enhance your curb appeal: When it comes to finding prospective buyers and setting up appointments, your real estate agent will do the lion's share of the work. However, it's mostly up to you to make sure your house looks its best and that the appearance of your property catches the eye of house hunters.
Once your home is listed online and a "for sale" sign is planted in your front yard, potential buyers are going to immediately take notice of how your house looks from the outside. Sometimes people browse listed houses from their cars, so it can really pay to make a great first impression from the street.
Some of the things that matter the most are a meticulous-looking yard, a clutter-free property, and a house that looks like it's well maintained. Adding a fresh coat of paint, displaying some colorful potted flowers, and taking care of unsightly weeds and overgrown bushes are a few things you can do to make your property look a lot more inviting.
Stage your home's interior: Once you've cleared the first big hurdle (curb appeal), your next priority -- or perhaps a simultaneous priority -- is to make the interior of your home look inviting and appealing. As is the case with boosting curb appeal, your real estate agent can provide you with cost-effective advice on how to get the most mileage from your efforts.
Some of the tried-and-proven methods of staging a home include reducing clutter, arranging living room furniture in "conversational groups" to depict a cozy, intimate environment, and letting plenty of natural light stream in to make your home appear as cheerful and bright as possible.
Fresh coats of neutral-colored paint should be applied to walls and ceilings on an as-needed basis, and all floors, tables, and counter tops should be kept immaculate. Home staging consultants often recommend removing (or toning down) certain decorating themes -- such as sports, religion, or even too many family photographs -- which may alienate some potential buyers.
The overall objective is to make it easy for house hunters to imagine themselves owning and living in your home. If there's anything about the appearance, decor, or smell of your home that makes people feel in any way uncomfortable, that could make it more difficult to find a committed buyer -- which, of course, is your ultimate goal!
You’ve closed on your new house, moved all your boxes, and started planning how to arrange your furniture. Your family can’t wait to settle in and regain a sense of normalcy after the chaos of moving. But before you get back to your normal routine be sure to add these tasks for new homeowners to your to do list. Each takes just an hour of your time and will help you to stay on top of maintenance as well as familiarize yourself with your new domain.
Start by finding out where your main water shutoff valve is located. This is not something you want to have to find when you are in an emergency. In colder climates, it’s most likely to be found in your basement and if you are in a warmer climate you should find it outside. If you keep a binder for home updates add a note of the location within.
Make sure your attic insulation is the correct depth. You want at least 6 inches and even more in northern states. Ensuring that your insulation is the correct depth will help you to save money throughout the year on heating and cooling costs. If you’re attic doesn’t have the correct depth or is damaged be sure to have it replaced as soon as possible. Oftentimes you can get incentives for improving your insulation and thus creating a more energy efficient home.
Check the temperature of your hot water heater and be sure it is set at 120 degrees tops. If you have an older model add a hot water heater blanket to help retain heat. If you find that your heater leaks you want to replace it immediately. A small leak can quickly lead to a major one, flood your home and cause serious damage. Again, be sure to keep note of the month and year you replaced your heater or which year your current model is.
Replace air filters right away so that you will know when they’ve last been replaced. Add monthly reminders to your calendar to stay on top of this quick maintenance task. You can make this task even easier by buying them in bulk. If you love to be organized label them for each month so you know exactly when you’ll next need to replace them.
Change all of the locks on your home. This is simple enough to do on your own and is an easy proactive safety measure for your family. While one hopes there are no lingering keys out in the world of your home, you can’t be sure of who may have a spare key.
Take note of any cracks in your basement. If you find any mark their length with a piece of masking tape and mark with the current date. Watch closely to see if the crack spreads beyond the mark. If you find that the cracks are lengthening be sure to get them taken care of by a professional. This is a serious repair you don’t want to wait on.
Buying a new home is an exciting time. Especially after you’ve closed on the house, can begin to move in and start settling into your routine. Before you get too comfortable be sure to add a few tasks to your to do list. Familiarizing yourself with your new home right away will help you stay on top of maintenance and have peace of mind.
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